I recently saw a camera with an usual skin. As I left all my Japanese print material in Japan I thought I would try some different approaches.
I still need to add a light coat of clear varnish, but I like it. I am going to do another one tomorrow. Plus I have a camera coming in the post that I got very cheaply due to the rotted skin. I might look around for other ideas…magazine cuttings maybe??
Not a bad way to spend time when you have a cold.
I tried a few cameras over the summer and made draft posts as I did. Work starts again next week so I will have less time to test and post, so over the next few days I might have a few posts to get through.
As I was in the UK the number of ‘junk’ finds was considerably less. So I opted for searching on eBay for charity posts. Charity shops often sell cameras on eBay now and you can sometimes find a bargain as they do not test them. That means the prices are reduced if you are willing to take a risk. At the end of the day, you have given money to a worthy cause.
This was one such buy, a Foca Sport I. It was originally produced in 1956 and was the first and most popular of a short lived series. It is a French camera for which there is very little on the net as it lacked popularity elsewhere.
Even for the time, it is a very basic camera. There is no rangefinder and focusing is achieved by guessing the distance. The film winder also houses the counter, which goes down as you shoot. So you have to set the number before you start shooting. The winder is also used to rewind, which was a little tricky to figure out without instructions. You have to lift the winder and then turn the other knob in direction of arrow. It has a top speed of 1/300th and apertures between f3.5 and f16. I took mine on a walk along the coast near Craigure, Isle of Mull. I used an expired 400 film which I thought would be suited to the low speed by rating it at 100 asa.
The camera was easy to use, even with guessing the distances as I mainly kept it at infinity. Mine seems to have a hazy lens, but the shutter worked fine. I also seemed to have a little trouble getting a straight horizon. It was a windy day and I did get stuck in a bog, but they are not good excuses. I almost got stuck by the tide at one point and I was glad I decided to wear waterproof boots so I could make a quick dash to more stable land. It was one of the reasons I chose this camera for the walk…I didn’t mind it getting damaged if I did fall over in the mud.
Keep or Sell: As I would probably not use it again I decided to try covering it with an unusual skin I saw online. After that, I sold it as a display model…or fun experiment for someone.
I bought this camera because it looked different and there was mud on it. The HD-M means heavy duty motor. As you can see, it looks like it will withstand just about anything.
According to this site it came out in 1984 and can be used underwater to 2m. I have a feeling that it will actually go a little deeper than that. As a diver I know that the pressure underwater changes the most in the first 10 meters, if I can get it past that depth it should be ok for any type of recreational dive. So next time I go diving I will test it again, just for fun. The battery and film compartments have doors that are held tight and have an o-ring for good measure.
The focusing on this camera is zoned. I often forgot to change the zoning for some reason. I think because the camera looks like it should be a point and shoot. When I did remember to change the focusing I found the resulting photo was very sharp, but it was quite unforgiving if you forgot. The shutter has a lock, so it never fires when you don’t want it to. The shutter button was a little stiff due to the ability to keep out water, underwater it might be an issue. I did take it out in the rain, it would be perfect for street photography on a rainy day.
From what I can gather,and from the mud,I think this type of camera was used by builders to record their progress. Plus it is kind of the original sports camera.
You change the ISO by a dial on the front of the camera. The previous link I gave has more technical information. But did this work? I have already hinted it did.
The exposure was spot on every time. You can see on a couple of repeat shots when I got the zoning right. The timer worked…though not my attempt to use it. I really liked this camera and as I don’t have an equivalent one, I will be keeping this one. Though I do have a couple of similar ones to test later., so I might be swapping it later. The others have automatic focusing so that is the only reason I will swap it out.