Sea & Sea Motormarine 35 MX-10

This is the second one of these I have tried recently, the other being the Motormarine II. This one came with a whole heap of stuff, including a lens that actually fit the other camera. As you can see in the photos, the battery compartment is much better sealed. On this version, it is inside the main compartment. This means there is only one O-ring with the possibility of failure.

I found very little about this camera on the net but you can find the manual here. The main bulk of hits were for people selling it. I did think, by looking at it, that is camera came after the one I linked to before and on the Sea & Sea website I found the evidence I was right. This one came out in 1992, 3 years after the Motormarine II bit before the II EX. I thought this because of the location of the battery compartment. Also, I initially thought the camera had autofocusing, but it is fixed focus. It also has a fixed shutter speed of 1/100th, but the aperture goes from f4.5-f22. The aperture is selected by the photographer through a dial on the front of the camera. You can find more technical details here. That site states that the minimum focus distance is 2.5m, which is quite far away. There are close up lenses that can be attached and my pack came with those, though they are only for underwater photography.

Apart from the aperture dial, this is a very sturdy point and shoot. When using it there is a red LED in the viewfinder if there is not enough light. When that lights you can change the aperture or turn on the flash.

I took mine for a walk on a very rainy, dull day. I used a 400ASA film. The camera only has settings for 100 or 400ASA, no scope for pushing unless it is 100 or 200 to 400 and what is the point of that.

Here is my test roll.

I can’t believe people were playing football in this weather. My sister was in a 10 mile race too. I walked around taking photos, much safer. Anyway, considering the conditions the camera didn’t do too badly, but it is not as good as some genba heavy duty cameras like this and this. Though, those cameras are not waterproof enough to go diving with. None of the test photos are particularly sharp. I am going to Iceland next week and want one waterproof camera to take. I think this test has narrowed my choice to a genba.

Keep or Sell: Though this was the first Sea & Sea I found that worked without fault I am not sure. I think I will store it for now in case I go snorkelling or diving somewhere.

 

 

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Sea & Sea Motormarine II

I saw this camera being sold for parts on eBay for a ridiculous 99p. So I bought it. The issue mentioned was the battery door did not click other than that it worked. I figured if I kept it out of diving depth it should be fine. I have only ever tried one Sea & Sea camera, which was not a success. I was excited to receive this one.

When it arrived, I was amazed by how clean it was. Whoever owned this, they really looked after it. The back would not open, the o-ring was very tightly sealing it shut. After releasing the air pressure, I managed to get it open only to discover a film inside, bugger. I had just fogged half of it, half was still in the cassette waiting to be shot. I wish I had known that as I love found films. The battery cassette was much easier to release and I put a couple of AA batteries in then replaced it back in the slot. It did not click as the listing said, but it stayed down and powered the camera.

I checked out the camera’s functioned while the back was open. The shutter did not seem to open when fired and the shutter button seemed a bit faulty, the flash also did not fire. Was I duped? I tried reloading the film and once that was inside the other issues magically went away. I fired past the fogged section and went for a wander around Leeds. After using the remaining film I got it developed right then and there

This camera was produced around 1989. Or maybe 1993. This article was published in 1989 so that date wins.ย It was made to reach depths of 45meters.

Though it does have DX coding, it has an odd way of dealing with the information. It really only accepts 100 or 400 ASA film. Anything over 400ASA is treated as 400. Anything under 400ASA is treated as 100. It has a fixed shutter speed of 1/100th, but the aperture can be changed. Basically, you set the aperture to the smallest one, f22. If, when you press the shutter halfway, a red light comes on in the viewfinder, you move the aperture a step lower. If you reach f3.5 then turning the inbuilt flash on is the next step.

Regardless of all that, did this 99 pence example work?

Here is the remainder of the found film.

Gosh, they are quite nice. The film may have been expired, but it was also stored very well. There are a couple of repeat shots where I changed the distance selected, it didn’t seem to make a difference.

I was looking forward to trying the camera again while on a wet holiday. But when I took out the batteries for storage purposes, the holder refused to stay inside the slot. A tiny piece of plastic that hooked under a catch had finally fallen off.

I looked for a replacement holder or another parts camera, but none could be found. So I decided to glue a piece of plastic to the area.

I used a liberal amount of super glue, glueing my fingers to it in the process. Once it had set I filed it down to the right size. I figured it might work and even if it didn’t it was only 99p. I could always just store it and wait until I stumble upon another broken example.

Ok moment of truth….it went in and clicked in place ๐Ÿ™‚ but it no longer powered the camera ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Bugger. Not sure why and I have another version to try so no big loss.

Keep or Sell: It is a little bit broken. So storing for now.

I could not let it lie, it worked goddamn it…so I thought about it and sanded down the plastic I added to make it shorter….and it came back to life. Still keeping for now, but I have a beach loving friend who might like it.

Canon Sure Shot Z115 (Autoboy S (super), PRIMA SUPER 115)

Once back in the UK I bought a car and started driving my father to a few places. He loves shopping, markets, and car boot sales. On the first one we visited, we found this camera for ยฃ1. It even had a partly used film inside. The seller said he had no idea if it worked or if the film was ever fogged. For one pound I was willing to find out.

It didn’t have batteries, but I had some lying about…it fired up.

 

This camera was originally marketed from 1993 and seemed to have been quite expensive. This example worked as it should, but when you turned it off it made a clunking sound. It was like something was getting stuck. The reviews on this page often mention it breaking. I think this one might break soon. I was also quite surprised to read the maximum or rather minimum aperture is f8.5.

Ok, let’s get to the point. I hate autoboys…apart from this one ๐Ÿ™‚ They are fat, ugly and clunky. Sorry inanimate object, but you are. They don’t feel nice to hold, they are too big and heavy to put in a little bag. The photos they take are average at best.

And that is it. That is all I am prepared to write about this camera. Here are the results from the found film.

The water slide shots were the ones already taken on the found film.

 

It does look like someone opened the film door at some point, but thank goodness there was nothing weird on the film. That is always a worry.

The film is obviously expired and not stored well ๐Ÿ™‚ I am not going to try the camera again with a fresher film. Life is too short.

Keep or sell: Sold already

Kiev 88

This is one of the cameras I bought in order to play with it on my return to England. I had read a lot about it online on various blogs. I read this article which called it the “Beast from the East”. At the time that I ordered it, the UK news was full of details about their own beast from the east, kismet I thought.

Due to the fact this takes 6×6 photos, there seems to be more photos of the camera here than the 12 test shots that I will add later. The article I linked to before says that you will need at least 2 backs as the loading part is complicated and you might want to do it at home rather than out and about.

I agree I wish I had two. This 1980s camera was one of the most annoying cameras I have ever had to load. Before loading the film I read the manual a couple of times, but still struggled. It didn’t seem to make much sense. The first issue I had was actually getting the cassette back in the holder, it would not go in easily. The second was that I had forgotten to wind the film to the first frame in the cassette and cock the shutter before reattaching the holder to the body. Really, I had read the manual…maybe I have to make a video to remind myself. The body’s film advance also cocks the shutter, so I had royally screwed things up.

Once I did have the film loaded, actually using the camera wasn’t that tricky. Mine had a waist level finder, not TTL, so it didn’t need batteries. I used an app on my phone for a light reading, then adjusted the aperture when the lighting changed. The next mistake I made was forgetting to take the cassette plate out. In the manual, they call this a “shutter”, anyway, with this plate inside the camera’s actual shutter is locked on my version. So you can’t waste film by forgetting to remove this, you just get confused as to why the damn thing isn’t working. Don’t start throwing the camera though as the thing could kill a cow.ย  This brilliant website has a funny review of the camera and saysย that it “weighs a f*****g ton.” He also used the word crap a lot, but he does give a lot of technical details if you want them.

So did mine actually work? Here is my roll of Fomapan 400.

As you can see I missed the first shot on the roll completely through my bad loading skills. There are a couple of shots of the swan where I think I forgot to change the aperture and the one blank one…no idea what happened there. The ones that did come out are nice and sharp, especially the non-moving log.

I don’t know why, but there is something about this camera I love. It is big, fat, and heavy. It clunks and groans while you use it and is prone to breaking. There are many websites detailing how finding a good one is hard, but if you do it is worth it. I think I have found a fairly good one, despite my issues with loading it. I am going to use it again and maybe upload more photos here. I find it beautiful and funky. This website compares it to the Hasselblad it was originally based on, it makes for an interesting read.

Keep or sell: Keep, for now, it is waaaay too heavy to post it anywhere I would get a good return for what I paid.

 

 

 

Dual Dreams Zine

With the help of my friend Midori I have created my first zine. I created the photos using a Pentax ME Super, expired film, double exposure, and a little bit of luck.

Here are some sample pages from the 32 page zine.

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You can order your copy here and on the stuff page.

Dual Dreams Zine

This is a 32-page booklet/zine that I created while living in Tokyo, Japan. It features double exposure shots of Midori, a model and friend who has her own unique style. The price includes shipping.

ยฃ5.00

New T-shirt line

I added a new design to the CafePress Store. While I was doing that I noticed I had my first sale ๐Ÿ™‚ AND not to just someone in my country, but someone in my county. So I might see this shirt on someone one day.

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Anyway, this is the new design. You can find it on T-Shirts and other merchandise.

I created the photo by double exposing a roll of 35mm film in the most awkward way. I am going to try some more double exposures using a Canon A1. That camera has a multi-exposure feature. That means I won’t have to fiddle about aligning the film precisely on the second sweep through the camera.

Mamiya ZE

This was a camera I received as a swap from an internet friend. I thought I might have got a raw deal, but when I was using it with a photo group they seemed to think it was fair. Also, I probably would have never used the Konica again, so it was an interesting swap for me.

 

As you can see it is very clean and has a Mamiya Lens attached. It was released in 1980 and had aperture priority only. You can find lots of technical details here. The ZE2 added the speed choice option. This was the first Japanese SLR to have a coupled light meter. I found using the camera very easy, it is just a little more than a point and shoot due to the lack of features. It is a nice weight, not too big or small. I did use the + and – feature for backlit subjects, but apart from that, it was all about composition. I suppose if you wanted to improve in that area then this kind of camera would work well for that. In the viewfinder, you can see a red dot next to the speed chosen by the camera.

Here are my two test rolls that were taken around Leeds and the Lake District.

Given that this was the first SLR to have a coupled meter in Japan it is great to see, even in difficult conditions, the exposure choices are very good. Given the lack of a manual feature, it is good for learning about aperture and depth of field, but little more.

I am still not sure it was a good swap, but I did get the Konica I swapped for it in a junk bin ๐Ÿ˜‰

Keep or Sell: Sold. There was nothing about this camera that I found so appealing that I would rush to use it again.

Mamiya 35 S2

This rangefinder from 1959 was the last camera I bought in Japan, but not the last one I have to review from there. I have one more that is currently being CLA’d and won’t be returned for another month.

In fact, I bought this camera day before I left for the airport. I couldn’t resist it. A Mamiya, a rangefinder, nice and solid…and heavy. Crap, I was already over my luggage weight limit. Maybe I could just wear it around my neck?? And that is what I did ๐Ÿ™‚

Everything seemed great. The only issue was the rangefinder patch seemed very dim. Then I stumbled upon this article about adding a square of tape to the viewfinder. As you can see, it worked a treat. Here is another article, with photos. When researching the camera I found one site that stated there were two versions released, the f2.8 and f1.9. All the other sites I found did not mention there were two. Mine is the 2.8, so I cannot attest to the 1.9 version.

There is very little to be found on the net about this Mamiya bar from a few vague lines. They generally say its name and date of manufacture.

From the photos you can gather it has an f2.8 – f22 lens, with a focal length of 48mm. Once the film is loaded you have to manually set the film counter which counts up. There is also a film reminder dial. As there is no light meter it is a simple reminder only. The film speeds range from 1 second to 1/500th with a B and a self-timer. There is also an M and X for the flash types. Ken Rockwell explains the different settings very well here. Basically, X is for the flash sync and M is for flash bulbs which take time to reach full brightness and therefore needs a different setting. The rangefinder has a short movement and can easily be moved by the index finger alone. The winder moves through slightly over 180 degrees. The viewfinder has a square in the corner where you can see the speed and aperture settings. Unfortunately, I cannot make out the numbers due to my poor close up eyesight. Too much reading maybe.

Well, that was quite technical for me. That’s enough of that. How were the photos?

I took a few in Tsukuba before I left for the airport, then finished the film on a cloudy day out in Liverpool.

Can you see where the switch in countries takes place? One of the posters might give you a clue.

Wow, what a super, not so little camera. I definitely had issues focusing while in Japan, but once I added the tape in England there is an improvement. These cameras can actually be found very cheap online so…

Keep or Sell: Keep as I would not get a great price for it and it is a great camera. Plus the skin started to fall off while I was using it so I recovered it with maps from places I love.

How cool is that!

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