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


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

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

Where Hancock & Lant used to stand

The photos here are of the Hancock & Lant tower. Where it stands there used to be a furniture retailer of the aforementioned name – we bought a bed, or a wardrobe, or something from there once. They moved locations years ago though. I remember visiting a few times, and one of the most memorable things about the location was that it was accessed via a narrow alley bordered on one side by the River Don, and the building itself on the other. Outside the store there was a tiny area for customer parking. Thankfully, the alley formed a one-way system allowing vehicles to exit at the opposite end to where they came in (where the columns are in the fist photo below), so avoiding any road (alley) blocks, or cars falling through the railings and into the river below.

These are both shots taken with the 23-year expired roll of Kodak Tmax 100 I shot recently.

FILM - Hancock & Lant never used to look like this

FILM - Window(s) light

Nikon F70, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D & Kodak Tmax 100 (expired September 1994 – shot at ASA 50)

Taken on 28 August 2017.

A walk with expired Tri-X

A few weeks back, I bought an old camera, some old negatives and slides, and a few rolls of expired 35mm film from a chap at a car-boot sale I visited. As I paid for the stuff, he threw in a roll of 120 format Tri-X as well. The following shots are from that roll (which I shot during a walk on Monday).

I’ve no idea how expired the Tri-X was, but I’m guessing (given the ages of the other films I bought), that it was lat least 20-25 years expired. The backing paper was a green-colour and it was labeled as Tri-X Pan. Given the age, I shot it at 160asa to attempt to compensate, and while there is some additional grain present in some of the shadowed areas, and there were a few streaks of chemical residue that I had to remove in Lightroom, on the whole I’m pretty happy with the results. Especially the shot of the pigeon.

These were taken on the Five Weirs Walk (or the first bit of it, at least) in Sheffield, which follows the River Don through the industrialised east-end of the city.

FILM - Footbridge-2

FILM - Fishing

FILM - Cobweb Bridge

FILM - Fishing-2

FILM - Walk Mill Weir

FILM - Pigeon Street

FILM - Slightly soft ducks

FILM - Zig-zag shadow path

FILM - Partial shade

FILM - Inka!

FILM - Burton Weir

All photos: Yashica Mat 124 G & Kodak Tri-X Pan.

Taken on 28 August 2017.

Butcher Works

It’s nice to see that, even in a modern city, that there are still signs of its heritage if you keep your eyes peeled, such as these Grade II listed former cutlery and grinding workshops close to the centre of Sheffield.

FILM - Butcher Works

Olympus Trip 35 & Agfa Vista Plus 200

Taken on 6 August 2017