I’m posting this as a bit of a “what not to do”. I called this one “almost there”, because that’s how I feel about the photo as a whole. I like the depth of the shot, and the blurred edges, highlighted by overhanging trees. Those edges, however, are the problem. Because of the naturally blurred edges on the Gakkenflex, your eyes are naturally drawn to the clear, focussed centre of the photo, and there’s…. nothing there. I feel like this photo is lacking that focus in the centre.
So, when you take photos with the Gakkenflex, keep in mind that it will look best if there is a subject in the centre. Have a look at my Hikone Castle photo as an example.
Otona no Kagaku (大人の科学) is a great little magazine series in Japan, literally translating into “Adult’s Science” or “Science for Adults”, and is released irregularly, roughly every few months. Each volume contains a DIY kit of the product of that issue, as well as a magazine which contains any necessary assembly instructions and, usually, a brief history of the item. Volume 25, released in 2009, was a nice 35mm Twin Lens Reflex camera, known as the Gakkenflex. Since then, the Gakkenflex has gained a cult following (see http://www.flickr.com/groups/gakkenflex/), due to its unique-looking photos. Continue reading →
This was taken when I was at uni, before a round of tennis with my lovely girlfriend, which you see here.
Since the Gakkenflex is a TLR, you can shoot from the hip, as long as you have the focus right. That’s how I managed to capture one of my favourite candid photos (maybe I’m a little bias, considering who the subject is!)
As you can see, the Gakkenflex can get actually get quite close to objects while still taking clear shots. It’s not the same sort of extreme macro you get from something like the Harinezumi 2++, but it’s still nice. The manual focus on this camera means that you have to spend some time fiddling with it to get the right focus. Also, when you take photos really close with the Gakkenflex, you start to see some vignette action going on.
That’s Hikone Castle peeking through the trees. Taken with Gakkenflex.
This is one of my favourite photos, taken during my recent holiday to Japan. This is one of the main buildings in Hakone Castle. In terms of the photo, notice the trademark Gakkenflex traits of having soft, blurred edges, with a clear focus in the centre.
This camera requires a lot of manual focussing and, as you can imagine, if you don’t get it right, the whole thing will be blurry. When you get it right, though, it will look stunning.