These images took longer to happen than I had planned. I will tell you about this in the order of the camera, then light meter, and then the film. First then, the camera.
The Zeiss Ikon Contaflex II and accessory Teleskop 1.7x adapter I hunted down as soon as I realized it existed. A stunner aesthetically. Built very well. Has a Zeiss lens. The form factor resembles a rangefinder to me, but is actually an SLR. What is not to like? Even has a built in selenium light meter that by some miracle is more accurate than it has any business being.
Even shot my first test roll, only using that built in meter. But I do not trust it for some reason. So from then on I usually went with Sunny 16 winging it, brought a lightmeter along, or used an app. That brings me to the TTArtisans lightmeter.
Having had good luck with a few of their lenses as outlined in another post I trusted that this lightmeter would be a safe bet also. There is an even better gen II version out now. Even though things got off to a rocky start with my gen I version it ended well. What happened? I am glad I imagined you asked. The lights in the meter were misaligned.
Technically worked, but this would not do for a brand new unit purchased directly from TTArtisans. I fought the urge to take it apart and DIY this thing back into shape, but reason won out and I reached out to TTArtisans to start the exchange process for a new unit. The result? As outlined in this post TTArtisans instead sent me the instructions on how to DIY this thing back into shape. At first, I was like, “This is brand new. I should get a…”. Then a little voice said, “Weren’t you about to tear this thing apart with no instructions and now you have instructions and permission to do so?” Oh yeah. Right. So I fixed it myself. Result? A lightmeter comparable to the much more expensive Voigtlander variant for much less spend. As good? Likely not. Close enough at a fraction of the cost? For as often as I plan to use it certainly.Spending far more for a lightmeter than the camera I was going to use it with made little sense to me.
Even though this lightmeter could easily be used handheld I wanted the complete package so I also scored an original Zeiss cold shoe adapter for peanuts off of eBay to complete the kit.
Then I loaded it with film and took a couple of shots… And then promptly got distracted by something or another and forgot about it for many months.
I remembered it recently and decided to finish the roll. One issue. I had no recollection of what film I loaded into it. Black and white? Color? Who knows? The lightmeter was set to 200 so 200? Maybe? So I went with it and tried not to base my composition on the type of film. Turns out it was Kodal Portra 400. What possessed me to use that film for a test roll is beyond me. Evidently, I had a lot of confidence in the lightmeter based on my initial comparison tests with a dedicated lightmeter. And the camera always delivers. To cover the exposure difference I followed the Cinestill CS41 instructions appropriately and the roll came out just fine. Here are my 5 favorite frames from the roll with one bonus shot.
And a bonus shot.
A forgotten frame taken prior to my forgetting about this set up. It is a favorite because it was taken while helping my Mom run her errands one day and she is patiently waiting for me to wrap up my camera nonsense as we check out. Something she is quite familiar with since my dearly departed Father…
…is the whole reason I am into photography myself.
Well. That about wraps things up. So the verdict. A win all around.
I appreciate having this opportunity to share my experience.
Eric L. Woods
I shoot a variety of new and old digital and film cameras. Industrial Engineer by education, IT is my vocation, and I really enjoy using, testing, and writing about cameras. All three of the latter are very therapeutic exercises for me. If you are so inclined my blog address is ewoodsphoto.com and I can be found on twitter and Instagram. All the best to you.
Contribute to 35mmc for an Ad-free Experience
There are two ways to experience 35mmc without the adverts:
Paid Subscription - £2.99 per month and you'll never see an advert again! (Free 3-day trial).
Content contributor - become a part of the world’s biggest film and alternative photography community blog. All our Contributors have an ad-free experience for life.
Sign up here.