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

Easy like Sunday morning

While I was wandering around Victoria Quays on Sunday morning, wondering where the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride was, I spotted what looked like a nice composition of the wharf area. As I was about to take the picture, this chap (who was with his kids and, I think, also looking for the motorbikes) walked into the shot and I think has improved it by adding a bit of human interest.

The scene brought to mind the old Halifax cashcard advert from the 1980s – this one here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7nFru5iQg0

FILM - Easy like Sunday morning

Yashica Mat 124 G & Kodak Tri-X (Expired December 2006).

Taken on 24 September 2017

Sheffield Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, 2017

I went along to this year’s Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride yesterday and shot a couple of rolls of expired Tri-X on my Yashica Mat 124 G. I overexposed the film by a stop to compensate for its age (it expired in 2006) and the results are, on the whole, pretty nice (although this is likely down to the large amount of latitude for overexposure that the film has).

Anyway, after a slight hiccup where I turned up at Victoria Quays to find not a single motorcycle in sight, I overheard a couple of other people chatting to someone about the same concern, and after listening and chatting to them, we walked to the correct venue a short distance away (rather giving itself away by the sound of dozens of motorbike engines).

Apart from four frames, I shot two rolls of film at the event and came away with nineteen shots. I lost the final shot on the second roll when the film jammed, necessitating me taking it out and rolling it onto the spool in a dark closet when I got back home. A few of the shots on this roll ended up with a mark along the top edge of the negative, possibly as a result of the jam. Luckily, in almost every case, the mark was on an area of sky and I was able to edit it out, but I’ve had to crop one shot where the mark was overlaid on a building.

I’d gone with the intention of trying to get a few portraits, but in the end only got a couple, both of the same gent who was kind enough to pose for my photos*. The first one hasn’t quite worked as I messed up the exposure – something I suspected at the time – but the second has come out a treat, as have a couple of other shots of the same chap that I took while walking around.

*If you’re reading this, apologies, I didn’t get your name, but I’d like to say thanks to you for allowing me to take the shots and being patient while I fiddled around with the camera and my light meter. Hope you like the photos!

Anyway, before the photos, here’s a link if you’d like to donate to the cause supported by The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride:


And now, here’re the photos (in the order I took them):

FILM - Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Sheffield 2017

FILM - Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Sheffield 2017-2

FILM - Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Sheffield 2017-3

FILM - Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Sheffield 2017-6

FILM - Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Sheffield 2017-5

FILM - Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Sheffield 2017-4

FILM - Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Sheffield 2017-9

FILM - Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Sheffield 2017-8

FILM - Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Sheffield 2017-7

FILM - Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Sheffield 2017-12

FILM - Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Sheffield 2017-11

FILM - Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Sheffield 2017-10

FILM - Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Sheffield 2017-15

FILM - Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Sheffield 2017-13

FILM - Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Sheffield 2017-14

FILM - Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Sheffield 2017-18

FILM - Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Sheffield 2017-17

FILM - Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Sheffield 2017-16

FILM - Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, Sheffield 2017-19

All photos: Yashica Mat 124 G & Kodak Tri-X (Expired December 2006).

Taken on 24 September 2017

A world of colour (in black and white)

I had a day off work yesterday and took a trip out to the nearby Peak District National Park. On the north-eastern edge of the park, close to Sheffield, lies the Longshaw estate, and that was my destination.

I took the Yashica Mat 124 G loaded with a roll of Ektar, and the Nikon F70 with the remains of a roll of Acros 100. I’m a little disappointed with the Ektar shots – a couple at the start of the roll are spoiled by some sort of defect, and the others lack some of the wow factor I was hoping for.

However, I still got several photos I like and, although Ektar’s strength is in it’s richly saturated colour, I decided to throw that all out of the window after deciding many of the shots had a lot more impact in monochrome. I also cropped the third of these to a 6×7 ratio to remove some distracting highlights from the top of the frame.

So, here are three of them.

FILM - Rowan tree

FILM - Little wooden bridge

FILM - The root of the problem

Yashica Mat 124 G & Kodak Extar 100 (converted to black and white in Lightroom).

Taken on 20 September 2017

The empty playground

I spotted this deserted climbing frame the other week when I went to photograph the Humber Bridge (it’s next to the car park, and behind a building that seemed to be deserted – or at least was on the day I was there). It looked kinda forlorn on such a gloomy and drizzly day, but made for a nice shot.

FILM - Climbing frame

Yashica Mat 124 G & Fujifilm Acros 100 (expired 2014)

Taken on 30 August 2017.