Pentacon Six Issues

posted in: Photography | 0

About a year ago, I bought a Flexaret Automat twin lens reflex camera. I had wanted a medium format camera other than my Diana F+ and had been curious about TLR cameras for a while.

Flexaret Automat
Flexaret Automat

I had a bit of a rough start with the Flexaret, ruining a roll of film just trying to load it and then taking some terrible pictures as I learned how to use it. But by the end of that roll, I started feeling comfortable with it and was optimistic about the next roll.

I went out and took a couple of pictures but then it stopped advancing. I’ve fiddled with it a few times trying to figure out what went wrong but haven’t been able to get it to work.

I finally gave up trying to fix it. I looked into finding a place to repair it but that turned out to be prohibitively expensive so I decided to buy a different medium format camera instead. I did some research and settled on the Pentacon Six TL. It’s not a TLR but I was intrigued enough to buy one back in May.

Pentacon six TL
Pentacon six TL

Unlike the Flexaret, my first roll was fairly successful.

However, the second roll had issues with pictures overlapping. I had sent the roll to Richard Photo Lab. They contacted me about the problem, sent me photos of the negatives so I could see what had happened, and said they could scan them but it would take additional effort (and an additional $5 which I was willing to pay).

They were able to make fairly distinct scans. My experience with Richard Photo Lab, although limited, has been overwhelmingly positive.

Thanks to the size of the 120mm film, I was able to make some additional crops and still have decent looking pictures. The last picture on the roll (Schuylkill Boardwalk), perhaps not unsurprisingly, did not have any overlap.

I didn’t have any problems with the first roll overlapping so I’m hoping that was just a one time issue maybe due to not getting the film loaded tightly enough.

I do want to shoot another roll soon to see if the problem persists. And I think I am going to bring my Flexaret home from work (where it’s serving as a fancy bookend) and try again to get it to function.

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