Halina AI

I bought this camera from eBay, but I don’t remember why. It must have been really cheap for me to buy it as I have many like it. I wish I had written about this camera as soon as I used it as I have forgotten all about it. I remember the day out, but not the camera so much. Luckily I wrote a few notes in my notebook.

When it first arrived it needed a cleaning, which apparently I did as I have loads of photos of it in pieces. See, this is what happens when you have too many cameras. Maybe another new years resolution is in order.

Well, look at me, stripping down a camera and then forgetting all about it. This is so weird. I do remember the viewfinder and mirror were really dirty. I cleaned the viewfinder carefully and swapped the mirror with one I took out of the Yashica A.

I also remembered the focus wheel was very stiff. This seems to be a common issue with these cameras from 1960s as I have read it in a few descriptions for those being sold on eBay. You can read some technical details about the camera here.

When I tried to load a film, I noticed another issue…can you see it? This I remember clearly. Honestly, I wasn’t drunk or anything. Maybe it is old age?? I think this was why I got it so cheaply.

The cross part of the winder was missing, so it would not wind on the film. I found an old piece of plastic in my junk box and cut a piece to size and glued it into place.

That worked a treat so I could finally load a roll of expired HP5. I took the camera on a walk to Bishop Wood which was excellent as I could wander fairly alone among the trees. Sometimes it is nice to be alone, plus it was a beautiful blue sky day.

Here are the results.

Not bad, if it wasn’t for the stiff focus it would have been perfect.

Now here was the problem, I have quite a few similar cameras and as you can see this one didn’t leave me with a clear impression. So I decided to give this one away to a lovely person who had mentioned they were looking for a Halina TLR. I picked it up to check it out before mailing it, and the skin started to fall off. I couldn’t send it off like that. The skin wasn’t leather, more of a paper-type material. The glue was non-existent so it fell off in whole pieces. This was perfect to use as a template to make a new skin.

I had an old map of mid-Wales which I had purchased for just this reason. Hello, new-looking Halina AI.

There is a rip on one side, I fixed it a bit better but forgot to take another photograph of it. I don’t think the new owner cares, but it is the kind of thing that bugs me. I can see it in the photograph.

So Halina AI? A great little camera with an often stiff focus ring, but cheap enough that it is worth a punt.

Oh and Happy New Year!!


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