A postcard camera


I TOOK my Zeiss Ikon 6×4.5 for an outing the other day, just to see what it could do. The light was flat and a bit dim, which isn’t ideal, and either my exposure or the processing was a bit off but at its best the old folder managed to produce images that would be very acceptable as postcards or even up prints of up to 10×8.

Here is one example, shot with the Schneider Xenar (Tessar clone) almost wide open and, for comparison, a similar shot with a Canon 5D MkII and 70-200 f/2.8L beneath.

There’s no doubt that the Canon has greatly superior image quality but the Super-Ikonta shows the advantage of the larger format negative. The 70mm shot with the Canon is in the short telephoto range, while the 75mm lens on the Ikonta is standard for the format.

I don’t know offhand which has rendered the comparative colours of the wood better but its clear that their response in that part of the spectrum is rather different (the film was Fuji Reala).

The sharpness and lack of vignetting of the Xenar used almost wide open is notable – and it’s nice to see that the rangefinder (which I had to adjust when I got the camera) is accurate.

In view of the poor quality of the negatives (which were carefully metered) I have checked the shutter speeds again and the readings show that my exposures should have been accurate to within 1/2 stop, so I suspect the corner shop’s processing is partly to blame.

Measured shutter speeds:
1s = 0.94s
1/2s = 1/16
1/5s = 1/48
1/10s = 1/12s
1/25s = 1/25s
1/50s = 1/53s
1/100s = 1/88
1/250s = 1/164s
1/500 = 1/300s

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About ambientimages

Paul Cowan is a former journalist turned full-time photographer.
This entry was posted in Canon 70-200 f2.8L, film camera, Film cameras, Folding cameras, Lenses, Schneidar Xenar 75/3.5 (Tessar), Super-Ikonta A and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A postcard camera

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