Zeh Goldi 3x4 in Portra NC Color

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by ralf_j., Apr 24, 2008.

  1. The Goldi is a very neat camera and can be had for a few USD, well worth it for its construction and compactness it offers. It was the cute little child of Zeh-Camera-Fabrik(Paul Zeh) of Dresden which made folding camera until its demise some time after WWII. The years of production for Goldi, ran from late 20s to early 30s, and mine has the "vintage" smell as if to prove its 80 years of existence.
    It uses 127 film and takes 16 exposures on 3X4 format. In my example storage was its main enemy as the camera was pretty dirty. Mechanically, I doubt this camera was better when sold new. Its scissor struts firmly spring in place when the release button is tripped. The Pronto shutter is still going strong and aperture control responds nicely to adjustments. I disassembled the lens for cleaning(Zecanar Anastigmat) and it sparkled nicely once the grit was out of there. The focusing is done by rotating the front cell and the shutter is tripped via a single lever; No cocking is required.
    On My Goldi the top speed is 1/100s so care needs to be applied in order to avoid camera shake. The camera is slightly bigger than a deck of cards which makes it a perfect pocket companion for any short or long trips. It is true that 127 film is not as abundant as it once was, however with a little patience you can re-roll your own from the 46mm 100' rolls out there or cut your own preferred emulsion. In my outing I re-rolled from an expired roll of Portra 400NC, not ideal for this camera with top shutter speed of 1/100s, however with careful planning I was able to squeeze a few acceptable(in my opinion) shots. Well here is my Goldi and its results:


    Madison Sq. Park Loan
    1/100s, f/11 on Portra NC400
    A Lonely Dafodil
    1/100s, f/6.3 on Portra 400NC
    Spring Bloom at MSP
    1/100s, f/12 on Portra 400NC
  2. Ralf, beautiful shots, happy to see these antique cameras coming back to work. Minh
  3. Thanks for the comments Minh. I appreciate you stopping by.
  4. Wow, what a sharp little lens! I like th shot of the daffodil. There are so many great 127 format cameras. I wish there were more pre-spooled emulsions out there. Do you think you'd try shooting with the 127 Efke Infrared?
  5. Russ - IR is a pretty interesting idea. I think the red windows in the back would need to be taped shot though; this one has the same two windows like your Nettar. Hmmm, now you got me think ing :).
  6. Ralf, those red windows are more opaque than one would think. Or, the 120 backing paper is better at screening out light than a 35mm cassette. Got my Nettar 515 pics back today, and even with Fujicolor 400 in bright light there was NO light fog!
    I plan to shoot some 120 IR in the nettar very soon. Just gotta rig up a filter on front.
  7. My (no-name) Zeh Goldi with Rimset Compur looks fancier than this one, but performs much worse (which may be partly a bad comment on my photographic skill)

    It has an endless supply of internal dust, seemingly immune to blasts of compressed air. I also get the Efke numbers from the backing paper exposed onto the film. Can't figure that out for the life of me.

    Congratulations to Ralf on a fine project and results.
  8. Ralf,

    The camera looks pretty, so the pictures. I couldn't find 127 film in Spain. Your work is excellent. Thanks for sharing them.
  9. Mark - thank you for your comments. Your photographic skills are just fine, you recent post with burnt building and suspended icicles was out of this world.<p>

    Luis, thank you very much for your kind words.
  10. I love my Goldi too. It is the best built, solid little camera I have. Mine has the Schneider lens with the Compur shutter to 1/300th. Great camera!!!
  11. I like both my Goldi Cameras. I have the 4x3 and the 4x6.5; the 4x6.4 does suffer from a flaw though, the lens does not cover the format below f:8 and to get pictures without any drop at the corners, you have to stop it to 16. The 4x3 though is very good. I also shoot my foth derby in the 4x3 format, and I like it just a bit less than the Goldi, just a bit too much busy work. Thanks for posting the pictures, and keep spreading the word of color with uncoated optics.
  12. Nice sharp photos.

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