My Dad was always a keen photographer. When he bought his Zeiss Ikon Ikonta in the early 1950s, it would have been a substantial outlay for him as a civil servant. While he didn’t opt for the Super Ikonta, he paid for a few optional extras; a leather case, the 75mm 3.5 Tessar lens and …
I’ve built a bunch of conversions out of a vintage folding Zeiss 520/15. Most of these 6×12 cameras end up with a 65mm f/8 lens. It wasn’t until I was commissioned to build a similar 6×9 camera that the format caught my attention. The client wanted a 65mm to get the feel of his 28mm lens on a 35mm camera. Here is the camera I came up with for him.
A lot of photographers have the opinion that an investment in new equipment will solve their photographic problems and let them make better photos. In most cases this is an illusion. I am still amazed how little you actually need for a good photo. On the other hand, it is true that there are some cameras that enable a photographer to break new ground. For example, without the Ermanox, using 4.5×6 cm glass plates and its fast Ernostar f/1.8 85mm lens of 1925 the available light photography and famous candids of Dr. Erich Salomon would not have been possible. To a certain degree this is the case with the Rolleiflex 6008 professional for me.
Being the very visual person I am, I’m generally drawn to cameras more by the visual appearance and quality of the camera than the technical aspects. The Brook-Plaubel Veriwide 100 was one of these cameras as I find it visually appealing and have always wanted to own one from the very beginnings of collecting cameras. Still, after shooting with it, it’s one of the best cameras I’ve shot.
My love for cameras and photography goes back to when I was a young boy living in Chicago. I believe the majority of the people I know with this kind of passion always starts at a young age. The fascination began when my uncle would photograph the family and would line us up for the obligatory holiday photos. It was Easter, Christmas, or just a casual Sunday family dinner with aunts, uncles, and cousins, watching the unbelievable bright flash of the flashbulb (yes flashbulbs), blinking my eyes, and seeing the bright dot for what seemed like minutes. That just drew me in.