Week Six

December 13, 2016

Week 6      The Zeiss Ikon Nettar

Russells choice of the Nettar was an interesting one for me as I owned a Zeiss Ikon myself in the Ikoflex. There were some similarities I was keen to check out. If you don't know the Ikoflex it is a TLR, my model from around 1937. This Nettar, a little pocket folder (not that little) was from 1951/3. Both running 120mm 6x6 frames and the same (I assume no difference) novar lens. Obvious difference, aside from the folding single lens, was the Nettar having an eye level viewer and being a range finder.

Learning from my previous lessons of rushing in blindly I took it home and searched what I could about it to give myself a fair crack. It was mostly positive and straight forward. I gave it a good clean as it was pretty dusty but all working parts seemed to do what they should. Once more we were at the start of FP4Party shoot week so I had already made my mind up it was joining in! FP4+ loaded ready for morning

I awoke to darkness and the light levels were awful! With an aperture only opening to F6.3 coupled with my chosen asa 125 I was already in trouble. I agreed with a review I had read that the uncoated Novar lens was pretty good anywhere over F8! I shot a couple on day one but gave up and fell back on working party shots on my Yashica. Day 2 I had limited time but an hour of brightness gave me a chance to work it and all seemed ok and I was going to get away with it. From that point on we were surrounded by fog, a fog that stayed right to the bitter end! I decided to just work through it, having, for some unfathomable reason decided to shoot expired FP4 in the Yashi needing rating at asa 64 both my cameras would struggle, so clutching a tripod I set of for the river under the bridges at Saltash passage. I shot the Yashica on the tripod but kept true to the pocket camera status with the Nettar occasionally utilizing the handy flat base the folding plate offered.

How did it work out? Well, as you can see from the images not too bad at all! Yes, some I am on or just below the limit of the camera but it gave it's best for what it is. When the light was good enough it performed well and I mostly enjoyed it. The eye level viewer was not my preferred way of taking 6x6s but I have been spoilt with my TLRs. The lens is not razor sharp but has I quality really like and impressive for a camera a 10th of the price of many “super sharp” cameras. There was a LOT of dust mind you, the folding in and out clearly moved a lot of dust vacuum style around the folding obscura box! ………one more lesson learned! Clean, then clean it again!

Good camera, no issues I didn't cause. I didn't love it but I liked it.

Click on the camera to see photos taken by Ashley

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