KOWA Super 66 owner - happy bunny

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Ezzie, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. Ezzie

    Ezzie Member

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    A relative of mine passed away many years ago and left me some old cameras. I thought not much of it at the time. Recently I´ve been enticed to start using film again, and dug out the old cameras. Whilst there wasn´t too much to be enthusiastic about, they did inspire me to put together a small system. A couple of the cameras were 120, which I thought would be a good starting point, seeing as I´d just built my own 4x5 camera with Graflok back and 120 roll film adapter.

    Buying a lens or two off ebay I managed to piece together this:

    Kowa Super 66 w/85f2.8
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    The Kowa w/150f3.5 and DIY grip
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    I first took the camera out with TMAX100 developed in TMAX developer:
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    But have since found out that this setup does a very nice job in combination with TMAX100 in Caffenol-C-H:
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    and not too bad with TMAX400 in the same Caffenol solution either, even if I´ve not got the development times just right (yet):
    [​IMG]

    This camera has really got my blood going, I´ve not had so much fun with a camera in ages. The 150 especially is a lens I can´t get enough of.

    One happy (medium sized) bunny
     
  2. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    I had sold my Kowa 66 system because I thought I needed a Hassy setup. Poor decision. While the build quality of the hassy bodies is better than the Kowa {although I never had an issue with the 66 after is was serviced by Mr. Ross), the lens quality is not.

    I miss the 40mm, and always wanted to use one of the Kowa 19mm lens.

    Mike
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2010
  3. Sim2

    Sim2 Subscriber

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    Nice to get a set-up that makes you happy about your photography - mice stuff with the caffenol dev. Enjoy the fun!

    Sim2.
     
  4. BobD

    BobD Member

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    Nice camera and beautiful pics.
     
  5. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    As above, nice camera and lovely photos!
     
  6. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Excellent camera and great pictures!

    Jeff
     
  7. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Nice, whats the weight like? Done any shooting @ f/2.8?

    I use an RB67, but considered upgrading to a RZ67 for the 110/2.8 but then thought I'd rather a second light weight (by comparison!) 120 camera with a f/2.8 lens.
     
  8. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

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    Fine example shots! May I ask how you toned them? Very elegant presentation, that.
     
  9. Ezzie

    Ezzie Member

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    Thank you for your kind comments, all of you:

    @Mikebarger: I´d also like to get my mits on a 19mm for just one day. I´ve only ever seen one on ebay, and it alone could fund the rest of a comprehensive Kowa system, and a probably a user Hassy backup system too:wink: Its as prohibitively expensive as it is rare.

    @Sim2: The Caffenol-C-H recipe I´m using has a weak compensation effect, drawing out shadow detail while holding back the highlights. Will result in less overall contrast, but makes for easy scanning and digital post-processing. Micro contrast and grain is very well controlled. I prefer it to the TMAX developer I´ve been using up until now.

    @Ahtirill: Haven´t actually weighed it and the lenses. And haven´t a Hassy or the likes to compare with. But its not light. The body with film back weighs slightly more than my D2x (I´d guess 3 pounds or so) and well over 4 pounds I´d estimate with 85mm attached. With the 160, another 10Oz or so. I´ve used it handheld, and ergonomically its quite nice to hold. I do however use it mostly on a tripod, and sometimes a monopod. Size wise I´ve been led to believe its bigger than a Hassy, a bit shorter, but quite a bit taller. This is probably down to the film back which is L shaped and tall, but not at all deep. Build wise it would seem that the most effort into the body, whereas the back is not quite as well finished. Especially the cover is a bit flimsy. What is nice though is the automatic black slide. It folds up at the same time as the mirror locks up. The SIX MM version has a MLU button, whereas the SIX and the Super 66 do not. On these you can use the self timer to perform MLU, as it locks the mirror up prior to counting down for exposure. I can´t say I´ve noticed much shake from the mirror, but then again I use a tripod for the most part.

    @Phaedrus: The Caffenol process may give a slight tone in itself, but more likely with stand development, than with agitated. Mine show no tinting as such. Toning is done on the digital TIFF file in post processing (Apple Aperture). I add a very subtle tone, a light golden toning. I prefer this to straight black and white which for web purposes often comes out slightly blueish.
     
  10. Ezzie

    Ezzie Member

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    @Athiril

    Regarding f2.8: I´ve not used the 85mm much as its been away for a CLA, and certainly not wide open. I think I´ve only one example to choose from.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    Nice kit, and some nice results.
     
  12. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    There's nothing like being happy with what you have :smile: .
     
  13. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I had a pair of Super 66's and a handful of lenses that I shot portraits and weddings with into the mid 80's. One of my biggest regrets was parting with them, enjoy yours.
     
  14. Ezzie

    Ezzie Member

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    Thank you people. The 85 came back the other day. It and the 150 will be getting a workout later in the week I hope.
     
  15. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    The 85mm is a gem wide open as well as stopped down. Here is a sample from the super 66 that I had.
    I was very happy with the quality. The finder is quite amazing.

    i sold it because I had a hard time loading it and I like the side focussing of the Bronica S and Mamiya RB67 better.
    However I miss the square format. I will be going back to the Kowa or a 'blad soon.

    This is my wife and I.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Ezzie

    Ezzie Member

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    I´m unsure about the 85mm. I´m not sure it focuses to infinity. I´ve not yet tempted fate and taken landscape pictures focused at infinity with a large aperture (f2.8 or f4) with low DoF, but I do seem to notice the lens markings are not correct. Compared to the 150mm and other camera/lens combinations it reaches infinity much earlier. The markings are also off at close distances, e.g. 4ft when other lenses say 3ft. I´ve measured these cases and found the distance to be 3ft. Stopped down at infinity it would seem to be quite OK. Anybody had similar experiences with their 85mm?

    85mm, f16, focused at infinity:
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Ezzie

    Ezzie Member

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    Nice.

    Yes, for someone unaccustomed to MF the finders on these SLR´s are fantastic. I would suspect the Kowa is not a bad representative for the species.
     
  18. Ezzie

    Ezzie Member

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    Ah well, I´ll keep the 85mm as it is. I´ve not got the focus wrong on it yet, at anything f5.6 and above. Its pretty sharp, though I´ve heard its not the best Kowa MF lens, its good enough for me. A few examples (click the bar to enlarge, you´ll need it):

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