Tag Archives: xg2

Chinon CE-4

I love this camera. Though it isn’t my best camera or my most sophisticated…it has Spiderman all over it!!! What’s not to love?

I had seen a few of these cameras online with the skin either off or falling off. That made them cheap, so I bought one. I was looking for a replacement body for some Pentax lenses anyway. As soon as it arrived I set to recovering it and just happened to be reading a comic. I wonder??? Could my comic be a new cover? Yes it could. I cut it to the right size and glued it on. Gosh, I hoped the camera worked as I was already enamoured with it.

It was produced around 1980 and this excellent blog post compares it to the Pentax ME Super, which is great as I bought mine as a replacement for that camera. A friend had cheekily asked if I would swap that camera and I was reluctant as the prices are rising for the ME. But at the end of the day I don’t use it and I have lots of others. I still wanted a Pentax K mount, because I am me 🙂 So I decided to get this one. That blog post has all the information you might need for this camera.

I had recently been gifted an Ilford FP4 plus film so loaded that up and then took my camera everywhere with me. I just couldn’t stop looking at it and playing with it. That being said, it took me longer than usual to get through the film…and there were ghosts, trials, and tribulations.

Firstly, I took it to Harrogate and took a few shots before feeling like I was getting a massive migraine. So I headed home very quickly…I was right.

Then I took it to the exhibition in Blackpool, but it was raining so I didn’t take many shots there either. I just took a few inside, making good use of the 1.7 aperture.

Then I thought, well, I bought it to replace the ME Super so why not try out the Pentax lens. So for the next trip to Manchester I swapped the lenses. I was going there to hunt for ghosts as it was almost halloween. I managed to capture one before the mirror locked up and the camera became unresponsive 😦

Just before it died, it acted a little weird, the wind on acted oddly. As you can see the first two frames overlapped. I tried some new batteries, as they were LR44 they were easy to replace. But it had no effect, the camera was dead. I carried on the monster hunt using a Brownie and a very old film which didn’t turn out well either. It was supposed to be an experimental combination not my only camera.

Anyway, when I got home I decided to see if I could reset the mirror somehow. There was very little on the net, no fix that I could find. So I took off the bottom plate and had a look. I found a piece that moved and then tried to turn the electronic winder mechanism manually. Basically I was looking for anything that would move. Low and behold my experimenting worked and the mirror came down.

Here is a diagram of what I did.

A coin fits in the winder mechanism quite well making it easier to turn.

With the batteries back in and the lens back on I tried it a few times before putting the plate back on. All seemed well, but what had happened and would it happen again. I suspected the Pentax lens and with some more experimenting I found the issue. Though it is the same mount, the “A” setting totally confused the camera and caused the error.

I could repeat the error and fix it. In the end I decided to play safe and put the Chinon lens back on for the remainder of the film, which I took on a walk around my house. I also added a red filter just for fun.

And here is where another ghost appeared…I took another camera out on the walk to finish some infrared film I have, a Minolta XG2. That camera also suffered a mirror lock up. When I got home I took off the bottom plate and had a look. It seemed to work in exactly the same way as the Chinon.

Yatta, I have learned something new. So I then went on eBay and bought another Chinon CE-4 with a stuck winder and crappy skin for very, very small fee as it is listed as broken. I will see if this works on that one too, though now after posting this I might not be able to get them quite so cheaply.

Minolta XG2

I bought this camera for a stupid reason really. I was sorting out my father’s filing cabinet, bills and certificates and the like. And in one of the folders, I found a brochure for this camera. Neither one of us could remember ever having owned the camera.

Me being me…I could not let it go and I wanted the camera portrayed inside the pages. I bought one example on eBay which came with 3 lenses, a manual and an alternative brochure. It was an “as is” buy and nothing I did would make the batteries power up the camera. I ended up sending the body to an internet contact who needed a focusing screen from a Minolta. I kept the lenses and kept on looking. Then I found a body for sale, no lenses, no manual. Perfect. Please excuse the photos, it is cold and rainy outside and as you will read I am feeling a little lethargic.

This time the lights lit up as they should so I popped in some Street Candy 400 and since the day the camera arrived, the clouds loomed and stayed. Even today.

I dislike grey skies, dull grey skies. I don’t mind storms, fierce clouds, heavy rain, but dull and grey seems to affect my moods. If the weather can’t be bothered, then neither can I. It took me ages to get through this roll of film. In the end, I even took a couple of selfies and processed it with a couple of shots left untaken.

None of this has anything to do with this camera from 1977. I love the look of the camera, a classic look. All the lenses seemed to work. I especially liked the Rokkor 50mm f1.7. You can find all the French technical details you might ever need here. The camera is a little basic on modes. There is aperture priority or manual modes, no speed priority mode. In manual mode, the viewfinder gives no information at all, not even a suggested setting, just dullness…like the weather.

I also found the viewfinder a ‘little’ bit dull and the information on the right a ‘little’ bit hard to see. My example’s shutter release seemed a ‘little’ sensitive too. While using the camera I felt everything was ok, but maybe a ‘little’ off. I want to like it, I want to love it, but I just felt a ‘little’ underwhelmed. Then again, I also think the weather had something to do with that.

When I finally did develop the film, it also seemed a little off. I am not taking to Ilfosol 3 at all, so when I run out of it, I think I will try another kind of developer. I am also having a little trouble with hairs and dust. I think I need to move my drying space. At the moment it is next to my bedroom door. So each time I open it, dust moves around and onto the film.

Anyway here is my test roll. I suggest looking at the photos in the full screen viewer by clicking on them as the new WordPress gallery crops the images.

And there is me looking a little sad, totally posed. Even though this review is a little depressing, I most certainly am not. I am always putting photos of other people on my blog, but rarely myself. So I tried to take a selfie by first focusing on my hand then swapping the camera to my hand. Some of the photos are from the 52-week challenge, this week was to tell about me. Right now I am all about walks, listing to audiobooks in my car, and birds. You are not supposed to show your face for this challenge, but I am a little off today 🙂

In the end, I think the test film shows my personality quite well. I even managed to get a dinosaur foot in there.