Saturday, June 26, 2010

Word of the Day

Or, "I love the interwar period"

In my ongoing quest for the most primitive camera that I can easily use here in the 21st century, I picked up a prewar Voigtländer Bessa, a 6x9 folder (with a 110mm/4.5 uncoated triplet). It fits in a jacket pocket, and takes huge 2 1/4" x 3 1/4" negatives on still-easily-obtainable 120 film.

(There's some chance that this one was assembled post-war, but it's certainly a 1937 model. This particular sample is 'way on the low end of the Bessa option range - mostly, they came with better lenses and with better shutters. But so far, I'm surprised at how well this one seems to work (...stay tuned for film at eleven...) - the bellows seem to be intact, the shutter basically works, the lens is clean, the aperture blades are clean and dry, the focus is smooth, etc.).

Anyway, it's guess-focus, so it has a Depth-of-Field table on the back, helpfully labeled

" Voigtländer Tiefenschärfentabelle "

(literally, "deep sharp table" / so, "depth of sharpness table") - labeled in meters, of course.

I'm not sure if it's the two words together, the two umlauts in quick succession, or the 21-letter compound noun, but somehow "Tiefenschärfentabelle" just tickles me.

My father always used to claim "This is why the Germans lost the war: they couldn't understand each other."

"Was bedeuten der Tiefenschärfentabelle sagen?"
"Was sagt' der Tiefenschärfentabelle?"

...und so weider....

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