Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Skeletons From The Closet - March's Camera, the Zeiss Ikonta in the California Desert

Here are some results from March's Skeletons From The Closet (SFTC) camera, the Zeiss Ikonta 521/16 folding medium format camera.
 
(Click Here) to read my post describing this camera.
 
You may have seen my post from a few days back, sharing some pictures I took in the California desert with my Lumix DMC-G3. (Click Here) to see that post.
 
I also shot my Ikonta on that trip, and here are some results. I used Fuji Reala color print film, which gives wonderful muted colors. I find it a refreshing way to shoot the desert, which is typically overdone saturation-wise, in my opinion.
 
Wooden Bones, by Reed A. George
Zeiss Ikonta 521/16 Medium Format Folder with Tessar Lens
Fuji Reala Film
 
Palo Verde, by Reed A. George
Zeiss Ikonta 521/16 Medium Format Folder with Tessar Lens
Fuji Reala Film
Cloudy Desert Morning, by Reed A. George
Zeiss Ikonta 521/16 Medium Format Folder with Tessar Lens
Fuji Reala Film

Ryan Ranch, by Reed A. George
Zeiss Ikonta 521/16 Medium Format Folder with Tessar Lens
Fuji Reala Film
Quiet Corner in Palm Springs, by Reed A. George
Zeiss Ikonta 521/16 Medium Format Folder with Tessar Lens
Fuji Reala Film
 
So, how was using the Ikonta during the month of March? It was delightful! I really enjoy the image quality from this old camera. It is in such great condition, I feel that I'm getting the same type of results that the camera could have provided new - maybe better, since film technology has advanced so far since the 1950s.
 
There are some difficulties, however. For one thing, two out of three rolls I've shot so far have been loosely wound onto the takeup spool. I'm not sure why this is happening, but some of the exposures on the roll shown partially here were affected by light leaking down the edges of the backing film, as it didn't wind tightly onto the takeup spool. I've shot two more rolls since then - the first was fine, but the second also came off loose. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that no light leaked in. Look for more results in a week or so, when my negatives come back from The Darkroom.
 
Other than that, just the "normal" challenges of manual light metering and guess focus. I think guessing the focus distance is the most difficult thing. You can see in the last shot here that I don't always get it just right.
I use a do it yourself card that uses your own stereovision (the fact that your eyes are spaced apart from each other, which allows you to judge distance) to estimate distance. If you have a guess focus camera, you need to make one of these.
 
(Click Here) for a website that helps you to make your own rangefinder card.
 
I made mine double-sided, with distance in feet on one side, meters on the other. I carry this card in my wallet, so it's always with me. Great tool.
 
So, it was a blast shooting the Ikonta in March. But, back into the closet she goes! I'll keep practicing my exposure and focus guessing in April, when I'll be shooting an Agfa Solinette folding 35mm camera. I'll be introducing that camera soon in a new post. Stay tuned.
 
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