|Zeiss Ikon Cocarette 519/15|
|Zeiss Ikon Cocarette 519/15|
|Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar lens in Compur shutter|
|Zeiss Ikon Cocarette opened for loading|
Apart from the 'film race', the Cocarette functions as a fairly typical folder of its day. The camera is non-self-erecting: the lens is pulled out to the infinty stop of the folding bed's rails by hand. Frame advance is by red window and backing number, focus by estimation using a lever with markings for infinity, 30, 15, 10 and 6 feet (indicating this as an export model for US/UK markets); the focus lever does advance the lens further forward than 6 feet, but without distance markings, possibly as the margin for error when focussing may have been felt to be too great beyond this point. The rim-set Compur shutter has the full range of speeds from 1 second to 1/250th, as well as T and B settings; the f4.5 Tessar lens stops down to f32. For framing there is a brilliant finder with spirit level that rotates through 90º for horizontal shots and a wire frame finder: to use this, on the body is a small peep-sight that can be raised into position from a circular door on the back of the camera. This allows access to the lens for cleaning and removal (a feature that the Vest Pocket Kodak also possesses); either completely raised or lowered, this sight locks the rear door, but in an intermediate position the door can be rotated to remove it. Additonally, the lens is also provided with rise and fall in the vertical position.
|Zeiss Ikon Cocarette in horizontal format with wire frame finder and sight raised|
|Zeiss Ikon Cocarette conversion - runners taped in place|
To test the frame spacing, I ran a roll of 120 backing paper through the Cocarette. The numbers which align with the red window are those for 6x4.5 exposures. As this exposure size isn't neatly divisible with the 11cm-long 116 frame, I counted turns of the wind on key to determine how far to advance the film between exposures. My first calculations were that I would need to make the first exposure starting with the number 2 on the backing paper to provide enough film to cover the frame; I estimated that 2 and 1/3 turns of the winding on key for each subsequent exposure was sufficient. To make this easy, there are three screws around the winding key to mark its position when turning. For the first test roll I simply discounted the problem of the circumference of the take up spool increasing as more film and backing paper is wound on. The first two images on the roll overlapped, but I then found an increasing distance between the frames. When I developed the first test roll, as well as the uneven spacing, this was marred by obvious light leaks (I discounted this being from the red window, as this should be light tight anyway - even with modern emulsions, the film's backing paper should be perfectly impervious, despite some comments that occasionally crop up in discussions online). Looking at the light leaks' position relative to the camera, it was clearly caused by a missing screw on the side which removes for loading. As I couldn't find a screw of the right dimensions to replace it, I simply used black tape to cover the hole from the inside.
|Second test roll, Fomapan 400, first frame showing tape mark at start of film|
Rather than counting turns of the winding key, I decided for the frame spacing, I would try using the numbers on the backing paper. Had I only wanted just five shots, it would have been easy to use the numbers 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, but there's clearly enough film on a roll of 120 to get six exposures. Running backing paper through the camera again, I noted down where I thought each frame should fall, using the marks that precede the frame numbers as well as the numbers themselves. For a third test, using the red window, I aligned the first mark before the number 3, then 5, first mark before number 8, third mark before 10, first mark before 13, 15. However, this isn't necessarily always possible, as different manufacturers have different backing paper designs: Foma, and some other films have three marks before the frame number; Ilford films have four circular marks increasing in size before the frame number; unhelpfully, Kodak just has the word 'Kodak' and the film name before the frame number. When using the camera, I taped a note with these estimations written down so as not to forget where I was in the sequence when shooting; I have yet to try taking 120 film and taping it to the 116 backing paper that I now have from shooting the expired film earlier in the year, which could be an alternative approach.
|Zeiss Ikon Cocarette focus lever|
As I wrote on my post for the summer's 116 Day, using 120 film in a 116 camera does make for an attractively proportioned image, especially suited to landscape photography, and, like the Zeiss Ikon Cocarette (despite my camera's focus issues which may yet require more attention), there are many of these cameras still around which can be used with currently available film with a little extra work.
|Zeiss Ikon Cocarette with expired Kodacolor film|
|Zeiss Ikon Cocarette with Agfa Superpan 200|
|Zeiss Ikon Cocarette with Fomapan 400|
|Zeiss Ikon Cocarette with Ilford HP5 Plus|
The Cocarette series on Camera-Wiki
Cocarette models on Early Photography