Zorki 4 35mm rangefinder camera, 50mm/2 Jupiter 8 lens
Svema Foto 200 film developed in Ilfotec DD-X
8.5 minutes @ 20 C
After having recently had success with shooting medium format Tri-X at EI 3200 and stand developing in Rodinal for two hours, I was anxious to see how well it would work with the smaller 35mm negative and the answer is, not bad at all! Not nearly as grainy as expected, and shooting at 3200 (considered pretty extreme for Tri-X) will allow me to handhold in pretty dim light. Rodinal is indeed a magic potion, not bad for a developer first released in the 1890’s!
Voigtlander Bessa R 35mm rangefinder, Russian Jupiter 8 50mm/2 lens
Tri-X @ EI 3200, semi-stand developed for two hours @ 20 C
(Gentle agitation every 30 minutes)
Today’s image is the second in my project of portraiture taken using vintage 35mm equipment. This specific image was taken using an early 1950’s Contax IIIa rangefinder, coupled with a Soviet Jupiter-8 normal lens. The inherent sharpness of this lens was just what I wanted for this look, while still keeping a vintage feel.
On my list of cameras I’ve always wanted, a vintage Contax rangefinder has been near the top. The post-war Contax rangefinders (IIa and IIIa models) are wonderful precision mechanisms, and I was lucky sometime ago to acquire a IIIa body at a reasonable price, but I still needed a lens. I had good luck with the Russian Jupiter 8 on my Leica IIIb, so I rolled the dice again and go the same lens in the Contax mount, very inexpensively. I just got the first roll developed, and I am again very happy with the sharpness of this lens!
Another image from the 35mm photo shoot outside Massey Hall, this time taken with my Leica IIIb and Russian Jupiter 8 50mm f2 lens. I thought I had ISO 400 film in the camera, but it turned out to be a roll of Polypan, nominally rated at 50, so the film had to be heavily pushed in development, 30 minutes in HC-110 dilution B. A good photogrpahy friend of mine was very helpful in suggesting a development process to salvage the frame. This is unretouched, and is technically certainly not perfect, but it is what I was after – the feel of decades ago; I think it would be less of an image if it were tack sharp and grain-free.