Friday, January 28, 2011

The mighty little Sears 35RF

Sears 35rf

I don't shoot all that much slide film these days. A decade ago, I was easily shooting 30-50 rolls a year. Now, it's down to less than 10, including the cross-processed stuff. It's pretty simple really, C-41 and b&w are cheaper, and most of my color photography is done digitally. However, the true test of a camera has always been how it handles (and how the photographer handles, for that matter) slide film -- as in how accurate is the exposure system? Slide film has a dynamic range not too different from digital sensors, and depending on the film, the latitude can be only a stop or less in the difference between a good and bad exposure. So, I was a little curious as to what I would get from the little Sears 35RF camera that i have had for a while. These small cameras have a sensor on the front of the lens assembly, so one can use filters and get a proper exposure. I have shot mostly b&w with it, and maybe a roll of color C-41. I put in a roll of Ektachrome 100(probably expired, at that)back in the summer and made a bunch of random shots at different places. Overall, I am pleased with the results, and a few examples are shown below. By the way, this camera was probably made by Chinon for Sears. It's very similar to the Konica C-35.

Echinaceas are among my favorite flowers. I have taken many a test shot in my front yard.

One of the boardwalks at Crosswinds Marsh in Wayne County.

A ton of people downtown at the Ann Arbor Rolling Sculpture Car Show

Last shot on the roll. I think I used the polarizing filter.

As you can see, the little camera did pretty well. It's no Leica, but if you find one, be assured that it's a keeper.


Mike said...

Looks like a great little shooter. Very similar appearance to the Olympus 35rc, which is one of my favorites.

Panagiotis Giannakis said...

It is a rebranded Ricoh 500G. I have it and it is a great little camera with a fantastic lens. Unfortunately i don't use it as much since i bought a Leica so i am thinking to sell it.

Mark said...

I should never write these things late at night! Yes, it is nearly a dead-ringer for the Ricoh 500G. Thanks for the comments, guys.