I have had this camera for 7 years, which is longer than I’ve had any other film camera, partly because it’s great, and partly because it still works. bought it with the Voigtlander 25mm Snapshot Skopar, and later on added the 35m Color Skopar. The design of the Bessa L is odd in that there’s …
Yes, the title is long, but for a good reason. This trip to Berlin was my third or fourth photo expedition with the Ricoh 500G. I’m still getting used to this lovely little camera, which I bought three months ago. This 40€ purchase was in excellent condition, apart from the light seals, which I had to replace. After shooting a few initial rolls of film, I was keen to find out which film would be best for a given subject and lighting situation. So I packed my bag for Berlin with the following mix of films: Ilford HP5, Ilford FP4, Ilford XP2 and Fomapan 400.
I like knowing how things work. This is partly why I took up film photography in the first place, because I wanted to understand how pictures could be made. However, I’m not in a position to have a darkroom setup, and at the moment I’m more interested in the results of using film photography as a medium. That means I love seeing my scans come through to my email, trying out different film stocks, and being present with my camera in that moment. For me, the development process is something I’m happy to leave to professionals for now.
The Zeiss Ikon Contaflex is an over engineered and overly complicated leaf shutter SLR. They were manufactured from 1953 to 1974 and went through several iterations, each more complicated than the last. Most used synchro compur shutters and tessar lenses (bar a couple of cheaper models) so they were decent performers. Max shutter speed was 1/500 and maximum aperture was f2.8. The Contaflex iii brought swappable front elements, these included a 35mm, an 85mm and a 115mm. These were beautifully sharp but prone to delamination, especially in the Pro Tessar 35mm f4.
I was introduced to analog photography last Christmas with a Polaroid One Step camera and a handwritten note saying something like “this is another attempt to see the world through your eyes”. Besides loving taking polaroids of small details mainly from seaside locations, I knew I had to find a more powerful way to convey my feelings through pictures. It is always a matter of how sincerely and truly I am able to tell the world about my soul even without shedding too many words. The person behind the handwritten note knew that too, and as soon as another occasion appeared – my birthday, an oddly grey and rainy day of May – I was gifted a precious 35mm camera: a shimmering, perfectly preserved Olympus XA2, older than me.