From City to Shore: A Rolleiflex Adventure in Sai Kung

From City to Shore: A Rolleiflex Adventure in Sai Kung


From City to Shore: A Rolleiflex Adventure in Sai Kung

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Rolleiflex 2.8F Planar TLR
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Rolleiflex 2.8F, Kodak Ektar 100, Hong Kong

A while back, my wife and friends invited me to join them on a camping trip to Sai Kung, a beautiful spot in the northeastern part of Hong Kong. One of the great things about living in Hong Kong is the ability to access stunning natural landscapes just 1.5 hours from home. I eagerly packed some clothes and essentials in my backpack, making sure to include my Rolleiflex 2.8F camera. I had never been on a proper camping trip before, so the whole experience seemed thrilling.

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Rolleiflex 2.8F, Ilford Delta 100 (Rodinal 1+50), Hong Kong
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Rolleiflex 2.8F, Ilford Delta 100 (Rodinal 1+50), Hong Kong

Instead of hiking to our destination, we arrived at Sai Kung pier and secured four seats on a speedboat bound for Ham Tin beach. From there, it was just a 10-minute walk to our final destination, Tai Wan. The speedboat ride was exhilarating, resembling a roller coaster as it navigated the open sea with waves crashing against nearby cliffs.

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Rolleiflex 2.8F, Kodak Ektar 100, Hong Kong
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Rolleiflex 2.8F, Fujifilm Velvia 100, Hong Kong

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Upon arrival, I was astonished by the number of people there, as well as the small shops selling food. We made our way to Tai Wan, passing grasslands with cows grazing near Ham Tin. The beach was filled with surfers, and the soothing sound of crashing waves provided the perfect natural white noise.

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Rolleiflex 2.8F, Fujifilm Velvia 100, Hong Kong
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Rolleiflex 2.8F, Kodak Ektar 100, Hong Kong
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Rolleiflex 2.8F, Kodak Ektar 100, Hong Kong

I had chosen to bring my Rolleiflex due to its infrequent use, although I had completely forgotten about the potential risk of sand getting inside the camera. Fortunately, there wasn’t much. I brought a variety of films, including Fujifilm Velvia 100, Provia 100, Kodak Ektar 100, and Delta 100.

The next morning, my wife and I watched a breathtaking sunrise together. I grabbed my camera from the tent and began taking photos of the morning surfers’ silhouettes against the rising sun. The tranquil atmosphere was almost meditative. The Rolleiflex’s 12-shot limit forced me to carefully consider each composition and capture memorable moments from our time on the beach.

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Rolleiflex 2.8F, Kodak Ektar 100, Hong Kong
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Rolleiflex 2.8F, Kodak Ektar 100, Hong Kong
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Rolleiflex 2.8F, Kodak Ektar 100, Hong Kong

However, composing with the inverted viewfinder sometimes proved challenging, especially compared to cameras like the Pentax 67 or other rangefinders that display an image as we see it. With the Rolleiflex, I needed to take an extra moment to visualize the final image. My camera came equipped with a Planar lens, which some consider ideal for portraits, but I found it to be an excellent all-around lens despite its age-related flaring. I appreciated the softness and sharpness the Rolleiflex offered, and most importantly, I thoroughly enjoyed our trip. I can’t wait to return to this incredible location!

Are you a Rolleiflex shooter? How has your experience been with this camera?

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Rolleiflex 2.8F, Fujifilm Velvia 100, Hong Kong
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Rolleiflex 2.8F, Fujifilm Provia 100, Hong Kong
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Rolleiflex 2.8F, Fujifilm Provia 100, Hong Kong
Reflx Lab 800
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Orwo NC500
CatLABS X 320 (120)
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