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

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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

Gloom

It’s that time of year where the days seem to alternate between beautiful sunny conditions where the world is full of colour, those where they are overcast, damp, misty and gloomy. To be honest, I quite like the gloomy days, just as long as they don’t have those completely flat overcast cloudy skies that can result in very drab looking pictures if the sky takes up too much of the shot (although, they can work in some circumstances).

Today’s picture was taken last Sunday afternoon, and while it was overcast, there was enough structure in the clouds to add a bit of interest to the skies and make for quite a nice brooding landscape (albeit quite a minimal one).

FILM - Hedge and gate

Nikon F70, Nikkor 28-80 f/3.5-5.6 AF-D & Fomapan 100.

Taken on 1 October 2017

No fracking way!

There are plans for shale gas fracking to begin not too far from where I live, and many of the homes and lampposts in the vicinity are displaying anti-fracking protests. I’ve photographed this place earlier in the year, but the scarecrow is a fresh addition.

These were taken with my newly acquired Nikkor 28-80 f/3.5 – 5.6 AF-D lens. It’s a cheap, plastic bodied lens, but one that has good reviews for its optical quality. Based on the shots I’ve had so far, I’m more than happy with it, and it adds a good degree of versatility for the occasions where my 50mm is too restrictive.

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FILM - No fracking way-2

 

FILM - No fracking way-3

Nikon F70, Nikkor 28-80 f/3.5 – 5.6 AF-D & Fomapan 100.

Taken on 1 October 2017

Trees in a puddle

It’s a shame that I didn’t get the entire puddle in shot, but I was stuck with a 50mm lens, and moving back a step meant the reflected trees moved and the composition lost its impact.

FILM - Trees in a puddle

Nikon F70, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D & Fomapan 100.

Taken on 27 September 2017

I don’t think I’d risk it…

I took this photo last week. The position of the house and the curve of the lane made for quite a nice composition, but I can’t help but notice the national speed limit sign-post. The thought of someone potentially doing 60 mph down there is a little disconcerting to be honest – the road is quite narrow, is sometimes covered in slippery leaves, often has people walking along it, and there’s a 90-degree bend over a bridge about 100 metres further down!

FILM - National speed limit, really?

Nikon F70, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D & Fomapan 100.

Taken on 27 September 2017

In a mirrored mask

I spotted this rider with a cool-looking reflective visor at the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride a week or so back.

FILM - Mirror mask

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

Taken on 24 September 2017