Barton’s Point Cafe, Minster on Sea, England. 2018
Originally I posted an image from the same film called ‘Cafe dog’ (below) but I don’t remember seeing this frame among the negatives. If I did I might of rejected it because my wife in the background and her pink coloured top at the back of the image. Looking again, I think this picture is now much better than the previous picture I posted, not only being the whole frame but with the three people in the image it leads diagonally to the dog.
Leica M4-2, Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH lens and taken on AGFA Vista 200 colour print film.
This Soviet rangefinder belonged to my late father. It’s kept in a display cabinet along with other old cameras and being a rangefinder of Contax design I thought it was about time I tried this camera out.
In his final years he had started purchasing a few old cameras, models I think he always wanted but couldn’t afford at the time. He had this Kiev 4 serviced by Newton Ellis in Liverpool about eighteen months before his death and I don’t think he ever got the chance to use this camera. From what I have found out about the Kiev 4 camera, these cameras of various models where made between 1949 to 1987 and the first two digits of the on the serial number are supposed to denote the year of manufacture, so this camera was made in 1975 in the Arsenal factory in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Having never used this type of rangefinder, I downloaded a copy of the manual from Butkus.org I found this camera takes it bit of getting use too. Seems to be all working although I don’t think the selenium cell in the exposure meter is working quite as it should, so was relying on my late Grandfathers newly serviced 1950’s Weston Master III meter for exposure.
I’m down to the last three 35mm films from my fathers film stock, two of which are these Jessop diamond 100 colour print dated 2002. I’m not keen on using expired colour film knowing the colour will deteriorate over time but these two films along with a Fujifilm Sensia 100 he had kept in the freezer, so I thought I’d take a chance with them.
The ‘Contax grip‘
The camera comes with a Jupiter-8M 50mm lens which has the Contax rangefinder mount and is focused via a finger wheel on the top of the camera. Focusing I found somewhat strange at first but you get use it after a while. I found pictures online of how this camera should held, one finger above the rangefinder window, two below the window and remembering not to get your finger in the way of the rangefinder window, which I manage more than once when I couldn’t see the focusing patch through the viewfinder. Another issue I found was remembering to hold the lens when changing aperture unless the lens is on infinity lock. If you don’t, you’ll move the focusing and have to start again!
I do not wear glasses anymore for photography but the viewfinder on this camera particularly difficult to compose images. There’s no frame lines and the viewfinder is quite small as with all these Soviet era cameras. I found I had press my face against the camera body to see the full frame, think I’ve been spoilt by using a Leica viewfinder!
Here’s some results for my efforts.
All film images taken in Sheerness, England on the Kiev-4, with it’s ЮРИТЕП-8 50mm lens with expired Jessop diamond 100 colour print film. For a 20 year old colour print film it seems to of survived quite well being kept all these years in the freezer and doesn’t appear to have lost much of it’s colour.
Edit: One point I didn’t mention, I noticed this version of the Jupiter 8 lens I feel is sharper and has better contrast than the younger Jupiter 8 lens I have mounted on my Zorki 4K.
Picture taken of the Киев-4 where with the Leica M-P (Typ-240) and the Voigtländer Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 II VM lens.
Although this was shot on a previous roll of Kodak Pro Image film, it might be one of the last roll of colour film I shot. Ever since Kodak’s announcement of a 20% price increase on film I’m beginning to doubt whether or not the use of colour is sustainable. You only have to Google colour film prices. Last pack of 5 Pro Image I purchased was £26.00, now anywhere from £37 to £42 RRP. With current prices and the added development cost, which for me is working out at £13 to £14 per roll. Seems silly when I have a digital Leica M-P (Typ240) sitting at home.
On a side note, I also noticed the price of a bulk 30M roll of Fomapan 100 has gone up. I last paid £42, which works out at £2.10 per roll for twenty 36 exposure films. Now listed online between £58 to £60.
Leica MP, Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH, on Kodak Pro Image 100 film.
Think I was drawn to the hat and the car, shame he wasn’t reading a book really. I normally do try to avoid taking street pictures of people with phones. It seems everyone’s got one either sitting or walking, it’s like a drug that they are all hooked on twenty four, seven.
Leica MP, Summicron 35mm ASPH, B&W neutral density filter on Kodak Pro Image 100 film.
Leica M6, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH on Kodak Pro Image 100 film.
I love the look on these Spaniels faces.
So my Leica M6 is no more.
I took the above picture last month on the M6. This was one of a few films that were not fogged, indeed Weekend Races image was from the same roll of ProImage. Despite being returned a couple of times for repair the fault kept arising as you can see below. As you can see the problem was still there and was getting worse with each new roll exposed.
Click to enlarge images.
On side note, I noticed I’ve been having issues with white spots on my negatives. This turned out to be my fixer, which I hadn’t noticed was dated 03/2020 …oops! Then I found in my photo cupboard another black concertina bottle from my late father, marked ‘fix’ and dated 2007. This is what came out of the old bottle below, glad I didn’t use it. The black fragments in the sink make me think the inside of the bottle had been slowly deteriorating.
Anyway, back to the M6 issue. It went back to the dealer again and this time I was offered a full refund. But then thinking about it, was only another £1600 ($2,100) for a new ‘M’ body. So I am now the very proud owner of a shiny new chrome MP. Wish I’d done this in the first place but I was stupidly thinking it cannot happen to me again and the first few rolls seemed alright with the M6. I did ask what they where going to do with my faulty M6 and was told it would be sent back to Wetzlar, Germany for an complete overhaul.
Expensive I know at £4100.00 ($5395.00) but it’s not second hand, comes with a year warranty plus an extra year if you register the camera with Leica AG and top and base plate are made of brass not zinc.
Black and white images, Leica M6, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH on Fomapan 400 film rated at an ISO of 200.