Monday, April 22, 2013

Skeletons From The Closet - A Few More Shots From Japan With March's Camera - Zeiss Ikonta 521/16

I want to share a few more pictures and experiences from shooting my Zeiss Ikonta 521/16 medium format folder in Japan. There is always a certain amount of risk of failure in shooting cameras thirty or more years old. In this case, it's more nearly sixty years old. The Tessar lens on my Ikonta is in great shape, and really performs well. In general, the rest of the camera is in nice shape as well, but using it wasn't completely without issues.
I noticed on my second roll that the film wasn't being tightly spooled onto the take-up spool. When I removed it from the camera, I could see the edge of the film where it extended past the spool - not good. I did have several frames ruined by light getting in through this edge exposure. The shot below is a fairly mild example of that, with the streak of light at the bottom, right of center.
Light Leakage From Loosely Wound Film, by Reed A. George
Zeiss Ikonta 521/16
Kyu-Yasuda Garden, Ryogoku, Tokyo, Japan, by Reed A. George
Zeiss Ikonta 521/16
The shot above, of the Kyu-Yasuda Garden in Ryogoku, has the same problem. That's why it's cropped to a rectangle here. You can see a hint of the light leak at the bottom right. While I like it with this crop, the composition was better in square format, with larger walking stones closer in the foreground.
Sakura Reflection, by Reed A. George
Zeiss Ikonta 521/16
I don't know what causes the film to be loosely wound onto the take-up spool, but it did happen on about half of my rolls. There are two spring steel tabs that apply pressure to the source and take-up spool, but that's about all I can see inside this simple camera that may affect tightness on the spool.
Luckily, it didn't affect all of my images, just those that were on the outside (later shots in the roll). But, until I figure out how to fix it, it requires unloading the camera in complete darkness, and re-rolling the film tightly onto the spool by hand in the dark. Not exactly convenient.
It was a blast shooting the old Ikonta in March. I'm still very impressed by the optical quality of the Tessar.