The Moskva 5 is a big Soviet made camera, which follows forms and performance of the most renowned folding Zeiss Super Ikonta. Snap 6×9 cm frames and 6×6 through a special removable mask. For the technical specifications of the camera back to the previous test readers: here and here. This time, taking advantage of a typical winter day, I wanted to use it in its native format, for large negatives (if any) to print.
It’s been love at first sight: she was large and heavy but it gave me a feeling of solidity and undeniable power. She went home with her beautiful Sekor C 90mm f/3.8 lens, a Vivitar duplicator and two SDPro backs, (one for 220) but she felt a bit lonely and I proceeded immediately to add Sekor C 50mm f/4.5 and 180mm f/4.5. At that point, I was ready to fight a war. The only problem is that such equipment can fight mainly in the studio photography, because to use it outdoors things get complicated struggle. And so, the time has passed (almost two years), until a few days ago …
It took too much time, but in the end, my Leica M2 and its beautiful “damaged” Summitar managed to tie the “lawful marriage” …. 😉 All this has been made possible thanks to a special Fotodiox adapter ring ( M39 to Leica M mount) in fact they were a few months that a roll of Ilford Pan F+ was lying unused in M2 and, given the time elapsed, I didn’t remember how many Iso rated the film for the first few frames. The value on the Voigtlander Vc Meter was 25 and so, I continued that way until the end.
Being (among other things) a fan of cameras and their respectable lenses, made behind the Iron Curtain , long ago I had the opportunity to enrich my vintage “arsenal” with a beautiful Pentacon Six Tl, fitted with its Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 80mm f/2.8 standard lens, wlf and metered pentaprism with angled eyepiece (and diopter correction). The camera is truly remarkable aesthetic and mechanical conditions, but a first test roll gave so many problems that I thought of having to make another to correct some of my errors in the loading of the film and in the development of the same. In the meantime, I ordered a new focusing screen with split image on Araxfoto site. Following the instructions on the Pentaconsix site (which I highly recommend for any info about these cameras), a few days ago I loaded a Ilford HP5+ film and started my hunting for satisfactory images. But …. things do not always go as we would like …
Today has been the World Pinhole Day. A day dedicated to the simplest forms of photography: stenopeic (Aka:pinhole) photography. Just a light-proof container, a tiny hole (such as that made by a needle) and the sensitive material (film, paper, liquid photographic emulsion etc.) and we can experience an image that materializes. Despite not having much time and not being able to find the most significant places, I also wanted to pay my humble tribute to this fascinating and ancient technique.
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!
Generally (and you can see it all in this blog) I prefer to shoot with film in black and white. Both from the point of view of personal expression and because I believe that is easier and cheaper to self-develop b/w instead of color. Occasionally, however, (you may have noticed this too) I like to take some color photos. I do not have so much experience in this regard, having only used the Kodak Ultramax 400 35mm and a couple of Fujifilm (Pro 400H and Reala 100) in medium format.
After the recent test of the Leica R5 (with the Vario-Elmar 35-70 zoom), I had the opportunity to shoot again with a series R camera, namely the R-E. This is a simplified version of R5, diversified by the fact of having only the manual exposure and aperture priority. It’s been produced in a limited number of units (about 6500) and according to the experts, has proven reliable and free from some electronic drawbacks present in the Leica cameras made before the R5. This time, in addition to the Vario – Elmar zoom I got to shoot with the “Mighty” Summicron R 50mm (Type II – Made in Germany) f/2. A lens that, if not quite up to the homonymous M series for rangefinder cameras, it certainly comes very close to the performance of that.
A small (and lightweight) plastic parallelepiped, a not so sophisticated lens (plus another for framing), a focus ring, one dial for setting the apertures and another for shutter times, a cocking lever for the shutter, a winding knob for the film and a trigger lever. The Lubitel 166U is all here. A Soviet medium format TLR, produced at Lomo Fabrik during the eighties. After all, to take photographs we need just a few things (and sometimes even less, as we shall see in the future), but when you come back from a weekend and realize that you missed (technically speaking) just one of 12 frames, you continues to be a bit surpised.