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.
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.
Just a month ago,I presented on the “pages” of this blog, the Voigtlander Vitoret. A very simple camera but belonging, in some way, to the glorious Vito series. Having heard good things about Vitos, gradually my collection has grown, enriched with some easily available models on the market for low prices. The first one I tried was the Vito CLR, but there have been problems of development in the first roll and overlapping frames in the second (as published in this post). So I look to make a decent roll before publishing a complete test. Even so, the Clr in question is equipped with Color Skopar lens, which has a much higher reputation than the Lanthar used on Vitoret and on the camera I’m showing today: the Vito CSR.