Zeiss Ikon Rangefinder with Kodak Gold 400

I love shooting with film! There is a certain charm to the photos that’s hard to describe but you know its just there. Add to that the fact that there’s no way of reviewing the photos and one can only see the photos a few days or sometimes even weeks later. The whole surprise factor adds that special something.

Fair, Hong Kong

Scary stuff!

I bought the Zeiss Ikon some time back. The first roll was a disaster because I did not know how to load it properly. My only previous experience with film cameras was the Contax G2. And in the Contax you don’t need to slot the film into the spool, just around it. Did not realise that loading the Zeiss Ikon was like loading medium format cameras. This happened a couple of time and so I got kind of frustrated and put it away. Returned to it a few weeks back and loaded some inexpensive Kodak Gold 400 film in it.

Fair, Hong Kong

Now, to my eyes, there is no such thing as poor film. Yet, I was not expecting this film to be all that nice. But I was really quite pleasantly surprised. The colors are quite vivid and contrast is pretty good. To get the best contrast I rated the film for 200 when I shot (much easier to to pull highlights from film in Lightroom) than push shadows.

Transport, Hong Kong

I used the Zeiss Biogon 35mm f2 lens for Leica M mount cameras. It’s such a wonderful lens. While, I love my Leica 35 Summilux ASPH, I think the Zeiss does have slightly higher contrast and pop.

Fair, Hong Kong

So, how did I find the Zeiss Ikon? In a nutshell, wonderful! I bought it because I really did not want to spend a lot more on a Leica M6 or M7 and a few reviews said that the Zeiss was just as good. I still have not used either the M6 or M7, so cannot comment on those but the Zeiss is very good. The rangefinder patch for focusing could perhaps be slightly better defined. In very bright light or in darker conditions with low contrast, I sometimes struggle nailing focus but in general it works out ok and its probably my own inexperience.


The shots above are really more like snapshots since I was just trying to make sure that the camera works! I am now looking forward to loading some more film in the camera and go out and try to make some better photos.

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