Those that know Meghan and I know that we have what appears to be an on going camera acquisition problem. To remedy this but continue to try out ALL of the cameras we have decided to start borrowing cameras from our fellow camera enthusiasts instead of trying to purchase or hoard them all to ourselves. Not all are winners though and some are just easier or more fun to use but you have to shoot with them first to find out! Thus, we decided if we run a roll through every camera we are interested in, not unlike going on a 5 minute date with a bunch of strangers at a singles night, we can quickly see which are worthy of being added to our collection (or put on our list of “must haves.”) Camera speed dating!
Here is most recent camera I had the pleasure of a quick date with….the Orionwerk Rio82C 120 format camera.
A few quick facts about the Rio82C…very little is mentioned online about Orionwerk, and nothing is mentioned about this particular Rio variant. As its nameplate suggests, the Orionwerk Hannover orginates from Hannover, Germany. The company was founded in 1893 and went through a few name/ownership changes till 1933 when they became defunct. The camera has a good range of shutter speeds, 25, 50, 100, B and T. It has even more apertures! 44, 22, 16, 11, 8, 6.3, and 4.5. It uses a distance scale for focus.
I was given this camera by a friend, and even though its one arm was broken and view finder is virtually impossible to see through I, after using it, have dubbed it my favourite of all the folding cameras I’ve used. I really like the fact that its compact AND 6×9! However the main thing I liked is that it is very easy to load. The back pulls right off of it making it easy to access the spool holder mechanism which is a very intuitive design. It’s very sturdy and slides up and down, sort of locking the film in. Many other folding cameras just have a bendy piece of metal if anything OR you’re stuck trying to wrestle it in at the ‘just so’ correct angle. The other feature I like is the pressure plate is not on the ‘back door’ of the camera it is behind the lens so it flaps down while you’re loading the film in, helping to control the unruly spool of 120 film. I also liked how it has choice of aperture and shutter speeds, I had a photo walk planned and of course in among a few brilliant blue sky puffy cloud days my photo walk day was the only grey drizzly day…. so having many settings saved my exposures. The distance scale for focus wasn’t my favorite but I’m sure if I practice with it enough it’ll get easier.
As it turned out, its broken arm was effecting its focus and the vast majority of the roll was slightly out of focus sadly. I hadn’t really thought about the arm making such a different in focus, but of course it did. I have since had this part fixed on the camera and I can’t wait to try another roll through it. Here are a few of my out of focus shots, which at least are well exposed!!