Points of comparison

I thought that I would share a couple of photographs of the same location in today’s post as it could make for an interesting comparison. The place is a local reservoir about five miles from my home, and both pictures were taken in similar conditions at around the same time of day a week or two apart. The weather was comparable on both occasions (although there’s a little more hazy cloud in the second shot).

The first shot was taken with my Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 medium format folding camera on Fuji Provia 100F. This camera has a superbly sharp lens. The second shot was taken with my recently acquired Holga 120N on some expired Kodak Tri-X (from a badly manufactured batch that shows the backing paper details on the negatives). This camera has a plastic lens which is somewhat sharp in the centre, but not really anywhere else.

The first picture is looking roughly north-east across the water, the second north-west, but I was stood at the same spot on the bank for both pictures.

If I had to pick a favourite from the two than I think I’d have to go for the Holga shot. It lacks the sharpness and definition of the Zeiss photo, but makes up for it with heaps of atmosphere. My only dislike is the branches creeping into the upper left of the frame – caused either by the Holga’s viewfinder not showing the full image frame, or possibly because with my glasses on it’s a bit difficult to see the full frame in its entirety through the viewfinder. The fact that I have a definite preference for black and white images probably also swings things in its favour.

Which one is your favourite, and why?

FILM - At the reservoir

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Fujifilm Provia 100.

Taken on 25 August 2019

FILM - Reflections through a plastic lens

Holga 120N & Kodak Tri-X (expired).

Taken on 9 September 2019


Faceless man

But not from Bravos…

I’m very impressed with the way the Fuji Provia has captured this scene. While there might be a slight loss of shadow detail between the leaves, the colours and tones in this are pretty impressive to my eye. So far I’ve been very pleased with the results I’ve had from Provia, especially given they’ve all been based on readings from my little Sekonic L-208 analog meter. It’s an accurate, but somewhat basic meter, so coupled with the meterless Zeiss Mess-Ikonta and it’s completely manual (and click-free) shutter-speed and aperture dials, there’s almost certainly some drift from the true settings taking place, but the film handles it with aplomb.

FILM - Faceless

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Fujifilm Provia 100.

Taken on 26 August 2019

Renishaw Hall

Yesterday I showed a small section of Renishaw Hall, little more than a tease, really. Today you’re getting the whole shebang. I know, I know! Calm yourselves! 🙂

Anyway, this is the southern aspect of the house from the Italianate gardens. The portion I showed yesterday can be seen at the middle-right of today’s image. It’s a bit of a traditional shot of the place, but the light was nice – again, not a cloud in the sky, but it doesn’t suffer for it (and clouds might have obscured the water from the fountain). That said, I’ve cropped it to a 6×7 format to remove some of the blue sky from the upper part of the photograph and I think it works better like this.

FILM - Renishaw Hall

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Fujifilm Provia 100.

Taken on 26 August 2019

The corner of Renishaw Hall

Renishaw Hall sits within its grounds a few miles from where I live. It was built in 1625 and has been the seat of the Sitwell family since. The gardens are open to visitors and, although pretty close by, this was the very first time I’ve visited the place. It made for a pleasant few hours and the grounds of the house are lovely and quite extensive, including formal gardens, woodland, parkland and a couple of lakes.

Although it was a bright (and hot!) sunny day when I visited, I got a number of images I liked, and I think it will be well worth another visit when the autumn colour arrives. I don’t tend to favour clear blue skies for photography, but sometimes it works and I think this is a case where it does.

This photo is of the south easterly corner of the house rearing up from behind a large hedge.

FILM - A splash of red

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Fujifilm Provia 100.

Taken on 26 August 2019

Fire engines

Another cropped shot, this time for artistic reasons rather than a glaring light-leak!

The vintage fire-engine in the foreground has a wooden ladder, similiar to those seen in the background, but I’ve annoyingly managed to chop some of it out when framing the shot. I think it was because, as I was composing the image people were wandering between of the fire-engines, and I wanted to get the shot before one of them walked into the frame. This probably caused me to rush a little and thus mis-compose the picture. As a result I’ve cropped it to a 6×7 ratio. The bell is a little tight in the top-right corner (and if you look really closely there is a tiny sliver of the wooden ladder still in frame), but the bell is intact and I still think it works ok.

Ektar certainly gets on well with the reds!

FILM - Lincolnshire Fire Aid

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Kodak Ektar.

Taken on 17 August 2019


For a 65 year old camera (or for any age camera for that matter), my pocketable Zeiss Mess-Ikonta is a great little medium-format machine. It produces lovely sharp photographs. The uncoupled rangefinder serves to slow you down a little – spur of the moment shooting is not the forte of this camera (unless you’re shooting in steady light and at a set focal distance / aperture that removes the need to change settings) – but I really don’t care when it allows me to make pictures like this.


Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Kodak Ektar.

Taken on 17 August 2019