Despite a number of potential problems, I bought a Pentacon Six medium format SLR earlier in 2021. I had wanted one for a while and the article by Ludwig Hegelstein here on Emulsive convinced me that, the problems were manageable. I bought one of these solid East German medium format cameras that look a lot like 35mm SLR devices. I took note of what Hagelstein had written and also looked at several other sources, including YouTube videos. Most problems seemed to come from film loading and old grease. These may lead to shutter problems which in turn produce shots that are double exposed.

The first roll did indeed give me a couple of shots like this. I persevered. Hagelstein had noted that lack of use may have been a cause of the grease problem. I noted that the second roll was better. I also wondered about the higher temperatures here in Thailand: warmer than Europe. I rotate the use of my cameras so it was a few weeks before I tried the Pentacon again. I ran a roll of ILFORD SFX 200 through it, one of my favourite films. Not only were there no problem double images, but I managed 13 images from the roll, something that can be achieved with care, or in my case, luck. There were a number of acceptable images from the roll and an interesting pair of images that are shown.

I often take shots at stations on the Bangkok metro system and staff are generally cooperative. I took these shots at the Siam Interchange station. The second and third of these images lined up well and I scanned them together to maintain the effect. The rural shots are a few hundred metres from my home. I had noticed the farmer turning the rich soil, which often brings wading birds. The next morning I walked over with the Pentacon, and my Nikon plus telephoto lens.

You might be interested in...

Only two herons were digging for food. The fields are rich in nutrients and when flooded also have fish, including several species of eel. The pair were squabbling when I arrived but retired to a respectable distance: one to the left of the first image, one near the corner of the field. Behind the trees is the main railway line from Bangkok to the south. The farmer was on the other side of the field digging deep into the almost black soil. Within a few days this was flooded. In a month this will be rich green as the rice grows. I used a shelter to switch cameras and lenses. Nearby there was a food stall. There always is in Thailand.

The Pentacon is close to the weight of my Hasselblad, so nowadays I plan carefully with regard to the equipment I carry. This roll of always-reliable ILFORD SFX 200 showed me just what a good camera the Pentacon is with its 2.8/80 Carl Zeiss Jena lens.

~ Graham

Submit your 5 Frames... today

Get your own 5 Frames featured by submitting your article using this form or by sending an email via the contact link at the top of the page.

Share your knowledge, story or project

The transfer of knowledge across the film photography community is the heart of EMULSIVE. You can add your support by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.

If you like what you're reading you can also help this passion project by heading over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and contributing as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.

About the author

Graham Rogers

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a...

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

 

  1. Nice write up! That Jena Biometar lens is one of my favorites – I don’t own a Pentacon Six but I do own that lens and use it with adapters on my Mamiya 645 ProTL and also on F-mount Nikons. Love the bokeh.