Category Archives: Junk Camera Finds

Yashica Zoomate 70

As the BBC is saying right now, this was filmed before the current government guidelines.

I am not sure where I got this camera, I think it was in a job lot of stuff I bought a while ago, but it was a Yashica so I thought I would try it. I put in a half used film that I had already exposed in another camera. I didn’t think the other camera worked so if I had to pay for processing, then at least there was a chance of a few photos on the roll.

This point and shoot from early 2000 is nothing special, a regular compact camera with an average zoom lens. You can find lots of technical details here. When I loaded the film I had to shoot passed the previous exposures. On pressing the shutter with the lens against my leg to avoid light, the shutter stayed open for quite a while. I was surprised by that. Looking at the technical details I saw the longest exposure was 2.8 seconds, so it took a while to get to the 25th shot and I fogged the first photo by lifting the camera and looking through the lens to check.

I finished the roll on the journey to the photolab. The walk to the bus stop and the walk through Leeds. Looking at the photos now I am struck by the fact the few people in the photos are sort of isolating themselves. That is common near an ATM anyway. In the UK we call these “hole in the wall” or “cashpoint”, though signs say ATM.

Well, it did a pretty good job. Compared with the Konica, they are a little softer, less vibrant. The difference is the lens of course and the manual focusing. Both cameras had the same job to do with the Konica requiring a bit more input from the user…just a bit.

As for this camera, it is fine and cheap. If it was your only choice then its not a terrible one, quite good for wandering around on a bright day…when you get the chance.

Panorama Wide Pic

When I first started writing this review I put “Halina” in the title, I was sure it was a Halina camera. Then, taking photos of the camera I realised it didn’t have a brand name on it. The Halina name was on the bag that I had put the camera in. Plus a fellow blogger had sent me this review about the same camera. He obviously love it.

Mine is at least a nice red version

This isn’t a true panoramic camera as you can see from the photo of the exposure frame. It just masks the top and bottom of the 35mm area. The camera has a fixed focus, a fixed f11 aperture lens. There is a single shutter speed of 1/125th. There is no flash, nothing but a shutter button really.

I put in some Fomapan 100 with the intention of pushing it to 400 in development. All toy cameras work better with 400asa film, or so I have found. I was only going to take half a roll as I had just tried some panoramic photos and wasn’t too interested in this camera. I just have some spare time so I might as well test some cameras.

Then I took it out when I went on walks to local supermarkets.

Oooh so many people about, not.

As with the review I linked to, I found the minimum focusing distance to be quite long, My father was at least 6ft away, but he is still out of focus in from of the cash machines. The film did have some light leaks on it which can be seen in the photo. That could be due to the damage to the film spool side of the internal area which can be seen on the photos. Easily fixed with some tape. Other than that there is not much to say about this camera. A cheap plastic toy. It was fun, but not something I will put another film through. I prefer the digital camera if I am going to try panoramas again.

Franka Solida IIE

I tried this camera a few weeks ago and I love it…which is unfortunate as I dropped it while out using it for the first time. The damn thing doesn’t have any strap lugs and I don’t have the case. So I hope it still works after that. I definitely will try another film sometime to find out. For now here is the camera with added dint.

This version of the Solida is from 1956, there are a few versions. This one can be identified by the uncoupled rangefinder and the square window on the front. Apart from the obvious lack of a strap, the camera feels solid with an all metal build. That is good because I dropped it from quite a height and it just dented the bottom rather than break it altogether.

You open the camera with a button on the side, above the lever to open the back. To close the camera, you push down on the bar at the front of the lens. After I dropped mine, the film back was jammed shut, but luckily my father had just received a free gift, a small tool box, that came with a purchase of some trousers…

Seriously, who gives a tool kit away with trousers. Anyway, it had just the right tools inside to open the camera and to slightly fix the dent.

The camera has speeds ranging from 1/300 to 1 seconds plus a bulb setting. The shutter needs to be cocked before firing. It has a lock to avoid double-exposures, which is the only disappointing thing. There is a cable-release socket on the lens and a slider to cover the red window. The one thing I couldn’t find at first was the aperture adjuster, eventually I found it under the lens along with an EV scale. The choice of apertures are from f3.5 to f22.

The best thing about the camera is the uncoupled rangefinder, which on my example worked well. It was a bit tricky to see the double image, in bright light it was better. Once the two images are aligned the scale on the top of the camera tells you the distance to set the lens. That does mean you have to slow down a bit while out photoing, but that is kind of nice.

I loaded mine with Fomapan 400 and went to Cardiff Castle. At first I had a bit of trouble using the camera, the shutter button needed a hefty press, but once you get use to that all is fine. I did think there might be some camera movement due to the pressure needed for the button. To avoid that I kept the camera at 1/125th. The first shot of the soldier sculpture did show that movement, but after that I was use to the pressure. I also took the camera to Steeton Hall Gateway and Oulton Church. Not bad for just 12 6×6 shots.

Here is another review of the camera with sample photos. I love the look of the photos, plus the camera is light enough to carry around in a bag or pocket, unlike some 120 cameras I have. Best thing of all, it is really cheap to find. What a super little camera.

Konica FP-1 Program

When I tidied out my photography stuff I found two lenses that I no longer had a body for. One was a Konica Hexanon AR 50mm F1.7, I remembered using it with another camera, I must have sold the body but kept the lens because I liked the quality of the photos it produced. I could sell the lens, but what if there was a cheap body for sale? I am not yet at the point where I can’t not look, so I did. And there was this camera, very cheap and with a very cool looking strap. It was worth it for the strap alone.

I thought it was a nice looking camera…initially…but hey, wait a minute…where are the dials to choose stuff? The speed mode, aperture mode, manual mode…any mode come to that?

There weren’t any…not one single solitary mode, nada, nothing. But what about the viewfinder? Was there any information displayed in there? Nope, just a green or red light. It turns out this camera was a program only camera. You have no choices. You can just focus the camera and press the button. You leave the lens on AE and let the camera do absolutely everything. There is no override and no information about the choices the camera has made. Well, that sucks.

The camera was originally produced in 1981 and discontinued in 1983, a really short run. If you read that link you will see that, not only is this a program camera only, it only chooses from 3 apertures. Those apertures are 2.8, 5.6, or 11….WTF! So there was absolutely no point in having the F1.7 lens that I had attached. What a pile of poo. Once I had realised all of that, I was glad I didn’t pay much and had basically bought it for the price of the strap. At least the body would act as a lens cover.

I doubted I would ever use it…but then I got bored and decided to go to Bolsover Castle. I could get in for free due to my membership of English Heritage, so why not wander around with this camera…trying cameras is another hard habit to break. It was a nice day, a break in the rain/snow, but not a break in the wind. Ooooh it was cold.

Given the lack of features, the camera was very easy to use, point – focus – check for green light – shoot – repeat. I used part of the film and then transferred the remainder to another camera, a real point and shoot that I will post about later. So how did it do? It sounded slow, I didn’t have any faith at all…

Well, holy moly..it worked and worked really well. In all the lighting environments the camera chose a perfect setting, of course it did because cameras are actually suppose to work. But it works so well. It was not fooled by backlighting, lots of sky or high contrast. Even in fairly dark situations it worked. And I still love the lens. I would be tempted to get another, better body for it…if I didn’t have lots of similar cameras and am reducing my collection.

As for the other lens I found without a body… I decided not to buy another SLR. I have already sold the lens to avoid the temptation. So I am getting a little better at not buying stuff I don’t need.

Olympus iS-100

This camera is very similar to another Olympus I have tried. And maybe I should have read that review before putting a film in this camera.

I think I got this one in a job lot and as I was a bit bored so thought I would try it out. Big mistake, I hated it, hated, hated it. I found it cumbersome, pointless and quite honestly…ugly. Though I did enjoy my morning out in Leeds.

I decided to take the camera to Lower Briggate as I don’t think I have ever walked around there before. BUT every time I took the camera out to use, I felt like a complete idiot. Some cameras are cool and feel cool to use. This one just felt nerdy, embarrassing and awkward. I would take a shot and quickly put it away. Once I got the film developed I found a few photos from a recent trip to Edinburgh. Obviously I thought the same on that trip, forgot about it and put it away.

So here is the one and only roll I will be taking with this camera.

To be fair, the photos came out quite well and when I checked online, there are great examples all over this site. You can find more information about this camera on this great website. They came to the same conclusion, a capable camera with a face only a mother can love.

Kodak Six-20 Brownie Model E

This was one of the cleaner examples of Brownies from my job lot. I gave it an extra clean as the front pops off easily and, well, I could. It is also one of the prettiest from the collection. Look at it.

There are two versions of this camera, this is the second which was released between 1953-57. You can tell the difference by the horizontally striped design faceplate, plastic winding knob, and a plastic shutter release button. This version of the Brownie has more features than most models.

  • A built-in sliding portrait lens for close-ups
  • A yellow filter for use with black and white film, adding contrast
  • 2-pin flash contacts…though you might not be able to use them
  • Tripod sockets for landscape and portrait photos
  • A shutter lock stops double or accidental exposures…though I do think I got a couple of them on my test roll
  • A cable release socket

I loaded mine with Fuji Acros and took it to Wales for the weekend, though I did take all the shots at one destination…Goodrich castle. I decided on that destination as I have just bought membership to English Heritage. Basically for the cost of visiting this location was more expensive than the monthly fee, so why the hell not. This year I have decided to resurrect my other blog and want to visit more castles and stuff. But this blog is about the camera.

…And this camera was great. It just worked. The shutter release was a tiny bit juddery, but nothing serious. The viewfinders were big and bright, though you do have to look at just the right angle. The only thing that detracts from this version of the Brownie is the Six-20 in the name, meaning you have to respool 120 film in order to use it more smoothly.

But respool it I did, and here are the shots I got from this camera. Actually a couple of the shots were taken by the person in the photos. She is now the proud owner of this camera and has set herself the goal of learning to use it and develop a roll of film.

These are the shots from that excursion.

The first couple of shots do look like there is a double exposure, and that is possible on this camera. I can’t be totally sure as I wasn’t holding the camera the whole time the film was inside. But for a 60+ year old camera, the results are very nice. If you are going to get a Brownie then this version is a great one to have…apart from the re-rolling of course.

Minolta Vectis 20 – APS

This is the last APS camera I will ever try, seriously. I sold all the APS film I have so I couldn’t try another even if I wanted to. Though, selling the film is a whole other story due to an unscrupulous eBayer who decided to open a case just to see if they might get a refund. And now they are blocked.

Anyhow, here is the camera.

This crappy, yes I assumed it would be a crappy little camera was produced from 1996 and you can find all the technical details you need here. As this is a typically basic point and shoot aps camera, I decided to try some more double exposures. Increasing the exposure by two wouldn’t hurt the expired film.

First I took the camera around my local park and then to Conisbrough Castle. In retrospect, I wish I had trusted in the film and the camera a little more. The results show that the camera and the film performed quite admirably. In its day I think this camera would have been perfect as a sling-in-your-bag or a fun night out camera.

Here are some of the results from the test and experiment.

They didn’t come out as well as the last aps double exposure trial I tried, but I do like the castle photos.

As for APS film, I am sad that it isn’t more readily available. It is slowly getting more and more expensive, and harder to find. As they are slowly getting used up this trend will only continue. I am happy to get out now. At the moment I still have the IX7, but only for memory sake as I no longer have a Canon lens to attach to it or any APS film. If that camera sells then so be it. Goodbye APS and thanks for the fish.

Kershaw Eight-20 Penguin

This is the second crappy photo post for the day after my break. It is disappointing to post crappy photos, but as this blog is a record of the cameras I have used, I decided to go ahead and post them anyway.

The camera was in the job lot of box brownie cameras and as it was a nice day I decided to try it out. Because it is called penguin!!! How cool is that. Besides that, look at it…

I also decided to try it out because I had some expired film left and thought, why not. It turned out it wasn’t such a great decision for a number of reasons.

  1. There was no viewfinder on the camera. I ended up using a spirit level attached to the camera with bluetack and guessed the rest.
  2. My chemicals were expired, bugger!
  3. I could not get the film out of the camera, the winder knob was stuck.
  4. I took the camera to Conisborough Castle and when I saw the tower I couldn’t help myself and climbed it….I am not supposed to put any extra strain on my knees right now…but…castle!

Anyway, apart from the missing viewfinder there didn’t seem to be much else wrong with the camera. It is a simple, metal, folding camera from around 1951. There are two aperture choices f11 or f16, one speed – probably 1/50th, and a distance scale that moves from 6ft to infinity. That is it. As you can see on the photos I put tape around mine as I can’t confident it would be light tight, funnily, I didn’t check the bellows as they seemed to be in very good condition.

So as I said, I used a spirit level to try and keeps things straight and for the most part that worked fine, I might use it on other box cameras. But, as I said my chemicals had issues, something you don’t know until this happens. Once developed the film was opaque which makes me think my fixer was exhausted. The only problem with that theory is that another film developed after was fine. Oh well, it still gives me a chance to see what the camera can do.

I honestly couldn’t be bothered to get rid of any hairs. There are a couple of shots that are obviously not straight. I found the shutter button to be quite sensitive and it took the photo while I was playing with the camera.

So final result. This is a camera that will look nice on a shelf, but not worth the effort to use it with film. I am going to donate it to a film project I was asked about. Someone contacted me for old cameras to go in a display, here, have this one 🙂