Although the 6×9 format is not a favorite, in a film camera, i came across a bargain on Ebay, for a Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta 6×9 camera, with a Tessar 105/4.5 lens. My birthday was very near, so i decided to purchase it, although as a really old camera (probably made around 1935), would probably need repair, even though the seller reassured me it was fully working. I like collecting old film cameras, but always looking for usable ones, and not something to have on a shelf.
In a months time from then, i had already arranged a short trip in central Europe with trains, so i decided to test it while travelling.
So i did. I shot two black and white films (an Ilford HP5 and a Kodak TX), and one color Kodak Portra 400 film.
6×9 film format, is mainly a landscape rather than a portrait one, so i mainly used it as that. The fastest speed that this old camera’s shutter can perform, is rather low, only 1/250, so the aperture mostly used was around f8-f16, depending on how cloudy the weather was.
The things i expected from this camera to go wrong, were mainly the accuracy of the shutter speed (which after developing the film realized that was accurate enough), but also to have a rather not that much light-tight film chamber, which appeared to be a fact.
So light leaks appeared on my images, a thing that some find destructive and “wrong”, but for someone who enjoys the mistakes and accidents that happen when shooting on celluloid are always something that can be surprisingly interesting from times to times.
Decide for your self.
The thing i kind of expected by looking at my developer (Rodinal), before developing my films, was that probably it wasnt at its best condition (probably because of the room temperature it was stored), so added to the light leaks on the photos, a lot of grain appeared on the images (which is fine to me as it put more character to the result).
After Budapest i travelled by train to Vienna, Austria. The following photos are shot from inside the train. I had to use full shutter speed (1/250sec), which was just enough to produce clear pictures but also keep the “moving effect”, as the train was travelling really fast.
At Vienna a violist friend of a friend with the orchestra he is a member of, were having a rehearsal at the Golden Hall at the Musikverein. He was kind enough to invite us there, so it was a good chance to test slower shutter speeds on my Super Ikonta.
After Vienna my next stop was Stuttgart, Germany
….But thats another story