Repaired: Certo Super Sport Dolly

Certo Super Sport DollyWoot! Woot woot woot! I’ve licked all of the problems with my Certo Super Sport Dolly.

First it was a broken element in the focusing system. And then there was a pesky light leak. I’ve vanquished both.

The light leak was caused by some tiny holes in the bellows where it attaches to the body. A little black fabric paint closed those holes.

And so I dropped in some Kodak Tri-X 400…and then did nothing with the camera for weeks. I chose Tri-X because we were in a stretch of lousy weather, and I figured a fast film would work fine in the gloomy light. But the very moment I loaded the roll, the sun came out and blazed bright for days. Does Tri-X control the weather? Given the camera’s 1/250 sec. top shutter speed, my exposure options would be strictly limited.

When I had to drive up to Burlington for a meeting of the Historic Michigan Road Association, I decided to heck with it and took the SSD with me. I shot two thirds of the roll on the Michigan Road at the minimum aperture, f/22, and fastest shutter speed, 1/250 sec., and even that overexposed the film by a stop. But Tri-X is resilient.

Burlington, IN

After the meeting we toured the 1848 “American House,” which is being restored and will eventually be a museum and maybe a B&B. Boy, the house is in rough condition inside.

The 1848

I drove up to Michigantown, where this tidy Christian Church lurked on a side street.

Christian Church

And of course I stopped in Kirklin. It might just be my favorite little town on all of the Michigan Road. I’ve photographed this building many times.

Truck Parked

I wanted to see how the camera performed in light better suited to the film. As dawn broke one morning, I stepped onto my porch to photograph my garden. There was scarcely enough light; the in-focus patch was narrow.

Front Garden

A little past sunrise, the sky overcast and gray, I photographed my car just beyond my blooming peonies.

Ford Among the Peonies

Many thanks to Mike Connealy for his assistance making this Super Sport Dolly work again!

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24 thoughts on “Repaired: Certo Super Sport Dolly

  1. Nice performance from the Dolly. I’ve always been impressed with the capabilities of the Trioplan lens; it seems just as sharp as the 4-element Tessars on my other 6×4.5 folders. I have shot 400-speed film more often than not in my Dolly as the greater depth of field it allows makes up for bad guesses on the distance settings.


  2. SilverFox says:

    Nice little folder, where’s the viewfinder? Does it have a view screen on the back or something or is it a point and hope? :)


  3. Christopher Smith says:

    Well worth repairing you have got some cracking shots with it. I love old folders and trying to get the best out of them.


  4. Reinhold Graf says:

    Love your pictures and love this old stuff.
    Have a Zeiss Ikon Ercona myself which is awaiting its first 6×9 film ;)


  5. Andy Umbo says:

    Don’t forget to check the “Certo 6” guy on eBay and on the web. He’s a 120 folder “restorer” and has stuff for sale. He claims the Certo 6 is the best of the folders…google ’em up!


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