I was recently gifted a Zeiss Ikon camera, it belonged to my colleague’s granddad so I was really moved that he decided to give it to me. He said that he would rather it be with someone who would use it and take care of it than be in his loft – which is where it had been living.
Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta 531/2:
Production period : 1936 to 1953
Format : 6 x 9 cm on 120 Film – 8 exposures
Novar 3.5/10.5 cm lens in a Compur shutter – Prewar lens
It turned out that the camera still had film in, and most likely from the 60s. I wound it all the way on and opened up the back to discover it was Kodak Verichrome Pan film.
Kodak Verichrome Pan
General purpose medium-speed (EI 125) panchromatic film that features extremely fine grain with excellent gradation and wide exposure latitude. This film has characteristics similar to those of KODAK PLUS-X Pan Professional Film, but does not have retouching surfaces.
Developing this film at home would be a fun challenge. My partner was really hoping for a murder mystery to come from this, I was just hoping to not find naked photos of my colleague’s grandparents.
There are some clear signs of ageing in these photos but overall I am happy with how they turned out. I was excited to find that there was anything on the negatives when I developed them. I was half expecting nothing to be there. The camera, after all, had been in a loft for many many years.
Do you have any experiences of finding old cameras with film in and discovering someone else’s life?
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