I saw this camera online and really wanted it. I have only ever seen one other Goko camera and I bought that, then had to leave it in Japan. This one was cheap too, so a bargain…or so I thought until it arrived. It did not match the photos on the sellers post.
On the photos it looked perfect and the description said it was like new. When it arrived I found there was damage and staining on the front, plus the battery compartment clip was broken. That meant it would not retain the batteries and did not power up. I was very disappointed, especially as I had just received three different flashes and all had battery damage. I wrote to this seller and he offered a full refund. Then the camera sat on my shelf for a while. Eventually, I decided to tackle the battery compartment. With some very strong glue I managed to attach the broken part, but it would still not fire up. Then I tried some vinegar and voila, the motor started to advance a spare film. It sounded a bit off, but it was moving.
The UF in the title stands for Universal Focus. The previous camera I tried from this company had an amazing 10cm minimum focus, so I was intrigued to see what this one could do. This review has more technical details and sample shots. Really, this camera is little more than a point and shoot. There is a red light that is supposed to indicate if a flash is needed, but mine came on for every shot. I suspect some of the damage to the front affected the meter. I was not sure the test roll would be exposed correctly.
The other issue I found with this example was with the flash. The orange ready light was very dull, I could barely see it at times. The recycle times were sometimes quite long and even then the flash sometimes didn’t fire. Interestingly I found, the more I used it…the brighter the light became, it started to recycle much more quickly, and it began to fire more consistently.
I loaded the camera with an Eastman Double-X film that was rated at 250. I set the camera to 400 as the choices were 100/200, 400 or 1000. I took the camera to Leicester and then to Stanley Park in Blackpool.
When processing I reminded myself to push process with pyro 510. This time I decided on a slight experiment. The instructions for pyro says to stick to their times and not to use the massive dev sheet. I decided to use the times set by the app FilmDevelopPro, which I think is based on the dev chart.
Here are the results.
As you can see the camera did not cope at all with a lack of light. I tried a couple of close shots to test the minimum focus, they are out of focus. I took the shot of the flowers to see where the focal point starts, seemly just over a meter. The shot of the man in the shop is one where the flash failed. I took a few shots with and without the flash on to see the difference. My favourite shots are the mural ones, I always love street art. I had a discussion with my walking friend, is it right to take photos of street art…are we passing it off as out work? I don’t think so, I think we are recording history in some way. The mural of the joker is damaged and faded, it will be gone soon, but I will always have this photo.
As for the camera. I liked it. I didn’t love it due to the state of this example, but I think most Goko cameras are a worthy purchase.