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Thread: Zeiss Camera

  1. #1
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    Zeiss Camera

    Hi

    I have an old (1930's) Zeiss Ikon camera, which I inherited from my father.
    It has a bit of a story, my father and 4 other POW's bought the camera from a German POW guard for 150 cigarettes (which they got from Red Cross parcels) near the end of the war. The 5 POW's then drew cards to see who actually got to keep the camera, and my father drew high card (he said it was the only thing he ever won!) So the camera cost him 30 cigarettes.

    I remember him using this camera to take family snaps when I was a child, and seeing the sometimes blurred small black and white photos which were in the family album.

    In memory of my father I would like to shoot a roll of black and white film with this camera this Christmas, when all the family is together. I believe it uses 120 roll film. Does anyone know? It says '2 1/4" x 3 1/4" ' inside, so I presume this is the negative size. What film should I buy? Can I still get film for this camera?

    The camera appears to be in working order, the aperture control works (f6.3 to f22) and so does the shutter speed control (1/25 to 1/125 sec). The shutter opens and closes OK.
    The bellows appears to be light tight, so I see no reason why it shouldn't work. I will get a light reading from my D300 and apply the settings.

    Any advice?
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    David

    Nikon D810
    Nikkor AF-S 24-120VR, Nikkor AF-S 16-35VR, Nikkor AF-S 70-300VR, Nikkor AF 50 f1.8
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    cant help ya but that is one very cool lookin camera

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Hi davidd. Here are some websites that I found, by typing "zeiss-ikon novar camera"...
    http://photo.net/classic-cameras-forum/00Mm2O
    http://www.pibweb.com/ross/Campix/Zeissikon.htm (but none here list the Novar lens)
    There are others, but...
    This could be a 6cmx9cm 120 rollfilm camera. I had a rather silmilar Kodak one decades ago. In your picture the lens looks as if there is no anti-reflection coating (mine was from the 1950s and did have an early type coating), so you might try to avoid shooting close to any strong light source, say keep them at least 30 degrees away from the lens axis. Have you "checked" the shutter speeds? Your longest is 1/25 sec. Check that this doesn't sound like, say, a half a second. A roll of ISO 100-160 would suit these shutter speeds and aperture stops. I'd be interested to see any results. Am...

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    PS. My Kodak gave quite good results. I had a shot of Sydney Hbr, SH Bridge, and Opera House from about 1976, taken from the air. Of course I just can't find it now, can I!!! Am...

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    Hi, thanks for the reply.

    Yes, it is a 6x9cm, that is also printed inside the back cover.

    So 120 roll film is what I need?

    The shutter speed appears to be reasonably accurate, ie 1/100 sounds much faster than 1/25, and seems to be what I would expect. The aperture closes down OK when set to different apertures. I'll give it a try!

    Cheers.
    Last edited by davidd; 18-10-2009 at 1:53pm.

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    yes you need 120 film. if you are going to shoot black and white, there are a couple of options. you can use a c41 black and white film which can be developed at any 1 hour photo lab. this film has a very clean look, but it does differ from traditional black and white film. if you want more of a vintage look, with beautiful tonality and a bit of grain, then i would suggest kodak tri-x 400 or ilford hp5+ 400. you might have to send these to a pro lab to get developed, or ofcourse you can develop them yourself in your laundry. you don't need a darkroom to develop film at home, you only need a dark room to print.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    I'd say 120 is the one, though there (I'd better now say) was a 620 film. From memory, though, as I never used it, the only difference was that the 620 had more of the same sized film wrapped onto a spool with a thinner shaft. That spool would not fit into a 120 camera because of the different slots at the ends (this process may be off the track, bet see... http://www.inficad.com/~gstewart/respool.htm)
    Just check with the picture of the spools in this reference and try to gauge if they match the camera you have. In fact, you should have an old spool still in it, as the film rolls off the new spool onto the old, and so on. So whatever you do, DON'T throw out any old spools. You'll need a take-up spool to work the camera. If you are in the Sydney area you can get Fujicolor Pro 160S in a 5 pack for $47.40, but I'd better let you know where from in a PM. But typically, that film is $10-12 a roll. You'll get 8 shots in 6x9 format per roll. Am...

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOM View Post
    yes you need 120 film. if you are going to shoot black and white, there are a couple of options. you can use a c41 black and white film which can be developed at any 1 hour photo lab. this film has a very clean look, but it does differ from traditional black and white film. if you want more of a vintage look, with beautiful tonality and a bit of grain, then i would suggest kodak tri-x 400 or ilford hp5+ 400. you might have to send these to a pro lab to get developed, or ofcourse you can develop them yourself in your laundry. you don't need a darkroom to develop film at home, you only need a dark room to print.
    Hi Tom. I just wondering if wouldn't ISO 400 would be too fast for most normal outdoor photography for this camera? It's max is 1/125 sec at f/22. Am...

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    Hi thanks for all the help!

    I'm pretty sure it uses 120 film, I remember my father buying it. I was interested in cameras as a child, and have shot with this one before, but probably not for 50 years.

    I have discovered an old piece of paper in the case, with settings written in my father's handwriting. The paper is from a box of Kodak Verichrome Pan Film (colour film I presume) of ISO (ASA) 125. The settings are Bright sun f22 at 1/125, hazy sun f16 at 1/125, cloudy f8 at 1/125.

    The old 'sunny 16' rule says f16 at 1/100 for ISO 100 film in sunlight. ISO 400 would be too fast in sunlight. ISO 100 in open shade maybe f11? This is probably the best aperture to use for this lens. Can I get ISO 100 b&W film? I can but try!

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    you sure can...ilford fp4 is a 125asa, you can also get fuji acros 100. there are quite a few to choose from. acros is a great modern film with fine grain.

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    Great story behind that camera.

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    That looks to be in remarkably good condition and I would say it is probably worth a bit. Look after it!

    You may be able to find out more about ti at photo nets Classic camera forum here

    There is 120 film on ebay but you'd have to be careful http://cameras.shop.ebay.com.au/Film....html?_nkw=120
    Last edited by Analog6; 18-10-2009 at 5:29pm.
    Odille

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    Hi

    My research would suggest it is worth about $50 US, so not the large inheritance I was hoping for.

    It apparently has a lesser quality lens and shutter than the top of the range. I would think it was probably standard German Army issue.

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    So it is probably still worth 150 cigarettes

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    it looks like a medium format nettar.

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    A great way to create some memories David, all the best in your endeavours experimenting with yet another fascinating aspect of photography.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Hi

    thanks to all for the information and interest. I will keep you informed (after Christmas).

    Cheers

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    I hope your results are successful. As Tom suggested, some 120 roll film like Ilford FP4 or HP5 would likely be the ideal film to try although you could try some 120 colour film if you want to. The old uncoated lenses may flare badly and lack some contrast but I recently ran a roll of modern colour print film through my 50 year old 35mm folder and the results were first class. You may be equally surprised.

    Coincidentally, I have a *very* similar camera that I picked up at a flea market a few years back for, I think, $25. Pictured below. I occasionally use it to shoot B&W that I process and print myself. The results can be quite decent. One issue you will have though is getting the negs printed, assuming the camera exposes correctly and the bellows are light tight. 6x9 will very likely require a pro-lab or someone who does B&W printing at home and is equipped for 6x9 format negs. Your local fast photo shop is most unlikely to be able to handle these georgeous large negs but persist because the results just might be superb. Big negs = very creamy enlargements

    Good luck and do let us know how you get on!
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    Your post encouraged me to go searching for any prints off the Ziess folder. I was only able to easily find the proof sheet from my very first roll through it and a very rough work print. See below for hastily scanned images.

    Some extra advice since you asked for it. Aiming through the albada viewfinder can be a bit hit and miss as you can see from my proof sheet. Also, don't forget to set your exposure and focus for EVERY frame; again, you see the errors I made with the water fall - I didn't adjust exposure correctly.

    If you want the best chance of a memorable photo or two at Christmas, I suggest you put a couple of rolls through soon to figure out if the camera works and how you'll do your processing / printing. I wonder if you have any of your father's original "Small blurry prints" as you called them. It occurred to me that they might be actual contact prints that were then cut into seperate actual-size images. If they measure just smaller than 6cm by 9 cm then I'd say that is what you have. In that case, you could follow that process yourself with some mucking around but you would NOT require an enlarger. It's food for thought.
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    Hi

    an update - I went to the local Camera House to see what they had in 120 roll film. I ended up buying a roll of Fuji colour film, marked REALA 100. It is ISO 100. I will give this a try this weekend to test and see if the shutter is reasonably accurate, I will get a reading from my D300 and then shoot at those settings, plus one and two stops faster to see if the shutter is dragging.

    Processing is $6.95 and they do it in house, plus they will scan the negative for an extra $6.00, so that seems to be the best way to see how the shots turn out.

    One thing I am not sure of, how do you know if you have wound the film past the already exposed part? There is a small window with red glass in the back, with a sliding cover. I guess you look through this as you wind the film on. As the same film is used for 6x6 and 6x9 format, are there markings on the edge of the film you can read? As a young boy in the distant past I had a small Kodak Brownie 127 , but can't remember exactly how it worked.

    Thanks for all the advice.

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