Saturday, September 13, 2008

Spartus Vanguard

This camera is one of those I picked up at a yard sale and never really got around to try out.

However it is a sturdy little lightweight camera and well it looks kind of neat on the shelve until the day where I can get a hold of the right film and have plenty of time to try it out.

This is the Spartus Vanguard produced by Herold Mfg. Co. of Chicago. Originally the Spartus was manufactured by Utility Manufacturing company of New York but was bought by Spartus in 1941 and moved to Chicago. In 1951 the company's head of sales (Harold Rubin) bought the company and renamed it to Herold Mfg. Co. and manufactured a long line of spartus cameras with a distinctive styling.

You can find more info on the Filigree Garden blog and

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ikonta 35 - Contina I

One of the first cameras I was running around with (not really my first but pretty close) was the Zeiss Ikonta 35 Contina I. It started out as Ikonta 35 but was later renamed Contina I and followed by... well not really rocket science the Contina II.

I got this one as a gift from family so I am pretty lucky with this one. Not that it's worth a fortune since a lot of them were produced. But lucky because it takes some very nice photos in a good quality.

A little tech on the one I have: Zeiss model number 522/24, Model 35 manufactured in 1952. The camera is equipped with a 45 mm Novar f3.4 lens and a Prontor-SV shutter.
More info here.

Here is a photo of the set with the camera folded:

And one with the camera ready for action (well if there were film in it):

As you may have noticed the carrying case is the original Zeiss eveready case model number 1213/24 which is very functional and gives instant access to the camera when needed and protects it pretty good.

Another little gem is the Zeiss Ikophot exposure meter. This meter is an early model operating on selenium and as such doesn't require batteries. So it is working as good today as when it was produced. Which btw. is pretty darn good. It matches my newer meter in precision so they sure did something right when engineering it. I am not really sure that my new meter will work at all in 50 years from now.

Some more techi stuff on the Ikonta 35.

The camera is a compact folding camera manufactured by Zeiss Ikon of Stuttgart Germany. It is designed for general amateur photography and snapshot photos. The first Ikonta 35 was manufactured in 1948 and renamed to Contina I in 1953 even though the design didn't change. The Ikonta 35 was made available with a variety of lens and shutter combinations. Other than the Novar f/3.5 found on mine it was also sold with a Xenar f/2.8 and Tessar f/2.8 lenses and either a prontor or compur shutter.

The camera is using standard 35 mm film. I used black and white ilford fp4 with great success. I developed negatives as well as positives and it seems like with this camera my hit rate would increase significantly.
It seems like all photos come out nice and sharp and in the rare occasion of a blurry photo it would be my doing due to camera shake or tilting.

(D x H x L) are 41 x 72 x 118 mm and it weighs 454 g.

I used a few accessories with the camera. I got the lens hood (Zeiss no 1110) and a yellow filter which is very good for increasing contrast when shooting black and white film.

Going through the features and thinking about how many times I have used the camera in the past kind of makes me want to get a hold of a load of film and start using it again. There is just that something about developing the negatives and going into the darkroom to create the photos. Or maybe it's just the red light and fumes getting to your head ;-).