Tag Archives: film

Olympus Superzoom 140S (Accura 140)

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.

Canon Ixus Z50 (ELPH LT260, IXY 220) APS

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.

Altering the DX Code of Film

Well school has started in some areas, not in others. Either way it is highly unlikely a supply teacher gets a job on the first day and I did not, so I am at a loose end. That being the case, why not experiment?

I read this article recently and found it very interesting. I thought why not try it, so I did. I won’t go into the technical details as the original article has all that and the history of DX coding, read that post.

The article gives a link to a template which I downloaded. To alter the codes I had to delete the frame around the codes then the tables and texts become more easily editable. Plus as I wasn’t using labels the frames did not matter to me. I made my own page of a variety of different codes and also added a code for the +1 and -1 exposure rating because I could.

Next I found a test film to glue it on, meaning I just use the film to test the loading functions of cameras without wasting an actual film.

As you can see the film is actually a 100, but the code I tried was 400.

So the camera should show 400??

Yatta!!!

OK, so now for the actual film I want to try. An expired one I found in a point and shoot purchase. Recently I have acquired lots of point and shoots, so this hack will be very useful in trying out those cameras. Only….the first film I chose was a 200 and I set it to 50.

I tested it in a Canon EOS 300 before putting it in a point and shoot as they sometimes do not let you know the film speed on the display panel. Once I knew it was working I had to pick a camera, and there was the rub. Many point and shoot cameras have a limited ISO range. The first one I picked up was a Yashica Zoomate 70. As you can see from the photo below, the DX contacts were not a complete set of 6. On checking I found it only recognised films from 100 ISO. Hmm…

I had a look through the cameras I obtained and checked the contact points. The Pentax 738 had more than the Yashica and I found it accepted films starting from 25 ISO. Perfect.

So I put the film in there. Now you will have to wait for the results 🙂

Pinholes with expired Svema

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.

I hope my next post has much sharper photos 🙂

Just when I said…

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 workingtip 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.

Agfa Isoly-Mat

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.

Braun Super Paxette II

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.

Kodak Box Brownie No.2

Let’s go back in time 100 years, what kind of camera would a regular, everyday person be using? Probably this one, the Box Brownie. This camera was in use around 1901-1935. There were five different models and was the first camera EVER to use 120mm film. Mine seems to be model F which is from the very end of the production cycle.

I have found the balcony at the top of my stairs makes a perfect light box for taking photos of cameras. Well I like it anyway, and it was free 🙂

I became interested in trying this camera after reading this great review. When I saw the photos Jim obtained I wanted to try one and kept looking on eBay for a decent example. They really do vary in prices, of course I wanted a very cheap one and eventually I got this. As you can see it is pretty good condition. It was light tight and the lens was clean. The viewfinders were not and I did have trouble framing my images.

There are two pull out tabs on the top. One changes the speed between roughly 1/50th to Bulb. The other tab lets you choose between three apertures f/11, f/22, and f/32. By the way, that link is also a fantastic review. Anyway, I kept both of my tabs pushed down as it was sunny and I was outside. The other choices are for inside or cloudy, which I might experiment with another time with the aid of a tripod as there is mount on the bottom.

I tried to load mine while waiting for my car to go through its MOT. As such I was sat on an uncomfortable chair with no surface spaces. I found it a bit tricky to load as the tension of the roll kept becoming loose. I ended up fogging the first frame. Basically I had the opposite experience to Jim.

I then got bored of waiting for the retest and decided to take a bus to Leeds and get some films developed. I waited for those by watching the Wimbledon women’s final on the Millennium Square big screen. Well, that only took an hour to finish, so back to pick up the photos then back to pick up the car. It was a day of waiting and filling in time. Also during that time I managed to finish the roll of film inside the Brownie. As it takes 6×9 images, you get 8 shots to a roll. So finishing it really didn’t take long. I was worried about camera shake so for a couple of shots I placed the camera on a wall and a bench. But looking at the other images I didn’t need to be worried, they were fine. Next time I won’t bother with that.

So what do photos from a 90ish year old camera look like…

I have no idea why I didn’t turn the camera to landscape view, there is a viewfinder on both sides. Maybe because it was the cleaner of the two viewfinders. Again, I will try landscape next time.

So for next time the list goes
1. Try landscape view
2. Try a different aperture
3. Try a tripod and bulb mode

I would say try colour, but I want to keep costs down and I don’t have any C41 chemicals yet. I think it would be too unpredictable for slide film.

I don’t feel these are the best photos I have ever taken, but there is potential. I may add some more photos later when I have tried it again. BUT what a camera, what a piece of history. I would compare this camera to the Barnack for its contribution to the photographic industry. For the first time a regular person like you and me could take photos out and about without too much hassle.

UPDATE: After reading Jim’s comment about cleaning it. I decided to have a look and it is indeed easy. Basically the front is just held on with two pressure points and can be prised off with a well placed screwdriver. So while watching the Tour de France highlight I did take the front off and used a standard lens cleaner to wipe the lenses and mirrors. In the end I decided to tackle it as the camera has lasted 90 years, it would surely last me giving it a quick clean.

I also gave the front and back of the actual lens a quick, gentle clean by using the bulb mode. The cleaning wipe came out very dirty after touching the mirrors, but was surprisingly clean after the lens. There was clearly 90 years of dust in the viewfinder. I just hope I didn’t scratch the actual lens. I will load it again with film and take some more shots…when the rain stops.