Saturday, December 1, 2012

Spotlight: Ricoh A-100 Super

The Ricoh A-100 was my first manually operated 35mm film camera. It's by no means an expensive or exceptionally well built camera, but it holds a special place in my heart. It was on this camera that I first learned how load film onto the take-up reel (of which I wasted 3 rolls of film... embarrassing). I remember loving advancing the film with the lever, it felt almost like a pump-action shotgun.  I originally bought my Ricoh at a flea market for $10. Using this camera is part of what really got me interested in darkroom photography.

The A-100 super has some nice features for being such a cheap camera. Firstly, it has a K-mount, so it accepts all of the amazing Pentax brand lenses available. In fact, before I bought my Pentax MX, I used this camera with my SMC Pentax 1:1.4 lens.  The camera can be operated in full manual mode, but you can also use it in aperture priority mode, which I have found to be very reliable. In fact, The A-100 Super has one of the best exposure meters I've seen on a 35mm SLR. It has a dial that lets you select your ISO speed (which, sadly, is broken), and an exposure compensation dial. A self timer is also available.

I used this camera to take photos for Katie's brother's band, "Istari". The photos are from an abandoned brick factory in the town of Galesburg, near where I went to college. All that's left standing of the factory is one lonely chimney, surrounded by a field of shoulder-high grass. It was a creepy experience.  

While I'm unsure whether I will ever put film through this camera again, I'll always have great memories of my Ricoh A-100 Super. Here's some more shots I've taken with it. Thanks for reading!