Over the last few months, I have fallen in love with old medium format cameras, so I took three old medium format cameras with me for this trip. Among them was a 6x9cm Agfa Billy I 6.3 with an Agnar f/6.3 / 105mm, model 1950. I loaded the Billy with an ILFORD HP5 PLUS.

The Billy is, so far, easy to use. There was only one thing that bothered me, on my model, the distances are in Feet. A bit awkward when you usually think and measure in Meters. But I had remedied this by sticking small stickers with meter indications over the Feet indications.

A few weeks earlier, I bought a Watameter, a hot-shoe rangefinder (distance meter), from a member of the Aphog forum. Now I used it for the second time. It is so fine that I don’t have to estimate distances anymore.

And, in order not to destroy the historical atmosphere, complementing the camera and Watameter with an old Gossen Sixtomat selenium cell light meter. This old heirloom from my father still works perfectly because it was always protected from light in its brown leather case.

All in all, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to go out with three cameras at once, this constant changing was a real headache. But I have a lot of fun working with these old machines. And I’m thrilled by the results in all their imperfection.

These days, you’re glad to get out and about. On 6 March 2021, I went with a friend to the Schéissendëmpel a picturesque waterfall on the Schwarze Ernz in nearby Luxembourg. The water shoots in three streams over a rocky edge into a rock pool below. On the way there, we passed mighty sandstone rocks. Altogether a beautiful spot in Luxembourg, called “Luxembourg’s Little Swiss“.

When I developed the films the next day, there were no special incidents in Tetenal Ultrafin T-Plus. The positive development made my heart beat faster. I did positive development with an Epson V800 and Camera RAW. There are no 6×9 negatives to enlarge in mydarkroom at the moment, as there is only a Durst M605 in full self-confidence there. The question was, do I need more than 6×6? My answer was no. What a mistake!

Those overlays, those blurred sharpnesses and that haze that lies over all the pictures, I love it. The ILFORD HP5 PLUS film is an old acquaintance and once again played to its strengths.

In the past I didn’t like it so much in 35mm, but today, whether 35mm or medium format, I like it.

~ Olaf

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I'm a hobby photographer who has been pursuing this for a long time. I really started in the mid-1980s, when I got my first and especially my second SLR camera, a Minolta X-300. It still serves me faithfully today. But then it went blow by blow, I discovered...


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  1. Luxembourg is a low-contrast country. Which is OK because that was the impression I had when I visited the Imperial Royal Grand Duchy of graffiiti.