20060724 Monday July 24, 2006

New Old Camera

New Old Camera
Originally uploaded by Berin Loritsch.
I bought a Super Ricohflex, which is an older Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) camera. The top lens is for focusing and the bottom lens is for picture taking. I was expecting a more hefty camera, but this one is fairly light. In fact I was very surprised at its size. As you can see by the picture the TLR is shorter than a Wacom tablet pen.

The Super Ricohflex has a limited set of applications it can be used for, and it likes doing things a little differently. The lens is a wide angle 80mm lens, and to be different they marked it as an 8cm lens. It has seven apertures marked in full stops ranging from f/3.5 to f/16. The most limiting part of the camera is the range of shutter times. It has six times marked: 1/200, 1/100, 1/50, 1/25, 1/10, and B (bulb). I have to have the right lighting conditions if I want to use the smaller apertures, which is not something that will take place in daylight. Since I like to use Provia slide film (a daylight balanced film), using it indoors will likely have a strong yellow or orange cast to it.

I'll report on picture quality when I get the pictures back tonight. It is a medium format camera, and uses 120 format film (6cm wide, 120mm long). It will fit 12 square pictures on the film.

While the controls do require some getting used to, particularly for someone spoiled by SLR cameras with all sorts of automatic gadgetry, it's really not that difficult to use. To focus, you pop up a hood on the top and look down. Because the picture is reflected up to you, your left to right directions on the viewfinder are reversed. That said, the hood also has a magnifying glass to assist with critical focus. Once you are done with the focusing, you can look down on the side of the upper lens to see how much depth of field you have. All in all, you can't complain about something as simple as this camera. (2006-07-24 07:22:42.0) Permalink Trackback Comments [2]


Usually an 80mm lens is considered a "normal" lens on a 6x6 camera. Width-wise the 80mm should give about the same results as a 50mm lens on your 35mm camera. But because of the square format you'll capture 50% more vertically.

Posted by Doug ( on July 24, 2006 at 01:01 PM EDT
Website: http://creativekarma.com/ #

Thanks for the clarification. I did get to look at my first slides, and they were a bit on the dark side. That tells me I either am not doing the Sunny 16 rule properly or the shutter is closing too quickly. Also there seems to be a light leak at the bottom. That can be easily remedied with either gaffer's tape (not too convenient) or some specialized felt.

Posted by Berin Loritsch ( on July 26, 2006 at 01:23 AM EDT #

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