Contaflex III test film

Over the last week or so I’ve been running a test film through my Zeiss Ikon Contaflex III 35mm slr and a couple of days ago I finished the film and developed it.

To carry out the test I used a roll of FP4+ which I loaded in a re-sealable canister from a bulk loader. I used a light meter app on my phone to meter the exposure and rated the film at the box speed of 125 ASA. The film was developed in a 1:100 mix of Rodinal with a 1 hour stand development.

The results unfortunately show there is still something wrong with the camera because there is serious light leak.


These pictures can also be viewed in full size here.

Looking at the results I’m fairly sure I can see what the problem is. In my original article on the Contaflex I posted a video which shows how the camera uses a light shield to stop the film being fogged as the mirror is wound down and the shutter opened up to allow focusing. Well, I think that is my problem. All these pictures show an area of light leak at the top of the picture and that corresponds to the bottom of the frame in the film gate. What seems to be happening is the light shield is allowing light to leak past it and it’s fogging the film.

It’s a shame that has happened, although that is the nature of test films – to find issues. Other than the obvious areas where the film has fogged it seems the Contaflex has an accurate shutter and aperture, because the exposure looks to be quite accurate, and the camera lens certainly seems capable of taking nice pictures.

I’ll need to strip the camera down again to see if I can find the cause of the light leak.

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