Old but new

I recently acquired a 1950s vintage Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 folder camera. It’s in good condition, but I had to repair a small hole in the bellows and then, subsequently, re-align the rangefinder patch when I discovered the camera wouldn’t focus to infinity. Also, I’ve noticed that the shutter sticks on speeds less than 1/50th of a second. This isn’t the end of the world though, as I don’t plan on shooting in dark locations or using long exposures, so I can probably live with it. For a sixty-something year old camera, I guess these things should be expected to some degree anyway. Whatever its age, it’s still a new camera to me.

Here’s it is. A few dings, scratches, and signs of age, but still a lovely little machine:

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16

It’s weighty, but easily pocketable, and although the uncoupled rangefinder setup is slightly more complicated than what I’m used to, it was easy enough to figure out how it all worked. For anyone unfamiliar with this setup, an uncoupled rangefinder has separate focusing for the rangefinder patch and the lens. What you have to do is first focus the camera with the rangefinder, then look at the resulting distance setting on the focus wheel and then manually focus the lens to the same setting.

I took it out at the weekend for a test run with a roll of Fomapan 100, The weather was a little overcast to start with, necessitating wider apertures to be used, but brightened up after a while and allowed me to stop it down to f/11 and smaller.

On scanning the negs, I was a little disappointed to see that the first frames were a little soft. However, once I got to the exposures shot at narrower apertures, I could see the camera really come into its own, with very pleasing, sharp and contrasty photographs.

I’ve not uploaded many of them yet, but will post some of the softer images when I do. In the meantime though, here’s one of the results of the lens being stopped down. This is a couple of buildings in Paradise Square, in Sheffield.

Pretty, pretty good, as Larry David might say, I think.

FILM - Paradise Square

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Fomapan 100.

Taken on 22 October 2017


Bolsover castle

This was taken with my Lubitel 166 U medium format camera. Despite its limitations, it’s capable of some very sharp images. It’s a pain in the backside to focus and compose when compared to my Yashica Mat 124 G, but it still gives a very nice picture if you treat it right.

FILM - At Bolsover Castle

Lubitel 166 Universal & Rollei Superpan 200.

Taken on 4 March 2017

Glowing Japanese design

This glowing head was in a display case in Manchester Art Gallery as part of a wider display of Japanese design that was being exhibited when I visited earlier this year (not to see the Japanese design stuff, but to visit the Strange and Familiar photo exhibition).

FILM - Portrait of a glowing head

Nikon F70, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D & Adox Silvermax.

Taken in March 2017

Approaching High Bradfield

This was taken back at the start of the year, when I went for a walk around High & Low Bradfield, just outside Sheffield. The day is probably most memorable for the fact that I stumbled and fell flat on my face in the verge while walking down the very steep hill to Low Bradfield.  Luckily, apart from my pride, nothing was hurt too badly!

FILM - Up the hill to yonder church

Olympus 35 RC & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 13 January 2017.

Metropolitan hotel

A shot taken while walking back to my car following the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride a few weeks back. This is the Metropolitan hotel in Sheffield.

FILM - Sheffield Metropolitan

Nikon F70, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D (with red filter) & Fomapan 100.

Taken on 24 September 2017

Tunnel vision

I wonder how many times that title has been used for similar posts?

An older shot, from a trip to York back in the summer. I think I might’ve already posted a similar shot, taken at the same location and time, but that one was in portrait format, so this is a new one.

FILM - Into the light

Olympus OM-1, F.Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+.

Taken on 10 June 2017