Chinon CP-7m

This camera from 1986 is another donation. I also took this one on a trip to Manchester. I looked it over and everything seems to work, but I forgot one thing. A basic thing. The seals. The first rule of junk camera use is to check the seals. I didn’t notice these ones until I took some photos of the camera for this blog. Then I saw them.

How could I not have noticed that. The film window seal, really the only seal, is disintegrating in front of my eyes. How would that affect the photos I took in Manchester?

A massive reoccurring light leak.

Bugger. Oh well, more on that later. Did you see the battery compartment? This camera takes either four AA batteries or one 2CR5. How convenient is that? Plus there is a switch for multiple exposures. Not only that, you can attach a cable release and set the timer for interval shots. Pretty impressive.

Apparently, this is also the only Chinon that uses the K-Mount lenses in fully automatic mode. I used this one in P mode with a Chinon 28-50mm lens for the test film. I have not seen a 28-50mm lens before, it is a really useful choice. I hope it is sharp. The grip was covered in a white leather due to the original owner covering a sticky patch. It made the camera more comfortable to hold. 

 Apart from the now obvious seal issue, I really liked this camera. It has enough features to make it interesting, but not too many that is is confusing. Plus the layout is really easy to understand. And the test shots?

Due to the resulting fogging, I cropped some of the photos to a square format. That way you can observe the photos without being distracted by the light leak. Shame though as I really like some of the shots I got and I met some interesting characters. The guy in the hat standing quite proudly was someone I approached and asked to pose for me. I have done that before, but it always leaves me a little surprised by myself. Surprised I did it, surprised they said yes. He was great and super polite. He really owned the alley 🙂 I took a photo on my phone just to be sure I got the shot as I had not used the camera before. I am glad that I did that. Though, my phone camera glass was cracked too…super photographer I am, everything is falling apart.

The lens cover on my phone camera is cracked, but I still managed to get this shot. Thanks random guy,

As for the Chinon shots. I used Fuji Acros 100 pushed to 400. The exposure settings are spot on for the most part, but the lens is a little soft for my liking. So after fixing the seals, I tried another film. I used a film I thought was damaged as I still wasn’t sure about the film door seal. I don’t like using lots of tape on a camera, they should just work without too many fiddly adjustments. The film I used was a Fomapan I had tried in a 126 adapter. I suspected it had been covered by my fingerprints or scratches, but as this was a light leak test those issues didn’t matter.

Here are the results of that test.

What is it!! I changed the seals, where is that light coming from??…let me check.

As you can see the light from the torch shines through the edges of the seal material I chose for the film door. This must be where the light gets on the film. So I tried the camera one last time. I usually don’t try a camera 3 times, but I like this one. I am not giving up on you mighty Chinon. This time I put a lot of tape on that section and around the back of the camera.

Nothing is getting through that. If there are more light leaks then it is coming from somewhere else, somewhere from the depths of Mordor.

And the final film results.

Yes, finally. Ok I will change the seals on the film door again with thicker material. This film was an Agfa 200 that I got from Poundland when they used to sell it, I miss that cheap film score. The camera and lens performed really well this time and the back lit nettles are particularly well exposed.

I have seen this camera for sale really cheaply on eBay. If you are looking for a motorized SLR, this is a good choice due to all the cool features.

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Halina Smile

As of writing this post you could still buy this camera on Amazon. I put in half a roll of expired film from another toy camera.

This is a cheap plastic camera with very basic specs. A single aperture, a single speed, and a fixed focus lens. 

28mm lens
F/9.5 aperture
Fixed focus
Shutter Speed: ~1/100th / sec

I don’t know why anyone would buy this camera. You might as well get the simple use camera, at least then you will get a decent film with it.

Loading the film is a little awkward as there is no slot for the film end, only some bumps for the sprockets, as with the simple use. I found after loading the half used roll, the winder became stiff. I recommend only using a 24 exposure film, of 400asa of course.

After a few shots, my example seized and I gave up.

Here are the few shots I got.

Not the best camera, not the sharpest of lenses. Not recommended by me at least. The colours are nice though 🙂

Pokemon 35mm Camera

I didn’t actually know what to title this post, should I write souvenir camera, tiger camera as it says it on the front, or toy camera. It really is a unique camera, purely a fun camera. You can find the manual here.

I love toys and I love pokemon. So when I read about this camera from 1999 my inner child clicked on and I decided I must try it. See I said “try” not keep. I already knew when I bought it that I didn’t want to keep this camera. The manual recommends 400asa, like most other toy cameras. The second article says it puts all 150 pokemon around the photo. As of writing this post, there are over 800, so the catchphrase of “gotta catch ’em all” is no longer true. How can you catch them all when they just keep designing more?

I love the look of this camera, with Pikachu, Diglett and some pokeballs incorporated in the design. The on/off button locks the shutter. As it is a very basic camera, it will still work if there is no battery in it. On my example the flash was a little hit and miss. I had to add a piece of tinfoil to make it more reliable. The flash fires each time it is charged and the camera is turned on.

If I was using it to take photos of children, they loved it. Even adults had a giggle. Children tended not to understand that they could not see the photos straight away and kept grabbing at it to see the back. But at the end of the day how many photos do you need with a Pokemon border? I took the film out mid roll and put it in another toy camera.

Here are the shots I took. I put in an expired roll so was nowhere near the 400asa suggestion. 🙂

Well, it works. It was fun while it lasted. I think if the Pokemon was a choice you could make, I would like it more. But the border is built into the camera, Pokemon galore, constantly.

Chinon 35 F-M

This is another camera that was donated to me. The seals were shot so I changed them straight away. The rest of the camera seemed really clean. The battery check button sounded and lit up without issue, as did the flash. This camera from 1980 takes two AA batteries and one LR44. I think one set powers the flash and the other the light meter…maybe.

I really liked the look of this camera, plus it had an f2.8 lens. The only issue was the zoned focusing rather than autofocusing or a rangefinder. Both of those are just easier for me to use. The grip makes holding the camera really comfortable. I put in a roll of Kodak 200 and wandered around Manchester with a film group I join from time to time. I don’t live in Manchester or I would join them more often, they are super friendly.

The speed is set to 1/125th, but the camera adjusts between F2.8 and f16 depending on the available light. You can see the choice made by the camera in the viewfinder by the way of a scale and needle. The “F-M” I would guess means Film Motor and the motor does make a bit of a racket. The noise meant it was nowhere near stealthy enough for secret or street photography. Every time I used it, the people near me looked around. It might be good for dog photography though, I think they would love the sound. Lots of head tilting I am sure.

But how did this example perform?

Considering it was a dull day, as most seem to be recently, many of the shots are brighter than I remember. A few are out of focus due to my zoning technique and handshake. I was trying to catch people as I walked past, but I really needed a faster speed for that. The lens is nice and sharp, and the flash does not overpower the shot. 

I like the results, pity about the noise. If you can find this camera for a reasonable price, I think it would be a good one to have.

On another note, I am using the new WordPress editor. It is a little different from the classic version. It reminds me of the Squarespace editor with the use of blocks. It is not so different from the classic version that it was easy to navigate, definitely an improvement. It does make editing old pages sometimes a little tricky. When editing the stuff page, I almost had to recreate the whole thing. The camera list page is also troublesome to change, but that has too many links on for me to start again.

I also prefer the older style gallery, just for the final look. This version seems a little neater which just isn’t me.

Minolta Vectis S-100 (APS)

I left my other Vectis S APS camera in Japan, but I had weirdly ordered lots of APS film in the UK. So now I have a plethora of film and no SLR type camera to use it with. Hello Vectis S-100, but really that is an excuse as I do have other APS cameras and I was just given even more. APS cameras…they breed you know.

Look at the size of that lens 25-150mm and it was cheap as many APS cameras are. When it arrived there was a film already inside, score.

It was produced around 1996 and apparently was a simpler version than the S-1. You can find all the technical details you might need here. Really, it is a point and shoot with a few modes. It is one of the smallest APS SLRs there is, but with this zoom lens it was hardly pocketable.

There really isn’t much more I can say than that. Pop in a film, point, shoot, done. I finished off the roll that was inside.

Here are the found shots.

Well, whoever owned this camera liked their motorbike.

Here are my photos take on the rest of the film. The first shot is me working out if the camera worked, then I realized there was a film inside. I took the rest of the photos around my garden and the local parkland.

For a film left inside, it was surprisingly good in terms of colour and noise. The camera focused quite well, it felt comfortable to hold and looks good, to me anyway.

Actually, maybe I should say more. Some of the cameras I try don’t leave an impression on me or maybe I am not in the mood to write much. Today it is a bit of both. The weather has been very drizzly recently, a bit depressing really. I have also just started working again, supply teaching. Some of the schools you see and the children you meet make you wonder about the state of the world. Then you see other children, other schools and it makes you wonder in a completely different, more inspiring way. Being a teacher is definitely a rollercoaster ride.

Anyway…the photos I took with this camera were of my local nature park and I think I miss it. I know I can go in the rain, but it is not the same as a blue sky day. Also, it is turning colder so not only are you wet but cold as well. There is also the issue of…there is never the wrong weather, only the wrong clothes. True. But being all wrapped up doesn’t make taking photos easy. Maybe I am just a warm weather photographer. It is supposed to rain tomorrow too. That’s it, I am going out rain or shine!

Keep or Sell: Keep until I run out of film.

Minolta 110 Zoom SLR Mark II

I sold my original Minolta 110 Zoom SLR and invested the money in this Mark II version. This 1979 version has a more traditional look compared to the first version.

You can find all the technical details and another great review on this website. I found the camera easy to use, but not exactly pocket sized. The focusing split screen was very “slight” meaning it was hard at times to see if the two images were aligned. I do like that you could lock the camera so you didn’t accidentally shoot it in your bag..not pocket. It was not as attention-grabbing, due to the more conventional shape.

Of course, I used a Lomography 110 film to test the camera as that is really all that is available. First, we went to York and I am amazed I haven’t visited the area more as it is less than a hours drive away from me. Then I took it to Lemonroyd Marina where I bumped into Emma from Heart Radio on her Coast to Coast challenge. That was a huge coincidence as I love Heart Radio, but my new/old car’s radio has just stopped working and I have been stuck listening to old cds. Damn it, I am going to install the app on my phone now. Anyway here are the test shots.

For once I didn’t get the pinhole light leaks on the 110 film and the colours are lovely. For a small negative the images are quite sharp. I do prefer this size to half frame, I just wish there was a bigger choice of film.

Keep or Sell: Already sold, I rarely if ever use 110 films so don’t need two cameras and I still have the Pentax which is much smaller. My thoughts are if you are going to use 110mm film it should really be with an actual pocket-sized camera.

Ondu Pinhole Camera

A while ago I was contacted through my other website and asked to take some photos. Plus I would be paid, Awesome!! That would be almost like free money. My Japanese friends never understood that phrase, but basically, it is when you get something unexpected. Like when you get cash back from a purchase or store credit. As I was still working full time as a teacher, I didn’t have to worry about where my next paycheck was coming from…or sell stuff to fund my hobby as I do now. So, what to buy??

A completely weird and gorgeous camera. A camera for fun. A camera I would not usually buy. Hello Ondu Pinhole Camera 🙂

Luckily for me, there was a sale on and the multi-format camera was still available. That turned out to be not quite so lucky later as you will see.

I had to wait until I returned to the UK to use it. Plus, as it was a camera I would not normally buy, I had forgotten all about it. So it was a nice surprise when I opened the box, a present to myself.

At first, I had a lot of issues loading and winding the film. When I first tried loading it, the film just slipped out. It was frustrating. Once it did seem to be moving ok I put the back on the camera and put it in my bag.

The day I decided to try the camera was quite wet and windy. As it was dull, I exposed the film for 2-3 minutes. Of course, I used a mini-tripod, but probably there was still movement. After 4 shots the film would not wind on anymore, it just spun inside the camera. I thought it might have got wet or something. When I got home I put the whole thing under my bed covers and I found the film was fine. I rewound it and transferred the roll to my Yashicaflex.

These are the shots I got from the Ondu from that outing.

I waited for a brighter day and tried again. BUT…I forgot I had moved the masks. I thought it was still set for 6×6, but I had set the masks to 6×9. That meant all the shots would be overlapping. Due to the increased brightness, I exposed the Fomapan 400 roll for 10-25 seconds. I took it to my local cemetery as I thought the camera would suit this kind of subject.

I don’t know if it is a shame about the overlapping or if I like it. I do think the small tripod and low viewpoint enhances the look achieved from the pinhole. Also, Photo Hippo did a great job developing and scanning the negs. At the time I was still waiting for my developing equipment 😦

Anyway, Now I have a little notebook to remind me of these things for when I try again. As for the camera, I find it stunningly beautiful. I also find it tricky to use, but there is something about it. I took it to a camera club meeting and the other members wanted to examine it, check out the construction. If you have some spare money, then this is a cool camera to play around with. It is not the camera to buy if you want super sharp, point and shoot images.

Here are some other blogs with reviews and sample photos from this camera. As I wasn’t entirely successful, these might be better places to see what this camera can do.

http://scenictraverse.com/blog/2016/8/22/review-the-ondu-pinhole-nothing-camera
http://filmbasedtraveler.com/2017/09/07/review-ondu-6×6-pinhole-camera/
https://luminous-landscape.com/art-meets-function-pinhole-cameras/

Keep or Sell: Keep for now. I would like to try it again. For me, it is a purely for fun camera so I am not sure how long I can justify holding on to it.

 

Kiev 88

This is one of the cameras I bought in order to play with it on my return to England. I had read a lot about it online on various blogs. I read this article which called it the “Beast from the East”. At the time that I ordered it, the UK news was full of details about their own beast from the east, kismet I thought.

Due to the fact this takes 6×6 photos, there seems to be more photos of the camera here than the 12 test shots that I will add later. The article I linked to before says that you will need at least 2 backs as the loading part is complicated and you might want to do it at home rather than out and about.

I agree I wish I had two. This 1980s camera was one of the most annoying cameras I have ever had to load. Before loading the film I read the manual a couple of times, but still struggled. It didn’t seem to make much sense. The first issue I had was actually getting the cassette back in the holder, it would not go in easily. The second was that I had forgotten to wind the film to the first frame in the cassette and cock the shutter before reattaching the holder to the body. Really, I had read the manual…maybe I have to make a video to remind myself. The body’s film advance also cocks the shutter, so I had royally screwed things up.

Once I did have the film loaded, actually using the camera wasn’t that tricky. Mine had a waist level finder, not TTL, so it didn’t need batteries. I used an app on my phone for a light reading, then adjusted the aperture when the lighting changed. The next mistake I made was forgetting to take the cassette plate out. In the manual, they call this a “shutter”, anyway, with this plate inside the camera’s actual shutter is locked on my version. So you can’t waste film by forgetting to remove this, you just get confused as to why the damn thing isn’t working. Don’t start throwing the camera though as the thing could kill a cow.  This brilliant website has a funny review of the camera and says that it “weighs a f*****g ton.” He also used the word crap a lot, but he does give a lot of technical details if you want them.

So did mine actually work? Here is my roll of Fomapan 400.

As you can see I missed the first shot on the roll completely through my bad loading skills. There are a couple of shots of the swan where I think I forgot to change the aperture and the one blank one…no idea what happened there. The ones that did come out are nice and sharp, especially the non-moving log.

I don’t know why, but there is something about this camera I love. It is big, fat, and heavy. It clunks and groans while you use it and is prone to breaking. There are many websites detailing how finding a good one is hard, but if you do it is worth it. I think I have found a fairly good one, despite my issues with loading it. I am going to use it again and maybe upload more photos here. I find it beautiful and funky. This website compares it to the Hasselblad it was originally based on, it makes for an interesting read.

Keep or sell: Keep, for now, it is waaaay too heavy to post it anywhere I would get a good return for what I paid.

 

 

 

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