Pissed about Rocks

I tested two cameras at Brimham Rocks last year.

Praktica BCA electronic and Yashica TL Electro X

Today I read that the site had been vandalized. I am pissed. Leave footprints, take only photos šŸ˜¦

I guess mostly, I just don’t get it.


Yashica Lynx 14

Another amazing junk camera find, a Lynx 14 with a whopping f1.4 lens. It was released in 1965, you can find all the technical details you might need at this great website.


When I first picked it up, the fungus on the lens was clearly visible, though not in the photo above. However, it was cheap so I thought I would try a few experiments. Curiosity might have killed the cat, but would it kill the camera?

Ok, firstly remove the lens. That turned out to be pretty easy, it came off so smoothly.

Then I tried soaking it in IPA and using a soft cloth, nothing changed. Hmmph. Then I remembered reading an article about toothpaste hacks, one of the hacks was about cleaning glass. Well, that’s stupid, dumb, it would ruin the lens…but I wondered what would really happen?? Maybe I could show what would happen with this lens??

So in for a penny in for $5 and I took out my toothpaste and rubbed the lens very carefully. Here are the results.

Holy moly, that looks clean and sparkly…like a fresh set of gnashers, smells quite nice too. But would it still work? Have I cause irreversible damage, removed the coating or changed the curvature? The internet gods were shocked and stunned and a few lectures ensued. Now, let’s be clear, there is no way I am endorsing this approach. I certainly would not attempt it on one of my favourite cameras or lenses. But I got this for $5 and ultimately it is mine to do with as I please. So in I shoved some Fuji 100 asa film and set off to Hitachi Taga on a dull and cloudy day.

The camera’s light meter did not work, so I had to use it in manual only. Also, the second image was incredibly light and at times hard to see at all. That made focusing very difficult at times. I seem to have slightly overexposed everything, I think my phone lightmeter was fooled by the dappled or cloudy light. Anyway, all shots were taken at one location with apertures between f1.4 and f2.8, with speeds of 1/60th or 1/125th.

It is still usable šŸ™‚ I did not break it. Though as I did not test it before cleaning I do not really have a fair comparison. Either way…YAHHHHOOOOO!! I’ve got a shiny, slightly minty Lynx 14.

Keep or sell: Working ones are quite expensive according to this website, but I think I will keep it a while.

Konica Pearl III

I was asked to use this camera by one of my students. He was a bit worried that it wasn’t working correctly and wanted some reassurance.Ā  Sure I said, I have never used one before, or even seen one for that matter. I was a bit jealous as he is in grade 5 and he has this super camera.

I had helped him load some Shanghai GP3, but after a few shots, he thought something wasn’t right so asked me to finish the roll. I took it to Shunpuu Banriso a beautiful house and garden in Kasama, Ibaraki.

This is a coupled rangefinder from 1955. It has an auto-stop advance and takes 6×4.5 photos. The shutter release is on the lens door and the door opening button is where you would expect the shutter release to be, a bit of a reverse.Ā  The lens is a Hexar f3.5, 75mm. The speeds range from 1 second to 1/500th. The rangefinder is operated by the indented slider on the lens. The indented button is molded and placed in order to be operated by the right index finger. This example’s worked so smoothly, perfect condition. I found loading the camera a bit tricky as there is a push-up plate which is hard to reach. Once we had loaded the camera I put some tape on the film door opening lever as the student is sometimes a bit impatient. When we had loaded the camera he immediately opened the back again. So the tape was a visual reminder. The actual switch also worked smoothly and perfectly.

You cock the shutter with the lever on the front of the lens, after setting the aperture and speed manually. The camera does not have a light meter. It is possible to take multiple exposures before advancing the film. Once you are ready to advance the film you have to press the switch next to the film advance knob, this releases the mechanism. Turn the knob clockwise to advance and it automatically stops in the right place.

Once I had finished the roll I thought I had advanced the paper all the way to the end, but when I opened the back I found part of the paper still covering the exposure space. The film advance was a little sticky so I manually finished advancing the film paper. There was only a little bit of paper to go, the film was already protected. I think the paper was really stuck to the original spool and there wasn’t enough ‘power’ to pull it off.

Then I developed it, in Kodak T-Max šŸ™‚

Wow, what a bargain this student has found. I think he got it for much less than the few cameras posted on eBay. It is clean and works perfectly.

Keep or sell: I have to give it back šŸ˜¦

Canon Autoboy Zoom 105

The first Autoboy I tried, I hated. It was too noisy, too bulky, too ugly. The second one I tried faired a little better. Where would this junk bin find lie? Right in between.

It was lighter and quieter than the first, but bulkier and noisier than the second. The zoom function has been moved closer to the shutter. I found this an issue as I sometimes pressed the shutter instead of the zoom.

It was originally released in 1991 and as you can see this is the updated “caption” version. And holy moly it was expensive! This example still had the remote attached and it worked, though I didn’t take any selfies. The battery inside the remote is non-user replaceable, so I was impressed it still worked. That last link also states the iso setting for none DX-coded film is 25ASA, wow that is low.

Whoa, this camera is good. A point and shoot that you really can just point and shoot. I used in on a walk on Mount Tsukuba. The photos have a definite feel about them, they scream film photography, which usually I don’t feel on point and shoots.

Oh and the lens goes from 38mm to 105mm. You can see the difference in these two shots.

Awesome. Just pity about the zoom button placement.

Keep or sell: I have many point and shoots, so I don’t need it…but it is heavy and can be found quite easily. Hmph, it should be worth more. Anyone want to make a swap?

Lomography Pop 9

Ok, I was sold on the gold. I saw the shiny rectangle in the junk cabinet and thought, “I’ll have that!”

I had no idea what it was or how weird it was, it was just shiny and I wanted it.

The shiny surface did make it difficult to take photos of the camera, I kept seeing my own reflection. Researching the camera was even more tricky. There really isn’t anything on the net apart from a few people selling it. I did find a site dedicated the camera, you can read all about it here and maybe order one for yourself. Looking at that site you can see this camera has nine lenses with a set f11 aperture. The focal length of each is 24mm and they fire at the same time with a shutter speed of 1/100th. On this example, the flash powered up, the light came on but it never fired. I am sure there is just a short in the circuit somewhere, but I don’t feel like taking the camera apart to find out.

So what is special about this camera? It takes 9 photos at once, simple as. I had a look online and the best photos seem to be ones with bold colours. It just so happened that Tokyo Pride was happening when I found this camera. There were bound to be some bold colours at an event like that. I loaded some Fuji 100asa and set off. These are the photos I got.


The index print looked perfect, but I wasn’t sure the shop could scan the negatives or if the camera worked so I didn’t pay for the cd. Scanning the negatives at home was tricky and all the photos were blue and pale.

As with all the Lomography or toy cameras I have tried, the winding mechanism was really weak and stiff. In fact, the whole camera felt like it would break at any moment. But it didnā€™t, toy cameras are sometimes sturdier than they seem.

I was surprised by the results and I kind of liked the photos, but will I used it again? Maybe not. As for Tokyo Pride, well that was interesting. If we ever meet I have an interesting story to tell about that.

Keep or Sell: Sell, I have no idea if I will ever use it again.

Lomography Pop 9

The price includes this camera and postage to anywhere in the world. I have looked online and have only seen a couple of these cameras for sale in gold, both were around $100. So it is a bit rare. The flash on this one does not work as I said in the post, but everything else does.



More Stuff – Amazon Associates

I just this minute applied for and learnt how to link products for AmazonĀ on my site. As my stats show I have more viewers in America than anywhere else, I have linked both the Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk sites.

So, on the “Stuff” page you can find links to 35mm and 120mm film searches on Amazon…like these.

If you want to buy some film, then buy it through these AmazonĀ links and I will get a little money too. It’s a win-win (mainly for me) šŸ™‚

UK Amazon – 35mm film

UK Amazon – 120mm film

US Amazon 35mm film

US Amazon 120mm film

Fujicolor Simple Ace Disposable Camera

A couple of years ago there was a bit of a “thing” about this single use camera after a 30th-anniversaryĀ edition was released. I bought one and shoved it in my fridge and basically forgot about it.

As you can see it came with a cover, which I didn’t use. Recently I have seen a rubbery cover on sale too. Anyway, as for this style of camera – it seems ridiculous to me, given all the issues with plastic consumption. Plus there are literally thousands upon thousands of great film cameras around that cost the same as one of these. I tried another one I found in a junk bin, but this is the first time I have ever bought one and I felt guilty every time I used it. Lomography have released a semi-single use camera which is slightly better, but even they say reloading it is tricky.

While researching this camera I found this video of someone disassembling one. I was surprised by how much was really inside. I used to just take the batteries and throw them away when I worked in a developing lab.

If you want to know the history of disposable cameras, check this link. I love the quote, “disposableĀ cameras for lasting memories”.

I kept mine in my bag for a week and used it as and when, then used the one hour developing service at Kitamura.

Here are my shots.

I don’t think it did so bad. The weather was up and down while I shot during various times of the day, but the results were as good as some other point and shoots I have tried.

Still, I feel there is no real reason to produce these types of cameras anymore.

Ok, lecture over.

Try buying film instead, use this link and I get some money too.
buy 35mm film here

buy 120mm film here

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