There are many excellent Eastern Europe lenses of the past with the M42 screw mount, and I have some, e.g. the Helios 44M4 58mm f/2. Built in the former Soviet Union to equip Zenit cameras. The latter, while if robust, often have limits, both operational, and reliability. To play it safe and always staying behind the Iron Curtain, should turn to production in the former GDR. Still were German! And so, I did not miss a couple of Praktica Mtl5 bodies . One normal, and the other in B version. These differ between them practically only in the power source of the TTL CdS meter. The second in fact, uses the current LR44/SR44 batteries, while the first was designed for use with the PX625 mercury.
Ferrania is a brand that all Italians of a certain age know, at least also in name only, because until the ’70s the advertising signs and neon signs appeared often in alignment with the photographers “shops” even in the remotest villages. Who then did not use at these times at least one Ferrania film roll? In short, it was kind of our local Kodak. Currently, this brand has returned to the attention of analogue photography enthusiasts with a crowdfunding operation to reactivate the film production lines once famous both in Italy and abroad. Anyway, is not the film that I want to speak about here, but a medium format camera: Ferrania Eura. Built since 1959/early ’60s, the Eura was a kind of Italian Holga, but made in a more refined and reliable way as well, with a decidedly higher level design.
Fed, along with Zorki and Zenit is one of the best known Soviets brand by photography enthusiasts. Since the early 30’s of the twentieth century in fact, have been built millions and millions of Fed cameras. Just to give an idea, the initial model that was simply called “Fed” (ФЭД), since 1934 and until 1955, were produced (in many variations) about 720,000 copies, while for the model 5 in production from 1977 to 1990, I have no data (according to the website Sovietcams, which I suggest to refer to anyone interested in identifying and learn more about these cameras) but are surely made in hundres of thousands copies.
Okay, it was a bit of time that I don’t propose one of my “mixed salads”, in which I put too many ingredients … and therefore, risk bad results. Yeah, because when there are too many elements (with whom you have little or no experience) in the game, it becomes difficult to avoid mistakes. However, this time, I am definitely satisfied: everything went well, and each element has worked to perfection, leading to impressive results … as of course, you can judge by yourself looking at pictures.
Finally, I got a Leica M …. namely, a M2. But also to use a legendary camera, you need the right lenses. So I had to find some… just to start and got a 35mm Voigtlander Color Skopar f /2.5 (Leica M mount) and are waiting for a Leitz Elmar 90 mm f/4 with Ltm mount (M39). But in the meantime, a friend of mine lent me a “Collapsible” Leitz Summitar 5 cm f/2 Ltm mount too, a bit ruined … just to test it. While waiting for a Ltm to Leica M Mount adapter ring, I decided to test first this one, both in digital (with a Fujifilm X-T10) that on film by mounting it on my Canon 7 rangefinder.
Since I started (again) to deal with analog photography, I discovered that there are many enthusiasts who use and collect eagerly Retina cameras and Retinette produced (in numerous models and variants) by Kodak Nagel in Germany from the thirties to the late sixty. At the beginning I did not give much weight to the thing: I was attracted more by other types of cameras, but then some “virtual” friends have strongly advised me to try them. I must also say that my “family camera”, the one with which my father photographed my childhood … was a Retinette Ia!
Ok… I’m back! I finally got to shot again, and above all, to develop. So, this time I tested some things all at once: A beautiful Canon P rangefinder , with 39×1 screw mount, togheter with two standard Soviet lenses: the Jupiter 8 50mm f/2 and the Industar 61 52mm f/2.8. What’s more, however, I developed the film with the old Agfa Rondinax system, using Ars – Imago Fd developer.
Perhaps, as they say … I put too many irons in the fire but the results were satisfactory.