At last Oscar is back and the first ‘real’ film that was not just some test shots is developed. Black and White of course!
I must say that the camera works beautifully, the wind mechanism is smooth as butter, the shutter sounds terrible great, satisfying even and everything feels like…. well like it must have felt 79 years ago when he saw the light of day in Wetzlar.
Of course I used the freshly CLA’d Summitar 5cm lens that has been perfectly calibrated to the camera now. Unfortunately, the lens has a scratch on the front element that should not be that deficient to image quality, unless it will induce some flare. Most of the haze has been cleared from it’s internal elements, but some was impossible to remove, so it’s not ideal. But it’s reasonably clean and very serviceable.
Nonetheless, the results are clean, sharp with just that nice hint of vintage look to them that I love from the Summitar. It’s an old lens and it shows just as it well should! If not, what good would a 1938 Leica IIIa with a 1952 lens be?
As I already said, shooting this camera might seem cumbersome. Focusing with the teeny tiny rangefinder window, composing with the equally tiny viewfinder…. all that might seem slow, might seem impossible to work fast.
But there are some things to be done about that! The rangefinder, now clean and shiny is really fast in use, and of course once you have found a vantage point you just pre-focus at f:8 or 11 and wait for your prey.
As for the viewfinder, I use an external finder I slide into the flash shoe of the camera. It’s a nice old piece of work with 35, 50 and 90mm frames you can clip onto the front.
It even has a rudimentary, manual parallax compensation!
Used this way, the Leica IIIa is a really enjoyable camera. What I like the most is that I’m not disturbed by any light meter! I just see a picture in the finder, I compose and I hit the shutter. That’s all!
As I pared down my camera stable those last days, restricting myself to the Leica, the Olympus Trip 35 and XA2 and my Canon A-1 has helped me gain some focus (pun intended). Indeed I’m not yet sure about the Canon….
But on to the pictures! Tourists have begun to appear again, driven out of their winter lairs by the spring sun and that makes it much easier to be inconspicuous with a camera. These guys were trying desperately to put a tiny digital camera in our Grand-Duchess’s hand to make her take a photo of them. Needless to say she was not very cooperative.
Blending in is what street photography is all about. Blending in and seeing the right things and being able to react instantly. I confess I have much to learn yet. But I’m applying myself, trying real hard.
Of course if the city of Luxembourg obliges with gorgeous displays like this one, I’m a happy camper!
Well, only thing that remains from this roll is another proof of the gorgeous vintage character of the Summitar. Is this now or is this the fifties?
And of course, the lens is not perfect. But flare can be an element of your photo.
All in all, this roll yielded about a dozen keepers (according to my low standards). Quite good I think. The next roll I’ll feed Oscar will be some Tri-X. I really want to see if I can’t get to grips with that one. Might it replace HP5 as my go-to film? We’ll see.
Thanks a lot for reading and looking at my photos!