As a member of the rather fine Rangefinder forum have been taking part in a One Camera One Lens Challenge. This involves using only one camera with a fixed focal length for a period of two weeks. This provides a discipline that I and I suspect many other members of the forum rarely indulge in. I can move from digital to 5×4, from Nikon to Bronica all in the space of one day. So to use exclusively for two weeks, just one camera and lens is indeed something of a challenge.
For my part after much agonising I chose a camera I have had sitting on the shelf for at least a year. My research shows it to be a Rolleicord I Model 2 from 1936 making it the oldest camera I own. I bought it despite already owning a Rolleiflex 3.5F because it was going cheap as the owner wasn’t sure if it was working. When it arrived I dismantled it thinking it would die in my fumbling hands but it was of such stunning simplicity that even I couldn’t screw it up. I think I just gave it a clean and mumbled a few incantations and back to life it came.. I put a couple of rolls through but couldn’t figure out how to wind on the film correctly and became dispirited. I came across it recently and it always gets me thinking as I hold it, what pictures it may have taken in its life. This time I bothered to Google “loading a rolleicord” and photo.net provided the answer. As this coincided with the Rangefinder challenge I decided it would be my chosen camera for the next two weeks.
I’m about half way through the challenge now and I’ve shot about 5 rolls of Ilford HP5+, all around Penarth and the Pier. Only got about six shots on the first roll because of a quirk involving the counter. It will not count if I am focused on infinity when I wind Judging by the first roll, the film still winds but because the numbers don’t move you have no idea where to stop. I’m not sure this is a result of my fixing or just the way it works. Anyway since understanding this everything has been grand and I’m getting 12 lovely 6×6 frames per roll. One of the rolls has some creases in the film which is a pain and I’m not sure if that was an in camera or processing fault.
I’ve been developing them in Xtol 1+1 8mins @21 degrees and then scanning at 1200 on an Epson V700. I messed about in PhotoshopCS2 and Lightroom 2.2 last night and by midnight had discovered portrait/landscape cropping option of the 6×6 frame. Anyway here are some of the shots I’ve been messing about so far.
I have discovered that the Rolleicord is very unobtrusive and have taken more people pictures than I would have expected. I like this but I wish I hadn’t crashed the bench into the bottom of the frame. The Rolleicord screen is somewhat darker than the Rolleiflex and in certain lighting conditions I’ve found it difficult to frame.
Who can resist a reflection in a puddle.
I discovered I could put the Rolleicord down and gain stabilty.
Took this yellow lines in the same vein
Hope to shoot a few more rolls yet and at least the process is teaching me to use Lightroom and the dark art that is scanning negatives.
Thats me done.