Old Man Zeiss

Often I post the camera and/or film used to make images. Why? The information is entirely superfluous. A picture is just a picture regardless of the tool used. I like communing with the history of photography. Starting with the first silver print, new methods evolved each building on the last culminating in digital format. With today’s software one can easily interchange the spirit of a digital or film-based image, however it was created.

This image was made with a beautiful and very old (post WW II) Zeiss Super Ikonta. The Zeiss F 2.8 lens is extremely sharp. It is a rangefinder camera, meaning one does not focus “through the lens”. Focusing is performed from the confluence of two independent rangefinder windows. Unlike old SLR film cameras where the shutter is part of the camera body, the shutter on a rangefinder is in the lens. The click of the shutter is subtle. On this camera, the shutter must be cocked with a lever on the lens. The camera was designed to prevent double exposures unlike many other old folders.

The lens folds into the camera. From the pop of a small button, the lens housed at the end of a leather bellows is employed.

No expense was spared to make this beautiful camera, and in its day I am sure it commanded a princely sum.

The film used was Kodak Ektar. I did not edit the image, but in the lab there were unknown choices made for white balance, etc. Every film has unique characteristics. This film has intense saturation and good sharpness. Ordinarily, Ektar shines when shot in lots of light. The light on this day was muted and overcast, intensifying the colors and mood of the image.

My skills have developed to the point where I don’t always meter before shooting. Depending on the camera and the film, determining settings is now instinctual. Shooting film has helped me to become a better photographer regardless of what camera is used.

This is why I continue to shoot film. It’s damned fun.

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