photos from my "new" Zeiss Ikon Nettar 515/16

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by gatewaycityca, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. gatewaycityca

    gatewaycityca Member

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    I bought a Zeiss folding camera (Zeiss Ikon Nettar 515/16) on eBay about maybe a month or so ago. It's just been sitting in my closet, but a few days ago I finally decided to load it with film and test it out. :smile:

    First of all, I really like having a 120 6x6 format camera that's small and lightweight. LOL...I have to say it, this thing is "cute." It looks like a "minature" folding camera. It's completely manual and has all the benefits of using 120 roll film, but it feels like a light 35mm camera. I feel like I could carry it anywhere. It's even more fun to use than I thought it would be. I should have put something else in the picture as a reference, just to show how small it is. But most of you are probably familiar with this camera anyway. You can almost fit it in one hand. (Sorry about the crappy picture of the camera, I just took with it my cheap P&S digital camera.)

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    I was also really surprised at how sharp it is. I was not expecting that at all. With a small aperture, it takes razor sharp pictures, and I was amazed at how sharp everything is in the background. I have another Zeiss Ikon Nettar (6x9 format) and it takes pictures that are kind of soft and with very low contrast. Even focused at infinity and with a long depth of field, it still takes pictures that have kind of a "dreamy" look to them. But this camera seems to take super sharp pictures. It could compare to my Yashica A, which I consider to be the best 120 camera I have.

    I took these pictures in a field that's near where I live. The funny thing is that this is in the middle of a city. There are a few parts in the north end of the city that are still undeveloped and you can see traces of what used to be a rural area. You would never believe that there was a busy street right behind me. :smile:

    I had a great time walking through the fields, taking quiet landscape photos and pretending I was somewhere else. Southern California is too crowded and it's nice to find places like this and escape once in a while.

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    I have no idea where this narrow dirt road goes, or what the wooden archway is for. It's always been there, as far back as I can remember. I've lived here for 15 years and it's always been there. I'm wondering if there used to be a ranch or something here at one time, and maybe this was the entrance way. I've been by this a million times and I've always wanted to get a picture of. I finally did. I'll have to do some research on local history and find out what the story is to this.

    oh, by the way, yes I did also post this on Photo.net if any of you are over there. Hey, it's not cross-posting if it's on a different website. I'm all over the internet :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2009
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Me too. My 6x6 Nettar is sharp (my 6x6 Ansco is even sharper) but my 6x9 Nettar is also slightly soft.


    Steve.
     
  3. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    The triplet Novar lens is capable of sharp rendition even in 35mm.
    I'll wager that if you check the focus in the 6x9 with a groundglass you will find it needs a focus adjustment.
    Mark
     
  4. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    It's clearly the Toll Booth from "Blazing Saddles" :D:D:D

    Nice piece of gear BTW.

    Bob H
     
  5. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Good camera and excellent photos!

    Jeff
     
  6. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I have the very similar 516/16, and it's one of my favourite cameras. The Novars are underappreciated, I think, though I gather there's a lot of variation among them. I guess it makes sense that the sharpness of the triplet would break down more at the edges of the larger 6x9 format.

    The arch sure looks like an old ranch entrance to me. Your rural corners of Southern California look a lot like mine---I feel like those of us who know these little enclaves have sort of a duty to document them while they're still there to see.

    -NT
     
  7. gatewaycityca

    gatewaycityca Member

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    I definitely agree with you about that! I live in San Bernardino, by the way. And it seems like every bit of open land is disappearing around me. It seems like everywhere I look, they're carving up the land to build homes and warehouses. So when I find an area of open land, where you can still see a bit of natural landscape or an area that reflects some of the local history, I love to try to capture the feeling of it in a picture. Who knows, in another 5 or 10 years or so, there might be a parking lot where I took these pictures. There are still some areas in northern San Bernardino where you can see traces of where older settlements used to be. In fact, until recently, there were even a few vineyards left.

    So that's kind of what I try to do...capture a view of a disappearing rural landscape right smack in the middle of a city. It's also kind of my way of escaping, I guess. Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong decade!
     
  8. ironwoodca

    ironwoodca Member

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    I love the photos. I too have a Nettar 515/16 which I inherited. I also got some film and I am getting ready to load the camera. My question - Is there any special way to load the film, such as match a mark?
     
  9. mablo

    mablo Member

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    Ironwoodca, see that red window in the back. Close the camera, open the window and wind until you see number "1" in the backing paper. It seems to take forever when you do it for the first time. Note that some el cheapo Chinese films lack the numbering.

    I have a Ikonta 521/16 with Tessar lens. It's quite low contrast but sharp enough for me. I load it once in a blue moon and take a roll just for fun. My other folder, a Bessa 46, I haven't even loaded yet.
     
  10. ironwoodca

    ironwoodca Member

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    Hi Mablo,

    Thanks for the reply. Now I am ready to go. I also have an Agfa Billy Record to try as well.
    But that is for later.