Category Archives: Junk Camera Finds

Yashica Autofocus

I bought this camera a while ago, it wasn’t expensive and it was a Yashica, yippee. Plus, I hadn’t tried or even seen it before.

There is very little on the net in English about this camera, but I did find one site in Japanese. That one stated that it was released in 1978 and has shutter speeds from 1/60 sec to 1/360 sec. After using the camera I can add, if it is too dark for the shot, a red warning light appears in the viewfinder and it will not fire. It accepts films up to 500asa, a bit of a weird top choice. As you can see from the photos it has a 38mm f2.8 lens.

You can also gather from the photos that it has autofocus, hence the name. Once you have taken a shot you can check the zone chosen by looking at the scale on the front of the camera. That is a cool feature if you want to learn about zone focusing. On the front, you will also find a focus lock button. The flash is activated by pressing down on the top where it says push. On this example, everything worked as it should apart from opening the back. It was a bit sticky and as I had just cut my nails, hard to open. The focusing mechanism was a little loud, but not overwhelmingly so.

I really liked the look of the camera and really enjoyed using it. I took it on a bike ride to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park on another beautiful day. Then later I to it to Walton Colliery to finish off the film.

There are two very similar shots, I used the flash on one thinking it was too backlit and it would be underexposed. The camera and film were fine and it didn’t need that help. Wow, what a stunning little camera. The focus lock worked perfectly and produced a rather nice bokeh on some shots. It didn’t handle sky shots well as it probably confused the focusing system.

I will have to ponder this camera a while as I have a few similar ones. I might keep this and sell the Ricoh 800 I just tried. Not sure.

Pentax Efina T (aps)

This is the second APS I have tried recently. This one is small, well built, solid. It feels like a quality piece of equipment in your hand. There is also a lot about it online, including all these technical details. The brushed metal finish of this 1999 camera makes you feel like, yeah…this is gonna work. And then you remember the film issue.

Anyway, here is this great looking camera.

And look at that tiny, tiny flash! I thought…That is never going to work and most of the reviews agreed with that thought. Oh well, I still like it.

I loaded it with Agfa Futura II and left it in my bag for ages…and ages, whipping it out when I remembered, testing the flash on Christmas day. It was just so small, it was easy to lose it at the bottom of a big bag. Then, when I finally remembered it again, I took it to Bradford.

Oh, if it only had ISO over-ride it would be super. Oh, if only there was fresh film it would be even super-er. But no. Great to hold, fun to use, not great for important photos.

Buy this camera – Pentax Efina T

Please check the photos and read the text, that way you know exactly what you are buying. The amount includes postage to the UK. If you live outside the UK please contact me for postage details. Included: One aps film

£15.00

Ricoh 800 EES

This is another swapped camera, I still have quite a few to go through from that pile of swaps.

This one is from 1974 and while searching for it online, the word rare came up a few times. It was quite tricky to find any information about it. From the information I did find, it has shutter speeds from 4 seconds to 1/800th. That is where the 800 in the name comes from. You can find all the technical details you need here..in French.

As you would have seen in the details I linked to, this camera uses an awkwardly sized battery. The person I got the camera from had a clever workaround which meant I could use the more convenient LR44. A pile of tinfoil wrapped in electrical tape. The other slot was a perfect size for 2 LR44, which are a slightly higher voltage. You might need to change the asa settings if you try this.

I took the camera to Bradford city center and Moses Gate Country Park. The weather, as usual, was rainy and cloudy. I used Fomapan 100 and pushed it to 400, though the camera does have a setting for 800asa film. I found the camera very quiet, but a little disturbing as there was no information in the viewfinder at all. The rangefinders second image was very faint so I added a piece of black tape to the viewfinder to aid focusing.

When I finally finished the film I developed it as usual and waited for it to dry. Then shock horror, my scanner would not turn on. SERIOUSLY!!! It is three months old and I haven’t used it often. I tried different cables, different sockets, but nothing I did would bring it back to life. I was left with the task of calling Canon. The guy on the line was very helpful, but it didn’t make it magically work again. I had to send it to their one and only service center in the UK. It came back in less than a week with a new power “thingy”. It was a bit of a worry as I am working part-time at the moment and scanners are not really essential or cheap. Anyway, I can recommend the Canon service center in the UK.

Moses Country Park

Bradford

I do also have a cheap portable 35mm scanner. Though the cheap scanner’s results are ok, it crops a lot of the image. Neither scanners are as sharp as I would like. Here are some side by side scans from the two ones I have.

Ok, my final thoughts. I love this camera. If you can find a good one get it but be aware, it will not work without batteries and the batteries might be an issue.

Canon EOS 300 (EOS Rebel 2000, EOS Kiss III)

I was expecting to write a scathing review of this plastic camera from 1999 but I loved it. Another camera I love and a cheap one at that. I can’t even remember where I got this one from so it must have been really cheap. I think I got it in order to use the one EOS lens I have.

You can find technical details here. The first thing I noticed and liked was that it loaded all the film into the body of the camera and then counted down as you used it. I always like that, easy. It was also really quiet, barely a peep out of it. But the main thing I liked was the weight and feel. It is very light and surprisingly pleasant to hold. It won’t hurt your neck on a long walk. Also, you may think it is going to be very plasticky, but the two-tone material on the front of the body actually makes it feel nice in your hand.

In terms of modes, it has all the modes you might ever need. It has iso override, bracketing, presets, manual, aperture priority, speed priority and can take multiple exposures.

As you can see by the photos of the camera, I took it on a walk in the countryside and Bingley Five Rises Locks. I am going to try and take photos of the cameras I use where I use them. I might forget, but that is the plan.

Here are the shots I got using some donated Kodak Ekta 100.

I think I might keep this one, I need something to put on the lens.

Minolta XG2

I bought this camera for a stupid reason really. I was sorting out my father’s filing cabinet, bills and certificates and the like. And in one of the folders, I found a brochure for this camera. Neither one of us could remember ever having owned the camera.

Me being me…I could not let it go and I wanted the camera portrayed inside the pages. I bought one example on eBay which came with 3 lenses, a manual and an alternative brochure. It was an “as is” buy and nothing I did would make the batteries power up the camera. I ended up sending the body to an internet contact who needed a focusing screen from a Minolta. I kept the lenses and kept on looking. Then I found a body for sale, no lenses, no manual. Perfect. Please excuse the photos, it is cold and rainy outside and as you will read I am feeling a little lethargic.

This time the lights lit up as they should so I popped in some Street Candy 400 and since the day the camera arrived, the clouds loomed and stayed. Even today.

I dislike grey skies, dull grey skies. I don’t mind storms, fierce clouds, heavy rain, but dull and grey seems to affect my moods. If the weather can’t be bothered, then neither can I. It took me ages to get through this roll of film. In the end, I even took a couple of selfies and processed it with a couple of shots left untaken.

None of this has anything to do with this camera from 1977. I love the look of the camera, a classic look. All the lenses seemed to work. I especially liked the Rokkor 50mm f1.7. You can find all the French technical details you might ever need here. The camera is a little basic on modes. There is aperture priority or manual modes, no speed priority mode. In manual mode, the viewfinder gives no information at all, not even a suggested setting, just dullness…like the weather.

I also found the viewfinder a ‘little’ bit dull and the information on the right a ‘little’ bit hard to see. My example’s shutter release seemed a ‘little’ sensitive too. While using the camera I felt everything was ok, but maybe a ‘little’ off. I want to like it, I want to love it, but I just felt a ‘little’ underwhelmed. Then again, I also think the weather had something to do with that.

When I finally did develop the film, it also seemed a little off. I am not taking to Ilfosol 3 at all, so when I run out of it, I think I will try another kind of developer. I am also having a little trouble with hairs and dust. I think I need to move my drying space. At the moment it is next to my bedroom door. So each time I open it, dust moves around and onto the film.

Anyway here is my test roll. I suggest looking at the photos in the full screen viewer by clicking on them as the new WordPress gallery crops the images.

And there is me looking a little sad, totally posed. Even though this review is a little depressing, I most certainly am not. I am always putting photos of other people on my blog, but rarely myself. So I tried to take a selfie by first focusing on my hand then swapping the camera to my hand. Some of the photos are from the 52-week challenge, this week was to tell about me. Right now I am all about walks, listing to audiobooks in my car, and birds. You are not supposed to show your face for this challenge, but I am a little off today ๐Ÿ™‚

In the end, I think the test film shows my personality quite well. I even managed to get a dinosaur foot in there.

Buy this camera – Minolta XG2

Please check the photos and read the text, that way you know exactly what you are buying. The amount includes postage to the UK. If you live outside the UK please contact me for postage details. Includes: 2 extra lenses - Orion 28mm lens, Tokina 80-200mm lens, brochures

£70.00


Chinon AP 600S (aps)

I can’t tell you anything about this camera apart from what you can garner from the actual casing and that it is produced in 1996.

It is a very, very basic aps camera. It has a cheap plastic feel. There is a focus aid light on the front, the regular print size selector on the top, a fill-in flash button, and a lens cover. It is powered by a CR2 battery which is most inconvenient and expensive for a cheap camera. I found no information about the aperture, but I think I can assume it is fixed. The label on the front says it has autofocus.

Really, I found nothing about this camera on the net apart from a few people trying to sell it.

I was so unimpressed by this camera just by looking at it that I put in a 15 exposure film and used it very quickly around my house and at a nearby castle ruin.

As with all APS film, the one I used was an expired one. The flash failed to fire sometimes, especially when faced with a backlit subject, the fill-in flash didn’t seem to have too much effect. The photos that did come out are fairly sharp, but the flash is quite ineffective. This camera would be fine outside on a bright day, but not really good for any other situation.

I really disliked this camera, it would be good for a single use camera if you have one aps film left. The one good thing about it is that you can throw it around without any care that it might get damaged.

SOLD

Large Format Camera Pre-1906 (4×5 sheet)

Some posts are quick to prepare, process, and write. This post is by far the longest in terms of time and biggest in terms of effort, that I have written.

I received this camera over 3 months ago from a new friend. Soon after we started wandering and walking together she mentioned she had an “old” camera in her loft and I could have it, but it probably doesn’t work. Of course when I heard “old camera” I was hooked. I asked questions…

What kind of camera? What film does it take? Does it use batteries? Where did you get it? To all questions, I got a shrug and an “I don’t know, it was in the loft when we bought the house.”

So I just waited and one fine day she brought it over to my house.

*Gulp* It was not what I was expecting at all. I have no experience with this type of camera. I didn’t even know where to begin. These photos are after I dared to open it up and attach the lens.

Talking of the lens, can you see the big gap between the glass and the front of the cylinder? The front element had detached… is it an element when there are just two pieces of glass and a barrel? The front piece of glass was loose and moving around inside the brass barrel. I was going to give up on that altogether, then I looked at the prices of replacement lenses *gulp* and put the whole thing back in the bag/box and put it under my bed.

To be honest the whole project made me nervous and I tried to get rid of the responsibility and the camera. One of the people I offered it to said, “get a grip you can do it.”

So a few days later I took the camera out again and took a deep breath. The first thing I looked at was the bellows. If they were damaged then I was screwed, I could not buy or make a new one. I could possibly fix very small holes. Here is a great resource if you ever need to do that. Fortunately, the bellows seemed perfect, no holes at all. Great start.

Next was to use wood glue on any parts that were split. In my worry and haste, I did not take great photos of this process. The main part that needed fixing was the lens plate holder. That was in two parts.

Now one part with a previous repair on the left.

That part of the camera gave an obvious clue about its history. Ralph Cuthbert was a chemist in Huddersfield, you can read about one of his exploits in this article. And this entry states that he formed a limited company in 1913 and that he died in 1917. As the camera’s label doesn’t mention “Ltd” then I guess it is from before 1913. The Byram Arcade was first seen on a map in 1890, so the camera is probably from after that point.

Another clue was inside one of the film holders, it was a glass plate.

I rested it on my iPad to act as a light-box.

I used an app to turn it into a positive photo.

Either J.Wright owned this camera at some time or Mr. Cuthbert went on holiday.

I posted the photo online and one of my friends said there was an Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Blackpool. After a little search online I found this article. As you can see, the photo in the article is of the same building and if you read the text you will find out the building was demolished in 1908. Therefore, Mr. Watson, we can surmise this camera is probably from around 1900. Bloody hell…and it is now my responsibility. Just to confirm the date, here is a collection of similar cameras with details of dates.

OK, next issue, the lens. I had to put the front glass back in the right place. I know this might make a few people *gulp* just like me. But I unscrewed the only screw I could find and just superglued it back in place. There was no shutter mechanism and I stayed very clear of the aperture blades.

Just a bit of glue put it back in place.

Before I put the lens back together I waited for the glue to fully set to avoid any issues with a residue like I experienced with this camera. Then I screwed it onto the plate and slid it onto the camera.

But did it work, would it focus…I had no idea at this point as I did not know how to focus the damn thing, the lens only has apertures from f8 to f64. So more research was required. First I found articles like this one. Hmm, mine doesn’t seem to have a shutter release at all. This one seemed more likely.

So I need to move the rail somehow, I looked the camera over.

Found it!! This moves and the camera will focus somehow. I looked at the back of the camera and I couldn’t see anything on the glass plate. The image was too light, I needed more lightness and darkness. I took the camera outside but I didn’t have a blackout cloth, would a towel work?

YES!!!

First objective achieved, an image…an upside down image. Now for stage two, getting a negative.

The bag had three plate holders inside, one was missing the middle light shield.

Once the camera was focused you lifted the focusing screen and slid the holder into place. The holder had to be prepared beforehand by inserting glass plates coated in a light-sensitive material.

However, there was no way in the world I was going to prepare and use glass plates, so what is the nearest modern equivalent? 4×5 sheet film. Holy moly it is expensive, plus I need a holder. My heart sank. At the very least I would need.

  • Sheet film – the cheapest on eBay I could find was Shanghai ISO100 ยฃ25 for 25 sheets
  • At least one 4×5 sheet holder, about ยฃ10 from West Yorkshire Camera
  • Some way to develop the sheets, a 4×5 developing tank adapter around ยฃ20+ on eBay
  • And a loupe to attain a fine focus ยฃ10+

At least I already had a tripod and surprisingly the camera fit modern tripod screws ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I put the camera away and reviewed my out of work finances. Even if I could get all the things I needed, how could I fit the 4×5 cassette in the camera?

As you may know, I am not a patient person when it comes to things like this and sometimes I actually “dream” an answer. The next day I woke up and went, “THE BROKEN HOLDER!!!”

If I could cut down the broken holder to take the 4×5 cassette it just might work. Sacrilege? Cutting a Victorian glass plate holder? Don’t care, it is now mine to do with as I please…sorry. Really I am, but it had to be done.

I decided to sell a camera to pay for the things I needed. Bye bye OM2, hello saw and chisel.

I have never tried this kind of thing before, but would you believe it…the 4×5 cassette fit like a glove.

A bit of wood glue, nothing to see here.

Gosh this is turning into a very long post. Ok, onward and forward, loading the sheet film.

Simples. Plus…don’t forget to take off any movement activated watches with an LED display ๐Ÿ™‚

We are getting there. The next issue, no shutter just a lens cap. That meant I would have to use the lens cap as a shutter by taking it off and putting it back on. So the exposure would have to be at least 2 seconds to avoid camera shake or suchlike. Luckily the lens cap was in good condition and attached to the lens when I received the bag.

So this is the sequence of events.

  1. Prepare the 4×5 cassette. Make sure the film shield are showing the white label (or black depending on your own choice)
  2. Find a subject for a photo. This might mean lugging the camera and a tripod to a location.
  3. Find the exposure setting using a light meter, make sure it is over 2 seconds for 100ASA film at f22 (or whatever ASA you are using).
  4. Put the camera together.
  5. Place on a very sturdy tripod.
  6. Set the lens aperture to the largest to let in more light, f8.
  7. Use the towel, coat or something dark to focus the camera on the subject and use the loupe to get a sharper focus.
  8. Reset the aperture to f22 or smaller depending on what is needed for a longer exposure time.
  9. Once focused and framed PUT ON THE LENS COVER
  10. Move the glass focusing plate and slide in the adapted holder with the 4×5 cassette
  11. Put the light cover, my towel or coat, over the back end of the camera and remove the light shield protecting the sheet.
  12. Remove the lens cover and count out the “elephants” needed
  13. Put the lens cover back on
  14. Put the film shield back in with the black label showing
  15. As a film cassette holds two sheets take out this holder and replace the glass focusing screen.
  16. Return to number 2 for the next shot or go home and develop the sheets.

All that effort for 2 shots. For my first test I stayed at home and tried to take a photo of a swan feather I retrieved the day before. That way I would not have to lug the camera anywhere. I worked out that I would need 6 elephants to get an image. I only managed to get one shot as I put the second light shield back in the first slot and jammed it, fogging the second sheet.

Putting the sheet on the developing holder was a pain in the butt. I was sure, even if it worked, it would be covered in finger prints. After the development process I could barely wait to see the developed sheet.

THERE IS AN IMAGE!!!!! Can you see the feather?

I almost cried. I didn’t care if it was out of focus, I could see a feather. I waited for it to dry and put it on the iPad and took a photo with my phone.

This is the first test shot.

๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

Of course I tried again immediately. As my dad was engrossed in watching TV I took a photo of him. He had to stay very still for eight elephants.

You can see lines from the iPad, I think, but I didn’t care…I DID IT!!!!

I rushed into Leeds and bought three more cassettes and loaded them up. I was going to visit a friend for some cosplaying photos in an abandoned house, perfect for this style of shot. She could stay still, well the building could anyway. We lugged the camera uphill for a kilometer. I set up the camera.

…and then realised I left the film cassettes in the car, bugger. Lesson learnt.

To finally use the loaded sheets, I took the camera to my local park, double checking I had the cassettes.

And now finally the shots, it took a while to develop them as I can only do two at a time.

Just one didn’t come out, not quite sure why.

Done, completed, success. I have a few sheets left and I will probably take the camera to Blackpool to get a shot of the new Old Tom’s Cabin building. After that, I am not sure I will ever use it again. It is a lot of effort. This part was a challenge and therefore fun, but I much prefer 120mm or 35mm.

Now, this post is very long and picture heavy, it seems WordPress is having an issue and keeps losing my pictures. So I am going to upload it before it disappears again.

You can own this camera and all the spare cassettes. The tripod is NOT included.

Genuine Victorian Camera

Please check the photos and read the text, that way you know exactly what you are buying. The amount includes postage to the UK. I will not post it outside of the UK due to the size and age of the item.

£400.00

Kodak Instamatic 304

I bought this camera so I could try a 3D printed 126 cassette that accepts 35mm film. So I needed a fairly clean 126mm camera. It took me three attempts to hit that requirement. One camera arrived and it looked like it had lived at the bottom of a garage where people did woodworking for 20 years…nope. Finally, this one arrived and there was a found film inside.

The cassette was showing the number 10 so there was still some shots to be taken. I had no doubt that the film was fogged, damaged or just old beyond salvaging. So I took some random photos just in case and then sent it off for develop only.

When it came back I was surprised to see images on the film, some from me, some from the previous owner. But now I didn’t have scanned images. Never mind I just taped the negs to my scanner. They scanned ok, but were very hairy. I didn’t bother fixing them, you will see why.

Here are the found shots.

Cool, no naked shots, looks kind of Greek to me. Do you know where it is?

Here are my shots.

They are not too bad considering. They are fairly sharp, well exposed. That meant this camera would be perfect for the experiment.

I followed the instructions for the adapter to the letter, please check the first link, and took two shots. Then the camera jammed. So I took the cassette out, fogging the film, unjammed the cameraย and took two more shots. Then the camera jammed. So I took the cassette out, fogging the film, unjammed the camera…can you see where this is going.

Here are my shots recovered from the cassette…er nope. I gave the cassette to a friend to see if he could get it to work. I know I gave up easily, but I had already bought 4 cameras and didn’t think it was worth more effort and money when I have so many other cameras to try. Sorry Fakmatic, super idea, but not for me. Honestly, I think it is because many 126 cameras are old and cronky, I don’t think it has anything to do with the Fakmatic. If you have a good 126 camera it is well worth a try. As I did give the cassette to a friend I don’t have it to take photos of it. Check the website ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh but what about the camera? What about 126mm film?

Well, the film ceased being produced in 2008, so like APS all film is now expired, if you do happen to have some. The camera itself was introduced in 1965, has a selenium meter which you can see on the front. You can find more details here

I sent this camera to the friend who I also gave the 3D printed cartridge too, maybe he can get it to work.