First Red Window camera - can I shoot colour? ( Specifically, aZeiss Ikon Ercona)

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by LJH, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Probably one of the most basic questions I've asked on any forum, so please go easy!

    I have just purchased a Zeiss Ikon Ercona I. It differs from my other 120 film cameras (6x17cm panoramic) in that it has a the old red window.

    So, here's the easy question:

    Can I run 120 colour film through this?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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  3. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Such a sesquipedalian response!! (Seriously, though, many thanks, Ian).
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    If the red light coming through the window could ruin colour film, it would also ruin modern black and white film which is also sensitive to red.

    The backing paper on the film is what blocks the light.

    It is good advice to not allow direct bright sunlight to enter the window but quite often I have to hold my cameras in bright light just to see the numbers on the paper (especially with Ilford film) and I have not had any problems.


    Steve.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There's usuall a light seal betwen the camera's back and the film pressure plate around the red window area, if that's OK there should ne no problems.

    My 6x17 camera has a plain window, no red filter, and I've never had a problem even when I've forgotten to close it, and that was in the constant sunlight on the Aegean coast.

    Steve makes a good point, it's almost impossible to see the nunbering on Ilford 120 films through the red filter on my Zeiss Ikonta.

    Ian
     
  6. LJH

    LJH Member

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    That was what I was basing my thoughts around. Both of my 6x17s don't have the window, and I, too, have had no issue (even in midday summer sun in outback Australia).

    This question shows me just how good film photography is. I'm happy shooting a ULF sheet film camera, but such a basic question stumps me based on a 60 year old roll film camera. Viva l'analogue!!

    Thanks again for the advice.
     
  7. coigach

    coigach Subscriber

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    Totally agree - it's a real b*gger on my Fotoman 6x17 in low light. Ilford films seem much more difficult to read than other films I've used unfortunately.
     
  8. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    To expand on this good advise... stick with slow film. In my experience: At 200 ASA light leak is possible and at 400 it is probable.
     
  9. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber

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    Interesting. I suspect that depends on the condition of the camera. I have successfully used Kodak Portra 800, Fuji Pro 400H and Kodak Tri-X in my Zeiss Ikon Ercona 1, and some of my other folders as well, with no evidence of light leaks.
     
  10. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    if u are are all worried, a piece of black electrical tape used as a temporary seal will give you reassurance ...
     
  11. coigach

    coigach Subscriber

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    Yep, I know that. Doesn't help me see the faint Ilford numbers at dusk half way up a mountain making landscape photos though...:whistling:
     
  12. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Perhaps, but it depends more on the film's backing paper and the intensity of the light the red window was exposed to. For example, I've had more light leak through Fuji paper than Kodak. My camera has a metal slide that completely darkens the red window when not in use and I've experience "red smears" on color film intermittently on the same roll of film so I tend to believe that it is a simple exposure concern than anything more systematic.
     
  13. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber

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    Red Streaks

    I have never seen that on any of my Ercona 1 images. I wonder if that indicates that the film is not staying flat on your film rails, or perhaps there is not enough pressure exerted by the back on the film?
     
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  15. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    The back shouldn't exert any pressure on the film. It's springs hold it against a couple of rails which are just slightly higher than the film's thickness leaving a gap for the film to pass through.


    Steve.
     
  16. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    That may be so, Steve. But the difference between Pioneer's experience and mine is that he/she may simply be a lot more skilled than am I when advancing frames in a red-window camera!
     
  17. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Well, the camera finally arrived (after 9 weeks and one PayPal dispute. Long and boring story)...

    Okay - next basic question:

    How do I mount filters on the 105mm f3.5 Tessar? It doesn't seem to have a thread. Do I need push-on filters? Again, sorry if this is a basic question, but this is my first foray with this type of camera.
     
  18. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Most likely, yes.

    Two words more than Ian, I know, but he has been practising more than I have.
     
  19. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Thanks, Matt (I did get a bit bored with all of the detail in your response, but I think that I got the drift by reading between the line!)

    Now, just have to find out where to get these filters. I feel a bit naked without a deep orange filter...
     
  20. Jojje

    Jojje Member

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  21. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I have an Ercona II with the CZJ Tessar lens. There is a deep groove in the front of the barrel that seems to fit a 37mm push-on. I have never been able to find an actual manual for the camera, so I don't know what the official recommendation is. I believe a 40.5 mm push-on might fit over the knurled outer portion of the barrel. I have also read that with at least of some of the Zeiss Ikonta flavors, that rough texture that looks like knurling actually has a thread cut through it that takes a really, really rare sunshade with a female thread. But of course, that's the wrong sex to accept 99.99% of the normally available filters. I also get the impression that 37 mm push-on stuff is rare and expensive because it fits the Bessa II which falls into collector's item pricing.

    I have accumulated a few 37mm push-ons, but I find they are pretty un-handy fitting into that groove, and not very solidly anchored, in my opinion. I also have a rig to put Series 6 filters in a push-on adapter, using a sunshade as a retainer. It works, but I had to chuck the adapter in a lathe and thin down the clamping tabs a bit. Mayhaps one of these days I'll splurge on a 40.5/41 mm push-on item and see how it fits. Even the Series type filters and fittings go back so far they are requiring a bit of patience to find.

    Someone a while back pointed me to an instruction booklet for a Zeiss Ikonta 523/2 at the David Reichert site that is very close to the Ercona, but it talks about 40.5 mm screw-in and 42 mm push-on and that doesn't quite jibe with my Ercona. It would be great if someone among the 59K APUGgers had some official word on these cameras.
     
  22. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Many thanks for both of these posts!

    I had a good look at the lens yesterday and saw the groove. Thanks for confirming that it's 37mm. Guess I'm off to search for some 37mm push on filter.

    Again, thanks for the info.
     
  23. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I would suggest getting just one and seeing how you like fitting it on and off before jumping in too deeply. Some of the push-ons have little curved fingers that are oriented around the circumference and the little S-bend in the finger can hang up trying to push it into that relatively narrow groove. I tweaked the fingers a bit, and the stuff is usable but fiddly. There are several slightly different mechanical designs, some probably better than others, but my limited experience is finding any filters at all is enough of a challenge. I'm still wondering if something that slips over the outside of the barrel might be easier to work with -- and maybe more secure. That's one reason I was hoping more than two of us might have some information!

    A secure fit seems desirable; my biggest fear is paying $80 for an Authenticke Voigtländer lens hood and watching it sail off into a 120 foot waterfall! :blink: (Actually hell will freeze over before I spend that on a lens hood!)
     
  24. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    The Series filter adapter is the way to go. Sure, the tabs can be fiddly to adjust but once adjusted they tend to stay that way unless tweeked really hard (or dropped and stepped on). The tabs were desinged to be adjustable plus/minus half-a-millimeter. When adjusting just make sure they are alighed well. If it looks "snaggle-toothed" it will be a source of irritation forever. There is still a guy on ebay that has a good supply. But patience is the name of the game. I use Series adapters/filters/hoods on three or four of my older cameras and couldn't be more satisfied.
     
  25. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    The original 37mm Zeiss or Voigtländer yellow, green, uv, etc filters are easy to be found on ebay.de for reasonable price.
    Those filters fit Zeiss and Voigtländer 37mm pretty tight and I usually mount a push-on hood on them as well - its safe.
    As for a hood, You can go with the Chinese 37mm metal vented Lens Hood that goes for under 10 dollars. They are easy to modify if needed.
    DWThomas is spot on that the original hoods for those cameras might command high prices, such is life.
     
  26. Argenticien

    Argenticien Member

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    It seems like this area of design needed some standards policing back in the day (maybe even still today) and none was/is forthcoming, or if it was there, someone did a right poor job of it. I understand that a Leitz 50/3.5 Elmar and an Olympus OM 180/2 need materially different filter diameters :smile:, and that's fine. But when a lot of lenses that are about the same size use a bewildering variety of 39mm, 40mm, 40.5mm, 41mm, push-on vs. screw-on, etc., that is annoying. If only someone could have herded the manufactures into a few agreed standard sizes available every few mm! Such as, if your lens was going to be small enough to take a 39, 40, or 40.5 filter, make it take a screw-on 41; this would not have made the difference between a camera being pocketable vs. not. I suppose B+W, Tiffen, Hoya, et al. prefer the current confusio filterum situation.
    --Dave