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Varex variations

dudler

Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

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Varex variations

23 Jun 2021 9:10AM   Views : 230 Unique : 146

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I’ve waxed boring on my Exakta on more than one occasion: now I have a pair – I wonder if I can get them to breed? My VX1000 is now accompanied by an older model, a VXIIa. An informative article HERE by Wesley King provided me with some background, including how to use the two shutter speed dials to set fast and slow speeds, and delayed action.

Comparisons are odious, they say, but they are also revealing. Side by side with the VX1000, the IIa feels heavier and a little more solid, but less finished. It’s like an old-fashioned car, with a lot of hard work going into making it as good as possible within the constraints of the technology (so that some parts are beautifully finished and clearly far better-made than they need to be, while others are quite rough).

So, for instance, the film-cutting knife screws into the not-in-use position, while the VX1000 has a click-close fitting. The back-opening mechanism has extra parts that make operation easier, but the lens – the classic Biotar 58mm f/2 – is machined alloy, without any chroming or anodising, and the semi-automatic diaphragm mechanism is screwed onto the side of the lens with four little bolts.

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Obvious operational differences? It uses the older shutter speed sequence, with 1/25, 1/50 and 1/100, but with a cheeky 1/150 in there. The lens diaphragm is semi-automatic, meaning that there’s a lever on the underside to open the aperture after every shot, and the mirror stays up until you wind the film on for the next shot. But if you’re used to the ergonomics of one, you’ll find the other easy to use. There are no massive surprises, and it’s delightful in use, rather as I suspect driving a Morris 1100 is (my first car was an 1100, and I still remember the precision of the steering, and the way that gearchanging was easier when the engine had warmed up!)

Here are the shutter-setting permutations from Wesley King’s article:

• Instantaneous Exposures 1/25 to 1/1000 Seconds
Set the left dial to the desired shutter speed.
• Long Exposures with Bulb or Time
Set the left dial to B or T, and use them as is customary (B is press-and-hold, T is press-on/press-off).
• Long Instant and Short Timed Exposures 1/5 to 12 Seconds
Set the left dial to B or T, wind the right dial, set the right dial to the desired shutter speed with the black numbers.
• Self-Timer for Exposures from 1/25 to 1/1000 Seconds
Set the left dial to the desired shutter speed, wind the right dial, set the right dial to any of the red numbers. The self-timer is approximately 13 seconds long.
• Self-Timer for Exposures from 1/5 to 6 Seconds
Set the left dial to B or T, wind the right dial, set the right dial to the desired shutter speed with the red numbers. The self-timer is approximately 13 seconds long.

We’ll be playing today, the Varexes and me.

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Comments


dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1870 England
23 Jun 2021 9:11AM
If you'd like to see the article I wrote a couple of years ago about my VX1000, please look HERE.

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