If you’ve been following our camera adventures over the years, you know of our Camera Speed Dating blog. We occasionally still find a different camera in our possession or a friends to try out, though we have slowed down a bit. We love sharing our results with these different, sometimes curious or tricky cameras though, so stay tuned for more adventures in Camera Speed Dating!
Recently one of my long time dreams came true…. a Widelux came into my life, and after holding it I decided I never wanted to let it go. So I turfed my two Horizont’s (one Horizon Perfekt and original Horizont Original- which WAS painful because I love its unique design, but they both went to good homes) and splurged on the Widelux F8. The first thing about the camera that I loved (aside from its wicked good looks) was how easily the film loaded (this was not the case with the Horizionts, there’s one tiny design difference that makes ALL the difference). It also reinvigorated my waning enthusiasm for street photography… this last year has been mostly street photography for me and I found I was getting a little burnt out on it. Seeing the streets through an ultra wide camera instead of my usual 35mm or 6×6 really helped! Also I’ll admit I’m enjoying the “focus free” aspect of this camera, though like a fool I forgot to even look at whether the camera does focus at 6ft or 11ft , I just pointed the camera and snapped away. The camera can also be angled in different ways to “bend” the horizon line into fun perspectives. Even long skinny vertical shots look neat.
The famous photographer Jeff Bridges does a trippy Widelux portrait where it appears as though he’s taken a double exposure but hasn’t. I believe the subject is just moving faster than the lens, so they appear in the same frame twice! I’m excited to try that! However there are a few critical things to remember when using the camera. Like with most cameras of this sort, the Widelux’s shutter is finicky, the dial must be precisely set in the correct spot or it gets jammy AND you MUST set the shutter in the correct order, shoot, wind, adjust shutter, shoot, wind, adjust shutter. Mine only has three shutter speeds 1/15, 1/125/and 1/250, so I’ll likely just leave it on 125 . You also have to hold the camera top to bottom, because if you hold the right and left sides your fingers will be in the photos, which could be an aesthetic but not for every shot! After seeing my first few photos I think that I’m pretty happy with them, though next time when ‘sunny sixteening’ I’d use F5.6 in the dark shade instead of F8. My shady shots did come out a tad dark, and though I lightened them in Photoshop, I try to avoid that sort of thing. Another thing I tried was indoor low light. I took few shots inside Konbiniya and Lucky’s Donuts. My settings were 1/15 at 2.8 and for the most part I did hold it steady, but on a few I think it was a combo of slight unsteadiness and being a touch too close. Anthony moved the camera as he was taking a photo, which looked neat in one instance but was too blurry in the next. Next I’d like to try turning in a complete circle as I take photos, if this idea pans out I’ll definitely share my results. Overall I am still SO stoked on this camera, I guess it was F8 that made me finally own this baby!
I used Ilford FP4 for my first roll and Agfa Scala 200 for my second.