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Batteries Not Included

A blog focused on cameras with no batteries - and the photos they take

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Do you Moleskine?

I was first introduced to these notepads about six months ago and I must admit that I love the design, look and feel of these little (some of them bigger) notepads. I ended up getting one of the smaller ones with lines and I carry it with me in my camera bag pretty much all the time.

Now, I haven't really used it all that much. I sometimes doodle (poorly) in it but am still hoping to find more uses for it as it's a really nice pad.

Any other moleskine users out there?

Below are some photos of when the notepad came along and ended up on the table next to a camera...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

ZI Contessa 35: First photos back

So I put two-three rolls of film through my new-old Zeiss Ikon Contessa 35 rangefinder and below are some of the photos from these test rolls. It's a camera that is great fun to use and so far the results are promising.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Zeiss Ikon Contessa 35 - Folding Beauty

Some time ago I put in a 'just-for-the-heck-of-it'-bid on eBay and ended up the winner of a beautiful Contessa 35 rangefinder camera kit. That the whole package didn't set me back more than $62 was a nice, additional bonus.

The Contessa has for quite some time been one of those cameras that I tended to hear about, look up, drool a bit..and then move on to something else. I must say that I am extremely happy that I did end up winning this auction and get a chance to play around with what is probably one of the best made - and looking - 35mm folding cameras ever made.

Here are some initial thoughts on handling one of these 50-year old machines (the camera is from the mid-50's);

Look and feel:
It's truly a beautiful camera (see below for some photos of it). What did surprise me was how small it is. More than once I've heard that it must be a camera designed for women back in those days. Now if that's true or not I have no idea..but all the photos in the original camera manual does have women showing the camera's features. Hmm.

This is my first folding camera and it is impressive how compact and small the camera becomes when folded up.
The camera oozes of quality and the fact that it works flawlessly fifty years after having left the factory is a testimony to that.

If you get a chance to see one of these beauties for yourself I would strongly recommend doing so - problem is that if it's for sale - you may just walk away with yet another camera in your hands ;)

This is by no means a fast operating camera.
Once a photo has been taken one has to advance the film using a round advance knob located on the bottom of the camera and then cock the shutter using a lever next to the lens.
Changing the aperture and shutterspeed are done by turning metal rings on the lens.

The original leather case is brilliantly designed. Clasps on the side of the case slides up and grapples the strap lugs and holds the camera very securely. The bottom of the case has a turning wheel that hooks into the film advance knob mentioned above - which makes it possible to advance the film with the camera in the case.

The Contessa comes with a built-in Selenium meter. Mine is, as most other meters on these cameras, not working.
I am however contemplaing having it shipped off to have the Selenium cell replaced and adjusted.

The camera is fitted with a 45/2.8 Zeiss Tessar lens that through my two test rolls performed very well (although lacking somewhat in contrast but it will take some more test shots for me to determine if that's truly the case).
(The slip-on filters for this lens are designated as S27 filters).

Using the camera exercises your memory and patience. I don't know how many times I've wound the camera and when going to take the photo realizing that I haven't cocked the shutter.
Another interesting 'quirk' with the camera is that the shutter speed adjustment ring is so closely mounted to the shutter cocking mechanism so that the top speed (1/500) can not be set if the shutter has already been cocked.

So far I have put two rolls of film through the camera and I think it has proven to perform very well.
It is actually such an attractive and 'different' camera that I in the past week has found myself grabbing it over my other cameras when heading out the door

Below are some photos of the camera in question.
Photos BY the camera is coming soon.

The Contessa in its case. Photo courtesy of MelanieC

What 62 dollars can buy you these days

The Contessa with original slip-on hood

Monday, July 03, 2006

The S1119 hood

I have put two rolls through my Contax IIIa w/ the Sonnar 50/1.5 lens now and I felt that the photos could have had a bit more contrast to them. There are normally two ways to try to increase contrast in the out-of-the-camera images: filter and a hood. So, I ended up getting an original Zeiss Ikon hood for the Sonnar lens. It's designation is S1119 ('S' for screw-in) and it does look great on the lens.

I'm hoping to take the whole kit out this week and take some photos so we'll see if it has the desired effect.
If not - it will at least satisfy my gear-accumulation needs for some time.