I can’t tell you anything about this camera apart from what you can garner from the actual casing and that it is produced in 1996.
It is a very, very basic aps camera. It has a cheap plastic feel. There is a focus aid light on the front, the regular print size selector on the top, a fill-in flash button, and a lens cover. It is powered by a CR2 battery which is most inconvenient and expensive for a cheap camera. I found no information about the aperture, but I think I can assume it is fixed. The label on the front says it has autofocus.
Really, I found nothing about this camera on the net apart from a few people trying to sell it.
I was so unimpressed by this camera just by looking at it that I put in a 15 exposure film and used it very quickly around my house and at a nearby castle ruin.
As with all APS film, the one I used was an expired one. The flash failed to fire sometimes, especially when faced with a backlit subject, the fill-in flash didn’t seem to have too much effect. The photos that did come out are fairly sharp, but the flash is quite ineffective. This camera would be fine outside on a bright day, but not really good for any other situation.
I really disliked this camera, it would be good for a single use camera if you have one aps film left. The one good thing about it is that you can throw it around without any care that it might get damaged.
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?
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.
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 might 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 backlit 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.
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.
I also prefer the older style gallery, just for the final look. This version seems a little neater which just isn’t me.
Buy this camera – Chinon 35 F-M
Please check the photos and read the text, that way you know exactly what you are buying. The amount includes postage to the UK. If you live outside the UK please contact me for postage details.
This is another one of the presents I received over the summer. It is a regular point and shoot camera with one difference. The sender took out the mask so the light could also hit the sprocket area of the film.
And here is what I found on the net about this camera…….
Nothing, NOTHING, absolutely nothing. Not even in Japanese, and I searched in Japanese as it is a Japanese company. On the company website, it is not listed. This is a fake camera.
I am not one to give up and I decided just to search for a point and shoot with a 38-70mm zoom…Nothing. Fake camera.
Holy Moly, it is exactly the same. Exactly, the same on the front and top, but the Yashica has a data back. BUT it is exactly the same. I can’t say anything about the Chinon, but this camera is from 1995.
Anyway, I slapped in an expired film and got to shooting. And… back to terrible processing. I miss Photo Hippo. The shop lady was cute though, she drew a photo of why the film could not be scanned ready for when I came to pick it up. Of course, I already knew this and had a plan in mind…a 120mm film plate and sellotape.
I managed to get some images off the film and convert them to black and white to get rid of the colour cast.
I took the camera to Nihonbashi and Ueno for the dreary, rainy, humid day. Can you see the curved light reflection in the top right corner? If you check the inside of the camera you will see the spirals for the zoom. I think if you are going to remove the mask to expose the film sprockets, it would be better not to use a zoom camera. The light obviously reflects off these spiral tracks. Still, awesome gift and fun project.
Keep or sell: As it was a gift, I think I will regift it for someone else to play with. Spread the love 🙂
This is a monster of a camera was $3. It looked different to other junk-bin cameras and so caught my eye.
It is from the late 1980s and reminds me of the big boom boxes of the time. I find it ugly and this one isn’t helped by the missing front section. The lens cover was also broken, but was easily fixed with super glue.
On inspection the camera looked fairly clean on the inside and nothing major needed doing. No corrosion in the battery department, no light seals to replace. So I inserted a battery and checked the other functions. The focusing seemed to work, flash too. The power button actually releases the inbuilt flash. The data back didn’t fire up, but that doesn’t affect the main camera operations. So I popped in another junk-bin find, a film from 2002 that was only $1 and went for a walk in my local area.
My walk turned into a 10km trek and ended with coffee and cake in Starbucks. The best kind of walk. There is also a developing shop nearby so while I drank, the shop got to work developing the film. I was curious so see what state the film was in rather than the camera.
On the walk the camera was very responsive and had little trouble focusing in any lighting condition. For the size of it I kept expecting a better zoom, but I think that I was comparing it to digitals of the same size. There is a slider on the side of the enclosed lens section that goes from 25-80mm with a macro option at the 80mm end. The placement of the hand grip on the side made it surprisingly comfortable.
Here are the pictures from the walk. They were a state. The colours were so purple and faded that I turned them into black and white to avoid the distraction. And why is it that rubbish films attract more dust, after scanning this was practically a yeti. I left the first one untouched so you can see the difference.
The film was interesting, but the camera was sharp and worth $3, but I probably won’t use it again and eventually it will go in another type of bin. It is just too bulky to keep in a bag for occasional use or impromptu shots.
And apparently my negative scanner adds the tag, “My Beautiful Picture” to the information. A bit annoying.