One of the coolest features of the Ricoh R1 (the less sought-after sibling of the fabulous GR1 series) is its panoramic feature. “Big deal”, I hear you say, “Loads of 35mm film compacts had panoramic features that just used shutters to crop the film at the top and bottom”.
However, the R1 is different. Selecting its “WIDE” panorama mode actually alters the position of the lens elements. The standard 30mm f3.5 lens magically transforms into a 24mm f8 lens.
And with the addition of a little piece of matchstick in a hole to the top right of the film frame, it’s pretty easy to stop the panorama masks from cropping the film image. (Of course, you do this at your own risk!),
So you have a 24mm lens on a 35mm compact. Albeit one that shows a fair degree of vignetting and distortion in the corners. Whether this enhances or detracts I’ll leave for you to decide…
5 frames at 24mm
Film: AgfaVista 200 shot at box speed – with a maximum aperture of f8 it helps to shoot on a sunny day
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