All posts by Peggy

Contax NX

This camera was in one of my local second-hand stores for ages. I saw it every time I went in to womble. It was on a shelf with a hefty price tag of about $100 which was quite a bit more than I would like to pay for an unknown camera, and one without a lens. But there it was week after week. Finally, I thought, “If is there the next time I go in I will buy it, I am sure I have a lens that will fit.”

It was in perfect condition and fired up straight away with 2 CR2 batteries. It came with the Japanese instructions and original price tag, which makes me think it is a mint, never used example. Out of interest, I looked up what that price would mean in today’s money and it came to $890 so a bargain for me really. You can find more technical details here. Of course, if you are knowledgeable or read the specs you will know that the lens mount for this camera is a Contax N, which I had none. In fact, there are only 10 lenses and they are all friggin expensive. Even an adapter to fix it to another camera is expensive. In fact, the lens would cost me three times that of the camera. I was tempted to just sell it straight away and not even bother. I don’t know why I changed my mind, but I did and waited for payday. I then search online for the cheapest I could find and bought that.

It was fairly cheap at $250 and in perfect condition. So all in all a pretty expensive camera for me, seeing as I sometimes pay $1. It better bloody work!

First I tried a fuji film and went for a walk around Koto-Ku in Japan. Here are a few of the photos.

Look at the mushrooms on the tree, it is so sharp. This camera is awesome. It is a little heavy to carry, but it is worth it. The dial on the top allows you to manually set the ISO, so you can push a film. There are two “o” settings where you can have custom settings and quickly change between the two. Plus all the regular settings. There is a thumb dial so you can change the speed or aperture without moving your eye from the viewfinder. Of course, it is the lens that makes this camera, it was well worth the money…as I got it cheap. But it did persuade me to get a better lens for the Leica I have and that worked out great too.

I then decided to put in a slide film, the first time since I went back to film, a Fuji Velvia 50.

The odd shot out is the Pikachu as I wanted to test the inbuilt flash. I found the film a little cold so I added a bit of warmth. I am not sure I will try it again. But the camera is still awesome. Contax is now my new favourite line.

With this autofocus camera and the Leica with the Canon lens, my feelings towards going wombling have changed. I don’t feel like I need another camera. My friends and family think this is a phase..but I am not sure. I have a few more cameras to try and add to this blog, but really I want to use these two cameras all the time. Plus I am reaching the limit of the free allowance for WordPress.

Keep or sell: moot.

Update Oct ‘18 – I sold the camera. I found I liked the older cameras more and the lens on this one didn’t fit any other camera I owned. So given I am out of work a while, it had to go. I don’t regret it, I think I have less GAS now.

Leica III with Canon Rangefinder 50mm f/1.4 Lens M39

I don’t usually post a camera twice unless I am testing a new film. BUT I decided to invest in a new lens for my Leica as I was unimpressed by the Summar. That lens seems to have a very light layer of haze. Though it is so even I am still only sure it is there due to the photos. I looked around and I could not afford a clearer Summar, not even close, so I plumped for this one. The Canon Rangefinder 50mm with a large f/1.4 aperture.

I loaded a film as soon as it arrived. Unfortunately, there is a typhoon on the way so it rained for days. Eventually, I thought sod it and took it out for a trial anyway.

The rain and the dark days meant I could only try it at apertures between f1.4 – f.2.8

I wasn’t expecting much as I had put in a 100asa film. I was pleasantly surprised.

The film and lens had managed to capture most things pretty sharply, with a good depth of field.

The exposure was also good, well-done smartphone light meter. The only issue I found was the cut-off point at the top. The camera seems to need me to aim above where I really intend to crop. This can be especially seen on the statue photos. I put the cherubs much closer to the centre.

I can’t wait to use the camera and lens on a brighter day.

Pentax SF7 or SF10

This is another of those cameras with 2 names. One for the Japanese market, SF7, and one for the American market, SF10. I bought it from a junk bin very cheaply because I had a Pentax lens without a body which I had from a previous junk find. This was as cheap as buying a lens cover.

It was produced in 1988. I found this ad on YouTube that says the funky display acted as an inbuilt manual.

You can find more technical details here. I found the controls a little clumsy to use and the camera heavy with or without the lens. I don’t particularly like the look of the camera either. This reviewer found the same but ultimately liked it.

I took the camera to a school picnic and let a student play with it for a while. He took some shots and seemed to like it a lot. But did it work?

The focusing is a bit hit and miss, I suspect due to camera movement rather than the ability of the camera. Though it is one of the first cameras to feature auto-focus. I took the two photos of the man with his dog and crow. I changed the focusing point for these photos and the camera handled it well. The spider shots used the macro function of the lens. The exposure seems to be spot on, even with the backlit photo of the boy holding the seagull camera. They were all taken on a pretty dull day.

I don’t think I would bother using the camera or the lens again and it is too heavy to ship anywhere from Japan. I much prefer the look and feel of the Z range of Pentax cameras. So, for now, it will go in my box of cameras labelled ??

 

Fujifilm Nexia Q1 APS

This is another cute little aps camera which I found still in the box with all the documentation and plastic wrapping. I don’t think it had ever been used as the scratch film was still waiting to be removed from the front of the camera.

There are a ton of these cameras from 2001 to be found on eBay, and most in great condition. They were manufactured in China and was to be worn around the neck. The website I linked to before says that it is made like a sports item, a stopwatch, but it is not waterproof or sturdy. I agree it does feel very flimsy, but very comfortable to hold. It has an automatic flash and one speed of 1/100th. That it is, a very simple point and shoot.

But did it work. I tried some expired Voigtlander XR200 to find out.

As you can see it worked well in regular conditions but struggled with low lighting. I did like using it and for a night out I think it would be a great camera. It has no zoom, so there is no getting close to flowers but it would be great for a quick landscape or building photo.

Keep or sell: I am not sure it is worth the effort of selling for the price I will get, mint or not. I will keep it until a swap or friend wants it.

Olympus 35 RC

I recently exchanged cameras with another camera blogger, this is the one I got in return. I have tried the DC, EC, and ED. This one has the 2.8 lens like the EC and ED, gosh there are a lot of letters here.

This version was released in 1971 and is small and cute. You can see a few more technical details here. This one had a little something on the lens, but nothing too serious. I left it on 1/125th with automatic aperture and took it out for a flower day.

I really don’t remember taking the photo of the pies, though I do remember eating them. I enjoyed using the cameraThe photos have an interesting vignette effect but are a little hazy. I am not sure I would use this one again, but I would recommend all of the 35 versions if you can get a good one.

 

Minolta Vectis 300 APS

I found this smooth APS camera for $1 in a junk bin. I loved its small size and metallic finish….and you never know there might have been a film inside. Nope, it was clean as a whistle.

As you can see it has a nice little zoom of 24-70mm. You can find lots more technical details here. The details say there is a fair bit of cut off from what you see and what you get, about 85% of it. It was released around 2001, so there is still a fair bit on the net about it. Most pages talk about how sleek and stylish it is. I agree. The metallic finish makes it a pleasure to use. There is not much more to say so straight onto my test roll. This is an expired Agfa Star 200 that I got from eBay. I might get some more as this one came out bright and clear.

There is a light leak on one photo, but the rest seem ok. Not sure why it was just that one. The exposure is spot on and the focusing is sharp.

Keep or sell: I want to keep it, but I will probably end up selling it as I have at least 2 other aps cameras I like and that work well including the 3000 version of the same series.

Zorki 4

When I returned to Japan I tried hard not to buy cameras. I mean how hard can it be, just say no. But then I got a full blown attack of GAS. This camera was first on my list to rebuy. I say rebuy because it was one I bought a couple of years ago but gave it away to a friend. I shot one roll in it to make sure it worked and was impressed. Then to avoid buying a Leica I bought it again. Of course, that didn’t work. So here is my ‘new’ Zorki 4.

I tried the lens on the Leica as they are the same fit. It was clear and bright. There isn’t much to say about this camera, apart from it is solid and reliable. It is not a Leica, but compared to the Barnack I find the images comparable, like the Fed 2. Also, like the Fed 2 and Zorki 1, this camera is waaaaay cheaper. I mean not even a 10%, but you get way better than 10% of the results. Using these three cameras has cured me of ever wanting to buy a Leica again. It was produced between 1956-73 meaning there are quite a few out there. I chose this one for the lens as my Fed has an industar lens, and the Zorki 1 has a collapsible one.

So without further ado, here is my test roll.

There are a couple of shots that have fogging, I think due to how I was carrying the camera. On the whole, I was pleased with the results. Clear and sharp.

I sold this camera to a school’s camera club. It would make a good project due to the mechanical nature, the script, and its date. Can you imagine what this camera might have seen?

Tiara ix-z nexia 2000 MRC

I bought this on the way home from a party and I was slightly, just slightly drunk. It was in a great shop which I do recommend. But I do not recommend doing what I did.

The reason being, in the shop the assistant had trouble turning it on or getting the film door open. But I wanted it. It was so pretty.

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When I got it home it turned on, but the damn film door would not open again. I looked online for solutions and saw a few people had posted the same question….but no solutions. I found this site for the previous version that said to remove the sliding cover, but that didn’t seem to be the case for this camera.

In the end, I gave up and smashed it, pulling the sliding door off. It still did not open, but it was so much fun doing it. I finally got the door open by using a screwdriver as a lever.

Would I buy another…only if I see it in a junk bin which seems unlikely as the name “Tiara” is sort after in 35mm terms. In APS terms, it still holds weight, but not much.