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4 Frames (and an error) with a Zeiss Ikon Nettar 518/16

After entering into medium format once I purchased a Bronica ETRSi nearly a 12 months in the past, I’ve needed to attempt a bigger adverse and, ideally, one which pushes me to attempt completely different composition types.

6×6 format appeared just like the logical selection, with a really giant number of cameras in a variety of costs. And so the burning Eye of GAS turned its fiery gaze as soon as extra to used digital camera websites and started scrolling by way of listings. Fastidiously ignoring the Hasselblads and Mamiya 6s that had been orders of magnitude dearer than any semblance of a price range that I had, I ended up selecting the concept of a folding digital camera. The Voigtlander 66 and Perkeo regarded promising, however the phrases “Colour Skopar” appear to return with their very own premium.

In the long run, I discovered a Zeiss Ikon Nettar 518/16, showing to be in nearly unused situation, with the Novar Anastigmat 75mm f/4.5 and a Vario shutter. A good spec, with acceptable shutter speeds accessible and, from samples, a pointy lens as soon as stopped down. All for £25.

With the protestations of my debit card as soon as once more muffled by my pockets, the digital camera was bought and earlier than too lengthy had arrived on my doorstep.

I fired off a check roll of Delta 100 stuffed with unremarkable photos to verify it was all in working order and was general very happy with the output. It seems to have a small concern with roll tightness even when I pull the takeup spool when loading, particularly with sure movies. Lomography Colour Destructive, which I’ve additionally now shot by way of this digital camera, was a very unhealthy one for roll tightness and ended up with some severe mild leaks up by way of the perimeters of the backing paper.

Moreover this, nevertheless, the digital camera works very effectively, particularly for its age and the chance that it had sat utterly unused for almost all of its life.

One of many issues I’ve actually loved with this digital camera to this point is having the choice of sharp, giant negatives in a digital camera physique that, as soon as folded, suits in a coat pocket. I can at all times have it in a digital camera bag in a facet pocket, no matter what different equipment I’m taking out that day, which provides me a pleasant backup choice and a method to make use of movie I may not in any other case have taken with me that day.

I took it with me once I went for a stroll with household round Dinefwr Citadel and grounds, with about half a roll remaining of Cinestill Double X. It was a really heat and vivid day in early Might, and I’d principally been planning to shoot in color as a result of the bluebells had been at their peak within the citadel woods, so I took the Nettar as a solution to have some B&W frames the place wanted with out taking over an excessive amount of bag room.

The little picnic space close to the citadel had some improbable previous oaks, labelled and tagged for his or her significance to the grounds. I discovered a composition there that I used to be fairly happy with, with the massive department chopping horizontally throughout the body, in any other case principally stuffed by the imposing previous tree to the facet.

An historic oak close to Dinefwr Citadel

I adopted this up with a reasonably cliché picture of the citadel door, earlier than strolling up and across the ruins of the citadel itself. It’s not probably the most full damage, however effectively definitely worth the stroll in case you’re within the space. The view from the highest was, for me, the spotlight. The close by citadel of Dryslwyn has fairly a very good view however it’s nowhere close to the expanse that Dinefwr instructions. I discovered one other good composition there that I used to be fairly happy with, I particularly like how the street runs parallel to the river throughout the underside of the body.

A black and white photo of a stone arched doorway with a large wooden door, leading into a ruined castle courtyard
Door to Dinefwr Citadel
a black and white photo of a landscape, a river running along the bottom of the frame and farm buildings are visible
The view from Dinefwr Citadel

The Zeiss lens additionally has an opportunity right here with the space element to flex its sharpness, particularly for its worth, and the element decision for what is mostly a quite simple triplet design in an equally easy digital camera is superb.

On the way in which again out of the citadel in direction of the picnic space once more, the sunshine on the trail caught my eye for one more easy picture, earlier than I then packed the digital camera away for the stroll again by way of the woods.

a black and white photo of a path, leading towards a wooded area, with a metal fence along a steep stone wall
Dinefwr Citadel picnic space

I had one body left, and a path on the backside of the hill regarded promising for a picture of a snaking street. I had the digital camera to my eye after which, after working easily for one body wanting three full rolls, the digital camera did what any self-respecting 70 12 months previous, completely unserviced piece of equipment does: completely nothing. The shutter button wouldn’t press, however the double publicity prevention ought to’ve deactivated about midway into the wind from frames 11-12 because it had performed beforehand. The shutter was cocked, all settings had been set…however nothing. So I attempted winding on a tiny bit, the double publicity prevention appeared to click on once more, and the shutter launched instantly. Previous cameras, proper? Oh effectively.

a black and white photo of a dirt road. the photo is blurry from motion as the photographer moved to fix the camera, and there is a black, splotchy area to the top of the frame where the film didn't develop properly
Oh.

The concept for the picture remains to be seen, so you may get the jist from there. To rub salt within the wound, the movie curled further tightly in growth and the body ended up not getting a fair masking of developer, the remainder of the roll was superb. Maybe some vengeful Dinefwr ghost was sad with the composition. Maybe it was performed as a kindness, to inform me it wasn’t going to be one of the best picture anyway. Or, maybe, I ought to simply get the digital camera serviced.

Should you’d wish to see some extra photos from when my digital camera does work, I could be discovered on my website, Instagram, or Flickr.

Thanks for studying.

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