The old (probably 1920) Ica Icarette 6×6 that I recently acquired is in incredibly good condition for a camera this old, but it’s not perfect as you might expect. I wasn’t terribly surprised to find out that the slow speeds (those below 1/100th) are way off.
On first shooting the camera, it seemed like the faster speeds (1/100th and 1/300th) were pretty close. Yesterday I tested just the 1/100th shutter setting using Arista (Foma) 100 on a bright sunny day in Reno and it seems spot on. The f/16 shots were pretty perfectly exposed. The f/18 shots were slightly underexposed and the f/12.5 shots were slightly overexposed.
The aperture stops are not discreet and are infinitely variable, not only that but some of the stops are about a millimeter apart and the font size is about a millimeter tall. Nonetheless, I’m fairly certain that I hit the stops pretty closely.
The Icarette was made for 117 film not 120. 117 is the same size film as 120 but the spool has narrower flanges. To use 120 film in it I just cut down the flanges of the spool until they fit. I was a little confused when I found it very difficult to wind on the film past shot 10 or so until I learned that 117 film is only 6 shots of 6×6. These days I usually just shoot to shot 10, but the Foma 100 is pretty thin. I probably could have got 12 shots to this roll. You gotta love hindsight.
I’m only presenting a few shots here, as most of the roll was even less interesting than these. Still, I’m very impressed with the design, build quality, ease of use and condition of the camera. The 7.5cm Hekla f/6.8 seems quite nice, a real step up from the not bad lens in my almost as old Kodak Hawkeye. It’s probably too nice a lens for me, considering the lo-fi-ness of most of my shots.
I’m not sure yet what I think of the Foma 100. I don’t hate it, but I’m not yet very impressed with it. Nothing wrong with it, it just seems a little boring. I do enjoy that the highlights have a nice glow to them. I have a few more rolls of it that should tell me more.
Oh, this was developed in Artemisianol that I reused from developing another roll. I was under the impression that Artemisianol like I thought with Caffenol, doesn’t keep well. This is from a jar of Artemisianol that I had in the fridge for about a week. I did extend development time by 2 minutes to 17 minutes instead of 15. I’m going to keep trying to reuse artemisianol and see how many rolls I can develop from one batch.