Posts tagged bessal

Manjericos Jul 10th

Crossing the Street Jul 10th

S. Bento Station Jul 10th

R. Conde de Vizela Jul 10th

I think these first pictures taken with the 25mm Snapshot Skopar lens really show what the Voigtlander Bessa-L business is all about, even though I have to sharpen my scale focusing skills.

I was given a roll of old ORWO NP-20 film to try it. The film was probably long expired so most of its exposure latitude was gone and the results were a bit too grainy for 80 ISO (more like 800 actually). I liked using it, but I can't wait to load the camera with some Ilford Delta once I develop the color film I'm currently trying.

Douro Oct 15th

Boavista Blvd Oct 15th

D. Luis Bridge Oct 15th

Douple exposure Oct 15th

Burnt film Oct 15th

Garage Oct 15th

Gate Oct 15th

Taken with my Voigtlander Bessa-L and an adapted Tamron 28mm lens that makes the camera look quite badass.

My mind was somewhere else at the end of the roll of so I briefly opened the camera before rewinding, ruining some of the exposures. Oops, my bad. Anyway, when I took the film to the lab I specifically requested that they digitize every single exposure, no matter how awful it looked. And as (unfortunately) expected, they instead decided to curate my own photos for me, so I had to digitize some of the damage I found interesting (examples one and two) using my own terrible flatbed scanner. Next time I'll take my business elsewhere.

Closed V Aug 4th

Legs Aug 4th

Mail and Toys Aug 4th

Submarine Aug 4th

Closed III Aug 4th

Bikes Aug 4th

Closed II Aug 4th

Closed I Aug 4th

Rua da Boavista Aug 4th

Triangle Aug 4th

Closed IV Aug 4th

Yellow doors Aug 4th

More photos taken with the Voigtlander Bessa-L, this time without the faux black & white.

This photo makes perfectly clear how the Industar lens, made before advanced optical coatings were commonplace, is soft: the diffusion in the edges around the sky isn't due to any kind of post-production effect. The soviet lens does hold very well in the other pictures, though.

Steps Aug 2nd

Van Aug 2nd

Kiosk Aug 2nd

Tiling Aug 2nd

Mural Aug 2nd

Recently I bought a Voigtlander Bessa-L camera body, getting it for quite cheap at a used cameras shop here in Porto. I found it the kind of incredibly well-made object I had to own, but of course a camera body is useless without a lens, so I had to find one. Voigtlander has incredible wide-angle lenses for it, but at more than $500 that's more than I ever paid for one, even for my frequent use Canon DSLRs. I scoured eBay for cheap compatible Soviet lenses, and found a mint Industar-61 LD for $30. At 55mm, it's perhaps too narrow-angle for use with a finderless camera, but luckly I have the viewfinder from my Yashica Electro35 kit, with 38 and 58mm guides, so the final setup works like a charm, even if it looks like a retro mutant camera.

Since M39 (or LTM — Leica Thread Mount) lenses are incredibly expensive unless you go for the Soviet stuff, I'll also want to try a couple of M42 lenses I own, and perhaps stay on the lookout for a M42 wide-angle. If you plan on doing the same, beware though: you need a real M42 to M39 adapter, not the cheap stuff sold in kilograms on eBay. Since M42s are SLR lenses, in order to focus properly (or at all!) they need to sit much farther from the Bessa-L body than where a simple adapter would place them. The proper adapters will cost around $50 and are rare so you'll need to Google for them — just confirm they're around 2cm thick in order to compensate for the flange distance!

The Bessa-L having no finder means you have absolutely no way to focus other than estimating distances and dialing those in — which is yet another good reason to use a wide-angle lens. As I took my camera for a test walk I had to make do with what I had, though: an overcast day and the slow 100 ISO film (so I couldn't stop down the aperture much) made things even more difficult. Anyway, I'm pleased with the first results. The lens seems a bit soft but still better than expected considering how cheap it was, and the exposure metering seems almost as accurate as its reigning champion in my collection — the Electro35, with its analog rather than discrete shutter speeds (a feature which will always be on top of my digital camera wishlist). And I'm especially pleased I didn't make many focusing mistakes.

The Bessa-L is becoming my favourite film camera from my colection, even if using it is highly technical: that means serendipity is strong with this one.