Chinon CP-7m

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?

A massive reoccurring light leak.

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.

The lens cover on my phone camera is cracked, but I still managed to get this shot. Thanks random guy,

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 will 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 back lit 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.

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Olympus OM-101 (OM-88)

I have absolutely no idea why I bought this camera, but it was in the pile of random cameras I bought myself when returning to the UK. I think it must have been really cheap or I was persuaded by the Olympus name. It does look really clean though. And I actually do like the shape.

I left my usb lightbox in Japan and recently got a round softbox flash adapter instead. It really does get rid of annoying flash shadows.

On the photos, you can see a manual adapter is attached. This was not part of the package I originally received, but once I read about this camera I realized I needed it. Otherwise, this camera is basically a big point and shoot. Much like the OM10, it works better with the manual adapter. However, this one was hard to find. I had to find a junk camera with one still attached. Luckily for me, the seller did not list that the manual adapter 2 was attached. I saw it peaking out of the side on one of the photos and took a chance it was actually what I thought it was. Voila, I have the adapter.

The camera was originally released in 1988. It takes all OM lenses but has two of its own power focus lenses. These can be operated by a thumb dial on the back of the camera. My version came with the 50mm PF lens. I found operating it was quite awkward at first. It is natural to try to turn the lens, but on this camera, you use your thumb and that “power focuses” the lens. You do get used to it eventually and it is quite responsive to touch. You can read lots of technical details here.

Ok, so a bit more about the manual adapter. With it, you can choose full manual mode or aperture priority. There is no speed priority mode. The manual adapter also lets you see what you have set the camera too. Without it, you have absolutely no idea what the camera has chosen. There is no information in the viewfinder other than a P for program. Even in the other modes you only get arrows for over or underexposed. That really sucks!

I put a roll of Fomapan 100 in and went for a wander. I put a black and white in so I could develop it at home. It was my first time using Ilford Ilfosol 3 and it was a much quicker process that I have experienced before and…I overdeveloped the film.

Even though they are overdeveloped, it gives them a kind of dreamy, vintage look. These were taken before I got the manual adapter so they were all taken on program mode.

I actually liked using the camera. Fair enough it doesn’t look as cool as the usual OM range, but it did what it should. It took perfectly exposed photos. If you can get a cheap one, with the manual adapter, go for it.

Oh and the photos were taken around Frickley Park, which you can read about here.

Minolta 110 Zoom SLR Mark II

I sold my original Minolta 110 Zoom SLR and invested the money in this Mark II version. This 1979 version has a more traditional look compared to the first version.

You can find all the technical details and another great review on this website. I found the camera easy to use, but not exactly pocket sized. The focusing split screen was very “slight” meaning it was hard at times to see if the two images were aligned. I do like that you could lock the camera so you didn’t accidentally shoot it in your bag..not pocket. It was not as attention-grabbing, due to the more conventional shape.

Of course, I used a Lomography 110 film to test the camera as that is really all that is available. First, we went to York and I am amazed I haven’t visited the area more as it is less than a hours drive away from me. Then I took it to Lemonroyd Marina where I bumped into Emma from Heart Radio on her Coast to Coast challenge. That was a huge coincidence as I love Heart Radio, but my new/old car’s radio has just stopped working and I have been stuck listening to old cds. Damn it, I am going to install the app on my phone now. Anyway here are the test shots.

For once I didn’t get the pinhole light leaks on the 110 film and the colours are lovely. For a small negative the images are quite sharp. I do prefer this size to half frame, I just wish there was a bigger choice of film.

Keep or Sell: Already sold, I rarely if ever use 110 films so don’t need two cameras and I still have the Pentax which is much smaller. My thoughts are if you are going to use 110mm film it should really be with an actual pocket-sized camera.

Minolta 7000 AF (Maxuum 7000)

I read about this camera online somewhere. I have a feeling it was Jim Grey’s blog, I am sure it was on another one as well, but now I can’t find it now. All I know is I saw the photos of the camera and thought, “ooh pretty”. Then I saw one for sale on an eBay charity shop and a few clicks later it was mine. It was a charity case honest.

 

Why did I want this camera? Well, if you read this blog it says how this camera “rocked the entire photographic world”. It was the first true autofocus SLR. I think this blog and this blog have the best descriptions of all the features. I think it is pointless to write more when there is already so much out there. Posts like this let you know what I read and introduce you to some great blogs. Also, I love the graphic on this page that lets you know where it sits on the scale of Minolta cameras, but now I want the 9Ti.

Ok, so apparently a great camera. How did my example do? I took it for a walk in my local reclaimed colliery. I decided to take photos of as many different trees as I could find.

 

I tend to keep cameras on auto, not because I am lazy or don’t know how to work them, but I like to see what the camera chooses. I found this one seemed to underexpose a little. One of the blogs I read and linked to said the camera matches the aperture to the type of lens fitted. So a wide angle lens leads the camera to choose a small aperture for landscapes. This could be the reason for the underexposure, but as I had a zoom lens on there is no guarantee I had the lens set to 35mm. I would like to try this camera with a 50mm lens and see the difference.

Keep or sell: I wanted to try it again with a different lens, but it seems I either left or gave that lens away in Japan. Now the camera has been sold, so obviously it didn’t rock my world.

Konica Acom-1

I decided to post two cameras today as I want to empty my draft film of cameras I tried in Japan. Plus I have posted about two point and shoots and want to post something more substantial. Seeing as I already had a Konica lens I thought I would buy this junk bin body and try it out. This camera was introduced in 1976 and was called Konica Autoreflex TC outside of Japan. My example was extra “Japanese” as it had the data back, which was only available in Japan.

The first thing I did was try to get the data back working again, not that I ever use them, but I like things to work when they should. There was some writing on the back that Google Translate said, don’t open the battery compartment unless you are changing the batteries, and change them both at the same time. OK so two batteries, but where??

OK all changed, now the symbol is flashing and the red light comes on when you press the black button. But how do you set the thing?? No idea, there was just one button which seemed to be a battery check. I could not figure it out. The katakana on the sticker said “oto deto”, auto date. My guess was that it was completely automatic and that it worked so long as the batteries never drained, oh dear.

So I asked the internet gods for help. One helpful chappy had a Japanese manual so he took a photo of the relevant page and sent it to me.

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I uploaded that to Google Translate and this is what it said.

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Well, bugger. Basically, I was right, but it would have stopped working in 1999, probably due to the Y2K issue. Either way, I had changed the batteries now and so I tried the camera and at times pressed the black button, which was the actual data imprint button, not a battery check.

The data back was the most interesting thing about the camera. The light meter didn’t work so I used it in manual only. There was also a completely superfluous switch on the back that puts the winder lever back to the resting position. That lever should turn on the light meter, but it didn’t. Here is my test roll using the sunny 16 rule and my phone lightmeter.

You can see the date imprint did work, but the date is 1980/10/2 with no way to change it. I wonder if this was the last time the camera was used?

I actually did like using this camera. It was quirky. If the light meter worked and I didn’t have the other Konica I would think about keeping it.

Keep or sell: I want the lens for the other Konica I have, but this body I don’t need or want. Sold.

 

Minolta Alpha Sweet S (Dynax 404si, Maxxum STsi)

I wouldn’t say this was an accidental buy, but a curiosity based one. I bought two lenses for a Canon camera body I had, both the lenses said Canon and I didn’t look beyond that. They were clean and that was my main concern. It turned out one of the lenses didn’t fit. So now here I was with a lens and no idea which make it belonged to. Of course, I have a few camera bodies lying around and I tried it on all of them, but it didn’t fit any of them. So my last resort was looking through photos of the lens online and checking the mounts similarities. After a bit of looking, I decided it looked like a Minolta. The next time I went wombling I looked for a clean Minolta body and found the alpha sweet from 1999. And just like the glass slipper, it fit.

It was wrapped in plastic so I didn’t get a chance to look in the viewfinder. If I had I might have changed my mind about getting it, there was a serious yellow stain.

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That is focused on a white wall. I read on a few forums that it was probably the adhesive used for the pentaprism. As it was not on the lens I figured it probably would not affect the photos. Some forums said to leave the camera in the sun and the UV ray would probably reduce the staining. I might try that…when there is some sun.

It felt light to hold, perfectly fitted my tiny hands, very easy to use, all the settings you might need, just the yellow stain. I wasn’t too worried. If you want more technical details, look here.

This is an entry-level SLR and it is perfectly fine if you are getting into film photography. It does the job, it doesn’t wow.

Here are my test shots…no yellowing 🙂

You can see I tried out the multi-exposure function for fun. I said I would keep the Pentax MZ-30 due it having this function, but the battery lid on that camera was weak. Apart from the yellow issue, this camera is in a much better condition so I think I will keep this one and get rid of the other.

Nikon F-401s (N4004s)

I was strangely attracted by this camera even though it was far too heavy for me to keep forever. I have already tried a few similar Nikons recently, so this didn’t really seem like anything special. Plus it didn’t even have a lens, and I hate having a body without a lens, but buy it I did. I took this 1987ish camera to Yokohama and a new-to-me shop.

I think I was attracted to this camera by the dials, they look kind of funky. The plate on the top of the dials needs to be pushed down to in order to turn them. I think there used to be a button there instead of pushing the plate, but it is not there now.

The lens you can see is the one I bought in the junk section of the shop I mentioned. I attached it after buying. Before that point, I had another lens attached of course. You can see a photo of the shop front. That is the point where I changed the lenses. I don’t see any discernable difference, well-done junk lens.

Another feature I liked was the extra little window on the back. This had a barber shop like pole inside that turned when the film moved. Handy to see everything was moving correctly. Back to the dials, you can keep the top one on A (aperture) and the bottom on S (speed) for the camera to be fully automatic. Move one dial away from those mentioned and the camera becomes semi-automatic. Take them both away and the camera is fully manual. Easy peasy. By far the best feature is the battery choice, AA batteries. That means no matter where you are, you will probably find batteries for it.

And that is that. It is DX coded only, no exposure compensation unless you use the manual mode, nothing special really. You can read a great review here.

The only other thing I can mention is the weight. Oh, it is heavy, especially with the new lens. I think you really have to use two hands to keep it very steady. The shutter release is a bit sensitive, so you might accidentally take a shot while focusing. I did that on a couple of shots, can you see which ones?

Is the weight worth is? Are the shots exposed well enough that you will put up with the weight? Yes, I think so, look.

 

Not bad at all.

Keep or Sell: I have already said I have no intention of keeping it. In fact, I have already promised it to a friend, if she wants it. She might actually choose another, lighter, but not as good camera.

Pentax MZ-30 (ZX-30)

This camera was released in 2000 and you can find a plethora of technical details here. I was looking for a shorter focal length lens for a body I already. I found the lens attached to this body.

Even with the larger lens on, this camera felt fairly light, with the shorter lens on it was delightful to carry. The plastic body makes the camera light, but not as pleasant to hold. This site has loads of individual reviews of this camera, most say the camera is very easy to use and reliable. I agree it has everything you might need, including iso selection and double exposure. The only issue I had was with the body, the battery compartment door was really weak and the plastic there was already warped when I got it. I don’t feel this example’s door will last much longer.

I arranged a walk in a park looking for birds and nature for Earth Day this year. Unfortunately, I gave my Nikon Zoom lens to a friend to try out. That left me with no digital camera with a zoom. So I decided to take this camera with both lenses, a 28-80mm, and 80-210mm. With some fuji 100 film, these are the shots I got.

There are three shots practically the same as I thought the camera jammed, but it turned out it didn’t. But, wow look at the colours, I wish I didn’t like fujifilm so much. The fungus on the lens didn’t seem to affect the pictures. The camera focused really quickly and was spot on, even in the dappled light.

If you are interested in the area I went to it is Kitayama Park in the Sayama area of Saitama. It was a lovely day with great company. I completely forgot my lunch and thought there would be shop in the park, but there wasn’t. My friends shared their food, which was very kind, vegan food, perfect for Earth Day.

Keep or Sell: I am tempted to keep this one as I have the lenses now and don’t think I have kept a Pentax autofocus camera before. I prefer this camera to the SFX, due to the double exposure feature and the lightness, though I do know the SFX is a better camera. Each to their own I suppose.

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