I loved this camera when I tried it in Taiwan. But when I left Japan, I left it behind with my camera stealing friend. As much as I loved my friend, I always regretted it a little bit. So when I saw one for sale on eBay that was relatively cheap and apparently in Exe+++++ condition I jumped at it. Now, having lived in Japan for many years, I have a high regard for the honesty displayed there. But, I have read many things online about how the ratings are false and don’t relate to the product. So how was the one I received?
From the outside it looked pretty much as I expected a Genba to look, scruffy and scratched. So maybe for this type of camera it is excellent. But on closer inspection there were some issues. Firstly, the buttons…
As with my original example, the power button was cracked and brittle. So was the shutter button. Once a battery was loaded it took a lot of effort to work either button and I would not trust them to be water tight in a rainy situation. They are far from EXC let alone with 5 pluses. But would my example still work?
I loaded an expired Kodak film and took a walk around my local area. Then developed the film once I got home.
Using the camera took some getting use to, I had to brace myself to forcefully press the shutter but it did fire. I already knew about the flash settings and powering off from my previous post. During the walk, I ended up putting a piece of electricity tape over the power button to avoid any sweat getting inside as it was a hot day. Once I returned home, I cut more accurately sized pieces and glued them in place. There is not much point in having a heavy duty camera if you don’t feel confident in taking it outside on a rough day.
So how were the results? Here are some of them from the walk…
The shots are sharp, like the original camera I tried, but what is that thing in the corner? I inspected the camera more closely and finally found the culprit. Actually, it was hard to spot without a torch.
Well that was annoying, and definitely not something that should be found on an excellent camera. I glued the felt back down and then looked again at the negs. There was also some scratching, so gave the insides a thorough clean, paying special attention to the metal spring near the take up spool as the scratches seemed to match the prongs on that. Then I loaded the camera with some Fuji Acros II and took half a roll during a local cycle. I decided to only try half a roll as I was just checking the felt had remained in place and the scratches were better. No point wasting a roll on a camera that I knew might be faulty.
Here are some of the results…
There was some scratching, but nothing I couldn’t fix in post process. Everything else seemed great, no more felt, good exposure, and sharp. The shutter button was still an issue, but once I got use to the bracing and hard pressing it worked fine.
On the whole I find this example great, but I think I will be a tiny bit more wary when reading anything that says EXC +++++. As for the camera, well this is the second one I have bought, so if you can find a good one, get it as they are brilliant. I won’t be selling mine again.