Konica Autoreflex T3

I found this body and a different lens in one of my favourite second-hand shops. The only reason I even thought about buying this camera was because I had recently read an article about the auto-reflex camera. When I saw this version I jumped at it even though it was a regular SLR, not a full/half-frame camera. Originally released between 1973-75, it is quite a big, heavy camera.

The original lens had so much fungus on it that I just decided to take it apart to see if I could. AND then try and put it back together…I could not. So I got another, very cheap lens which still had some fungus, but not too much to bother me.

I was really interested in the M.E. switch on the side of the speed selector. Could it mean multiple exposures? Yes, it could, awesome. Did the meter work? Yes, it did, another awesome point! Although it did feel a bit like a metal brick I was starting to really like this camera. You can find all the technical details you like here.

After using it on auto for a while I had the feeling that the camera was choosing the wrong aperture for the lighting situations. It was too high for the low light available. I thought the LR44 batteries I had inserted were just too strong. Also, the on/off switch was quite loose and when I went to use it again I found it was in the on position. The batteries were dead. So, I set about putting in some fresh 675 hearing aid batteries. They turned out to be slightly too small. Never mind I will just bend the connector up a bit. And this is where anyone with one of these cameras shouts NOOOO. And yes, the connector broke off and fell inside the camera body.

Bugger, but maybe I can fix it? Nope. Apparently, the only way to reach the battery compartment is to almost take the whole camera apart. It just wasn’t worth it.

Now it is a manual camera only ūüė¶

Anyway, other things I like about this camera are, the green/red spot near the film winder that lets you know if the shutter is cocked, the speed selected showing in the viewfinder and the red flag that adjusts the aperture from f1.4 to f1.7 depending on your lens.

When I finished my test film, I was a little ticked off to find the camera had been working  just fine in automatic mode. There had been no reason for my heavy handed battery adjustment.

You can see I tried the multi-exposure button. When you slide this towards the red/green circle, it unlocks the sprockets. So when you push the film advance, it does not advance the film but still cocks the shutter.

After I broke the battery compartment I reloaded the film to finish it in manual settings.

Usually, I would not add photos of my students, but these two photos are multiple exposures and do not look like the actual children involved…unless you actually know them. Some of the photos look a little out of focus. That was my issue, not the camera. I think I was tired or wearing my glasses.

Keep or sell: I am inclined to keep this camera. I do not have another slr that allows multiple exposures quite so easily. I am currently undertaking a project where I have to go through a lot more steps to acheive this affect. So for now I will keep it, but man-oh-man is it ever heavy.

 

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Olympus OM30

Another Olympus, this time the OM30. I have never tried one before, or even held one. So I was quite excited to see it in a junk bin. It didn’t have a lens attached, but right next to it was a slightly battered OM lens. I put one on the other and said take my money. Here is the thing, I put two items together, but I was only charged for one. The cashier just charged me the larger amount. As I put them together it became one item. I didn’t know, I didn’t agree, but the price stuck. Lucky me.

I already have the OM10 and OM20, now the OM30. I just need the OM40 for the set. The 30 was released in 1983 and had an autofocus feature for one lens only, this is not that lens. The right lens for autofocusing can also use a trigger mechanism. I have seen those for sale on eBay, and I can see why they could be useful, but not without the right lens. The f2/f4 button on the front of the body is also for that lens, but again, kind of useless to me without it. Unlike the OM10, this version has a manual speed selector built in. The viewfinder also tells you the speed selection for the auto setting. Another cool tool in the viewfinder is the green, yes it is focused square. If you are not in focus there is a red arrow, telling you which way to turn the barrel. This tool would be linked to the focusing trigger if I had one.

For me, it is a bit superfluous but still cool. You can find more technical details here, plus a photo of the autofocus lens.

I enjoyed using it. Even with the lens, it is light and small, I would compare it to the Pentax ME Super. I think I prefer the Pentax though.

I took this camera with me on a drive around some snowy shrines. Here are my test shots.

A lovely walk and a lovely camera, with a super lens. A great find.

Semi Leotax

I found this camera in a junk bin with other folding cameras. I bought a couple of them, I couldn’t resist. I chose this one due to the “made in occupied Japan” sign on the viewfinder. It dates the camera between 1947 to 1951. Anyway, it took me ages to get around to looking at it, due to its condition and the number of other cameras lying around my home.

When I did finally look at it, I discover the front element was stuck solid. Therefore it could not focus at all. I wouldn’t have minded if it was stuck at infinity, but it was stuck at 9ft. Nevermind, super camera fixer to the rescue…or super camera fixer in training to the rescue. Strike superman pose now.

Out comes the screwdrivers, out comes the dentist tools. Gee whizz, this camera has the smallest screws I have ever seen.

Once I got the distance gauge off I could see some green residue on the brass lens thread. Brute force or at least middle-aged lady force would not move that lens a millimeter. Vinegar and sake cup to the rescue. I left it for an hour and tried again.

Next issue, after I had cleaned the residue and lens…recalibrating the focus of the¬†lens, but how?

I took an old piece of film and taped a focusing screen to it. Then I set an LED torch on a shelf at the other side of the room, put the camera on B and pressed the shutter. With the shutter open, I focused the newly screwed in lens on the torch. Genius. I now knew where infinity was so I screwed the distance gauge back on the front.

And now for testing with film….gosh I hope it worked.

The very first image is from when I first put the film in before I found out the distance was stuck. That is why the building, at infinity, is out of focus. BUT look at the rest of the film, Yahoooooooo I fixed the camera. It squeaks a bit when moving the focus from infinity, I should have put some lubricant on the threading. It does work better at infinity as the minimum distance is 3.5ft anyway.

I was so happy, and the camera was in such a state, that I spruced it up. Using only a magic marker, glue and leftover material I give you the new Semi Leotax post-war version. I decided to keep as much of the original cover as I could.

I might not use it again, but I am KEEPING IT FOREVER ūüôā

Nikon F60 (N60)

This camera was not one I ever intended on buying. I tried the Nikon U before this and they are very similar. Then I bought a faulty F90X with a faulty lens that I wanted to try on another body. Low-end Nikon SLRs are very easy to get cheaply in Japan, so I got this one as it looked fairly clean. The lens gave a communication error message every time I tried it other Nikon cameras that I owned, but for some reason, while on this camera it didn‚Äôt…unless it was in manual mode. So basically this lens seemed to work with this camera only while in aperture or speed mode.

Today was a snow day, no school – even for teachers. So I took the opportunity to get a film developed. I tried this camera while on a walk for another blog. While using it the noises I heard didn’t seem to make sense. It was a lovely day and I know the shutter speed was really high, but the camera sounded slow. I took a roll of film but didn’t have any confidence the shots would come out.

Well, blow me down if the scans I got back were fine.

There are a couple of repeat shots as I was confused by the sounds and took another shot at a different setting. The only issue with this camera from 1998, the flash did not work. This site has all the technical information your little heart could desire.

I didn’t have a problem with the camera, though some people seem to hate it. Then again, I didn’t love it. I found it a ‘meh’ camera. If you can find it cheap and have no other camera or like collect them, then it is fine. It is not suitable if you want to learn about apertures and stuff, there are much better cameras for that. Especially better than this example as the manual setting didn’t work.

Keep or Sell: Given away.

Minolta SRT 101

I actually bought two of these cameras from one junk shelf at the same time. One of the cameras had a lens and a battery cover but seemed a bit sluggish mechanically. The other had no lens, no battery cover, but seemed to work mechanically. I decided to buy both as I thought I could take pieces from each and make one good example. In the end, the one with the lens had a number of issues. The on switch was faulty and to get the light meter working you had to press the button really hard to make a connection. The mirror also intermittently jammed and the aperture spring was broken and did not return the lever to the set position. So I took the lens and battery cover and put them on the other example.

The lens was dented so I used my new tool to straighten it out..or circle it out.

There is so much written about this camera on the net that it seems pointless to add any more. Here are a few links to technical and historical details of this camera.

http://mattsclassiccameras.com/slr/minolta-srt-101/
http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Minolta_SR-T_101
https://blog.jimgrey.net/2012/07/26/minolta-sr-t-101/
http://www.andrewkaiserphoto.com/blog/2015/8/6/camera-review-minolta-srt101

Once I got one good example I put a battery in. I used a hearing aid battery with an adapter that I got from this website. Then I loaded a film, a half a roll I had left from another failed camera test.

What is that black blob?? Was there a piece of paper or something inside the camera? I am sure I looked. I took the lens off and set the camera to bulb. There was a piece of cloth hanging from the inside bellows. Why didn’t I notice that before? Maybe it popped out when I started to fire the shutter. Anyway, I forgot to take a photo of this cloth but there seemed to be two metal clips that used to keep it in place. I bent them back and replaced the cloth using tweezers. Then I fired the shutter…the cloth came out again. I tried a couple of times and it came out each time. So I tried glue. I glued the cloth to the bellows. When I fired the shutter this time, the mirror only when up half way. Oh, the bellows move when the mirror moves. I pulled the cloth away from the bellows and said, “umphhhhh” then made a cup of tea.

When I went back to the camera I was frustrated and just kept firing the shutter while thinking about what to do next. While doing this the piece of cloth magically went back into place. I didn’t touch it, I didn’t do anything, magic or at least mechanics. I think the residual glue caught something and mechanics did the rest.

The cloth now gone, I loaded another film and tested the camera again the next day.

The 55mm f1.7 lens is very pleasing and sharp. The exposure settings due to the TTL are spot on…but there is a light leak of sorts. A line along the top of the negative. I set the camera to bulb again and moved my eye and face around the open shutter. I caught sight of a reflection, a reflection from the glue residue..aaaargh. I scrapped it off and used a black marker to cover any remaining residue.

Then I tried one last time, here are a few from the roll.

Yatta! Fixed and no reflection. It is not a pretty fix, but it works.

I actually liked using this camera, but prefer the Pentax ME Super which is much smaller. This one feels like a brick by comparison.

Keep or Sell: I might actually forgo this section as I feel like keeping everything due to the rising prices. Plus I spent time on this one and fixed it. I am emotionally invested. I will add it to my massive PPP, “Peggy’s Ponder Pile”.

 

 

 

 

 

Canonet – The Original

I found a grotty old Canonet in a junk bin. The lens had some fungus on it and the hinge seal had rotted away, but the shutter fired and the light meter still worked.

I bought it for $5 and left it in my cupboard for about 6 months. I didn’t want to take the lens apart. Then one day I thought, oh just do it, what have you got to lose…well $5, but that isn’t much. So I got out my bag of tools and got to work.

I took the glass from the front part of the lens off and cleaned it. Much like in the video on this link. Actually, I forgot to take the before photos. That means the glass in the photos above is the cleaned version. This link has a different method with more toxic materials, which I didn’t have or have the nose for. It was much easier to remove the lens than I thought it would be.

Then I put it all back together and loaded a film to test my work. As I was not sure the camera would focus properly I put in a partly used film. I took it with me on this walk.

The second image in the viewfinder was a little light and difficult to focus, but there was enough left that I could at least make an attempt to focus. But golly gosh, it was sharp and the light meter was great on the exposure side too.

 

That means this original 1961 version of the Canonet now works perfectly. As the slider on this camera has the option for 400ASA film it is the MK3 version. You can get more tech information on this site.

Keep or Sell: I did fix this camera and cleaned the lens, my first attempt. That makes me want to keep it. The selenium cell works, that also makes me want to keep it. BUT, it is quite heavy and a little bit ugly, for me anyway. I probably won’t use it again very much. I will add it to my “ponder pile”.

Olympus mju Zoom 70 Deluxe

On this blog, I have tried over 150 cameras. So, without realizing it I have done over one camera a week for two years. I am saying this because I was looking for projects for the new year. I stumbled across many, including one roll, one camera for 52 weeks. I thought, oh that would be hard. Then it dawned on me, I have already done that. For me, a harder project would be choosing just one camera for a year or even a month. Impossible.

Anyway, the camera I tried this time was the 1993 Olympus mju zoom 70 deluxe. There are always mjus in junk bins in Japan, apart from the obvious versions. The zooms can be picked up for $3, just like this one.

You can check out the previous link to see the specs for this camera, suffice to say, it is a little pocket of awesomeness. It is curvey, light and easy to use. I tested mine near my house. Just to make sure it fired, then I forgot about it and left it in my bag for ages.

The first shot is one that I usually take, it makes it easy to compare cameras and films. Plus I just like it. The second two show the 35-70 zoom feature.

Once I remembered the camera I packed it ready to take on a holiday to Hong Kong. It was easy and cheap to get there from Japan, plus I have never been, plus plus I have friends there who said I could use their apartment while they were on their own holiday. Score.

So here is the remainder of the roll, shot in Hong Kong.

Wow, what a stunning little camera. Super sharp and good exposure, even on skyscrapers that were reflecting the sun quite dazzlingly.

I thought Hong Kong might be a great place to buy cameras or equipment as many of the things I buy on eBay seem to come from there. I went to a few places, but I didn’t find that was the case. The prices were much higher than Japan, and no junk bins. I saw this camera for $80 in one shop. After I wandered around a few shops I gave up until my very last day when I bought 3 cameras which I will write about later. But I had already decided to leave the mju¬†for my friend as thanks for letting me stay. I wrote and told him and he mentioned a Nikon FE..that I had already seen on his shelf..he said that it wasn’t working and I could have it. As I already have that camera, I decided to look at it while I was there, maybe I could get it working?? It turned out to be a quick fix, there was a corroded battery which had leaked. I looked in the kitchen for ‘stuff’ and found some balsamic vinegar. So I cleaned off the points and voila, lights alive. It was working again, or at least it was when I left.

I had fixed my friends camera and left him another great camera. Perfect. I am sure he will be very happy when he returns. On a personal note, what he doesn’t know is that I bought my first film camera, a Canon A1, during this blogging era after seeing him with his Nikon FE. I loved the sound it made and the quality of the photos he took. So I looked for a cheap film camera for myself. I then went nuts and got millions of others. They helped me through a difficult time. So thanks buddy, you helped me more than you ever realized ūüôā

Konica Kanpai

Holy Moly….trying not to say crap…Holy moly I love this little camera. I saw it in the junk bin and thought, “What is that button on the front? Why does it have a microphone picture?? Well, it’s only $3…pay and find out.” So I did….and the camera worked.

There is a viewfinder on the top of the camera as it is supposed to be used with a dedicated tripod…which was not with this example. It was originally¬†released in 1991¬†and must have been quite a fun thing at the time. The microphone switch turns the camera’s voice-activated¬†shutter on. It has 3 settings depending on how sensitive you want it to be. Of course, it does work in a conventional way, but where is the fun in that. The dedicated tripod activates another feature..the camera moves towards the sound. Without the dedicated tripod, this feature does not work. Apparently, there is a bit that slots into the hole marked with white.

IMG_8304

You are supposed to shout “Kanpi” at a party and it turns to the sound and takes a photo. Of course, you do not have to shout cheers, any noise will do, but it is fun to¬†shout cheers in Japanese. When I tried the camera at home I found it very sensitive on most settings.

Apparently, I am a noisy walker. Anyway, then I thought I would take it to school and just leave it by the playground and see what happens.

You can see the word spread and the students got more and more excited trying to make it flash…which I left on “always fire” to make it obvious.

And this is a conventional shot of my classroom, not voice activated.

FH000025

Once I got the hang of the camera, I loved it. So much fun to use. I will definitely use it again. I really wish I had the tripod. The shots are well exposed, capture movement, are sharp, and clear of haze. Perfect for a party.

Keep or sell: Keep for now.

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