Something New: My First Second-Hand Camera, the Schmidt 135mm


Get to know the second-hand camera that you like most before you decide to buy it. Don't forget to try it first.

When ngoki uploaded a photo on Facebook of a camera that he wanted to sell, I fell in love at first sight with it. It’s the Schmidt 135mm camera.

Credits: hervinsyah

I didn’t find any Google search results about this camera. I found no search results in as well. So, I think it;s challenging to have and shoot with this camera. After I bought this camera from ngoki, I decided to go to the zoo to try this camera that was made in Western Germany.

Credits: hervinsyah

But, I discovered a major failure in the operating mechanism of this second-hand camera. When I went on a lomowalk with adi_totp in his last lomowalk with Bandung analogue lovers, he checked my camera and found out what was causing the massive leaks in the photo. When he pulled the crank of the camera (which was not loaded with film), the shutter was open.

Credits: hervinsyah

Adi_totp suggested that I return the camera. But I was already in love with my Fatima (the name I gave my Schmidt 135mm), so I just tried to cover the lens with black paper every time I pulled the crank. Thank God there were no more unwanted massive leaks after.

Credits: hervinsyah

I have tried this camera at night while watching Persib Bandung at the stadium. However, it can’t be used for light painting because the biggest aperture (2.8) only opens the lens for a second. So, it can’t be opened for a long time for a light painting.

Credits: hervinsyah

Then, I tried shooting with it in a cloudy/low-light condition. The face of the people looked blurry; maybe I should use tripod the next time?

Credits: hervinsyah

I tried every difficult shooting situation with this camera. I snapped at a very unusual moment during my New Year holiday in Bali: a woman and her daughter praying in the middle of the road. It was a very precious moment. Unfortunately, this camera wasn’t fast enough to capture it as the car I was riding passed by it. So, I conclude that I cannot shoot quick movements or while inside a vehicle with this camera.

Actually, one of the unique points of this camera (aside from its cool and classic design) is its frame. The left and right frames remind me of mailing stamps.

Credits: hervinsyah

This camera is kind of a point and shoot camera, even though there is an aperture and shutter speed mode which automatically sets the the aperture and shutter speed when we set the distance to infinity.

Credits: hervinsyah

Finally, I can now correctly estimate the focusing with this camera, something which I missed in my first to third rolls. When looking through the viewfinder, there is a square target, just like a crosshair inside guns shown in the movies. So, I simply put the subject that I want to photograph in the center and I always get the correct focus.

Credits: hervinsyah

written by hervinsyah on 2014-01-31 in #lifestyle


  1. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    Read the unedit version here…

  2. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    @lupideeloop here's the chronicle review of Schmidt 135mm camera, Made in Western Germany, I also didn't find it when googling it but find similar body design with another name of camera. It also have a unique stamp look a like frame at both of the side

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