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.

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Olympus Mju Zoom 105 Delux

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.

Minolta Capios 75 (riva zoom 75W)

A while ago I tried the Minolta 25 and loved it. So when I saw the 75 I thought wow, it must be the really updated version…there are a whole 50 points between the two numbers, I know my math! But no, this version has just 5mm focal points of difference, 5!! I know my math, that is 10x less than I was expecting?!

Well, pfft…here is my example. Behold the 28-75mm instead of 28-70mm!

This camera came out in 1997, so basically it took two years to add 5mm of zoom. Though I am sure there are other differences, you can’t tell by looking at it.

But did this example work?

Yeap, just like the 25 version, it is just a little package of awesomeness. Super sharp and perfect exposure and best of all…wisteria season!!

Keep or sell: Come on, I get a whole 5mm extra length here. So keep, for now, seeing as I just gave away my mju.

Canon Autoboy Zoom 105

The first Autoboy I tried, I hated. It was too noisy, too bulky, too ugly. The second one I tried faired a little better. Where would this junk bin find lie? Right in between.

It was lighter and quieter than the first, but bulkier and noisier than the second. The zoom function has been moved closer to the shutter. I found this an issue as I sometimes pressed the shutter instead of the zoom.

It was originally released in 1991 and as you can see this is the updated “caption” version. And holy moly it was expensive! This example still had the remote attached and it worked, though I didn’t take any selfies. The battery inside the remote is non-user replaceable, so I was impressed it still worked. That last link also states the iso setting for none DX-coded film is 25ASA, wow that is low.

Whoa, this camera is good. A point and shoot that you really can just point and shoot. I used in on a walk on Mount Tsukuba. The photos have a definite feel about them, they scream film photography, which usually I don’t feel on point and shoots.

Oh and the lens goes from 38mm to 105mm. You can see the difference in these two shots.

Awesome. Just pity about the zoom button placement.

Keep or sell: I have many point and shoots, so I don’t need it…but it is heavy and can be found quite easily. Hmph, it should be worth more. Anyone want to make a swap?

Konica Z-up 80 super zoom

This is a lucky camera. When I first started to look at it I could not find the battery compartment. Then I saw it under where the strap should go. It looked broken and had to be accessed by removing some screws. It seemed really impractical and I put it in my own junk bin. I was positive it was faulty. Then I was getting my recycling ready for collection and decided to take another look. I undid the screws and inserted a battery, nothing. I tried two more batteries, nada. I was about to give up but then thought, use the force…it does look like a Darth Vader camera after all. So I just willed it to work. Basically, I shook it and said, “work damn it” and it did. I am sure I knocked some dirt off a contact or something, but it fired up…flash included.

The only issue then was a hole on the top. When I looked for other photos of it online, I saw a flash ready light there. No biggie, I just covered it with black tape just in case of light leaks.

I think the Z-up 80 means zooms up to 80, a guess, but it seems a reasonable one. There doesn’t seem to be much on the net about it. I could only find something on the Amazon.jp site and a couple of Japanese sites. When translated the Amazon page said something like…

“Primary Information is displayed on the back, as a compact, multi-functional and practical Heavy Duty Camera. [Main Features] 35 mm Auto Focus AE camera, Zoom Lens 40-80 mm F3.5 – 7.2  Battery: 2cr5, weight: 485g, released in 1988”

I also found this review, but wow another heavy duty camera. It doesn’t look like the others I have tried, but I hope it works just as well. I did find a manual in Japanese and here one in English for the RC version, I could not find the none RC version. While researching for this post I also saw some tagged photos on Instagram that were pretty cool and it made me wonder about the camera. It seems like it is more than a point and shoot. The manual tells about features such as multiple exposure and times exposure. I wish I had read it before using it, I seem to say that a lot. Now looking at the camera, I see the ME button on the data back.

But did it work?

Yeap, sure did. It is super sharp, I even had to blur some faces. These are taken over a couple of days at work. I even tried a few action shots with the ball catching at full zoom. It was sharp at all zoom settings. I got a little carried away with photos of the lanner falcon, but it was the only camera I had on me at the time.

When you take a photo, the autofocus chooses a zone and illuminates it in the viewfinder. The symbols are the regular person, people, mountain. It was spot on each time. I love it, I want to keep it…it looks like Darth Vader…it is faulty after all…there is a hole on the top.

I will keep it for another roll at least, to try out the other functions.

 

 

 

Olympus mju Zoom 70 Deluxe

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 🙂

Nikon TW Zoom

I have just tried a couple of similar cameras to this. I just hoped this one would be as good and that it worked. It seemed clean enough, but you never know. Well, worth the risk.

 

This camera is stated as having Nikon’s first true zoom and was produced in 1988. To be honest I found it a little bulky and heavy. I also found the focusing switch on the top confusing. It lets you choose between portrait, groups, and landscapes…does it have autofocus or is it zoned? Make your mind up Nikon. I did like the zoom display on the LCD. It’s just a bit superfluous but funky at the same time.

Here are my test photos. I took the camera to some very different places, from the nightlife of Ikebukuro, Tokyo to the autumn trees of Doho Park, Ibaraki. I used an expired film again.

 

I also took a photo of the fluorescent light on this review. This camera got a much sharper shot. I really liked the autumn leaves shots, great colours and contrast. I would recommend this camera despite the size. This example works really well and I feel like adding it to the other version of this series I have, but I probably won’t use it again…too many cameras. So….

Keep or sell: Sold

 

 

Minolta 110 Zoom SLR

This is the third and final 110mm camera I bought to try out the Tiger Lomography film. I think I got the two most interesting cameras, this one, and the Pentax.

This is the Minolta 110 Zoom and is a funky looking camera. I haven’t seen anything like it. Once I knew I was trying some 110mm film I knew I wanted to try this camera. It was produced between 1976-79. It works in aperture priority mode with a selector on the side of the camera, independent from the lens, which is odd. You have choices between f4.5 and f16. Depending on the light situation, the camera can choose shutter speeds between 1/1000th and 10 seconds. By twisting and pushing in the lens in you can use the macro function, allowing you to get quite close to subjects. Otherwise, the lens has a 25-50mm zoom. Best of all it is powered by 2 regular LR44 batteries.

So I loaded mine up and took it for a walk around Bradford.

 

I had a little trouble focusing it as I found the viewfinder quite dim, I much preferred the Pentax. It was fun to use, though I am not sure I will use it again.

Keep or sell: I am not ready to sell it yet, but may do in the future mainly due to my ownership of the Pentax….and SOLD.

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