Nikon Lite Touch Zoom 100W


This camera is one of the three I bought in a charity shop in Chester. I have one left to try after already reviewing this Yashica. Since the discovery of these three, I have found other charity shops with point and shoot cameras. I haven’t bought any as I have these three to play with, but it is nice to see them. I speculate that these cameras were not worth putting on eBay, but might be worth putting in the shops to tempt and draw people in. It certainly worked with me.

Anyway, here is my Nikon point and shoot from 2003 and it just happens to be the last compact film camera they ever produced.

When I first loaded a CR123A battery it didn’t power up. As you can see from the photos, the compartment was very clean. So I figured there was a more serious issue with the electronics. I put it on my shelf and left it for a couple of weeks. But it was staring at me, maybe there was something I could do, maybe the battery I tried was just dead, I should try again. So in goes another battery after checking it, but nada, nothing. Ok, I have nothing to lose, maybe I should clean the contacts just for fun. They are very clean, but vinegar is practically free and I have the time. Lo and behold, if the thing didn’t just power up and work perfectly. What was on those contacts? Something invisible to the eye that’s for sure.

So now it was working I could check out the camera’s great zoom. The 28mm to 100mm zoom is a great choice for carrying around. The wide 28mm is quite impressive as a few of the others from this range start at 38mm. The aperture range of f5.8 – 10.5 isn’t great but I think the speeds available for a compact make up for that. The shutter ranges from 2 seconds to 1/500th. It accepts dx coded film from 50-3,200 and sets not dx coded film to 100asa. You can read more information here.

I loaded mine with a roll of Kentmere 400 and kept it in my bag for a week or two. I ended up taking it on a family visit, into Leeds and to Liverpool. Here are some of the results.

I love this camera. I was right, the range of the zoom was perfect especially the 28mm wide angle. All the shots are perfectly exposed no matter the situations, even the shot straight into the sun of the mural in shadow. I especially like the sliding cover that acts like and on/off switch. It even has a flash off setting, which is great as you don’t see that too often on point and shoots.

I got mine for about £10, but I see them going for much more online. It just goes to show bargains can be had…or online prices are inflated. I will let you decided that one.

On the other hand, it isn’t the sharpest camera I have tried, but it is perfect for all occasions and it can be thrown in a bag without worrying about scratching the lens. The range of film speeds it recognises is also a bonus as many point and shoots only accept a minimum range. Oh if it only had a bigger viewfinder and a slightly wider aperture, it would be perfect.

Categories: Junk Camera FindsTags: , , , , , , ,

20 comments

  1. I’ve come to the same conclusions on these “millenium compact” zooms as you have. Nice and small, impressive zoom range, but I wish for wider apertures and sharper lenses. It’s all part of the compromises of making a camera like this. I like these cameras but can’t love them. My Olympus XA2 is just as compact and I feel like the images are sharper.

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    • Very true, but also not quite so cheap.

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      • Indeed! I picked up a Minolta Freedom Zoom 160 with its super advanced AF (see the recent 35mmc post) for just $15 plus shipping. Also have another Pentax IQZoom 928 (not 928M) on the way that was $12 INCLUDING shipping. You can usually find these cameras for under $20 on eBay, sometimes even under $10. That’s a far cry from the “premium compacts” of the same era, those highly touted cameras with prime f/2.8-f/3.5 lenses. Those command $200 and up. Yet both the premium and superzooms use similar electronics that could just up-and-die. I’d rather take my chance on a $20 camera than a $200 one.

        I’m just waiting for those superzooms to become trendy. I guess now is the time to be the “smart hoarder” and hold on for the inflated prices. 😉

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      • I will go and have a look at those. My favourite point and shoot is the pentax pc35af, but they are going up in price too, maybe because it is not a zoom. No love anywhere for zooms.

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      • I also tried a capios 25 and 75w, both were great.

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      • Yeah, but it’s great that there’s no love for zooms because we can get them for cheap! I’m just waiting for the day when all those people who go gaga over Olympus mju II/Stylus Epic (non-zoom) and Contax T3s realize that for the photography they do, the millennium compact zooms is perfectly fine. And then the prices increase!

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      • The other “secret” cameras of the compact 35mm era (1980 to 2005) seem to be the “dual focal length” ones that were the bridge from prime 38mm f/2.8 to zoom. I’ve heard that the “tele” length is nothing special in image quality, but in regular setting it’s just a 38mm f/2.8. The prices of these seem to be less than the Pentax pc35af and their brethren. I’ve got a Minolta version (theoretically) on my way, and I picked it up for peanuts.

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      • I had a couple like that, mainly gonna, heavy duty. They are really sharp. Unfortunately many had automatic flashes which I don’t like.

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  2. My mom had a different camera in this series and it was *awful.* So much so that it put me off Nikon p&s cameras. I see from yours that I was wrong to paint them all black!

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  3. IMHO the best of these millennium p&s cameras (that’s a great label!) are the Nilkons and the Olympuses (Olympi?). Best lenses, highest reliability. eBay prices confirm this. The battery contacts in your Nikon likely had an invisible bit of oxidated oil left by the prior owner’s fingers. When you visit the charity shops, you might carry a CR123 battery and a few of those Zeiss Wipes for eyeglasses, isopropyl-soaked pads in little sealed packets. Wipe the battery contacts first then test. Might prevent your making an unintended donation!

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    • Well, I don’t like to give up on things so I always give them a second or third look. Where there is a will there is way.

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    • Actually I have had some rubbish olympus and nikon P&S, but never had a bad minolta one. They have always been stunning.

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      • Will keep that in mind next time I see a Minolta “Freedom Zoom” in the local thrift – seems to be fairly common. Thanks!

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      • I like the capios/riva cheap but good quality.

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      • I haven’t tried that many of the millennium compacts, but have liked the Pentax Espio/IQZoom offerings. I’ve tried the 928, 150SL, and 170SL and have gotten good results, and they are loaded with features. I have heard reports of other Espio/IQZooms being not that great. And I like the Minolta compact (the Freedom Zoom 160 mentioned above) that I’ve tried. I think there’s going to be stinkers in any of them, but all of the major Japanese companies had probably figured things out by then.

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  4. Thank you for the review. I have the 130ed which has a 38-130 zoom and even a diopter adjustment, great as a spectacles wearer. Have only used it once to see if it worked, which it did. In view of your experience I will have to give it another try. Many thanks again
    Andrew

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