I know that to some photographers, the F-word is “Film.” Not to me. I love old cameras and shooting film, and I know there are many out there who feel the same way. Film is FUN; I personally believe that film will never totally disappear as a photographic medium. It may become primarily a medium for art photographers, but I don’t think it will ever go away completely.
When I bought this old Contaflex at Goodwill, I was hoping that the superb cosmetic condition of the camera was indicative of its mechanical condition. So I took some throwaway Fuji 100 print film and ran it through my Contaflex when the Collings Foundation’s planes were in Glendale, and finally got around to developing it. This film was expired and hadn’t been kept refrigerated, so I was unsure as to whether it would be an accurate representation of the condition of the camera. I took the film to a local Walgreens and had a CD made for each roll along with the prints. FAR too expensive for the crappy quality of the printing and scanning, but after loading the negatives into my negative scanner and getting some decent scans, the verdict is — the Zeiss seems to be in perfect working condition. Amazing.
I’m in love with this thing. It’s beautiful to look at, it’s a joy to hold and work the controls on, and it takes great pictures. What more could a photographer want? I have three more rolls of old Kodak Portra 160 to use up, and then I think I’ll get some Ilford 125 for my bulk roller and some Microphen developer to play with. I plan to take the camera with me to Missouri week after next and have a great time with it. I think I’ve found my new walkaround camera.