Me and my girlfriend planned an ultra-short trip to Venice, Italy. We wanted to fly with just cabin luggage so I thought about keeping my camera collection compact. The friend we were going to visit called it the most beautiful city in the world and since I take his opinion very seriously I had to bring out at least a middle format camera.

Since the Mamiya and Rollei cameras I own would not only fill half my bag but would also be an annoying brick to carry around. So I thought about a 6×9 Zeiss Ikon folding camera I bought some time back which is pretty light (a Zeiss Ikon 518/2 Nettar to be precise). It has one drawback though, it has no real focus mechanism. Or at least manual focus is taken to another extreme. You can dial in the distance, but there is no way to measure that distance. I figured it would be sunny and I’d be shooting cityscapes at f/11 or f/16 so guessing the focus would be good enough*.

As for the film, I thought it would be time to finish off those two rolls of 120 EKTACHROME 64T I had in my fridge. Although tungsten-balanced ISO 64 film, for some reason I thought the slight color shift from warm light would not be a problem (it wasn’t). I had no way to know how old the film was but my guess was at least 20 years. I brought my Sekonic L-208 Twinmate along with me, rated the film at EI 50 since I know slide film’s light sensitivity holds up quite nicely throughout aging and took some shots during our personal tour through the gorgeous town.

No city I’ve seen before matches the beauty of Venice but lucky enough the color pallet of the old Ektachrome emulsion did match all the gradations of the rich Italian history we saw. After I came back, I developed the film with Tetenal E6 chemistry in my home lab and slowed down my pace of working, scanning and looking at the frames because I absolutely loved the result.

Thanks for reading,

~ Raymond

* I hate the term zone focusing, it’s a scam like 120mm film. There are no zones, it’s just guesswork with a margin of error because of the depth of field being deep, so please do not change it into zone focusing 😉

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About the author

Raymond van Mil

Raymond van Mil is a freelance photographer & Dutch VICE photo editor — Polaroid, analog, and digital work!


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  1. Wonderful shots; these are marvelous. I as well own a Nettar, and was amazed by the quality of the frames I shot. Focusing can be a bit tricky at first, but with a little practice one gets better at it.

  2. Fine! and agree on “zone focusing” at least when referred to metric scales (on some “popular cameras” there where more properly “scene focusing” symbols, whereas some German cameras used the “three red dots” logic)

    I have little experience with over-aged colour film, and very little with positive slides. But reasoning about my results I’m puzzling if:
    – a) overexposing can be harmful, as they are actually “overexposed” by time, and generally slides prefer underexposure
    – b) underdeveloping can be preferrable to overdeveloping in first step (generating the silver negatiìve image), followed by a more intensive chromogenic development.
    or, some way: the opposite of what you’re supposed to do with negative films (b&w, C41)

    Have to make some trials in next weeks, also with tungsten materials, both outside (with 85 filter?) and inside..

    1. BTW: just did some trial, the way I was thiking.

      Two really old 9×12 Fuji 64T sheets (in a quite strange camera) and two outrageously old Ektach. 64 (in an Agfa 208).

      Exposed at box value, outdoor (64T with a kr12). Dev’d in E6, keeping first dev a little short. Look like they’re not so bad, going to show you. Dark but rather saturated, the oldest with some odd nuance.