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.
There is a camera that I love very much, but I haven’t been too lucky with. It’s the Soviet version of the legendary Zeiss Contax II, which in the 30’s and 40’s disputed the primacy to the eternal rival Leica in the 35m range. Immediately after the war, as partial compensation for damages, all equipment and materials present in the Zeiss factories were moved (along with a good number of technicians and specialized workers) behind the Iron Curtain, in Kiev, at the plant of Zavod Arsenal. Here, in the years immediately following the war, they were therefore produced the Kiev II (almost exactly the Contax); later underwent some changes in later models III and IV. Unlike Zorki and the Fed, that “copied” the Leica models from afar … these Kiev, in fact, can not be considered copies but, delocalized productions …
Sometimes, when you receive a vintage camera, it happens to find inside an old negative, forgotten there for who knows how many decades. It happened to me twice in the past, into a folding 6×6 Rheinmetall Weltax and a few days ago, in another folding MF, the Agilux Agifold. In the first case, the roll was totally blocked and I could not avoid exposing it to light to pull it out. I only remember that it had a red bordeaux paper. This time, however, having noticed through the rear window the presence of a film (at N° 10), I rewound with the intention of developing it. It was an old Tri X Pan Professional, which I developed semi-stand on Adonal (Rodinal) 1: 100 for an hour. Results? Totally disappointing but ….
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.
Another Kodak Retina …? Yes, yes…. I know guys, but I warned you that I still had a couple of them in the queue to be tested. Now only the IIa remains (still not loaded yet), and then I’ll stop….. maybe… 😉 This IB, however, has long been around in the house (and in the repairman office), because while being in superb cosmetic condition , the shutter was frozen. Once repaired, however had to wait its turn patiently, until it reached its moment.
Things do not always go your way. But this case was (almost) expected. Too bad, because the Fuji GS 645 Professional is a very good camera, built with a mix of old criteria (folding structure and rangefinder) and more modern ones, especially the good and sharp lens and the meter. A good friend of mine lent me a copy in perfect condition, were it not for the presence of numerous pinholes in the bellows. I tried a repair with the “liquid electrical tape” but unfortunately it was not enough.
A beautiful spring day, a friend who invites you to accompany him on a short trip to the beautiful Todi (one of the many jewels of Umbria) and the constant desire to photograph: what to ask more? And in fact, I immediately accepted the invitation and loaded my Leica M2 with a Tri-x, setting the Voigtlander VC-Meter @ box speed. As you know, in the past I had some problems with this film, when rated @ 400 Iso, but this time, I had on my side the ILFOTEC DD-X and I was sure that the outcome would have been much better.
One of the fun things of film photography is the opportunity to experiment, and I take it widely. Some time ago, I saw on the web some images made with Ilford Delta film and as you may have noticed, I’ve started using it recently. The interesting thing about those images was the performance at high ISO obtained with a specific developer, produced by Ilford: the Ilfotec DD-X. After the first experiments with the Adox FX39, this time I wanted to start personally to test these features. So I loaded a beautiful Kodak Retinette IB (Type 045) with a roll of Delta 400 Professional and set the exposure meter to 800 Iso.
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.