Sunday, February 19, 2012

Kodak Retinette in Review

The Kodak Retinette IA was the first of our new babies that I tried out. It is a very, very pretty looking camera and is quite light and portable. It takes regular 35mm film which is a bonus because it saves on film and developing costs. It also has a lovely brown leather case and strap.
However, the camera is quite limited in what it can do. It does have enough manual settings to allow for adjusting both shutter speed and aperature, but the shutter speed settings only range from 1/30-1/250 of a second. This makes taking photos in various lighting difficult and limited. I may look at playing more with a flash the next time I use this camera.
Also the lens has no zoom, and as far as I can tell, the lens cannot be switched out for another. Now I love the prime lens on my Olympus Pen F, but the focus on the Olympus allows for really nice, detailed close up shots. The lens on the Kodak Retinette IA uses a distance-focusing system in which you need to guesstimate the distance between you and the subject and adjust the focus by this... however because the camera uses a rangefinder, you have no way of seeing whether the photo will be in focus or not. This resulted in several blurry shots on my first trial roll. 

I did get some really nice shots on a sunny day of subjects that were far enough away that I could set the distance-focus as high as it would go so that there really was no room for error.


I also managed to get a few really nice shots of this water spout. I think the lighting and sheer fluke on judging the distance was the key.
I took several shots indoors of our friends Jeff & Michelle's puppies and the results left a lot to be desired. It was obviously not bright enough in the room and I had not at all figured out the distance-focusing system yet. I wonder how these would have turned out if I had used a flash?

Blurry, even though I was sitting what seemed like far enough back

I like this one, especially the depth of field. I do wish though that the lighting was a little better.

To the camera's defense, I was also using a 100 speed film (Kodak 100 Ultracolor) which really isn't suited to indoor shots like this anyway. So I think the next roll I use with the Retinette will be a higher speed, possibly playing with a flash, and being more disciplined about effectively judging distance for focus.
I am learning so much from playing with all these different cameras! It is fantastic!

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