Tag Archives: camera

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.

Fake X-Pan

One film camera that will probably never appear on this blog is the Hasselblad Xpan. Though I love the shots I have seen taken with it, I cannot even attempt to justify the expensive. Then I saw this video…

…and thought, ” Gosh I love his videos”…and then, “Why not try something similar?”

Though I didn’t have the same fancy camera he had, I did have a spare Panasonic DMC-FS11 that I got for £1 because there was a bump on the front and the screen had pixel damage. And it had a film grain mode. So I taped off the screen as suggested and took it for a walk around my local area…which is the complete opposite to the area he walked around. So really, my trial was nothing like his apart from the tape.

The tape did really help, of course the final photos were the full image and I had to crop them down to the 3:1 ish ratio of the original X-Pan. Here are a few of the full crop versions.

Then I chose 24 of the ones I shot and cropped them. I measured the pixels on the long side and divided that by three to get the ratio I wanted. When you use Preview on Mac the crop gives you a live readout of the pixels which helped enormously.

Here are the fake-pan versions. Yes all 24 🙂

I do like the results, though why do film modes always choose to represent an expired film from 1980, just look at that grain. Film would definitely look better, sharper. I think I will print one of the silver birch photos to see what it would look like. This did not inspire me to buy a real x-pan, not even if I win the lottery tomorrow.

And all that because it wasn’t raining and I didn’t get a job today. Have to fill my time somehow 🙂

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.

Chinon CE-5

As part of my new year plan, I am selling most of my film cameras, but not this one. I have decided I love Chinon cameras. I love them. I love this one. I love that it is unpretentious. It is not one of the cameras on the hit list of the trend setters. It rarely or if ever comes up on lists of must have cameras. But here it is, a cracking little camera, as is the CE4.

It is light, easy to carry around all day. It looks great, a very traditional looking SLR. It is simple to use. It has manual and aperture mode with a clear viewfinder display. And it takes Pentax lenses, but the Chinon lenses are great too.

The camera has an ISO range between 25 – 3200 and takes two LR44 or SR44, which is very convenient.

I loaded it with some expired FP4 and wandered around my local area. Then rushed home to develop the film and… was disappointed. Not with the camera, but with the film. It was just so dense and grainy, something was wrong. I suspected the fixer. I developed another, different film after this and that showed the same issues. I changed the fixer after that and all was restored. As for the camera I still loved it. Here are a few shots from the weird fix film.

But I already loved the camera and wanted to try it again. So I loaded it with a roll of Arista Edu Ultra 100 and this time added a yellow filter. I headed to Sheffield for a wander with an amalgamation of two film groups I attend. I bought the film on my last trip to Japan, but after reading a couple of reviews I found out it was Foma 100 in a different package. I didn’t notice any blue tints in the chemicals, so I am not sure about that.

Anyway, walking around Sheffield was a little painful. Firstly I fell over at the station before the meeting time…twice, due to black ice. That was brilliant for my already very tender knee. Then we headed out of the back of the station which leads up a steep hill, also brilliant for my knee. For me, it was a whole new area to explore as I always go out the front of the station. Maybe I should try this tactic in the future at other stations. On this trip I was determined to take a few portraits. I used to take more when I first started out taking photos, but rarely do so now, unless it is of a member of my family.

The others in the group had the same idea and one asked a very interesting character for a photo and he said yes. I didn’t want to have the same shots as everyone else so I asked the person sitting next to him. He also said yes, Yatta! Later a group of teenagers were doing wheelies near a fountain. I had no reserves about asking them to do more so we could practice panning. They were very compliant, actually they went a little overboard.

Anyway, the camera coped beautifully the whole day and I was very pleased with the results. At one point one of the other group members asked me about it as he had noticed the red symbol on the front. He thought is was a Sony and wanted to know what film cameras Sony made, nope Chinon.

Here are some of the shots from the outing.

These are some of my favourite photos I have taken on film recently. Who needs an expensive camera 🙂 Not me…especially as I am selling them off.

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 🙂