Film What FILM (!) photography related item did you buy this week?

May 6, 2017
69
One of the main things to learn and do was developing b&w at home. It's simple enough, comparatively cheap and not too much of a hassle. In fact, it can be quite satisfying and relaxing ...

M.
I agree. However with holga the success rate is very low.
Poor lens
Limited controls
Light leaks in the body...

Still I got some very nice pictures (using colour film). Just never what I thought I was aiming for :)
 

theoldsmithy

Hall of Famer
Jan 7, 2013
124
Cheshire, England
Martin Connolly
Fun, yes, cheap, yes, but you really have to be into this extremely lo-fi stuff to like it. I'd suggest an old folder (Zeiss Ikon or Voigtländer for preference - because they use real leather bellows and last); it should be in working condition, though - having them CLA'd isn't exactly cheap. But a nice Nettar will do everything the Holga does, and better.

M.
Thanks for the suggestion Matt. Do you have any recommendations for which Nettar to go for? There are a couple of nice looking ones on eBay at the moment, a 518/16 and a 517/16, but I wouldn't know the difference between them!
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
124
Switzerland
Matt
Thanks for the suggestion Matt. Do you have any recommendations for which Nettar to go for? There are a couple of nice looking ones on eBay at the moment, a 518/16 and a 517/16, but I wouldn't know the difference between them!
They're essentially the same camera; the 517 usually comes with lesser shutters and lenses, but that's about it. I'd aim for (at least) a Pronto shutter, but the Prontor in any configuration - plain, S, SV, SVS - is more desirable; the usual three-element Novar Anastigmat lens can be had in f/6,3, f/4,5 and f/3,5 variants. The fastest isn't the best - in fact, the f/6,3 is quite a solid performer. There are even some older Nettar models (516/16 and 516/2) that can be had with Tessar lenses, but they are usually pretty expensive - for that kind of money, I'd head straight for a Super Ikonta instead. My 518/16 has a Prontor-SV (1"-1/300", flash socket, self timer) and a 75mm f/3,5 Novar Anastigmat; stopped down to f/8, it's quite a sharp lens. The f/6,3 variant is just as sharp wide open - but of course, you lose 1 2/3 of a stop you could use in a pinch.

There's actually an alternative as well in the same price bracket - the Voigtländer Perkeo I; it's smaller, more elegant and even better built. But the Vaskar 75mm f/4.5 lens isn't as sharp as the Novar Anastigmat even stopped down, and it only has a Pronto shutter (1/25", 1/50", 1/100", 1/200") - but it's usually quite sufficient. The Nettar 517/16 usually comes with the Pronto shutter and the Novar Anastigmat 75mm f/4.5 - so that's the camera I'd pick over the Perkeo I. But here's the thing: The Perkeo II is a different matter, though - it sports a Color Skopar (=Tessar!) 80mm f/3,5 lens; its film handling is fiddly, but more advanced (it has a counter!), and it comes with a Compur Rapid shutter (1"-1/250") that's more precise than the Prontor (but harder to service if it's stuck or slow). That camera can sometimes be found quite cheaply; it's the best camera in the below-$100 range at the moment - though things can change quite rapidly in that market. That said, I still prefer the Nettar in the hand - it's a bit bigger, but the "drawbridge" configuration makes for a more comfortable hold.

btw. I'd also think about an additional rangefinder; they can be had for less than $50 - Voigtländer ones are most common and can be attached to the cold shoe on the 518/16, but I picked up an old handheld Leica one for $20 that I actually prefer.

Last year (2018!) I finally found my dream folder, though: a Super Ikonta 531/16 with Tessar lens and coupled(!) rangefinder. It's hardly bigger than the 518/16, but a much, much better camera. I got mine for $130 in full working condition (I had it checked regardless to make completely sure). So, in the end, it all depends on your patience and determination. If it's just meant for playing around, a Nettar 518/16 or 517/16 will serve you fine. But for little more money, much more interesting cameras (later Ikontas and Super Ikontas - i.e. uncoupled and coupled rangefinders - and the Perkeo II) can be had. It's your choice.

M.
 

theoldsmithy

Hall of Famer
Jan 7, 2013
124
Cheshire, England
Martin Connolly
Th
They're essentially the same camera; the 517 usually comes with lesser shutters and lenses, but that's about it. I'd aim for (at least) a Pronto shutter, but the Prontor in any configuration - plain, S, SV, SVS - is more desirable; the usual three-element Novar Anastigmat lens can be had in f/6,3, f/4,5 and f/3,5 variants. The fastest isn't the best - in fact, the f/6,3 is quite a solid performer. There are even some older Nettar models (516/16 and 516/2) that can be had with Tessar lenses, but they are usually pretty expensive - for that kind of money, I'd head straight for a Super Ikonta instead. My 518/16 has a Prontor-SV (1"-1/300", flash socket, self timer) and a 75mm f/3,5 Novar Anastigmat; stopped down to f/8, it's quite a sharp lens. The f/6,3 variant is just as sharp wide open - but of course, you lose 1 2/3 of a stop you could use in a pinch.

There's actually an alternative as well in the same price bracket - the Voigtländer Perkeo I; it's smaller, more elegant and even better built. But the Vaskar 75mm f/4.5 lens isn't as sharp as the Novar Anastigmat even stopped down, and it only has a Pronto shutter (1/25", 1/50", 1/100", 1/200") - but it's usually quite sufficient. The Nettar 517/16 usually comes with the Pronto shutter and the Novar Anastigmat 75mm f/4.5 - so that's the camera I'd pick over the Perkeo I. But here's the thing: The Perkeo II is a different matter, though - it sports a Color Skopar (=Tessar!) 80mm f/3,5 lens; its film handling is fiddly, but more advanced (it has a counter!), and it comes with a Compur Rapid shutter (1"-1/250") that's more precise than the Prontor (but harder to service if it's stuck or slow). That camera can sometimes be found quite cheaply; it's the best camera in the below-$100 range at the moment - though things can change quite rapidly in that market. That said, I still prefer the Nettar in the hand - it's a bit bigger, but the "drawbridge" configuration makes for a more comfortable hold.

btw. I'd also think about an additional rangefinder; they can be had for less than $50 - Voigtländer ones are most common and can be attached to the cold shoe on the 518/16, but I picked up an old handheld Leica one for $20 that I actually prefer.

Last year (2018!) I finally found my dream folder, though: a Super Ikonta 531/16 with Tessar lens and coupled(!) rangefinder. It's hardly bigger than the 518/16, but a much, much better camera. I got mine for $130 in full working condition (I had it checked regardless to make completely sure). So, in the end, it all depends on your patience and determination. If it's just meant for playing around, a Nettar 518/16 or 517/16 will serve you fine. But for little more money, much more interesting cameras (later Ikontas and Super Ikontas - i.e. uncoupled and coupled rangefinders - and the Perkeo II) can be had. It's your choice.

M.
Thanks Matt, most comprehensive. I think I may swap the Isolette for something better in a little while so your recommendations will be very useful then.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
124
Switzerland
Matt
Thanks Matt, most comprehensive. I think I may swap the Isolette for something better in a little while so your recommendations will be very useful then.
I wasn't aware of you owning an Isolette - should have looked at your signature earlier! Depending on the state of the bellows, you already have a camera that's up to - at the very least - the quality of the Nettars! The leatherette bellows do tend to leak, though - whereas the leather ones of the Nettars seem to keep much better.

What lens do you have on your Isolette? If it's a Solinar, you should really look into a CLA (and, if need be, a new bellows) instead of a different camera - the Solinar is a Tessar type lens, up there with the other gems of that type.

M.
 

phigmov

Top Veteran
Mar 23, 2015
104
Nikon 24mm f2.8 AI-Converted - love these old lenses. Got a Nikon E 100mm on its way from Japan too. Eying up Nikon 35mm AI-Converteds on evilbay as my next purchase. Looking forward to trying this on one of my film Nikons.

 

theoldsmithy

Hall of Famer
Jan 7, 2013
124
Cheshire, England
Martin Connolly
I wasn't aware of you owning an Isolette - should have looked at your signature earlier! Depending on the state of the bellows, you already have a camera that's up to - at the very least - the quality of the Nettars! The leatherette bellows do tend to leak, though - whereas the leather ones of the Nettars seem to keep much better.

What lens do you have on your Isolette? If it's a Solinar, you should really look into a CLA (and, if need be, a new bellows) instead of a different camera - the Solinar is a Tessar type lens, up there with the other gems of that type.

M.
It's an Apotar 4.5/85. It's nice and sharp in the centre but quite soft at the edges. The bellows seem in really good condition, at least I haven't been able to find any holes and no light leaks have shown up on the film.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
124
Switzerland
Matt
It's an Apotar 4.5/85. It's nice and sharp in the centre but quite soft at the edges. The bellows seem in really good condition, at least I haven't been able to find any holes and no light leaks have shown up on the film.
In that case, a Nettar won't be a real upgrade, nor will a Perkeo I. I'm sorry to have given you that kind of impression. I'd say the lowest "upgrade" (but not necessarily lens-wise) would be a Zeiss Ikon Ikonta - but the real deal would be a late Super Ikonta or similar (a Silette III doesn't have a coupled rangefinder, I seem to recall); I can whole-heartedly recommend the 531/16 that I own - I've shot with it today, and it's simply a very satisfying, well designed camera with a really nice lens (a 75mm f/3.5 Tessar - the sharper variant than the mighty, yet somewhat over-designed 80mm f/2.8 that older models had).

Hope you'll find something to your liking.

M.
 

MoonMind

Hall of Famer
Dec 29, 2013
124
Switzerland
Matt
Haven't bought it but have been given a complete Darkroom outfit. Enlarger, trays, paper , you name it. Now I need a spare room and the desire to take this on but I hate to pass it by.
Tim, start out by learning developing - the desire to enlarge will follow suit. Building a darkroom is a matter of making an existing room lightproof - the only thing you need inside is running water, preferrably with a regulator (or you'll have to make do with a thermometer; you'll heavily extend development times that way - or find a way to warm up water to pretty precise temperatures). It's fun - and it's very satisfying.

M.
 

siftu

Regular
Nov 10, 2018
33
Haven't bought it but have been given a complete Darkroom outfit. Enlarger, trays, paper , you name it. Now I need a spare room and the desire to take this on but I hate to pass it by.
The most fun part of film photography! Have fun,I have a very small darkroom and enjoy printing out my fav photos from each roll and hanging them up. Just in small 5x7 or the odd 8x10.

Neither printing or developing film requires running water but it does make it easier. I currently do everything in my non-plumbed darkroom except the long wash cycles, in which you can do them in daylight in your bathtub.
 

phigmov

Top Veteran
Mar 23, 2015
104
I picked up this one a while back. It doesn't work, the winder is jammed but I always loved the look.
Great shots. Might be a silly question but I'll ask it anyway, how do you manage to take the shots and avoid dust/junk entering the environment and 'dirtying' the shot ? Do you use a light-box or some other dust-free environment and clean the item meticulously ? Or do you just tidy it up in post ?
 

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