Well, I thought I had tried this camera before, but that was the mju version. They are very similar, but apparently this is the cheap version. Both cameras were out at the same time, this one released in 1999. The superzoom was not as pretty, but bit more rugged. You can find some German technical details here.
I really liked the mju version, but I didn’t have much luck with it so I eventually sold it. If this one worked I might keep it…might. Inside was a found film which I finished off while on a bike ride. Why not? The camera is rugged and in its case it fit perfectly in the water holder.
There were only a few shots left on the film, the rest of the shots were fogged. Someone probably opened the film door at some point.
Well, for an expired film these are ok. There isn’t much to the camera for the user, the best feature is the titled “superzoom”. I also liked the addition of the diopter as my eyesight is getting worse with age.
It is a fine camera and a great, cheaper, alternative to the mju version. It is not exactly a heavy duty camera, but it is cheap enough to through around a bit.
I obtained this camera in a pile of point and shoots along with some containing films. The film I tried in this one was a retrieved film. I took it out of a camera that was already on my list, used a screw driver to change the position of the indicator and reloaded it in this camera. The original camera’s counter was set at two exposures and the first two of this film were double exposed quite nicely so that left 23 of the Kodak Advantix Ultra for me 🙂
When I lived in Japan lots of the Canon APS cameras I found where named IXY, now they are Ixus as I am in Europe. They can also be called Elph, this camera from 2000 also has many names. You can find them here along with some extra details here.
It is tiny but feels well built. When you turn it on the flash pops up, but you can turn it off manually. I would say, if you are going to go for a small point and shoot APS camera, then this is a good one to try. Though I am sure the flash is not very powerful so it would be best to use it outside on a nice day.
I took my found film and camera on a trip to Huddersfield. It was my first visit there and I quite liked it, not that I would go back as the train journey back was a real pain but that was not Huddersfield’s fault. I was just unlucky with demonstrations and accidents.
The film didn’t do too bad considering it was left inside the original camera for an undetermined amount of time in undetermined conditions. This camera’s ISO cannot be changed so that did well too. A nice, small camera to keep in a pocket…except I have a few APS cameras of that description so it will be moved along.
Continuing with the photo posts, I have tried my pinhole cameras again. This time with Svema 125 film from around 1990. The first camera I reused was the Ondu. Each of these were exposed for 2 minutes, on a tripod of course. The film was developed with ilfosol 3 as that is all I have right now. I presoaked the film for 5 minutes, then developed for 14 minutes at 20 degrees. I found that over developed the film, so will try 10 minutes next time. I used water and a few drops of vinegar as a stop bath, then fixed it in the regular way.
The photos are very grainy. I have a love/hate relationship with this pinhole camera. I think the actual camera is beautiful, but am struggling to love the images it produces. The one where I shot straight into the sun had a black hole where the sun was, I deleted that so the rays would be more of a focus.
The next camera, and only other pinhole I tried was the Diana F+, the multi functioning toy camera. I mainly stuck with the 2 minute exposures except the ones inside. One of them is 4 hours long. Now to be fair, I screwed this film up royally. I HIGHLY do NOT recommend trying to thread an old film onto a developing roll in a dark bag when it is hot and humid. I just could not get it to go on. It just kept getting stuck, bending and I was touching it all over the place. I did not have fun!
But you can see the Diana is not as sharp as the Ondu. And if I do bother with Pinholes again that is the camera I will choose. But why, it is just not my thing. I would prefer to put the film in the Kiev 88 or another medium format camera.
Just when I said I would scaling down the camera reviews on this site, I go and get a bulk load of point and shoots!
I saw them on Facebook Marketplace, which seems to be the place to get a few bargains these days. No selling fees, no paypal fees, bargains galore, maybe.
Anyway I saw an advert for 16 point and shoot cameras untested, but some of them were Olympus, Nikon, Canon etc. So I thought why not.
I went along to check them out and most of them had batteries inside, only one had any kind of corrosion. Six had films inside, two of those were APS.
In the end this is the list of cameras I picked up for £30. Nearly all have cases.
Tried before -seem to be working Canon Ixus M-1 – APS (film inside, I removed it) Olympus Mju Zoom 140 (tried before, but this had a film inside so will test as I liked it)
Untried with film Inside – seem to be working Canon Ixus Z50 – (APS, I put the M-1 film in this one) Canon Sureshot AF-7 Chinon 35F-EE Minolta Vectis 20 – APS Nova dx-5 (seems like a toy camera) Olympus Superzoom 140S (film inside) Pentax Espio 738 G (The S and G seem to have the same specs but look different) Pentax Espio 738 S Pentax zoom 70-R (film inside) Ricoh FF-9 Yashica Zoomate 70
Not working – tip material Canon Ixus Z70 – aps (had a film, able to retrieve) Nikon AF200 Nikon TWzoom 85 Olympus AZ-300 Superzoom
So not bad really. I get to try 13 cameras with 2 APS films. So about £2 each. The person selling them had found them by hunting the car boot sales. So in terms of time and petrol saved, that makes it even more of a bargain.
I was intrigued by this camera after I saw the top viewfinder on Instagram. A 35mm with a top viewfinder, beautiful. So I actively looked for one on eBay, a cheap one. Finally I found one that said untested so the price was cheap, a gamble.
When it first arrived the shutter button was sticking on all speeds. I added a little clock repair oil to that and just kept pressing. Eventually it didn’t stick any more. By looking through the exposure opening while firing I could see the shutter working. At the top speed the mirror seemed to cover the light entering a little and I wasn’t confident it was working at 1/150th. So when I loaded the camera with Fuji Acros, I left the speed on 1/100th for the test.
This is the second version of the Exa. I know for two reasons. Firstly, this site says the second version has a cover over the shutter button. Secondly, there was a sticker on the bottom saying ‘version 2 1953’.
Mine came with a f2.9 50mm lens, the lenses are interchangeable. This lens has an aperture stop function. You set the aperture you want by pushing the front towards the body and then move the red dot. You can then open up the aperture to aid focusing, then close it down again to take the shot. Once you fire the shutter the mirror moves up as the backside of the mirror acts as the shutter curtain. It is not a focal plane shutter. Once you wind on the film and cock the shutter the mirror returns to the original place. As you can see on the photos the shutter speed is set with the stick on the side of the viewfinder.
With the aperture wide open, the image in the viewfinder is very bright. There is a magnifier to help with focusing. But this didn’t help me, I really need a split screen or micro-prism. On my example the film counter did not work, but it would be set before hand manually, then it should count down.
I took the camera to Hebden Bridge and Heptonstall. The former can be reached easily by train, which I recommend as it can get quite busy. The latter can be reached by a local bus, which I also recommend as the walk is quite steep. I haven’t been to Heptonstall before and I thought it was fantastic. As the link says, it is a hidden treasure. I found it more photogenic than Howarth, with much fewer people. You are just missing the Brontes, but you gain a Plath.
So did my camera work?
I doubted it and felt kind of disappointed all day using it. But work it did, though I had a lot of trouble gaining a sharp focus. My scanner didn’t help in that respect.
As you can see I only took one photo in portrait mode because using the viewfinder on its side was a real pain in the butt. You can also see a light reflection on some shots.
The gentleman you see seems to be a real figure of Heptonstall. He was outside the museum and really interesting to talk to. He told us about himself, his cameras, and the history of the place.
Inside the museum was this display about Alice Longstaff. You can find out more about her here.
I think I will get this camera serviced at some point. It is too pretty to get rid of quickly. I would like to try it again to improve the focusing.
After using the Agfa Isoly-Mat I realised I did have another 4×4 format camera. The toy camera Diana F+, it has a 4×4 mask. So one not so sunny day I tried it.
I do like the 4×4 format, you get extra shots for your money. The glass of the Agfa is definitely sharper that the plastic lens of the Diana. The latter has its own charm and can do multiple exposures. It also seems more like a pinhole with the massive drop off at the edges. I think it works well with the ruggedness of historical Yorkshire.
After this film I started drying my films in the bathroom as my own room seems to have all the dust in the world floating about. The bathroom isn’t perfect, but definitely less time is spent getting rid of dust spots after scanning. To remove dust and other stuff I always use inpaint. It is easy to use and can be used to remove much larger items.
I was given this 1962 camera by a reader who found it for £5. Apparently it was in a bit of a state with some potential light leaks so he filled the holes with light seal foam.
Actually, I really like the look of this camera, even with the foam around the viewfinder 🙂
As you can see there are choices of aperture at the bottom of the lens. When set to the flash mode the shutter speed is 1/30th and you change the aperture dependent on the distance of the subject. The bulb setting only allows the use of the f5.6 aperture. In auto mode speed is set at 1/70th and the camera chooses the aperture based on the available light. And talking of available light, there is an indicator in the viewfinder. It shows red until the shutter button is pressed and then changes to green if there is enough light. On this example the shutter will fire even if the indicator remains red, the website I referred to said it would not. Without another camera to compare I don’t know if mine is correct or broken. Amazingly I found a pdf manual here. That does not mention a transport lock though it does talk about a shutter indicator next to the rewind button. The camera will fire if the indicator shows red.
The camera feels sturdier than the modern fantastic plastics and even the older toy cameras such as the Fuji Pet. This does not look or act like a toy camera even with the plastic body.
Another difference is the size of the negative, though it takes 120mm film the negative produced is 4×4. That means you get 16 shots per roll.
I loaded my example with Fomapan 100 and took it to Hebden Bridge and finished the roll while on a course at Doncaster Racecourse. I was there two days and didn’t see a single horse.
I set the camera to 200asa, but on some shots the red light stayed up so I decided to push develop it to 400asa.
For the most part I set the zone to mountain, except for the wall which I took to try a closer focusing choice. I love the look of these photos. There are only 14 instead of 16 as I didn’t realise it was a 4×4 camera so stopped at 15. I have never used a 4×4 before and thought the number 16 must be wrong. The other missed shot was a where I wound the film on without taking a shot. There is no film stop but neither is there the scope to take double exposures.
I do like the camera, but I decided to send it back to the previous owner. After researching I found it was quite rare and could fetch prices much higher than £5, plus it worked really well. The previous owner should get the chance to benefit from his efforts.
I got this camera down the pub. Not a knock off, hey do you want a camera, type deal. But someone who knew I liked film cameras gave it to me to try. It had a film inside that had been there for well over 20 years. If I could try and retrieve the photos then I could have the camera.
Firstly, I want to say thank you to the person who gave me the opportunity to try this camera. Secondly, I really don’t like it 🙂
Sometimes you like using a camera and sometimes you don’t. With this one I could not wait to finish the test roll and almost abandoned it altogether. Some of that dislike is based on the example that I used. It had been stuck in a cupboard for many, many years and was very stiff. It also needed a double stroke to wind and cock the shutter. The rangefinder second image was a little light and juddery, this was probably due to the stiffness of the focusing. I had no confidence it would work, therefore I thought I was wasting my time.
Once I retrieved the found film. I loaded the camera with a newer one, because I said I would. I sent off the original film to get developed and some images were saved. They contained pictures of the owners ex-wife who died a few years ago. So I am glad to save those for him. The camera was tricky to load and I had to try a couple of times. I could not see if it worked as the rewind dial did not spin when it was pushed down. This also cause me an issue when unloading the film and I ended up doing it manually in a dark bag. It turned out the dial is not engaged unless you pull it up. I have not come across that before.
So about the camera. After looking at this website I realised this was the Super Paxette II version introduced in 1953 or 1956. The simple fact it has a rangefinder means that it is the super version as regular Paxettes did not have that feature. Through those links and the photos of the camera you can get all the technical details you need.
Given that I had no confidence in the camera, it was stiff and awkward…didn’t know if it worked. I took it to Buxton to use while I took part in a photographic competition. I could not use it for that event as it was a digital only event, but used it as I wandered about looking for the categories I needed.
Well, it did work. It was not my favourite experience with a camera. I tried to give it back to the original owner, but he said he would rather it be owned by someone who might take care of it. He would probably put it back in his cupboard. As I didn’t want it, what to do?
I offered it for free to the film photo group I am in and someone responded. I handed the camera over and the new owner seemed really chuffed to own a vintage camera. He really looked like he would take care of it and maybe give it a bit of a clean. A good deal all around.