Tag Archives: Russian cameras

2
Jun

The Fells

130516-001a

“The Fells”

Lubitel 166 / Kodak film

I forget which camera took this roll, my best guess is the Lomo. It’s medium format and 6×6, so it’s that or a Yashica. Just now I am using another Kodak, this time a Retinette 1B, made in 1959, the same year as the Coloursnap I used last week. The Retinette has a much higher quality feel, and a Rodenstock Reomar 45mm f/2.8 lens in a Prontor 500-LK shutter, with speeds from 1/15 to 1/500th, so already it is considerably more promising than the ‘snap. If it takes pictures half so well, I will be happy.

Everything about vintage cameras is an exercise in uncertainty and patience. That is good for the soul at least. Last year I read The Left Hand of Darkness for a second time (I first read it in my teens). This stayed with me:

“The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

29
Jan

On to Pottergate

32920025

“On to Pottergate”

Lubitel LOMO 166 / Ilford film

1
Dec

Zorki 4, Canon II and more processing.

It has been a long time since I wrote on here, I seem to have too many projects on the burner, to keep this current. But the plan was always to keep going and although I am not quite so fixated on chemical photography just now, I maintain a steady interest.

I pick up old cameras where I can. Today I found a Voigtlander Vitomatic IIa for £15, a tenth of its real value. This is a beautifully engineered 1960 rangefinder, and I am becoming much more in the groove with rangefinder photography than any other. Indeed, I recently bought a Canon II from a Moscow dealer. I have been thinking about getting a decent 1950s rangefinder forever, and while I liked the idea of a Contax, my little collection of beautiful Russian Jupiter glass has pushed me over into thinking in the direction of the Canon Leica copy.

Okay maybe a Leica III would be the way to go, but it costs maybe 5 times more than the Canon copy, which is (arguably) a better camera. So it’s £800 for the badge on the front, and that is not a great deal in my view.

I have a great stack of film to process. I have Ilford film from a Holga which I can process in the kitchen, but I also have several colour films from the Yashica and the Lubitel to send away to the lab.

So I will leave you with a picture taken on another Leica copy, the eminently worthy Zorki 4 with that amazing Jupiter 8, 50mm attached. It is a remarkable lens for the price of a bottle of vodka. Of course the quality of the subject is beyond compare and you won’t find one of these anywhere for any price.

Derwent Reservoir

“Derwent Reservoir”

Lubitel 166B / Ilford Delta Pro 100

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