Tag Archives: junk

Japan, Jetlag, and Cameras

So the all important question, did I buy any new cameras in Japan? Well, durh!! course I did. I went to a couple of my favourite shops around Tokyo.

GT Cameras has a great selection of good quality used cameras and a super junk section. From there I got these.

I bought the Konica for a friend, the topcon because it looked nice and shiny and the fuji because it was $1. The fuji has a built in battery but it is easily accessible and I should be able to swap it for a modern equivalent.

The next one I made a point to visit was Shinbashi Ichi Camera. This shop was on my walk from the Tsukuba Express Station to Ueno Park. I often wandered in. Though it has a nice range of cameras, they were usually out of my price range. But, the junk section sometimes had real bargains and it was always worth a quick look. This time was no exception. I bought one camera there. If it works it will be an absolute bargain.

A Yashica T AF for $25. Ok it might not work, but it might?? I thought it was worth the gamble. When I tried a battery it worked for a few shots, then quit. There is a possible fix online so fingers crossed.

Finally, I went to my old haunts of Wonderex and Hard-off. These are second hand resell shops, which sometimes have good quality film cameras, but always point and shoots for $3. I ended up getting a couple of toy cameras.

These types of shops also sell SLR bodies and cameras from $3. I went with an idea to get a minolta auto lens as no longer had one in my collection and it would come in handy to test any bodies I come across. Of course you need a body to attach it to, to keep the lens safe. So I got this combination for $8

And finally before I went I bought a new camera from Amazon because I saw this post and though Tokyo would be the best place to test it.

All the holiday wombling reminded me of another Canny Camera post about crap cameras. Will any of these turn out to be utter crap or have I wombled well? I guess the next few posts will tell…once I get over the jetlag that is.

Oh and I forgot this little camera…

This was a surprise buy for a number of reasons. Firstly I have owned a few of them and it was never my favourite camera. Secondly it is a half frame. Finally, I found it in an antique furniture shop while waiting to visit a mini pig cafe. I was early and saw it on a table with a label saying $10 so tested it and it seemed to work perfectly. As I had sold all my other versions I figured it was a good investment. I might even start to like it??

Canon Autoboy or Sureshot

This camera looked in very good condition and even had a remote control device right there on the side. A junk bin bargain, if it worked.

My first impressions of this camera from 1989 were not great. It felt heavy and plasticky, not a combination you usually get. I also do not like the greetings available. I never use the date imprint feature on a camera, why burn a message in a negative. A pen will suffice if I need one.

Anyway, I popped in a film and got to using it. Holy moly, this is the noisiest camera I have ever use. It makes a huge noise with every action, from zooming to film advancing, it reverberated all around. I would not recommend this camera if you want to be stealthy. This reviewer also mentioned the noise. To be honest, I would not recommend this camera at all. It is large, noisy, and IMHO ugly.

I did try out the remote control and it worked well, that at least is very handy. The two buttons on the front also work as a focus lock if pressed together. Did mine work?

The lens looked clean, and I know I also cleaned it beforehand, but all the photos are hazy. I am not disappointed or feel inclined to try another film.

I really do not like this camera and it is going straight in the bin.

Pentax Z-70p

As I have far too many cameras to test I decided to give this one to a friend to try out. Of course it was a bargain buy in a junk bin.

This camera is originally from 1995. It has a vertical, electronic shutter with a quick top speed of 1/2000th. It takes a 2CR5 battery. There are more technical details at this site. There isn’t much written about it on the net other than that. For the brief moment I held it, the weight for the size was noticeable. My friend said it had trouble locking onto a focus point, especially in low light.

But did it work?

NO, not at all. My friend was so excited to use a film camera and when the film was developed it was completely blank. It made all the right noises, so what was wrong. I took a closer look.

That fancy, electronic, horizontal shutter was warped so could not move. I am sure I didn’t see that when I bought it, but it might have been. Oh well nothing ventured nothing gained. It doesn’t happen often. Maybe I can use the lens on another camera later, but I will have to find it quick.

Minolta Hi-Matic 9

This is another camera I got on my recent travels and again cost $5. It looked clean on the outside, the lens looked free of fungus, the shutter fired, and the battery compartment did have any residue. So far so good. The rangefinder ghost image was still quite visible, but the seals were shot. It only needed them near the door hinge, so that was a quick easy fix. There must be something wrong with it at that price?

Originally from 1966 (a great year) it has a 45mm f1.7 Rokkor lens. It used the defunct mercury battery which powers the automatic modes, but it works perfectly well in manual without a battery, sweet. It has speed settings from B to 1/500th and aperture settings of f1.7 – f16. If that isn’t enough there is an EV setting scale, which I am getting to like. The ASA settings range from 25-800, but there is an ‘off’ setting in case you want to go fully commando (I mean manual). There is even a tiny hole on the back that lets you know there is film inside. I read the “easy-flash” is due to the flash gun scale on the lens barrel. The only slight issue I found was the film wind-on crank. It goes through the biggest movement I have ever come across. Seriously it feels like a full 360. BUT did it work.

Apart from the one shot which I think was the strap it WORKED!!! I love it. I have tried a later version of this camera, but this one is so much better in terms of aesthetics and the f1.7.

Sell or Keep: I think I have to keep it…but number of cameras. OK I will keep it until a friend reads this and reminds me I have too many cameras and they are a super friend and deserve a present.


Yashica Minister

I found this camera in a junk bin for $5. It was a little dirty and scruffy, but the shutter fired without a problem.

This is a range finder camera where you bring two images together to focus. Unfortunately the second image was so light that I could only see it on rare occasions. According to this thread it could mean a dirty or desilvered beam splitter. A few of the rangefinders I have bought have had this issue, it might be the reason they are in the junk bin in the first place. As I paid so little for the camera I didn’t want to invest in CLAing it. I also couldn’t be bothered to take it apart and try cleaning it as my efforts probably wouldn’t help and might completely ruin a possibly working camera.  So, I resorted to zone focusing. I guessed the distance and set the lens distance scale to my guess.

As for some details about the camera, it was surprisingly hard to find anything on the net. I did find that it is the first version of the M or Minister line, there is another one with a f1.9 lens. The selenium cell on the front powers the light meter on the top which is rated in LVS.

To, hopefully, work it you set the shutter speed you want first and then match the LVS on the lens to the one shown on the meter. If the value sets the aperture below f2.8 then the speed moves to a lower setting…the same if it goes above f16. The speed move to a faster speed. With the selenium cell this camera does not require batteries, if of course it is still working.

So in I popped some Fuji Acros 100 and started guessing distances.

Well the metering still worked and so did the shutter, pity about the second rangefinder image, though my guesses at the distances weren’t too bad. Another issue I found was the wind on always worked even when the shutter was cocked. That meant you could wind on when the film had not been exposed, but you could not take multiple exposures.

Keep or sell? It does work, but not enough that I would be comfortable selling it. I might take it apart to practice cleaning it.

Canon EOS 1000 QD (Rebel)

When you are searching for Canon SLRs in Japan you are lucky to find anything other than a kiss. Which may sound interesting, but kiss after kiss after kiss can be quite tiresome. In the USA the same camera is called, “Rebel”. So I guess a kiss is better than a rebel. Anyway, I was happy to find a 1000 QD…and then I found out it is basically a rebel and a kiss, bugger. Oh well might as well try it out.

I got the body for less than $10 and the lens separately for about the same. This one was introduced in 1990 and has a built in flash. There is nothing different or special about this camera. If you are looking for a film camera, this will do very well. But there are much cooler and sharper cameras around. The mode selection dial for Canon hasn’t changed much over the years and when you see this camera from 30 years ago, it feels familiar.

This one seemed to have an issue focusing and it sometimes struggled to lock onto my chosen target. Though it didn’t help that this was one of the wettest months I have ever known in my whole life and it is set to continue into the next. Each day seems to have been rainy and dull. It made testing cameras quite difficult at times and quite depressing on the whole. For this test I went back to a park near a place where I sometimes buy cameras. For the rest of the film I was stuck around my place of work.


Once the camera finally locked onto the subject it performed really well, but due to the length of time it took for that to happen I got quite frustrated. I ended up chucking the the camera and selling the lens. I don’t think I will buy another Canon SLR as I have an AE1 which I haven’t blogged about yet.

Ricoh LX-55W

Another $3 camera and a nice cold, sunny day so I took the camera to the zoo!

I was attracted to this junk bin purely by the brand, Ricoh. Here is a quote about the company.

“Although perhaps better known for its office equipment than its cameras, Ricoh has in fact been producing cameras since 1936, during which time it has garnered a loyal hobbyist following, and was one of the early innovators in the digital camera market. By the 1990‘s the company had become well known for producing luxury enthusiast-level 35mm compacts with high quality optics. Today Ricoh offers a range of stylish enthusiast-level compacts (plus a couple of water/shock proof models) and the unique GXR system, which uses interchangeable lens/sensor units in place of the usual bayonet lenses.”

My first impressions of this camera were not so overwhelming, no zoom. Maybe not the best choice to test at a zoo. It was clean enough, but the light seal by the film window disintegrated on touch. I put on a new one and as you can see I did a bang-up job…not. With the back closed you can’t see what film is in. It is light tight though.

The camera is from 1994 and uses 2 AA batteries which is handy, it is splash proof so would be good for street photography on a wet day. Not much else to say really other than it has a fixed focus lens and does have a panoramic feature. I will not be keeping this one as I have others I prefer more.

Here are some shots from the day. There were a few of my friends which I will not be posting here, except the very 80s one with the post coming out of his head. We did this on purpose to go with the camera mood.

As you can see it performed very well in most conditions, it even takes selfies 🙂 The expired film didn’t do too bad either. Not bad for a 20 year only camera and a 10 year old film.

Chinon Genesis

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.