From Voigtlander to Nikon

My first ever camera was my grandfather's, a Voigtlander VITO B, dating back to 1958. I put a number of films through this but have not used it recently.

My grandfather's Voigtlander VITO B

VITO B top panel and lens

Note that in addition to ISO the Vito B also has a DIN setting, this refers to Standard 4512 of 1934,  by the Deutsches Institut für Normung. When I say 'setting' the camera is in fact entirely manual so really this just acts by way of a reminder.

I now also have my late father's camera , a Nikon FE, it's nice to have them both. The FE dates back to 1981 and was a mid range camera of its day.

Voigtlander, 1958 and Nikon, 1981

Nikon FE

Nikon FE with Nikkor 50mm 1.8 lens

I find a 50mm a little tight, I prefer 35mm or maybe 40mm, however I'm expecting the Nikkor 50 1.8 to be a solid performing prime lens. I can see a number of dust spots but I wouldn't expect these to impact final image quality. The Nikon needed a couple of new 357 silver oxide batteries in order to revive its metering and electronic shutter (without the batteries the shutter can only operate at 1/90th or bulb). There was also an old flash gun, a Speedlight SB-10 but it was dead. I'll follow up on this later.

NB It is sometimes suggested that cheaper LR44 alkaline batteries could be used instead of the silver oxide 357s but they do perform differently, some notes on this can be found here:

With the camera there were a few old rolls of film, Max Spielmann Superior MX 200, dated 2001. As far as I know these films have not been stored cool and will have spent the years at room temperature. I'm hoping to run one or more of the expired films through the Nikon.

Max Spielmann Superior MX 200

I was surprised to find Max Spielmann (now part of Timpson group) are still going so I emailed their customer service for advice however in a brief reply they only said:
"Yes please take the film into any store and we will enquire further if we are able to develop."

Expired film with the Nikon

To expose the film I believe I can shoot as if it were in date. I'm planning to try and shoot in a vernacular style and may shoot a roll on my next holiday. Developing the film may be more of a challenge, it's been suggested to me that "a rule of thumb is to push the ISO a stop per decade" but I've no idea if this is correct. I could try a Tetenal kit but this may be a step too far at the moment, probably better to try that with a 'good' film first. So I'll need to find a good C41 process lab and see what they advise.

For those that like to know these things the photographs in this post were taken with a Canon 5D mkIV and a 100mm L 2.8 lens, lighting was a single studio flash fitted with a large soft box.

If my experiments with the Nikon go well I may at some point revisit the Voigtlander, I'd like to run a black & white film through it but that will have to wait a while.


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