I had a few shots left on my Zeiss Ikonta 532/16 before I boarded a plane at SFO. The sun was setting and made a nice reflection on the ground. Taken with Zeiss Ikonta 532/16 on Fuji Acros. Developed in Kodak d76, 20C, 11 mins, first minute agitation, then 2 flips every minute. Fixed with Kodak rapid fix and scanned with Epson Perfection 4870.
Shot late night at Sake Bar Ginn. Zeiss Ikonta B 532/16, Fuji Acros 100, developed in Kodak d76, 25C, 10mins, first minutes agitation, 2 flips every minute, fixed with Kodak rapid fix. Scanned with Epson Perfection V700.
On a recent trip to Hanoi, I took along grandpa and grandson Zeiss on that trip.
Grandpa Zeiss is a pre-war Super Ikonta B 532/16, equipped with a Zeiss Opton T f2.8 lens which was top of the line at the time. Grandson zeiss is a newly acquired Sony RX100 II, equipped with a Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T f1.8 lens.
Let’s see how they perform. The 70 year-old grandpa that I acquired in a flea market in NYC years ago performed solidly with Ilford XP2 Super.
The Zeiss lens was super sharp as shown in the photos above. The first generation rangefinder is difficult to focus in low light conditions. For portraits, the dof at f2.8 is so narrow that a sharp eye is a must. Corner sharpness is not particularly good at f2.8 but for a classic portrait, the face or faces are usually in the center anyway. Down to f4 and above, the lens is sharp as a pin. The size of the camera is also quite small (for a medium format folder) and bringing it around was easy. The only complaint about this camera is the film advance system that limits only 11 shots per roll (rather than 12). This is fixed in the later version.
The newly acquired Sony RX100 II is a powerful little machine. Practically no noise at ISO3200 and a large aperture of f1.8, this little camera can handle most situations. This camera reminded me that taking photos should be easy (just like my 5d) and you can concentrate on composition rather than metering, focus etc. I particularly like the High Contrast Mono mode (HC BW) which I have taken the photos below with that.
Breaking free from the many issues I had with photo development places in Hong Kong and Shanghai, I started to develop my own film again recently. I have done a lot of BW development in the past. Color, however, I have never done before and had always been at the back of my mind. A temperature controlled water bath (at 38C) for the chemicals is a must for color. When I was back in Toronto, I was lucky enough to find an unused Paterson Auto Colortherm machine from a really nice lady named Linda Power. It was sitting in her basement for years and she was willing to let it go. I was ecstatic about the find and it just barely fitted in my suitcase back to Hong Kong.
It was rather difficult to get home color development chemicals in Hong Kong, so I picked up a C41 Tetenal kit from Shanghai. It was not cheap but nevertheless a good practice kit for the first run at this. My Paterson tank can develop up to two 135 rolls or one 120 roll with about 600mL of chemicals. I prepared the developer, blix and stabilizer all at 600mL volume. With this, I can either develop 4 to 5 rolls of 120 or 8 rolls of 135. With the 5L kit I got, I basically can develop about 64 rolls of 135.
I turned on the Paterson Auto Colortherm and set the water bath to the correct 38C temperature. You need to wait about an hour until all the chemicals are at the stable temperature. I started with a 5 minutes water bath, then developed for 3 minutes 15 seconds, blix for 6 minutes, water rinse for 3 minutes and ended it with stabilizer for 1 minute. Viola, the negatives showed up nicely and I waited for them to dry.
I scanned them with my Epson V700 and they turned out great. However, dust is never my friend when it comes to development and scanning and a lot of care has to be taken.
Here are a couple of shots from the development.
Overall, the first run at C41 development was a success and am looking forward to develop more rolls.