recent travels & thrift store treasure : 35mm Zeiss Ikon

finally found something good at a thrift shop…

I recently picked up a Zeiss Ikon 35mm camera for 30 Euro at a local thrift shop here in Friuli. About the only thing I get excited for when entering a thrift shop is the potential of finding a good film camera—like a Rolleiflex  or Hasselblad 500C (good luck, I know)—but after years of disappointment I finally found something interesting the other day. The Zeiss name is what first caught my attention, so I knew immediately there was something there. I didn’t know much about the Ziess Ikon brand, but it was a beautiful camera body with super-neat details and it appeared to be functional—very clean as a matter of fact.

Turns out it is a Zeiss Ikon “Contaflex” Super BC SLR—I think the model I have was produced in Germany in the mid-late 1960’s. I figured why not give it a shot (pun intended) for just 30 Euro? After purchasing I stupidly popped open the back without rewinding in case there was film—and of course, there was. The roll looked like it was from the 80’s or early 90’s, but I guess we’ll never know if there were unexposed images 🤔. The camera takes standard 35MM film and is fully manual. I’ve also been shooting without a meter because I need to replace the battery, but I actually like guessing on the settings based off light conditions. It forces me to be more intentional about my surroundings, which I really enjoy. The thing is like carrying a brick around, but the snap it makes with the shutter fires is so damn satisfying. It has become my camera of choice for the past several weeks for travel and play photography. I’ve mostly just been shooting cheap Kodak and Fuji 400 speed films and really like the deep, but grainy quality of the images. I’m taking the camera to Texas with me on an upcoming trip and am planning to use some higher quality 200 ASA Kodak film—we’ll see how it turns out.

The photos themselves are all from a recent trip to Lisbon, Portugal except form one fromVenice (see it?). I was shocked at how many nice images came off the first roll given the camera probably hadn’t been used in 30-40 years at least. Our trip to Portugal was short, but Amazing. We absolutely loved the city and want to go back to explore more of the Portuguese coastline and maybe even take some surfing lessons. We ate very well, walked a ton, and met some really nice people along the way. If you ever go to Lisbon, try to get a table at Ponto Final (first image)—the experience of eating on the water was amazing and it goes without saying the food was insanely good. Amanda even got a Conch piercing for her birthday, which I managed to document, lol. Running short on time so that’s all for now—ciao.