As mentioned in the preceding post I had used this camera before but the results were pretty much a disaster. So how did I do this time?

I decided to walk down to nearby Sparta Cemetery to take the pictures. Generally speaking I was satisfied with the results. I only lost one frame, the very first one on the roll. I had loaded the camera some time ago and I knew when I came to use it that I’d lost that first frame, but I can’t remember why. The other 11 frames were decently exposed despite the fact that I couldn’t remember what film I’d put in the camera. I figured that it would be either ISO 100 or ISO 400 and decided to expose at ISO 200. It turned out that it was Kodak T-Max 100 but I guess there’s enough exposure latitude that even though I was one stop off it didn’t cause much of a problem. Focusing using the small rangefinder window was difficult, but the rangefinder seemed to work well.

There were a couple of issues with the camera, however. First, there were some scratches on some of the negatives. Nothing too drastic but still…There was also a slight light leak on some of the frames. But not all, which made me wonder if it was instead flare or some kind of reflection from something I was carrying. Again nothing too serious.

The worst thing about using this camera was definitely it’s ergonomics. I find it very difficult to hold. I just didn’t know where to put my hands. The focusing rings are right at the front of the bellows requiring me to hold the camera with one hand (already difficult for me) and try to focus using the other one. I suspect that the camera was designed to be used on a tripod, where with both hands free such adjustments would have been easier. The camera has separate viewfinder and rangefinder windows, which I suppose is about par for the course in cameras from this period. The rangefinder is particularly “squinty”. It works, but it’s hardly a pleasurable experience. I found framing subjects accurately using the viewfinder to be difficult, at least in 6×6 format (although when I used the camera before in 6×9 format I don’t recall that this was a problem.

I also find that I don’t instinctively relate to the 6×6 format – at least not at the moment. Maybe with more practice I could get more comfortable with it.

So at the end of the day I don’t see me using this camera very much. I could fix or live with the scratches and the light leak/flare, but I just don’t enjoy using it. So my quest to find a medium format camera that I would really enjoy using continues.

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