Rolleicord III – K3B

This is the final camera that I bought while on holiday in Hong Kong. Before writing this blog post I didn’t realize there were so many variations. Looking at this blog I matched the serial number to the Rolleicord III – Model K3B produced between 1950-1953. Now researching this camera I realize what I suspected at the time, I overpaid….but look at it.

It is in perfect condition, with box, case, and instructions. You can find more technical details from the previous link I supplied and this excellent blog shows you have to take care or repair it. I agree with that blog that the screen is a little dim, but that is the only thing I can find to fault. This cheaper version of the Rolleiflex is a delight to use. This particular version lacks the red window as it has an automatic stop function on the winder. Compared to the Seagull and Yashica TLRs I have tried, it feels much more luxurious and better made.

I loaded a roll of Shanghai GP3, which has terrible reviews. That review said it curled a lot after self-developing. I did not find that at all. I quite liked it and would buy more. Here are my test shots, taken around Tokyo Station and my local park.

The position of the viewfinder on top of the camera made it much easier to get the duck photos. I have not tried a Rolleiflex, but I am very happy with this holiday purchase and have already loaded it with a fresh film.

Keep or sell: Mine!


Canon Demi EE17

I hate this camera, I mostly dislike half frames. But the Canon line I particularly dislike. I have no idea why I feel so intensely about this inanimate object. I have no idea why I even bought this camera.

Now, the Japanese print on the front tells a story. It originally had a black leatherette, but I took it off to access the inside of the camera and it disintegrated. This was in an attempt to get at the battery compartment because try as I might, I could not get the battery cover off. I tried everything I knew. In the end, I took the cover off to see the inside and then soaked the bottom of the camera in vinegar overnight. Still, the cover did not budge a millimeter. Nevermind, the camera would still work in manual mode.

The next issue was the focusing, there is no split image, it seems to be zoned with a needle pointing at the three regular symbols in the viewfinder – that of person, a group of people, and a mountain. When I moved the focusing dial the needle did not alter, that was broke too.

Finally, the winder was stiff and has to be slightly forced back to the original position. What an awesome camera. Though it does seem prettier with the new cover.

I still decided to try it out and loaded a half roll of expired Svema. Mainly keeping the lens set to infinity, here are the results.

Apparently, I used the film before as there are a few double exposure shots. Hmm, they are not the worse result I have got from a test film, especially considering the film is from 1985. This 1966 camera produced acceptable shots despite its condition.

Keep or sell: Sold

Nikon EM

I really liked this camera…until I started researching. What a sexist pile of crap!!!!

I did think the small body was kind of cute, convenient. I didn’t mind that it only had aperture priority mode, it still gave enough control.

BUT, then I found out this 1979 camera was designed for female photographers and of course female photographers cannot possibly understand manual mode or any other feature. Just give them aperture priority and make it small, because those itty bitty women fingers can’t possibly handle anything else grrrrrrrrrr.

Anyway, here are some photos of the smallest Nikon SLR ever made.

You can find some more technical details here. The lens attached to my other Nikon in my current location did not seem to fit this one. So I used an automatic 28-85mm lens that can be manual focused and has f-stops. It seems massive compared to the body.

So basically I put in some batteries and a film and started shooting because that is all I am capable of according to Nikon…double grrrrr.

Here is my test roll which I took while on a walk for another blog.

Goddamnit, it worked perfectly. It is also lighter than the Pentax ME Super. BUT I just can’t get over why it came into being. Nikon were condescending a***holes, and maybe still are as the link above about being a woman’s camera is current.

Keep or sell: Sell, sell, sell….and I have figured out how to sell it right here on the page.

Nikon EM Body only

You can buy this camera, the price includes postage to anywhere in the world. You are buying the body only. Add a little condescension to your life. Gee whizz, I know how to sell things.


Konica Autoreflex T3

I found this body and a different lens in one of my favourite second-hand shops. The only reason I even thought about buying this camera was because I had recently read an article about the auto-reflex camera. When I saw this version I jumped at it even though it was a regular SLR, not a full/half-frame camera. Originally released between 1973-75, it is quite a big, heavy camera.

The original lens had so much fungus on it that I just decided to take it apart to see if I could. AND then try and put it back together…I could not. So I got another, very cheap lens which still had some fungus, but not too much to bother me.

I was really interested in the M.E. switch on the side of the speed selector. Could it mean multiple exposures? Yes, it could, awesome. Did the meter work? Yes, it did, another awesome point! Although it did feel a bit like a metal brick I was starting to really like this camera. You can find all the technical details you like here.

After using it on auto for a while I had the feeling that the camera was choosing the wrong aperture for the lighting situations. It was too high for the low light available. I thought the LR44 batteries I had inserted were just too strong. Also, the on/off switch was quite loose and when I went to use it again I found it was in the on position. The batteries were dead. So, I set about putting in some fresh 675 hearing aid batteries. They turned out to be slightly too small. Never mind I will just bend the connector up a bit. And this is where anyone with one of these cameras shouts NOOOO. And yes, the connector broke off and fell inside the camera body.

Bugger, but maybe I can fix it? Nope. Apparently, the only way to reach the battery compartment is to almost take the whole camera apart. It just wasn’t worth it.

Now it is a manual camera only 😦

Anyway, other things I like about this camera are, the green/red spot near the film winder that lets you know if the shutter is cocked, the speed selected showing in the viewfinder and the red flag that adjusts the aperture from f1.4 to f1.7 depending on your lens.

When I finished my test film, I was a little ticked off to find the camera had been working  just fine in automatic mode. There had been no reason for my heavy handed battery adjustment.

You can see I tried the multi-exposure button. When you slide this towards the red/green circle, it unlocks the sprockets. So when you push the film advance, it does not advance the film but still cocks the shutter.

After I broke the battery compartment I reloaded the film to finish it in manual settings.

Usually, I would not add photos of my students, but these two photos are multiple exposures and do not look like the actual children involved…unless you actually know them. Some of the photos look a little out of focus. That was my issue, not the camera. I think I was tired or wearing my glasses.

Keep or sell: I am inclined to keep this camera. I do not have another slr that allows multiple exposures quite so easily. I am currently undertaking a project where I have to go through a lot more steps to acheive this affect. So for now I will keep it, but man-oh-man is it ever heavy.


Camera Go Camera Store

I have slowly been adding things to a CafePress store. You can get T-shirts, mugs, bags, and other stuff with photos of cameras on them. I have also added a few more photos of Japanese scenes.

I will add more cameras when I get time or take a decent photo.

A new look!

I have decided to pay for this blog for a year. Just a year at the moment, to see if I can make the money back I paid and to give me some more blog space to keep testing cameras. I am liking this hobby more and more and increasing my knowledge at the same time, that is always a good thing. With that in mind, check out the Stuff page. You can get yourself a mystery box or just donate towards the blog.

Hopefully, the new layout and theme looks better on tablets and phones too.

Olympus OM30

Another Olympus, this time the OM30. I have never tried one before, or even held one. So I was quite excited to see it in a junk bin. It didn’t have a lens attached, but right next to it was a slightly battered OM lens. I put one on the other and said take my money. Here is the thing, I put two items together, but I was only charged for one. The cashier just charged me the larger amount. As I put them together it became one item. I didn’t know, I didn’t agree, but the price stuck. Lucky me.

I already have the OM10 and OM20, now the OM30. I just need the OM40 for the set. The 30 was released in 1983 and had an autofocus feature for one lens only, this is not that lens. The right lens for autofocusing can also use a trigger mechanism. I have seen those for sale on eBay, and I can see why they could be useful, but not without the right lens. The f2/f4 button on the front of the body is also for that lens, but again, kind of useless to me without it. Unlike the OM10, this version has a manual speed selector built in. The viewfinder also tells you the speed selection for the auto setting. Another cool tool in the viewfinder is the green, yes it is focused square. If you are not in focus there is a red arrow, telling you which way to turn the barrel. This tool would be linked to the focusing trigger if I had one.

For me, it is a bit superfluous but still cool. You can find more technical details here, plus a photo of the autofocus lens.

I enjoyed using it. Even with the lens, it is light and small, I would compare it to the Pentax ME Super. I think I prefer the Pentax though.

I took this camera with me on a drive around some snowy shrines. Here are my test shots.

A lovely walk and a lovely camera, with a super lens. A great find.

Semi Leotax

I found this camera in a junk bin with other folding cameras. I bought a couple of them, I couldn’t resist. I chose this one due to the “made in occupied Japan” sign on the viewfinder. It dates the camera between 1947 to 1951. Anyway, it took me ages to get around to looking at it, due to its condition and the number of other cameras lying around my home.

When I did finally look at it, I discover the front element was stuck solid. Therefore it could not focus at all. I wouldn’t have minded if it was stuck at infinity, but it was stuck at 9ft. Nevermind, super camera fixer to the rescue…or super camera fixer in training to the rescue. Strike superman pose now.

Out comes the screwdrivers, out comes the dentist tools. Gee whizz, this camera has the smallest screws I have ever seen.

Once I got the distance gauge off I could see some green residue on the brass lens thread. Brute force or at least middle-aged lady force would not move that lens a millimeter. Vinegar and sake cup to the rescue. I left it for an hour and tried again.

Next issue, after I had cleaned the residue and lens…recalibrating the focus of the lens, but how?

I took an old piece of film and taped a focusing screen to it. Then I set an LED torch on a shelf at the other side of the room, put the camera on B and pressed the shutter. With the shutter open, I focused the newly screwed in lens on the torch. Genius. I now knew where infinity was so I screwed the distance gauge back on the front.

And now for testing with film….gosh I hope it worked.

The very first image is from when I first put the film in before I found out the distance was stuck. That is why the building, at infinity, is out of focus. BUT look at the rest of the film, Yahoooooooo I fixed the camera. It squeaks a bit when moving the focus from infinity, I should have put some lubricant on the threading. It does work better at infinity as the minimum distance is 3.5ft anyway.

I was so happy, and the camera was in such a state, that I spruced it up. Using only a magic marker, glue and leftover material I give you the new Semi Leotax post-war version. I decided to keep as much of the original cover as I could.

I might not use it again, but I am KEEPING IT FOREVER 🙂

Up ↑