This is the first Cosina I have ever used, but not the first camera like this I have owned. This was the first in a line of similar cameras and I have become a little enamoured with them recently. You can read about the legacy of this camera here. I saw this one going for a cheap price so put a minimum bid on it. Basically that is my MO now. I put a minimum bid on stuff and if it sticks, yeah. If I am outbid, then never mind. No matter what I plan, write, or say…I can’t break the habit of trying cameras.
I loved the look of this camera when it arrived. A basic, easy to figure out camera. It came without a lens, so I put a Ricoh one on that I had lying around. It is a Pentax K fit so there are a plethora of lenses available.
Mine is the G version from the early 1980s, which was the cheapest of the CT1 line as it doesn’t have a self timer.
After trying to take a couple of shots, it was pretty clear the focusing was out of whack. The split prism didn’t line up when at infinity. That would probably mean close up shots would also be out of kilter. I decided to stop using it after 2 shots and save the film. The first website I linked to also mentioned this issue, so maybe this one was dropped at some point too.
I had a chat with a friend about the issue and he suggested taking the focusing screen out and realigning it. But first I decided to try another lens, a Pentax 50mm…of course the same issue was still present. So how to get to the focusing screen? It wasn’t as simple as the Contax camera I installed a focusing screen on. This one needed the top taking off and the prism removing. I haven’t done that on an SLR before.
Taking the top off wasn’t an issue…apart from the winder. It took me a while to find the screws on the underside of the lever. First, I tried to take off the circular thing on the top of it. Once I did find the screws, the top came off quite easily. Then I was faced with this…
To even think about getting to the prism and then the focusing screen, I would have to dismantle this…that’s a nope from me.
But what else could I do with this camera. It was very cheap and not really worth getting it fixed….oh a pinhole cap! I haven’t made a pinhole before or used a pinhole cap on an SLR. Plus pinholes don’t need to be focused. Perfect.
I followed this website’s instructions to adapt the lens cap, using metal from a can of beer for the actual pinhole.
And voila, done!!
I used this website to figure out that my pinhole camera probably has a 50mm focal length. I guessed the pin’s aperture to be about f160 -f200. From previous experiments I knew the reciprocity rate of Fomapan and Kentmere would mean once I had exposed the film for a certain length of time, going beyond it wouldn’t matter much. So I would stick to those cheaper films.
As we are STILL in lockdown, I took the camera to the local woods to test it out and developed it immediately.
Well, they aren’t so bad. They were all taken with an exposure time of around 14 seconds. They are soft of course, but not the worst results I have had from a pinhole camera. I think I will use this camera for the next World Pinhole Day, April 25th 2021. I might even use a full sized tripod. I tend to use a small manfrotto, hence the low to ground shots.
Well, that was fun 🙂