The Widelux F8: My Unexpected Creative Companion

The Widelux F8: My Unexpected Creative Companion


The Widelux F8: My Unexpected Creative Companion

Widelux F8
Reflx Lab 800, Widelux F8, Tai Kwun

The Widelux F8

Not too long ago, I was all set to sell this funky panoramic camera. I’d even found a buyer ready to snap it up. But, as fate would have it, the deal fell through. So, what do you do with a camera that you’ve already mentally parted ways with? Well, you take it out for a spin, of course! I thought, “why not give this camera another shot?”

Now, some of you might remember that I already have a Hasselblad Xpan II, complete with three lenses. So, why in the world did I need another panoramic camera? Honestly, I didn’t. I was just enchanted by the Widelux F8. Its unique look had me hooked, and I found myself wanting to explore how its distortion and perspective could create images that spoke to me.

Reflx Lab 800, Widelux F8, Central
Reflx Lab 800, Widelux F8, Central

What I love about the F8 is its power to make me relax. I don’t fuss about the details the way I do with my Leica. It’s a casual, just-for-fun kind of camera that frees up my mind to just “try” and see how the image will turn out. And guess what? I’ve been loving the results, especially the cityscape shots I’ve been getting in Hong Kong.

Reflx Lab 800, Widelux F8, Tai Kwun
Reflx Lab 800, Widelux F8, Kennedy Town
Reflx Lab 800, Widelux F8, Tai Kwun

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Recently, SilvergrainClassics published an article about the Widelux revival project. It’s a fantastic read for anyone interested in this camera. Did you know that Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges is a huge fan of this camera? I’ve been devouring his techniques and tips on how to make the most of this film camera.

“The Widelux has this great proportion, or ratio – it’s kind of like how your eye sees, with peripheral vision. And the swing lens, it’s a whole new way of seeing! Between the time when the slit starts moving and when it’s done, the world has changed.”

And while we’re on the subject of making the most of the Widelux, let me tell you about the time I shot two rolls of Reflx Lab 800 colour negative film at Tai Kwun. There was this neon sign exhibition going on, and the results were just chef’s kiss!

So, what’s the takeaway from my Widelux F8 adventure? Well, it’s kinda like these creativity boosters I’ve been thinking about:

  • Freedom of Thought: When you’re not sweating the small stuff, your mind gets to roam free and explore new ideas. Kind of like what happened with me and my Widelux F8.
  • Reduced Pressure: Sometimes, taking the pressure off can do wonders for your creativity. You get to do more without that fear of messing up.
  • Serendipity: Not sticking to a plan can lead to some pretty cool surprises. Just like my unexpected love affair with the Widelux F8.
  • Iterative Process: Creativity often involves refining your ideas over time. A casual approach at the start can let you explore a wide range of ideas which you can then refine.
  • Cross-Pollination: A relaxed approach can let you soak up all sorts of info and experiences, leading to fresh ideas. Like how I picked up tips from Jeff Bridges for my Widelux F8!
Reflx Lab 800, Widelux F8, Kennedy Town

So, what’s the moral of the story? I’ve found that sometimes, it’s the unexpected equipment that stretches your creativity. For me, it just happened to be the Widelux F8. Who knows what it might be for you! 

Reflx Lab 800, Widelux F8, Kennedy Town
Reflx Lab 800, Widelux F8, Hong Kong
Reflx Lab 800, Widelux F8, Central
Reflx Lab 800, Widelux F8, Tai Kwun
Reflx Lab 800
Reflx Lab 400D
Reflx Lab 100R
Orwo NC500
CatLABS X 320 (120)
Reflx Lab 500T (120)

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