Apple Orchard – Super Ricohflex

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Shot with my wonderfully ever-unpredictable Super Ricohflex.

I love nearly everything about this camera, including it’s swirly circular bokeh (see background of apple photo below) and odd focus problem that throws parts of the images into focus that shouldn’t be. Look closely at the bottom photo for one example of this — the image is focused right around the kids, but an area very close to the camera in the lower-left corner of the photo is also in focus. I see this in many images from this camera when focused in the distance. I’m guessing that the lens is slightly tilted, thus acting a little like a tilt-shift lens. The fact that the lens focuses by turning probably adds to the randomness of where in each image that odd focusing occurs.

These were shot on Portra 160 and developed and scanned by Precision Photo. Nice high-res 5000 x 5000 pixel scans.

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Spiral Slide

I’ve been busy with selling a house, buying a house, moving, etc, so it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted here.  I have a few rolls of film lying around that need to be developed, but in the meantime here’s an older shot from my Super Ricohflex.  Shot on Kodak Portra 400.  I like how you can see the blue sky and clouds reflected in the slide.

As we settle into our new home, I look forward to unpacking my cameras and finding some time to shoot again.


Hollywood Theater

The Hollywood Theater opened it’s doors on Johnson Street in NE Minneapolis in 1935, and has been closed since 1987. It’s in rough shape, but has recently been re-opened on a limited basis for some theatrical performances. And the local arts television show MN Original recently filmed a nice performance by local musician Mason Jennings in the theater, in which the theater’s beautifully decrepit interior plays a starring role.

It was designated a local historic landmark in 1990 and the city of Minneapolis has owned it since 1993. There have been many redevelopment plans discussed over the years, but nothing has happened so far. It would be an amazing space if it were renovated and re-opened as a live-performance theater.

Another feature of the part of NE Minneapolis I call home is the resident flock of wild turkeys that roam the streets, sidewalks and yards. They’re frequently seen outside the local coffee shop and corner restaurant, or sitting on the small strip of grass next to the craft store, in front of the funeral home, or even sitting on the park benches lining the sidewalk.  They’re quite used to the people and cars around, and take their sweet time crossing the street. They’ve become symbols of our little corner of NE Minneapolis. As I was taking the Hollywood Theater photos above, they wandered by, so I had to snap a shot of them in the street.

The second photo of the theater was taken with my Super Ricohflex on Portra 400 film, and the rest were shot on my Retina IIIc, also on Portra 400. The third photo — the straight-on shot — was cropped square from the 35mm frame because I liked the composition better, and straightened a bit in Lightroom. The first image, taken with the Retina, was adjusted in Lightroom — I added some Recovery to darken the sky that was a bit washed out, and a little fill light to brighten up the darker areas under the overhang. It gives it a little bit of an HDR look, I think, but hopefully not too much — I tried not to over-do it.  I’m always amazed at how much detail can be pulled out of the highlights and shadows on a good scan of a negative.


Accidental double exposures – Super Ricohflex

One shortcoming of some old manual cameras is that it can be very easy to accidentally shoot double exposures. Many cameras are equipped with some sort of double-exposure prevention mechanism: something that won’t let you cock the shutter and take another shot until you’ve wound the film forward (or pushed an over-ride button or lever in the case that you purposely want to take a double exposure). Many of my old cameras don’t have this feature, so I inevitably end up with some double exposures. The two below were from the second roll of film that I shot in my Super Richoflex this past spring before I got in the habit of always winding immediately after taking a photo.

But if this old camera had double-exposure prevention, I wouldn’t have accidentally ended up with these interesting images.


Sunrise on Lake Superior – Super Ricohflex

Another old shot while I wait for some newer film to be developed.  The misty fog over the water was beautiful, and I’m glad the film was able to capture it.  As I looked back at this shot, I was struck by the amazing amount of dynamic range that was captured.  The sun was shining pretty much directly into the lens, filtered through the tree a little, and there’s still a surprising amount of detail in the highlights and shadows.  I don’t think my digital camera would have captured this much dynamic range without shooting a few bracketed shots and using an HDR process to merge them together.  This was shot with the Super Ricohflex on Ektar 100.


Still life with Yashica

Looking through some scans from earlier this year, this shot jumped out at me from the very first roll of 120 film I shot in my Super Ricohflex. I like the composition and strong contrast. Funny how looking back later at a roll of shots can reveal ones that you didn’t pay much attention to at first.


Drifter’s Cabin

Super Ricohflex

These images were shot on the Super Ricohflex 120 TLR camera on Tmax 400 film.

I like the quality of these images from the Ricohflex.  The first shot is a little soft, due either to not focusing quite right or a little camera motion, but I think the softness gives it a dreamy quality that I love.  I don’t think the softness comes across much in the small size shown here.

The original scans that I got back from North Coast Photo were extremely high-contrast, with shadow and highlight detail lost, as I mentioned in an earlier post.  Color scans that they did were great, but the ones from black and white film were disappointing.  I emailed them and explained the problem, and they asked me to send the negs back, and they rescanned them and reimbursed me for the return shipping cost.  These redone scans turned out great.  Hopefully they now have solved whatever problem they had, and will produce good black and white scans in the future.