Work and the weather have made it tough to shoot the last week or two, but I have added a new camera to the bag nonetheless: the Zeiss Ikon Colora F.
Though it seems a lot of sites call the Colora a rangefinder, it’s really just a zone-focus viewfinder camera. The viewfinder is pretty big and bright, and it does feature a bright-line frame with parallax-correction indicators and a center spot.
The Zeiss Ikon Colora and Colora F share a Gauthier Prontor 125 shutter behind a Novicar 50mm f/2.8 lens. The shutter offers only 1/125, 1/60 and 1/30 sec. speeds. The lens is fairly fast for a budget-oriented camera, and reported to give decent image quality.
Both use 35mm film and use a thumb-type advance lever that sits almost flush with the back of the top cover assembly. On top, the Coloras feature a cold shoe.
The Colora was introduced in 1960, and the Colora F model was released in 1964, adding just one feature: built-in support for tiny AG-1 flash bulbs.
In the top cover is space for a 504A battery (a 15-volt behemoth!) accessed by the typical coin-slotted bayonet-type cover in the right-hand side. A small switch near the back-center of the top cover pops up the cold shoe, under which is a socket for the “peanut” flash bulbs and a shiny reflector. The rewind knob on the top left features a rudimentary flash calculator on the F model.
The Colora and Colora F were discontinued in 1965 as the 126 Instamatic revolution rocked the budget camera world and Zeiss responded with the Ikomat line.
I loaded the Colora F up with a roll of Ilford XP2 Super which I intend to shoot at ASA 50 and process in E-6 chemicals as an experiment for March, which is cross-processing month (#BelieveinXpro) for #BelieveinFilmers.
Final note: Along with the c. 1945 roll of Kodak Verichrome in the photo at the top, I also recently acquired a worn but serviceable Whittaker Micro 16 spy camera. I may write more about it in the future, but I may never get to test it as it takes 16mm film in its own special cartridges, and I only have one of the required two cassettes.