I have updated this post, Olympus Mju 140 Zoom, as I have tried a new example. I took it to Blackpool to visit the location of the glass plate I found when using the Victorian camera I was given. The area looks very different now as the original building was demolished and over 100 years has past. Around the back of this building you can find Old Tom’s Cabin.
Another Mju Zoom for $3, I couldn’t resist it. This one was the deluxe version due to the remote control and quartz date. I put a new battery in the remote and it seemed to work, but I needed to read the instructions to use it efficiently. You can read about this 1995 camera on this website and find technical details here.
I really don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said. If you want a cheap point and shoot, this one is fine. It is weatherproof, has a nice zoom, a retractable cover, and a viewfinder diopter.
I wandered around with it in my bag and then while going to the cinema I got this film and 2 other developed at a new-to-me lab. This lab was not in a major place and I think the chemicals were old. The negs I got back were all a bit purple. Plus I don’t have ready access to a cd player right now. So I had to scan the negs myself. Welcome to my purple life.
This camera was fine, it was not great. I would not recommend it, even for $3. The lowest aperture available was f5.6 which is really not great, especially for a weatherproof camera that might be used on a dull day. I know the film was not processed well, but it really did not handle the cloudy day well.
Keep or sell: I sold it back to the second hand shop, definitely not worth the weight.
On this blog, I have tried over 150 cameras. So, without realizing it I have done over one camera a week for two years. I am saying this because I was looking for projects for the new year. I stumbled across many, including one roll, one camera for 52 weeks. I thought, oh that would be hard. Then it dawned on me, I have already done that. For me, a harder project would be choosing just one camera for a year or even a month. Impossible.
Anyway, the camera I tried this time was the 1993 Olympus mju zoom 70 deluxe. There are always mjus in junk bins in Japan, apart from the obvious versions. The zooms can be picked up for $3, just like this one.
You can check out the previous link to see the specs for this camera, suffice to say, it is a little pocket of awesomeness. It is curvey, light and easy to use. I tested mine near my house. Just to make sure it fired, then I forgot about it and left it in my bag for ages.
The first shot is one that I usually take, it makes it easy to compare cameras and films. Plus I just like it. The second two show the 35-70 zoom feature.
Once I remembered the camera I packed it ready to take on a holiday to Hong Kong. It was easy and cheap to get there from Japan, plus I have never been, plus plus I have friends there who said I could use their apartment while they were on their own holiday. Score.
So here is the remainder of the roll, shot in Hong Kong.
Wow, what a stunning little camera. Super sharp and good exposure, even on skyscrapers that were reflecting the sun quite dazzlingly.
I thought Hong Kong might be a great place to buy cameras or equipment as many of the things I buy on eBay seem to come from there. I went to a few places, but I didn’t find that was the case. The prices were much higher than Japan, and no junk bins. I saw this camera for $80 in one shop. After I wandered around a few shops I gave up until my very last day when I bought 3 cameras which I will write about later. But I had already decided to leave the mju for my friend as thanks for letting me stay. I wrote and told him and he mentioned a Nikon FE..that I had already seen on his shelf..he said that it wasn’t working and I could have it. As I already have that camera, I decided to look at it while I was there, maybe I could get it working?? It turned out to be a quick fix, there was a corroded battery which had leaked. I looked in the kitchen for ‘stuff’ and found some balsamic vinegar. So I cleaned off the points and voila, lights alive. It was working again, or at least it was when I left.
I had fixed my friends camera and left him another great camera. Perfect. I am sure he will be very happy when he returns. On a personal note, what he doesn’t know is that I bought my first film camera, a Canon A1, during this blogging era after seeing him with his Nikon FE. I loved the sound it made and the quality of the photos he took. So I looked for a cheap film camera for myself. I then went nuts and got millions of others. They helped me through a difficult time. So thanks buddy, you helped me more than you ever realized 🙂
I have read about this camera on many sites, but primarily this one made me decide to get one. Plus I had already tried a mju or two, and loved them. So I set myself a budget and kept bidding on LT-1s until one stuck…this one.
It was so excited to use it that when it arrived I shoved it straight into my bag and then bought batteries along my route. There isn’t much to know about this camera that you can’t garner from the photos above. It was released in 1995, the LT means leather tech…but it is faux. It has a f3.5 lens and dx coding. It is a point and shoot, no zoom.
Mine fired up as soon as the battery went in and I have had not had any issues since. This is my first roll of film.
And as soon I saw those, I shoved in another film and took it out again.
I love this camera. It is easy to use, stylish, efficient, and it exposes itself accurately. That has to be a good thing.
BUT, eventually I found camera I like more, the Pentax PC35 AF so this one was sold for less than I paid for it 😦
I was very excited to see this camera in a junk bin. I thought it might be the famed mju II, but no. Still, it looked like a clean version and might possibly work. Plus it was only $3, awesome.
I walked around a couple of places, including Asakusa. The rounded design of the camera made it feel really comfortable to hold. I didn’t have a strap on it at that point, but it was small enough to hold in my tiny hands. It is literally a point a shoot, no zoom. The only thing you have to think about is the flash. There are four flash setting auto, auto-s, off, and fill-in. It reverts back to auto on shut down. The auto-s is for red-eye reduction.
The lens is a 35mm 3.5f minimum. It was released in 1992 and has magnets which move a mask in front of the film for the panorama shots. Now, when I scanned the film I saw white lines on some photos. I wasn’t sure if it was the scanner or the mask. Looking closely at the negs I could see it was a scanner issue. Phew.
Here is my test roll.
I prefer the closer shots to the landscapes. The tree trunk and Starbuck’s cup especially show the great focusing effects of the camera. Despite the issues with the film and scanner, I really like the camera. I have already put in my last purple Lomography roll, which I don’t like. Maybe this camera will change my mind.
Keep or sell: keep 🙂
I used a Lomochrome purple in this camera. Read about it here.
I am returning to this post after 3 years as I have obtained another example of this camera in a job lot purchase.
Confession, this was not a junk find. I looked for this camera and bought a great one on eBay. But on returning to Japan I saw many in the junk bins for a couple of dollars. I actually paid about $40 for mine, I over paid, but I was still very happy with it. So why did I over pay? I really wanted a Yashica T4 or a Contax T2 basically anything with a T or 2, oh or the Olympus Mju 1 or 2 would also have been nice. But alas they were all out of my price range. Then I read a blog that suggested most of the Olympus Mju range were excellent, even the zooms. The lenses were sharp and the auto focus worked very well. So I plumped for one I could afford.
And it really was a great camera, though I have been a little unlucky with mine as you will see below. There is loads of information about this range of cameras online. Here are some technical details from the Olympus website. As you can see it has a fantastic zoom for a point and shoot, combined with the low f2.8 aperture it has a lot of punch. The best thing for me was the focus lock. If you look at this terribly processed photo you can see this demonstrated really well, excellent bokeh for a point and shoot.
This was actually the first 35mm point and shoot I had used for a long time and the first one in my new collection. I took it out on a day trip with the family to Elvaston Castle. Though I must say it looked more like a Manor house than castle.
Of course there were more photos, but how many ducks do you want to see 🙂
The next outing for the camera was to a bar in Tokyo and a Christmas party with a used, expired film I got in a junk bin. Unfortunately, I didn’t know it was also exposed. Someone had taken flower pictures first. Bad luck or happy accident? Despite the flowers I could see that this camera worked very well. And as a nice bonus the 35mm, vintage appeal seemed to make people more comfortable about being photographed.
Look at my tiny car! It looks like the other cars had a baby.
The next time I used the camera, the shop messed up the processing. So I converted the photos to black and white.
Bad processing aside, I was very impressed with the close up photo of Hachiko and Professor Ueno. This camera actually handled the difficult lighting better than the more expensive digital camera I had with me.
Despite my love for this camera I eventually decided to sell it or give it away, I can’t really remember. I do remember I regretted it.
Roll on three years and I obtained another example as part of a job lot purchase. There was already a film inside and the camera said only two exposures had been used. So I finished off the rest of the film in Blackpool. The film was badly damaged by time and came back a terrific purple colour. I converted these to black and white too. Funny, one day I will shoot a wonderful roll of film in this camera and it will come out perfectly. Though, I have to say no matter what you throw at this camera it seems to cope with it somehow.
Here are a few of the shots from the latest roll. Maybe I will finally keep this camera.