So I got myself an Ikoflex

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by pstake, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. pstake

    pstake Member

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    I had been peeping Ikoflex porn on the web for many months, usually just before bed while my girlfriend browsed Pinterest. And when she'd ask me what I was looking at, I would turn red and say, "oh just camera stuff."

    Now, after all that "research," I've got one on the way.

    It's a pre-war II/III, handpicked for its pedestrian Triotar lens.

    I've fancied myself a lens snob for some time and I view it as a sign of maturity that I settled on the character of the uncoated triplet over the more fashionable Tessar variant.

    I'm not entirely new to medium format. Once, a long time ago, I used a Pentax 67 for about a year. But I have made probably 20x the number of 35mm negatives that I have medium format negatives and at least that many prints. I eventually traded my Pentax 67 gear for a Contax S2 setup. My introduction to Contax and Zeiss.

    And that, as they say, was that. It was 35mm only, from that point forward.

    So, this Ikoflex en route to me marks the beginning of a new era. I already have a freezer full of expired 120 film, a lot of Plus-X and TMY plus some color E-6 that I got for a dollar a roll, right out the freezer of a pro who retired locally. And I have an Omega c67 that's with a dust cover draped over it, sitting patiently in my darkroom.

    Anyway, I am excited.

    And I finally told my girlfriend what I had been doing every night before bed. She was nonplussed, bordering on disinterested.
     
  2. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

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    What exactly attracted you to the triplet? I have a mint Yashica D that I'm hesitating getting rid of because A) it's so clean and B) it has the Yashikor lens vs. my girlfriend's 'Cord which has a Xenar. Scan of some long-expired TX is attached.
     

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  3. pstake

    pstake Member

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    I like that there crazy bokee.

    I recently sold my Planar 50 1.4, which I used if I was ever asked to produce professional portraits (this happened once — by my sister-in-law, who mostly didn't want to pay someone). Ninety-nine percent of my shooting is candids, street ... so if I want to do portraits, I usually have time, and medium format is better suited. And that crazy bo-kee is perfect for portraits. IMHO...that photo of the tree is great. I think you ought to consider keeping you're Yashica.

    An aside... in my first college photography class, I wasn't entirely new to photography but close to it. I was using a Canon Rebel my dad had got me for Christmas a few years earlier. There was a kid in class who was using a Yashica with the Yashikor, and when it came to crit time, I always admired the images he had — and this image reminds me of that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2013
  4. Chrismat

    Chrismat Subscriber

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    Ikoflexes are nice cameras. Some people don't like the way film is loaded on an Ikoflex compared to a Rollei or a Yashica but it never bothered me at all. I've used a couple of the tessar versions and got great results. The triotar lens should be fine for the use you have stated.
     
  5. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Good luck with your Ikoflex.

    Jeff
     
  6. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    IIRC from reading his biography, Gene Smith preferred Ikoflexes to Rolleis. I've got a couple of them; the one thing that I didn't like so much was that the focusing knob seems less well attached than are those on Rolleis. Of course, it's the photo that matters, not the focusing knob so much. I'm sure you'll enjoy yours.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I had an early Rolleicord with a Triotar and it was an interesting lens, much more capable than some suggest. Very nice for portraits, I used up the last of the old E4 film a friend gave me with mine, we'd already switched to E6 commercailly , the results were wonderful. So have fun.

    Ian
     
  8. pstake

    pstake Member

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    Do you by chance have any scans from the E-4 with the Triotar you can post? I would love to see. I bet they were terrific!
     
  9. ToddB

    ToddB Member

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    Sounds awesome.. Got a picture of it? Love to see it.

    Todd
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's unlikely, they have been in storage for over 30 years and I don't often scan smaller formats.

    Ian
     
  11. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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  12. pstake

    pstake Member

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    Thanks, Thomas. I have been there but, unfortunately, this exact model is not included among the manuals available. I believe this is the II/III aka 852/16 ...

    I spent some time today, playing with it, running through its knobs and levers, etcetera ... and while everything moves smoothly and is cosmetically gorgeous, the shutter doesn't respond when I try to tension it (lever below the taking lens) ... also the viewfinder is pretty dim. I'm assuming it needs a new mirror.

    I got this at a low-enough price, knowing there was a good chance it would need some work. The seller got it from a gentleman who served in the war and brought this back from Germany, then kept it in his home and never used it for the next 65 years, stored in its case in the dry, West Texas climate in a temperature-controlled home.

    I'm surprised at how smooth and fluid the focus knob is, actually, all things considered. But not a lot of throw on the focus. Goes out 10 meters then infinity.

    The build quality is quite good, just like everyone says. I really like how compact it is.

    photo (9).JPG

    photo (10).JPG
     
  13. Chrismat

    Chrismat Subscriber

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    Are saying the shutter tension lever doesn't move or it moves but then the shutter doesn't fire? You might want to to set the film counter to 1 by turning the film counter wheel (right side of camera in front of the focusing knob). That may allow you to fire the shutter.

    Chris
     
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  15. pstake

    pstake Member

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    The shutter lever moves but it doesn't do anything and there's no resistance when you move it, althought it does spring back to its original position.

    Tried setting the frame counter to 1 and i got nothin'
     
  16. Chrismat

    Chrismat Subscriber

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    You might want to contact Mark Hansen a twww.zeissikonrolleirepair.com. I haven't used him yet, but I've got a couple of Ikoflexes that I hope to send to him eventually.

    Chris
     
  17. pstake

    pstake Member

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    The information at this Flickr page is what I needed: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29504544@N08/3536488812/ ... this is about the 1b, but the same applies to this camera, which I confirmed over at the ZICG is an 852/16 Ikoflex II.

    I depressed the frame counter and turned it counter clockwise until it stopped. Then the film advance knob would turn only to a certain point and stop. The red indicator showed next to the viewfinder and the shutter-tension lever tensioned the shutter normally, after which the shutter release worked as well.

    The fast speeds actually seem close. The slow speeds less so. 1/2 second is closer to 1 second and 1 second is closer to 2 seconds ... but 1/50 and up seem useable.

    It's probably worth noting that all of this was possible even with the viewfinder hood closed.
     
  18. momus

    momus Member

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    The Novar lenses on these are excellent performers. Very sharp even wide open, and their IQ is really good. I don't know anything about swirley bokeh, mine has nice, smooth bokeh. If you go on the big auction site you should be able to find a replacement mirror for it. If your searches don't come up w/ one, try searching for "ciroflex replacement mirror". Martin sells those, and he can cut a mirror for your camera to spec. He already has the specs for the Voigtlander Brillant and Ikoflex TKR's because I measured them and sent them to him. The mirrors that he sent me worked perfectly in both my cameras, and were the correct thickness.

    Congratulations on your purchase. The Ikoflex cameras are quite quirky and under appreciated. The lenses are great, but they are certainly heavy cameras. If you get a good strap, no problem, and w/ a good mirror and the focus screen cleaned up (the top can be wiped w/ a clean damp rag, but be careful on the bottom. Just give it a good brush w/ a soft bristled paint brush to remove dirt) they are easy to focus.
     
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  19. pstake

    pstake Member

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    Momus, this one definitely has a dim viewfinder. Everything else works well. I'm going to get it CLA'd by Clarence Gass, who is fairly local to me. I'm hoping he can replace or have resilvered the mirror and I plan to get a new, brighter ground glass from Rick Oleson.


    Here are two photos from the first two rolls

    HP5+ in Rodinal/stand dev. Wide-open f3.5 1/30 handheld

    img050_1.jpg


    FP4+ in rodinal / stand dev. Wide open 1/2 sec with a makeshift tri-pod
    img052_1.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2013
  20. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    Here is my Ikoflex with a Tessar:
    IMG_0095.jpg
     
  21. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Pstake ,

    I liked your first Picture very much , you must try with kodak , same Picture. You would not believe your eyes , how the colors elegant and strong.

    Take care ,

    Umut
     
  22. pstake

    pstake Member

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    13680006.jpg

    Thanks Umut ... I took your advice tried some color ... this was taken on Portra 160 that expired in 2007, exposed at f5.6, metering for iso 125, and processed and scanned by The Darkroom (Apug sponsor!). I don't know their workflow but I myself did not do any post processing.

    Anyway, I really like this camera/lens for portraits. It's just as I had hoped.
     
  23. elekm

    elekm Member

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    The Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex is unique in one respect. For many of its cameras, each model looked markedly visually different from the model that it replaced.

    The Zeiss Triotar is a well designed triplet. I've been pleased with the results from this lens. In fact, recently I picked up a Rolleicord with a coated Triotar, although I'm in the midst of a household move so I haven't yet had a chance to shoot it.

    I like what you've done with this lens.
     
  24. pstake

    pstake Member

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    Thanks, Mike. I have really just been running quick tests with it. It's getting overhauled now and when it comes back, I hope to make some "real" photos with it.
     
  25. JPD

    JPD Member

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    Fine camera, and I'm sure you will enjoy it for many years after the overhaul. The Triotar is one of my favorite lenses, and I have it on 7 or 8 Rolleicords.
     
  26. belfastdispatcher

    belfastdispatcher Member

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    I got one of these recently, my first MF camera. Came with a sticky shutter but I unscrewed the lens, gave the blades a good clean with cotton buds soaked in lens cleaner, gave it some heat with a hair drier and it's now perfect. Lens cleaner got in the lens behind the shutter but I opened up the aperture, put it in B mode and was able to clean it out.

    My favourite camera by far. [​IMG][​IMG]


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