Keychains or Keyrings

It is raining and cold today so I made some keyrings.

You can get yourself one from my Etsy Shop.

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Halina Smile

As of writing this post you could still buy this camera on Amazon. I put in half a roll of expired film from another toy camera.

This is a cheap plastic camera with very basic specs. A single aperture, a single speed, and a fixed focus lens. 

28mm lens
F/9.5 aperture
Fixed focus
Shutter Speed: ~1/100th / sec

I don’t know why anyone would buy this camera. You might as well get the simple use camera, at least then you will get a decent film with it.

Loading the film is a little awkward as there is no slot for the film end, only some bumps for the sprockets, as with the simple use. I found after loading the half used roll, the winder became stiff. I recommend only using a 24 exposure film, of 400asa of course.

After a few shots, my example seized and I gave up.

Here are the few shots I got.

Not the best camera, not the sharpest of lenses. Not recommended by me at least. The colours are nice though 🙂

Pokemon 35mm Camera

I didn’t actually know what to title this post, should I write souvenir camera, tiger camera as it says it on the front, or toy camera. It really is a unique camera, purely a fun camera. You can find the manual here.

I love toys and I love pokemon. So when I read about this camera from 1999 my inner child clicked on and I decided I must try it. See I said “try” not keep. I already knew when I bought it that I didn’t want to keep this camera. The manual recommends 400asa, like most other toy cameras. The second article says it puts all 150 pokemon around the photo. As of writing this post, there are over 800, so the catchphrase of “gotta catch ’em all” is no longer true. How can you catch them all when they just keep designing more?

I love the look of this camera, with Pikachu, Diglett and some pokeballs incorporated in the design. The on/off button locks the shutter. As it is a very basic camera, it will still work if there is no battery in it. On my example the flash was a little hit and miss. I had to add a piece of tinfoil to make it more reliable. The flash fires each time it is charged and the camera is turned on.

If I was using it to take photos of children, they loved it. Even adults had a giggle. Children tended not to understand that they could not see the photos straight away and kept grabbing at it to see the back. But at the end of the day how many photos do you need with a Pokemon border? I took the film out mid roll and put it in another toy camera.

Here are the shots I took. I put in an expired roll so was nowhere near the 400asa suggestion. 🙂

Well, it works. It was fun while it lasted. I think if the Pokemon was a choice you could make, I would like it more. But the border is built into the camera, Pokemon galore, constantly.

Chinon 35 F-M

This is another camera that was donated to me. The seals were shot so I changed them straight away. The rest of the camera seemed really clean. The battery check button sounded and lit up without issue, as did the flash. This camera from 1980 takes two AA batteries and one LR44. I think one set powers the flash and the other the light meter…maybe.

I really liked the look of this camera, plus it had an f2.8 lens. The only issue was the zoned focusing rather than autofocusing or a rangefinder. Both of those are just easier for me to use. The grip makes holding the camera really comfortable. I put in a roll of Kodak 200 and wandered around Manchester with a film group I join from time to time. I don’t live in Manchester or I would join them more often, they are super friendly.

The speed is set to 1/125th, but the camera adjusts between F2.8 and f16 depending on the available light. You can see the choice made by the camera in the viewfinder by the way of a scale and needle. The “F-M” I would guess means Film Motor and the motor does make a bit of a racket. The noise meant it was nowhere near stealthy enough for secret or street photography. Every time I used it, the people near me looked around. It might be good for dog photography though, I think they would love the sound. Lots of head tilting I am sure.

But how did this example perform?

Considering it was a dull day, as most seem to be recently, many of the shots are brighter than I remember. A few are out of focus due to my zoning technique and handshake. I was trying to catch people as I walked past, but I really needed a faster speed for that. The lens is nice and sharp, and the flash does not overpower the shot. 

I like the results, pity about the noise. If you can find this camera for a reasonable price, I think it would be a good one to have.

On another note, I am using the new WordPress editor. It is a little different from the classic version. It reminds me of the Squarespace editor with the use of blocks. It is not so different from the classic version that it was easy to navigate, definitely an improvement. It does make editing old pages sometimes a little tricky. When editing the stuff page, I almost had to recreate the whole thing. The camera list page is also troublesome to change, but that has too many links on for me to start again.

I also prefer the older style gallery, just for the final look. This version seems a little neater which just isn’t me.

Olympus OM-101 (OM-88)

I have absolutely no idea why I bought this camera, but it was in the pile of random cameras I bought myself when returning to the UK. I think it must have been really cheap or I was persuaded by the Olympus name. It does look really clean though. And I actually do like the shape.

I left my usb lightbox in Japan and recently got a round softbox flash adapter instead. It really does get rid of annoying flash shadows.

On the photos, you can see a manual adapter is attached. This was not part of the package I originally received, but once I read about this camera I realized I needed it. Otherwise, this camera is basically a big point and shoot. Much like the OM10, it works better with the manual adapter. However, this one was hard to find. I had to find a junk camera with one still attached. Luckily for me, the seller did not list that the manual adapter 2 was attached. I saw it peaking out of the side on one of the photos and took a chance it was actually what I thought it was. Voila, I have the adapter.

The camera was originally released in 1988. It takes all OM lenses but has two of its own power focus lenses. These can be operated by a thumb dial on the back of the camera. My version came with the 50mm PF lens. I found operating it was quite awkward at first. It is natural to try to turn the lens, but on this camera, you use your thumb and that “power focuses” the lens. You do get used to it eventually and it is quite responsive to touch. You can read lots of technical details here.

Ok, so a bit more about the manual adapter. With it, you can choose full manual mode or aperture priority. There is no speed priority mode. The manual adapter also lets you see what you have set the camera too. Without it, you have absolutely no idea what the camera has chosen. There is no information in the viewfinder other than a P for program. Even in the other modes you only get arrows for over or underexposed. That really sucks!

I put a roll of Fomapan 100 in and went for a wander. I put a black and white in so I could develop it at home. It was my first time using Ilford Ilfosol 3 and it was a much quicker process that I have experienced before and…I overdeveloped the film.

Even though they are overdeveloped, it gives them a kind of dreamy, vintage look. These were taken before I got the manual adapter so they were all taken on program mode.

I actually liked using the camera. Fair enough it doesn’t look as cool as the usual OM range, but it did what it should. It took perfectly exposed photos. If you can get a cheap one, with the manual adapter, go for it.

Oh and the photos were taken around Frickley Park, which you can read about here.

Minolta Vectis S-100 (APS)

I left my other Vectis S APS camera in Japan, but I had weirdly ordered lots of APS film in the UK. So now I have a plethora of film and no SLR type camera to use it with. Hello Vectis S-100, but really that is an excuse as I do have other APS cameras and I was just given even more. APS cameras…they breed you know.

Look at the size of that lens 25-150mm and it was cheap as many APS cameras are. When it arrived there was a film already inside, score.

It was produced around 1996 and apparently was a simpler version than the S-1. You can find all the technical details you might need here. Really, it is a point and shoot with a few modes. It is one of the smallest APS SLRs there is, but with this zoom lens it was hardly pocketable.

There really isn’t much more I can say than that. Pop in a film, point, shoot, done. I finished off the roll that was inside.

Here are the found shots.

Well, whoever owned this camera liked their motorbike.

Here are my photos take on the rest of the film. The first shot is me working out if the camera worked, then I realized there was a film inside. I took the rest of the photos around my garden and the local parkland.

For a film left inside, it was surprisingly good in terms of colour and noise. The camera focused quite well, it felt comfortable to hold and looks good, to me anyway.

Actually, maybe I should say more. Some of the cameras I try don’t leave an impression on me or maybe I am not in the mood to write much. Today it is a bit of both. The weather has been very drizzly recently, a bit depressing really. I have also just started working again, supply teaching. Some of the schools you see and the children you meet make you wonder about the state of the world. Then you see other children, other schools and it makes you wonder in a completely different, more inspiring way. Being a teacher is definitely a rollercoaster ride.

Anyway…the photos I took with this camera were of my local nature park and I think I miss it. I know I can go in the rain, but it is not the same as a blue sky day. Also, it is turning colder so not only are you wet but cold as well. There is also the issue of…there is never the wrong weather, only the wrong clothes. True. But being all wrapped up doesn’t make taking photos easy. Maybe I am just a warm weather photographer. It is supposed to rain tomorrow too. That’s it, I am going out rain or shine!

Keep or Sell: Keep until I run out of film.

Olympus AF-1 (Infinity)

Seeing as the price of the Olympus Mju has shot up beyond most people’s budget and with this having the same f2.8 aperture…I wondered, is it just as good for a fraction of the price? I thought I would find out and I got this one for £4.99 not even 10% of the Mju’s current prices.

It was originally produced in 1986 and was the very first weatherproof camera. It was nicknamed “Nurepika” (wet flash) in Japan. You can read more about the history of waterproof cameras and this camera at Olympus’ own website.

For this “early” point and shoot, it also boasts a focus lock feature, though it is tricky to use. To activate it you have to press a button next to the viewfinder, which is a bit of an awkward location. The flash fires when the light available is not sufficient, there is no override. You can find more technical details here, and some example photos.

I tried an expired XP2 Super, which I have never used before. It was perfect for this outing as it could be developed in a C41 process. That meant I could get it developed and scanned at a local camera shop before I headed home.

Here are the results.

The first few shots seem to be overlapping, but then the camera sorts itself out. The flower shots are out of focus as I did not use the focus button correctly.

I do not like the results from the film. They are all quite dark and lack contrast. I decided to try another film to give it a chance as I could see that most of the shots were sharp.

The second film I tried was a Fujicolor 400 that I brought back from Japan. I went to Nostell Priory This time I actively tried to use the autofocus correctly. I found that pressing the extra button sometimes caused me to pull the camera to the side, so I was expecting some camera shake on the test film.

So, it doesn’t do well when pointed towards the sun, but otherwise, it seems ok. It is not my favourite camera, the focus lock button is slightly awkward. But, it is an absolute bargain if you can find a good one.

I actually sold mine straight away as I have quite a few point and shoots, I have no need for this one.

Minolta 110 Zoom SLR Mark II

I sold my original Minolta 110 Zoom SLR and invested the money in this Mark II version. This 1979 version has a more traditional look compared to the first version.

You can find all the technical details and another great review on this website. I found the camera easy to use, but not exactly pocket sized. The focusing split screen was very “slight” meaning it was hard at times to see if the two images were aligned. I do like that you could lock the camera so you didn’t accidentally shoot it in your bag..not pocket. It was not as attention-grabbing, due to the more conventional shape.

Of course, I used a Lomography 110 film to test the camera as that is really all that is available. First, we went to York and I am amazed I haven’t visited the area more as it is less than a hours drive away from me. Then I took it to Lemonroyd Marina where I bumped into Emma from Heart Radio on her Coast to Coast challenge. That was a huge coincidence as I love Heart Radio, but my new/old car’s radio has just stopped working and I have been stuck listening to old cds. Damn it, I am going to install the app on my phone now. Anyway here are the test shots.

For once I didn’t get the pinhole light leaks on the 110 film and the colours are lovely. For a small negative the images are quite sharp. I do prefer this size to half frame, I just wish there was a bigger choice of film.

Keep or Sell: Already sold, I rarely if ever use 110 films so don’t need two cameras and I still have the Pentax which is much smaller. My thoughts are if you are going to use 110mm film it should really be with an actual pocket-sized camera.

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