What a good buy the old Zeiss Ikon is proving to be. As a walkabout camera it takes a bit of beating - fairly lightweight, compact when folded and capable of producing very nice results from its (one!) 75mm Tessar lens.
I've been using it a lot more than I thought I would and loving every minute with it. Being a rangefinder, it gives me pretty much the same problem as all other rangefinders: it's difficult seeing the field of view with glasses on. My method is to focus with specs on and then take them off for the final, somewhat blurry, composition.
I'm hoping this lack of clarity at the vital moment of releasing the shutter is responsible for the bloody annoying left-leaning tilt I'm still getting. The pics on this page weren't too bad from that point of view but the latest film I've developed from the Super Ikonta - I'll post some results in a few days - had some hellish horizons. What makes it worse was that I was making a real effort to keep the horizons level! Maybe one leg has suddenly become shorter than the other, or something.
The first pic at the top is another view of Forter Castle in Glenisla. You'll maybe recognise it from a couple of similar pics I've posted previously. This is my first medium format shot of it and the snow makes it a little different from the others.
This (above) is an early morning shot I took just north of Dundee. It was a little frosty, one of those hard, crisp days that make life worthwhile in the middle of winter. The light was lovely and I hid the sun behind the tree to stop it dominating the scene. There's a dry stone dyke nearby that I climbed over whilst on the hunt for other pics. Here's what I found:
There was a full set of clubs in the bag and some balls. Bizarre. I know that secondhand golf clubs don't have a great value these days but chucking them over a wall instead of selling them or giving them away is just weird. Maybe the owner had just had the round from hell and his temper got the better of him. They're probably still there as there aren't too many of us dyke hurdlers around.
Reminds me of a story about a well-known, club-throwing pro from the 1950s and '60s called Tommy "Thunder" Bolt. It was the last hole of a difficult round and Bolt had a second shot of about 120 yards to the pin. His caddy handed him a 1 iron. "What the hell are you giving me a 1 iron for," asked an angry Bolt. "It's the only club we've got left, boss," was the reply. Incidentally, Bolt grumbled away to the ripe old age of 92, "nursing his wrath to keep it warm", to mis-quote Burns.
On the way home from Glenisla we stumbled across one of those dreich, dismal shots I like. Doesn't look too hospitable, does it? I love these scenes - the puddle makes a more interesting foreground than a ploughed field and the low-lying cloud on the hills adds a bit of mystery and moodiness. Looking at these pics must make you think I'm some sort of intrepid hill walker but they were all taken no more than 20 yards from the car.
Another shot from the Glenisla trip, a nice, gentle one this time. Not much to say about this except that I didn't even have to walk 20 yards - I was leaning on the bonnet.
The final Glenisla pic. Come to think of it, I had to park the car and walk about 50 yards up the road for this one so maybe that does qualify me as a hill walker or rambler or something. The light was going a bit by the time I took it and the branches were doing their best to stop what light there was reaching the ground. I was leaning on a fence post for extra support.
The shutter speed was around 1/30th - probably hand-holdable with the Super Ikonta without the support. There's not enough depth of field for front to back sharpness but I like the overall mood of this one. I can just see a fairy prancing about in the snow. Or maybe that was me making my way back to the car...