Whatever that means

I love the smell of fixer in the morning


Now my hands stink of the stuff. I mentioned to Dr Craig the other day that I had been drooling over a Fuji 6×17 camera of the type used by Colin Baxter. It’s hopelessly out of the price range of mere mortals but the idea of a film camera got itself stuck in my head. I know, I’ve just been selling off all my film cameras but I reasoned to myself that something compact would be nice. A 6×9 rangefinder maybe. Crop down a hi res scan and you could pretend you had a 617. But even 6×9 rangefinders are pricey. But browsing around brought folders to my attention. There’s modern ones – the Voigtlander Bessa III would make a lovely Christmas present (Mandy!!) but I took a wee run to Cameratiks to see what was available in the secondhand folder line and picked up a Zeiss Ikon for £150. Sweet. It dates from 1954 to 1956 and produces 6×9 negatives on 120 film. But it’s small enough to go in a (decent sized) pocket. Needless to say, I had to get myself some film so I headed to Calumet and then to Leith for some snaps and home to brew up some chemistry and get developing. I finished the film at Charleston harbour so this this the view across to Grangemouth.

It all feels like real photography again. No meters, no autofocus. Nothing. And another thing, there’s so much more geekery about it. There’s the camera, the film, the development, scanning, processing all to be noted down and all to be done in a day to be Blip-legal. Great stuff.

So this is what you get. I swear that all I have done to this is crop out the film borders, straighten the horizon, clean up the biggest dust spots and sharpen it a bit (no more than I would with my DSLR).

I think I’m going to be very happy. I’m now wondering if I should get back the cameras that haven’t sold yet. I wonder if I should change my name to Ikonography – there’s nothing instant about this.

Technical details:
Camera: Zeiss Ikon MessIkonta C, 105mm.
Film: Ilford FP4 (rated ISO 100)
Exposure: f8.0 for 1\/200s
Development: Monochrome Prescysol EF
Scanned @ 1600 dpi


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This entry was posted on September 24, 2010 by in The Bank of Me.
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