Another job lot camera, in fact I was given two of the exact same camera so decided to give one away. I had no intention of using this camera as it seemed quite basic and I was hoping to move away from testing camera. But doing so is keeping me busy during these times. This one also has a big viewfinder like the last one I tried.
This camera from 1997 definitely lacks features. The aperture ranges between f4.5 – f11. The shutter speed is equally limited, starting at 1/45th with the fastest being 1/180th. The feel of the camera is pretty cheap, very plasticky. The view finder is huge though, very bright and clear. The only control or choice you have is whether or not to use the flash or timer. That is more than some cameras, but not enough for a Canon Sure Shot in the late 1990s. It is great to be able to turn off the flash and to be able to keep it off until you choose to turn it back on. You don’t have to reset it each time. That is perfect for street photography as this photographer found out on a trip to China. He got some great shots.
There seems to be a few version of this camera. Even on some of the links I have posted there are variations. I am not sure why the exteriors are different, but maybe the insides are the same. Who knows, but mine is the one in the pictures above.
For this camera I decided to add to the experience. The day before I picked up this camera to test, I received a parcel from Nik and Trick of some Bellini C41 chemicals. I haven’t had much luck with E6 and initially had no intention of trying C41, but a friend said, “Go on what have you got to lose?” So, seeing as I can’t visit my local lab to process stuff I thought, “sod it” and ordered the chemicals. I don’t smoke, or go out drinking, and at the moment am stuck at home, so it was just about within my budget to buy them.
I also had some poundland film. Not much as it is £2 for 10 shots. I have only used it once due to the cost of the film combined with the processing meant it was uneconomical. But if I am processing it myself, then it isn’t so bad. I put one roll in this camera and one in another, just incase one didn’t work. This camera automatically loads the film and winds on quite a bit. That meant of the 10 shots, I could only take 9 on this excursion. The other issue with using it in this camera was the DX coding. The film is 200ASA, but this camera only accepts 100 or 400. I did think about putting a sticker on the cassette, as the cassette had no coding label at all. Then thought, the default is probably 100 so having the shots a stop over wouldn’t be too much of an issue.
Then I wandered to my local cemetery as there are some nice blossom trees along the way, so lots of colour to test the processing. With only 9 shots, it didn’t take long. So my habit of taking more than one camera paid off this time.
Once I returned I processed both films together, in for a penny in for a pound or four. The process was just like black and white with 3 baths. The only difference was temperature restraint, but even that was easier than E6. With the Bellini kit only the first bath needed to be at 38 degrees for the whole length of soak, that soak being only 4 minutes at the most. That meant it was easier to maintain. And holy moly if it didn’t just work the first time!
I was so excited, look at that lovely neg strip, short but sweet. But how would it scan?
I don’t think they are too bad at all. Not perfect, but I am happy with them for a first attempt. Plus the camera actually worked better than expected. I wouldn’t pay a lot for this camera, but it isn’t a bad choice. I would definitely recommend the Bellini C41 kit, it is easy and it works 🙂
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