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Scent of a Camera

Posted 2009.10.28 18.21 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

If it’s wrong to adore the smell of a 60 year old Zeiss Ikon folder, then I don’t wanna be right.


It smells so good!

The Colours! So Bright!

Posted 2009.10.26 17.37 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

So a friend of mine was telling me about this exciting new trend in photography, called “colour”. Appearantly it’s the latest rage, although you can’t easily process the film at home, you have to take it out to a lab for processing.

Anyhow, I got my hands on a roll of fancy new colour-reversal (aka slide) 120-format film and my trusty Zeiss Ikon folding 6×6 Nettar camera, and struck out to find some subjects. Now I have read that the reversal / slide film is very unforgiving about exposure, so you have to be really bang-on accurate when you take the pictures. So naturally, I just winged it and used my best-guess for aperture and shutter speed.

Colour seems like it could be fun, the reversal (slide) film proved to be as touchy as I had heard, but it did provide some nice results. A couple shots had some light-blooms at the bottom, due to a problem I found with the 60-year-old Zeiss Ikon: a loose spring on the take-up spool led to loose film, which led to light-blooms when I removed the roll from the camera. I’ve since tightened up the spring.

Technical stuff: Fuji Velvia, ISO 100, 120 format, in a Zeiss Ikon Nettar, 75mm lens, exposed according to “sunny-16” rule. Processed E-6 by a professional lab.

Home Camera Repair: Nettar

Posted 2009.10.20 10.04 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

After all my recent successes, I decided to do some work on one of my new favorites – the Zeiss Ikon Nettar. This camera is 60 years old, made in 1949 it is a medium format 6×6 folding camera. With bellows and everything, it’s a real beauty, and in almost perfect condition! The only problem was the viewfinder was totally fogged up. Not surprising if it’s got 60 years of gunk in it.

Unscrewing the top plate.

Unscrewing the top plate.

Fortunately, cleaning a viewfinder on one of these cameras is a fairly easy task. Just remove the screw that holds down the winding knob, then remove the screw that’s underneath the winding knob. On the other side, there’s one more screw, and then the top plate just lifts right off. The only caveat is to be careful not to lose the two buttons – the shutter release and the opening latch, are ‘loose’ and held in place only by the top plate.

With the top plate off, the front and rear viewfinder lenses are easily accessable. The glass is only held in place by ‘friction’, being pressed into a lightweight metal frame. This means it’s easy to dislodge them if you aren’t careful.

Once I had access to the lenses, I just used a couple q-tips and a drop of windex, to wipe away the grime. Once it was done, the viewfinder was clear as crystal. It was a snap then to just put back the buttons and top plate, then tighten the screws down. Only about 10 minutes for the entire procedure, and now my Zeiss Ikon Nettar is as good as new!

The Nettar without its top plate.

The Nettar without its top plate.