An old test of an old camera

One of the batches of slides I came across is labeled “Exa I test”. The Exa I was an Exacta ‘cousin’; a much simpler SLR that used the same lens mount and finders but had only a four speed ‘guillotine’ shutter. It was quiet as a mouse, and thus that was the nickname it earned. The one I had came with a Meyer-Gorlitz Primotar 50mm f3.5 lens, which is most likely what the test roll was shot with. Primotar was Meyer’s version of the Zeiss Biotar lens, the name being a portmanteau of “Primoplan” (their best lens) and “Biotar”.

The film itself is Kodachrome 64, and it hasn’t held up well over the years. It’s gone dark and contrast-y with a decided colour shift towards blue (a trait usually seen in Ektachrome) and some significant ‘blowout’ in the highlights – despite genuine Kodak processing. With some careful post-scan reworking I managed to get some images, but they don’t really do the camera justice. No doubt I used a light meter for these, but I had so many of them there’s no way to tell which one.

How now brown cow?
Small fry
Speckled cow
Downed tree
Primitive milk cooler
Lichen to a rock
Unprocessed: I like this one the way it is
Desolate landscape
Alternative power

I probably should have kept that camera just to have it, but as with so many others …

C’est la vie.