Friday, January 20, 2017

Getting back to the Welta Perle

I found this Welta Perle a year and half ago and shot just two rolls of film in it.  It made some ok photos, but needed a focus adjustment which I only recently completed.

Shooting 6x4.5 cameras takes a little getting used to because the long axis of the camera is 90 degrees rotated from what might be expected.  I like the 6x4.5 format a lot because it yields a negative much larger than 35mm but still allows 16 exposures on a roll of 120 film.

My Perle is one of the best preserved old cameras I have come across.  It shows little surface wear, and the bellows had not a single pinhole.  The camera lacks a top-deck shutter release, but has a nice viewfinder which snaps into place as the lens is extended.  Like other similar folders from the same era, the front focus lens does not offer any easy way to attach a lens hood.  That is a bit of a weak point of this type of camera as the sharp but uncoated Tessar lens is rather low in contrast and has a tendency to flare in bright light conditions.  Still, one can learn to take those limitations into consideration when making pictures with the Perle and it can produce excellent results.


JR Smith said...

Nice work here Mike!

Jim Grey said...

You have a well-developed sense of a camera's limits and how to get it to best render light.

Mike said...

I think it is hard to go wrong with just about any medium format camera. The big negatives make up for any small deficiencies and it almost doesn't matter what kind of lens hangs on the front of the camera.

Mike said...

I'll also add that the last shot of the cigar store Indian shows the value of proper lens collimation. With the infinity focus set properly it is not difficult to shoot this camera at the minimum marked focus of 4.5 feet. Knowing the focus of the camera matches the scale settings enhances confidence and encourages tackling close-ups without a coupled rangefinder.