Tag Archives: carl zeiss

CCR Review 61 – Exakta VX IIa

You don’t have to break a leg to get a kick out of using the Exakta VX IIa, but if you’re not careful if you drop it on your leg, it just may break the bone. I was a little wary of this camera at first. All the controls are on the left side. Thankfully it didn’t take much to get used to the odd layout, and luckily it didn’t take me 39 steps to get used to the machine. And I found it fairly intuitive after a while; there was no throwing this camera out the rear window, I’d by a psycho for doing such a thing.

CCR Review 61 - Exakta VX IIa

The Dirt

  • Make: Exakta
  • Model: VX IIa
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Format: 135 (35mm), 36×24
  • Len: Interchangeable, Exakta Bayonet
  • Year of Manufacture: 1956-1963

CCR Review 61 - Exakta VX IIa

CCR Review 61 - Exakta VX IIa

The Good
There are a few things that the genuinely awkward Exakta has going for it. The first item is the optics, beautiful sharp Carl Zeiss lenses, like the iconic Biotar makes this a camera worthwhile for the simple reason of image quality. Along the same line as the lens is the aperture opening lever. On the bottom of the lens barrel, there’s a pull lever that will open up the aperture as the camera doesn’t have an automatic aperture or TTL metering. So having the ability to set the aperture, open it up for focusing, then with a half push on the shutter release the lens stops down before tripping the shutter, gives the VX IIa somewhat of an easier operation. Then there’s the wonderful option of using a waist-level finder. Yes, you read that correctly, you can put a waist-level finder onto the Exakta. It does make for a different shooting experience with the camera and certainly makes using the left-handed controls a bit easier in the long run.

CCR Review 61 - Exakta VX IIa

CCR Review 61 - Exakta VX IIa

The Bad
Throw out everything you know about shooting SLRs; when you pick up an Exakta. I’m not sure of the reason behind this radical departure from the norm, but it certainly makes for a unique shooting experience. And it doesn’t stop there, nothing on this camera is quick and easy. You have to cut down the film leader to load the camera, and there’s little to no feedback on if you’ve loaded the film correctly. The film advance pulls down the meter and cocks the shutter, so it has the longest pull in any camera I’ve reviewed, it’s almost a full 180 degrees. Even rewinding the film, what should be the easiest task of them all is awkward, I lost about five or six frames because when I though I had rewound the film, I hadn’t and opened the back…twice. And finally, the shutter release takes a bit of an effort to push down. All these points combine to a rather awkward shooting experience, even more so than the Leica R3.

CCR Review 61 - Exakta VX IIa

CCR Review 61 - Exakta VX IIa

The Lowdown
If you want a serious challenge, with some great results, the Exakta VX IIa is the camera for you. Everything is mirrored, everything takes a lot more of an effort to operate and use. This isn’t a camera for quick and dirty operation. So I can see why a wheelchair-bound photographer would use the camera for spying on his neighbors in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. But if you do run with the camera, you won’t be disappointed in the images you get out of it.

All Photos Taken at Westfield Heritage Village, Rockton, Ontario
Exakta VX IIa – Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 9:30 @ 20C

52:500c – 52 Weeks, 52 Photos

Over the course of last year, I ran through another fifty-two roll project. While I didn’t post the images here to this blog, I did post them over on 52rolls.net. This year I made a point to stick to certain rules and methods that I have used in past projects of this type and settled on the following.

  1. I could only use a Hasselblad 500 series camera
  2. I could only use the Rollei RPX line of film (RPX 25, 100, and 400)
  3. I could use any lens in the Hasselblad V system

I also made a point each week I would pick my favourite photo from that week, in mind to but them together in a book (which is happening). But without further delay, here’s my picks for 52 photos from 52 weeks!

Week 01 – Welcome to the Hangover
52:500c - Week 01 - Welcome to the Hangover

Week 02 – Winter’s Fort
52:500c - Week 02 - Winter's Fort

Week 03 – In the Darkness Bind Them
52:500c - Week 03 - In the Darkness Bind Them

Week 04 – A Fort for a City
52:500c - Week 04 - A Fort for A City

Week 05 – Ghosts
52:500c - Week 05 - Ghosts

Week 06 – Organized Chaos
52:500c - Week 06 - Organized Chaos

Week 07 – A View to a Lake
52:500c - Week 07 - A View to a Lake

Week 08 – Fort Town
52:500c - Week 08 - Fort Town

Week 09 – Throwing Rocks
52:500c - Week 09 - Throwing Rocks

Week 10 – Capital National
52:500c - Week 10 - Capital National

Of course, this project I was euphoric with, I mean by the half-way point I had worked through some failures, accepted the losses and posted the photos anyways. Now I had toyed around with the idea of making a book with my first 52-Roll Project, not so much in the second, the third would have also made a good book. But this fourth one grabbed onto me, so I started collecting up my favourites from each week.

Week 11 – Jewel in the Crown
52:500c - Week 11 - Jewel in the Crown

Week 12 – A House Divided
52:500c - Week 12 - A House Divided

Week 13 – A Lovely Downtown
52:500c - Week 13 - Lovely Downtown

Week 14 – Just Won’t Quit
52:500c - Week 14 - Just Won't Quit

Week 15 – A Fort Named George
52:500c - Week 15 - A Fort Named George

The design of the book will be pure, middle gray for the background with white text in a sans-serif font and simply titled “52: A Year on Film” each image presented with a small write up on it. The write-ups will be new, not taken from any blog post or Flickr description, as the book is a reflection on the image, what it means now, not then.

Week 16 – In the Neighborhood
52:500c - Week 16 - In The Neighborhood

Week 17 – No Place I’d Rather Be
52:500c - Week 17 - No Place I'd Rather Be

Week 18 – Longwoods
52:500c - Week 18 - Longwoods

Week 19 – The Gully
52:500c - Week 19 - The Gully

Week 20 – Welcome to the Jungle
52:500c - Week 20 - Welcome to the Jungle

What goes into picking your favourite photos, thankfully some weeks I had only seven picks from the roll, others I had the full twelve. I usually trust my gut when it comes to this; I wait for a single photo just to jump out and grab me. Ones that I’m on point with exposure and composition, an image that speaks to my soul and shows the theme or subject I had photographed for the week.

Week 21 – Welcome to the Roc
52:500c - Week 21 - Welcome to the Roc

Week 22 – A Farmer’s Life
52:500c - Week 22 - A Farmer's Life

Week 23 – Battlefield House
52:500c - Week 23 - Battlefield House

Week 24 – The City that Works
52:500c - Week 24 - The City that Works

Week 25 – The Old Kirk
52:500c - Week 25 - The Old Kirk

Week 26 – Close to Home
52:500c - Week 26 - Close to Home

Week 27 – Ships of Summer
52:500c - Week 27 - The Ships of Summer

Week 28 – Cruisin’
52:500c - Week 28 - Cruisin'

Week 29 – Lovely Saturday Drive
52:500c - Week 29 - Lovely Saturday Drive

Week 30 – Contest of Fortification
52:500c - Week 30 - Contest of Fortification

The big task will be to go back through my negatives and to rescan each one, then going through and editing each image again in Photoshop but using the same technique and style for each. You might have noted the jarring sepia tone on “A House Divided” Yeah, that wouldn’t look good in a book that I’m aiming to keep a consistent look. It also will allow for some of the old negatives that had a nasty curl to be scanned better.

Week 31 – Vieux-Québec
52:500c - Week 31 - Vieux-Québec

Week 32 – Lakeshore Evenings
52:500c - Week 32 - Lakeshore Evenings

Week 33 – Transit
52:500c - Week 33 - Transit

Week 34 – Wednesday Night Blues
52:500c - Week 34 - Wednesday Night Blues

Week 35 – Muskoka
52:500c - Week 35 - Muskoka

Week 36 – Castle
52:500c - Week 36 - Castle

Week 37 – Shaken, Not Stirred
52:500c - Week 37 - Shaken, Not Stirred

Week 38 – Saturday Morning Coffee
52:500c - Week 38 - Saturday Morning Coffee

Week 39 – Black Creek
52:500c - Week 39 - Black Creek

Week 40 – Grand Old House
52:500c - Week 40 - Grand Old House

The project also gave me a deep appreciation for the Rollei RPX line of films, a fantastic stock that’s new in the film community. And I do plan on continuing to shoot the RPX 25 as my new choice for slow films, RPX 100 and RPX 400 are decent films, but I’ll stick with FP4+ and Tri-X.

Week 41 – Battle Ground
52:500c - Week 41 - Battle Ground

Week 42 – Royal City
52:500c - Week 42 - Royal City

Week 43 – Make No Little Plans
52:500c - Week 43 - Make No Little Plans

Week 44 – Disillusionment
52:500c - Week 44 - Disillusionment

Week 45 – High Flight
52:500c - Week 45 - High Flight

Week 46 – Distant Voices
52:500c - Week 46 - Distant Voices

Week 47 – Finding Nemo
52:500c - Week 47 - Finding Nemo

Week 48 – Steel City Blues
52:500c - Week 48 - Steel City Blues

Week 49 – Upon Avon
52:500c - Week 49 - Upon Avon

Week 50 – Burlington Races
52:500c - Week 50 - Burlington Races

Week 51 – Once More with Feeling
52:500c - Week 51 - Once More With Feeling

Week 52 – All’s Quiet
52:500c - Week 52 - All's Quiet

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 23 – The Good, The Blad, and the Ugly

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So what makes a Hasselblad a Hasselblad! The whole crew sits down to talk about the magic that is the Hasselblad 500 series of cameras as three of the gang have them, but all four have shot with it. Don’t worry we’re not going fanatical over the camera but rather take a critical look at this iconic camera. Over the course of the show, we’ll be discussing mostly the 500 series of cameras, today known as the V-System as it was known after the introduction of the digital H-System in 2002.

CCR - Review 19 - Hasselblad 500c
Alex’s Hasselblad 500c.

The Dirt

  • Make: Hasselblad
  • Model: 500c and 500c/m
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Lens: Interchangeable, Hasselblad V-Mount
  • Format: Multiple (Back Dependent)
  • Year of Manufacture: 1957 – 2013

Château Frontenac
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Portra 400 @ ASA-400 – Processing By: Burlington Camera

Project:1812 - The Battle of Tippecanoe
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Logs in the forest
Hasselblad 500C/M – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Rollei PRX 400 – Rodinal (1+100) 1:00:00 @ 20C

Water Treatment Plant, Toronto
Hasselblad 500C/M – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Rollei Retro 80s @ ASA-80 – Rodinal (1+50) 14:00 @ 20C

Upl - HasselbladFoma100 - PRTSCN01
Hasselblad 500C/M – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 T* – Foma Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100

HasselbladTFSMFoma100-1-12
Hasselblad 500C/M – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 T* – Foma Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100

Looking for a good spot to get your gear and material fix…check out Burlington Camera, Downtown Camera, Film Plus, Belle Arte Camera and Camtech, if you’re in the GTA region of Ontario. In Guelph there’s Pond’s FotoSource For those further north you can visit Foto Art Camera in Owen Sound. On the West Coast (British Columbia) check out Beau Photo Supply. Additionally you can order online at Argentix (Quebec), the Film Photography Project or Freestyle Photographic.

Also you can connect with us through email: classiccamerarevivial[at]gmail[dot]com or by Facebook, we’re at Classic Camera Revival or even Twitter @ccamerarevival

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 13 – Marry your Lenses, Date you Cameras

ccr-logo-leaf

Probably one of the best things to actually invest in with your camera kit is lenses, as the title says, marry your lenses, date your cameras. Once you’ve figured out what system you want to shoot with, invest in glass, so on this the first episode of our second season the gang talks about their favourite lenses!

Glass Featured on Today’s Show…

In 35mm…
Canon FD Lens S.S.C. 50mm 1:1.4 – While on the surface this is just another 50mm FD Canon lens which are already a fantastic lens to shoot on all your FD mount cameras what sets this camera about is the SSC or coating which makes it stand out from the rest!

  • Manufacturer: Canon
  • Mount: Canon FD Mount
  • Focal Length: 50mm
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4 – f/16, 8 blades
  • Elements: 7 Elements in 6 Groups

Bike Lock
Canon T90 – Canon FD Lens 50mm 1:1.4 S. S. C. – Rollei Retro 80s @ EI400 – HC-110 Dil. B

Careful Footing
Canon AE-1 – Canon FD Lens 50mm 1:1.4 S. S. C. – Kodak Elitechrome 100

Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – This won’t be the first planar lens on today’s episode, mostly because this is a super sharp lens, and even through it is made in Japan not German, they certainly didn’t do anything to mess it up! Other than being a general everyday carry lens, Alex loves it for street photography because you can get both wide and close shots without standing out too much.

  • Manufacturer: Kyoceria under License from Carl Zeiss
  • Mount: Contax G-Mount
  • Focal Length: 45mm
  • Aperture Range: f/2 – f/16, x blades
  • Elements: 6 Elements in 4 Groups

Toronto - Dec 30th, 2015
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Eastman Double-X 5222 @ ASA-200 – Kodak DK-50 (1+1) 6:00 @ 20C

Toronto - December 30th, 2015
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Svema Foto 100 @ ASA-100 – Ilford Microphen (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Helios-44/2 – This odd-ball Soviet lens is one of John’s favourite for portrait work. And has gained a bit of a cult following!

  • Manufacturer: KMZ, MMZ, Jupiter
  • Mount: Multiple, Commonly M39, M42, K-Mount
  • Focal Length: 58mm
  • Aperture Range: f/2 – f/16 or f/22, x blades
  • Elements: 6 Elements in 4 Groups

Shooting film
Zenit 3M – Helios 44/2 58mm/f2 – Kodak Tri-X 400 – Pyrocat HD (1+1+100) 16:00

Adriana film 2
Spotmatic SP – Helios 44/2 58mm f/2 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-100 – Kodak TMax Developer (1+9) 8:30

Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar Aspherical II 15mm f/4.5

  • Manufacturer: Voigtlander
  • Mount: Leica Thread Mount (LTM, M39) or Leica M-Mount
  • Focal Length: 15mm
  • Aperture Range: f/4.5 – f/22, 10 blades
  • Elements: 8 Elements in 6 Groups

Old Cold Car
Voigtlander Bessa R – Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar Aspherical 15mm f/4.5 – Rollei RPX 25 film

College Library in Ann Arbour
Voigtlander Bessa R – Voigtlander Super Wide-Heliar Aspherical 15mm f/4.5 – Kodak Tri-X 400 – Xtol (1+1) 9:00

Olympus F.Zuiko Auto-S 50mm 1:1.8 – This lens is the key lens to anyone starting their own OM kit, lightweight and legendary optics and looks great at any aperture.

  • Manufacturer: Olympus
  • Mount: OM
  • Focal Length: 50mm
  • Aperture Range: f/1.8 – f/16
  • Elements: 6 Elements in 5 Groups

2 great people

OlySup200Scan-141026-0005

In Medium…
Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – This super sharp and legendary medium format lens is one that Alex has used several times, first on his Rolleiflex and now on the Hasselblad 500c.

  • Manufacturer: Carl Zeiss
  • Mount: Multiple
  • Focal Length: 80mm
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 – f/22, x blades
  • Elements: 6 Elements in 4 Groups

TFSM Fall '15  - The Distillery District
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 400 @ ASA-320 – Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 18:00 @ 20C

Off the Deep End
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-200 – Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 10:00 @ 20C

Bronica Zenzanon 150mm 1:4 – This incredible sharp at any aperture portrait lens for the SQ line of cameras plus it makes for a great longer lens for more detailed landscape work as well!

  • Manufacturer: Bronica
  • Mount: SQ Bayonet
  • Focal Length: 150mm
  • Aperture Range: f/4 – f/22, x blades
  • Elements: 6 Elements in 5 Groups

Into The Depths of Dementia
Zenza Bronica SQ-Ai – Zenzanon-PS 150mm 1:4 – Kodak Tri-X 400 – Kodak TMax Developer (1+9) 10:30 @ 20C

Portrait of an Urban Photographer
Zenza Bronica SQ-Ai – Zenzanon-PS 150mm 1:4 – Kodak Tri-X 400 – Kodak TMax Developer (1+9) 10:30 @ 20C

Schneider-Kreuznach Xenotar 75mm 1:3.5

  • Manufacturer: Schneider-Kreuznach
  • Mount: Multiple
  • Focal Length: 75mm
  • Aperture Range: f/3.5 – f/16, x blades
  • Elements: 5 Elements in 4 Groups

Banff
Rolleiflex 3.5E3 – Schneider-Kreuznach Xenotar 75mm 1:3.5 – Ilford Pan F+

Outside of Edinburgh Castle
Rolleiflex 3.5E3 – Schneider-Kreuznach Xenotar 75mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Tri-X 400 – Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 6:00

Nikkor-H 1:3.5 f=50mm – This is the wide angle lens you want if you’re running a Bronica-EC, great for groups or landscape shots with little distortion and super easy to focus!

  • Manufacturer: Nikon
  • Mount: Bronica Bayonet
  • Focal Length: 50mm
  • Aperture Range: f/3.5 – f/22
  • Elements: 6 Elements in 3 Groups

BronicaECVerichrome2015-10-14-0001scan
Bronica EC – Nikkor-H 1:3.5 f=50mm – Kodak Verichrome Pan

BronicaECVerichrome2015-10-14-0010scan
Bronica EC – Nikkor-H 1:3.5 f=50mm – Kodak Verichrome Pan

In Large…
Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar f:4.5 105mm – It’s amazing that this lens is actually off a medium format 6×9 camera but it has just enough coverage for 4×5 but only if you leave any sort of movements alone.

  • Manufacturer: Carl Zeiss
  • Mount: No. 1
  • Focal Length: 105mm
  • Aperture Range: f/4.5 – f/32
  • Elements: 4 Elements in 3 Groups

Ghostly Sitting
Calumet CC400 – Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 105mm ƒ/4.5 – Shanghai GP3 @ ASA-100 – Rodinal 1+100 (Stand Developed)

My Son in The Sun
Calumet CC400 – Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 105mm ƒ/4.5 – Shanghai GP3 @ ASA-100 – Rodinal 1+100 & HC-110 1+200 combo (Semi-Stand)

Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Alex’s go-to lens for shooting 4×5 this wonderful short telephoto is great for portraits and even some landscape work when you don’t need ‘the big picture’

  • Manufacturer: Schneider-Kreuznach
  • Mount: No. 1
  • Focal Length: 210mm
  • Aperture Range: f/5.6 – f/64, x blades
  • Elements: 6 Elements in 4 Groups

A MiG
Intrepid – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Adox CHS 100 II – Blazinal (1+25) 5:00 @ 20C

The Stone Bridge (From Below)
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-200 – Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 9:00 @ 20C

Looking for a good spot to get your gear and material fix…check out Burlington Camera, Downtown Camera, Film Plus, Belle Arte Camera and Camtech, if you’re in the GTA region of Ontario, if you’re on the West Coast (British Columbia) check out Beau Photo Supply. Additionally you can order online at Argentix (Quebec), the Film Photography Project or Freestyle Photographic.

Also you can connect with us through email: classiccamerarevivial[at]gmail[dot]com or by Facebook, we’re at Classic Camera Revival or even Twitter @ccamerarevival

Seven Miles

My car wound its way along the dusty road deep in Ontario’s cottage country; I knew where I was going, but it was based on probably outdated satellite imagery and information from someone whom I didn’t trust. But as I was in the area I decided to take a chance. The gates to the old Seven Mile Island property were wide open inviting me to come in, not a sign of life as I drove along the narrow track road along the shores of the lake. Oddly enough it began to remind me of the old children’s novel “Gone Away Lake” which was a favourite of mine. All it was missing was the huge Victorian homes and the kindly brother and sister.

Seven Mile Island

Oddly enough there was an older gentleman who still tends the ground; he was more than happy to let me wander the grounds. The gardens and grounds remain in good shape, the buildings many are still there intact although time has taken it’s toll on the place having no one living or using the location for over ten years now. The property showed use as far back as the 1880s when it was used as a hunting lodge and camp. Through the last half of the 19th and into the early 20th century the property earned its name as Seven Mile Island and was transformed from a wild hunting lodge to a grand estate with manicured lawns, fountains, and gardens.

Seven Mile Island

Through the mid-20th century, the property was forgotten, but new owners once again took up the mantle and began to restore the site, the grand cottage was restored, more buildings, added. The property was opened to the public; a summer camp was operated. Families could enjoy picnics, and take boats out onto the lake. Dances were held as were garden parties.

Seven Mile Island

Into the late 20th century the property was turned into a public resort, but that project failed along with several others and artist colony lived there in the early 21st century, but since 2002 no efforts were made to restore or reopen the site. Only the kindly old gentleman who tends the grounds. There’s no sign of the grand cottage that once occupied the site; there were two modern looking homes (which could be from the 1950s improvements), but they seemed occupied, so I made a point to avoid them. I may have to go back there.

Seven Mile Island
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Kodak Plus-X (125PX)