Photos From The Past

I was recently gifted a Zeiss Ikon camera, it belonged to my colleague’s granddad so I was really moved that he decided to give it to me. He said that he would rather it be with someone who would use it and take care of it than be in his loft – which is where it had been living.

Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta 531/2:
Production period : 1936 to 1953
Format : 6 x 9 cm on 120 Film – 8 exposures
Novar 3.5/10.5 cm lens in a Compur shutter – Prewar lens

It turned out that the camera still had film in, and most likely from the 60s. I wound it all the way on and opened up the back to discover it was Kodak Verichrome Pan film.

Kodak Verichrome Pan
General purpose medium-speed (EI 125) panchromatic film that features extremely fine grain with excellent gradation and wide exposure latitude. This film has characteristics similar to those of KODAK PLUS-X Pan Professional Film, but does not have retouching surfaces.

Developing this film at home would be a fun challenge. My partner was really hoping for a murder mystery to come from this, I was just hoping to not find naked photos of my colleague’s grandparents.

There are some clear signs of ageing in these photos but overall I am happy with how they turned out. I was excited to find that there was anything on the negatives when I developed them. I was half expecting nothing to be there. The camera, after all, had been in a loft for many many years.

Do you have any experiences of finding old cameras with film in and discovering someone else’s life?

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  1. Beautiful camera! It’s always a bit risky to have “found” film from an old camera processed but if you develop them at home then there’s little risk. I sent a roll of found film to The Darkroom for them to process and was happy with the results but worried about what they might discover! No issues but I won’t do that again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There was a camera in the news recently that the police were looking for because they had reason to believe there would be photos that could assist a murder investigation. I think it was a Nikon, but I honestly can’t remember.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yours looks like it kept a bit better than mine. There was a video on Facebook recently from the BBC about a guy who has developed on 30k photos that he has found inside cameras from charity shops. For me it was really nice to give something back to someone who gave me the camera, but I hadn’t considered that some people set out to do this because they enjoy the history that is revealed from these lost films.


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