Mar 11 2018

Minolta AF-E


The Minolta AF-E was fitted with a 35mm f3.5 lens constructed with 4 elements.  The lens looks ridiculously tiny in comparison to the rest of the camera which appears to have expanded in width from previous models to accommodated the flash and the automatic film winder.  The Minolta AF-C is a similar camera and a better choice with its faster lens and smaller size Minolta AF-c.  But for simplicity of use this camera is great and the fact that it is powered by inexpensive AA batteries is a real plus.  With the auto focus, auto exposure and auto flash you need to be in the mindset of just pointing and shooting when using this camera but if that works for you then this is an inexpensive option.

Mar 4 2018

Disposible Kodak 800


I imagine that disposable film cameras will eventually disappear from the market but for now they are available new and…well you cant really say used, but found at thrift stores with unexposed film.  Kodak was very proud of its camera recycling program claiming that 76-100% of the camera components were reused or recycled. KodakRecycling  I’m not sure where that stands now with the bankruptcy and restructuring and the comparative collapse of the film market.  I can’t see that the volume of disposable cameras still being used warrant a full separate recycling program.

You could say that as a photography tool a disposable camera is limiting but maybe that’s the appeal.  You can let go about worrying about the camera or any false notion that your going to produce some technically superior image and just enjoy the act of photography.  A disposable camera gives you permission to have fun.

Feb 25 2018

Nikon FG with Portra 400


The Nikon FG might not be the professional model of Nikon from the mid 1980′s, in fact it isn’t even the top consumer model from that time that would be the FM2. It is a great little camera though and looks pretty good all the while too. It offers full program mode, aperture priority as well as metered manual exposure.  When in manual mode one LED will blink showing the suggested shutter speed while a steady one will light showing the selected shutter speed.  This makes it easy to see how far you are deviating from what the camera is metering. In addition it offers +-2 EV  compensations in half steps  as well as a backlight button.  Its also much lighter and smaller than something like the Nikon F3 shedding over 200g and a pile of $.  It is missing mirror lock up and depth of field preview but for general shooting, particularly when your on the move, those are unnecessary luxuries.

I used Kodak Portra 400 a film that uses Kodak’s T-Grain technology (Tabular Grain) which allows for a finer grain and greater sharpness for a given speed of film.  This emulsion technology first appeared around the same time as the Nikon FG and revolutionized both colour and B&W film.


Detail from the picture of ‘Holly’

Feb 18 2018

Canon Luna


The Autoboy Luna sports a 28-70mm f5.6-7.8 lens comprised of 8 elements in 7 groups.  Like many Canon point and shoots of the time it used their 3 point ‘Smart Autofocus’ system which I’ve found to be very reliable.

It offers shutter speeds of 2 seconds to 1/590 second and a minimum aperture of f32 and a max aperture of 5.6 at 28mm which allows it to cover a range of EV4 – 20 not too shabby for a point and shoot.

Its a nice little camera and mine obviously made its way from Japan after its purchase as it has Japanese markings as well as the date function. AutoboyLuna-1678CanonLuna_Agfa200_Feb2017_036

This camera also goes by the name ‘Sure Shot Z70W’  however I prefer the similar but newer Canon Z90W for its greater focal length at the telephoto end and faster aperture at the wide end but this is a nice little camera from the mid 1990′s

One thing about one camera:  The name Luna comes from the Moon shaped lens cover.



Feb 11 2018

Cinestill 800T and Seattle at night


I loaded my trusty Pentax MZ6 with some Cinestill 800t film which I really like the look of particularly for the way it creates halos around bright lights against dark backgrounds.  You can see my discussion around why that occurs here “Niagara at night“  Coupling the fast film with some equally fast lenses such as the Vivitar 28mm f2.0 Close Focus allows me to forgo a tripod even when walking around at night.

Feb 3 2018

Fujica Flash Date


The Fujica Flash Date is one of those mid to late 1970′s cameras that had incorporated auto exposure but was yet to see auto focus.  Later similar models did have autofocus but this one uses simple zone focusing.  The 38mm f2.8 lens is quite free of distortion especially when the exposure system stops the aperture down a little, but even wide open there is only a small amount of softness in the extreme corners of the image.

There is a sliding switch on the back of the camera with Japanese writing which I can no translate but its purpose appears to be to over-ride the slow shutter speed lock out so that you can trip the shutter even when its chosen a speed that is too slow to handhold.


Setting the date is done using three dials on the top plate of the camera (Day/Month/Year)  When turned on the date is also briefly made visible in the viewfinder at the time of exposure.


(40 years of accumulated ‘stuff’ from the bottom of a camera bag is not very appealing to look at, I think I will give this camera a clean) 

The results are often a slightly askew glowing numerals.


Some sample images from the Fujica Flash Date using expired Fujicolor 200

Jan 21 2018

Canon Jr with Kodak Advantix 400 B&W process c41


Somewhere along the line I acquired a roll of Kodak Advantix 400 B&W film.  This film is not truly a black and white film but is processed in C41 colour chemistry.  That’s perfect because that’s what I do.  The film was likely long out of date and the result was quite thin negatives but I was able to tease enough out of them to make the whole endeavor worth while.

Discover your artistic capabilities. The elegant appeal of black-and-white photography continues to grow. Black-and-white film lends itself to helping you learn the graphic elements of an image—the form, texture, and contrast of a scene. This may take some practice. learning to “see” things in shades of gray. But once you do, you can capture a stunning palette of different moods, emotions, and possibilities. -Kodak

The camera I chose to use for this film was the Canon Elph Jr. with its 26mm four element f2.8 lens.  Its hard to believe how small this camera is until you hold it, (weighing a paltry 125g) which is of course what the intention of APS film was despite its brief existence.  The Elph Jr. also had a useful shutter range of 2 sec. to 1/800 sec.

Jan 14 2018

Canon Photura


The Canon Photura, also know as the Autoboy Jet, CanonJet

looks like its purpose is to answer the question ‘What would happen if you just put a handstrap on an SLR lens and called it a camera?’  Its design seems to have more in common with a camcorder than a film camera but on the end of the lens is just the ordinary insides of a 35mm point and shoot.  The lens is a 35-105mm f/2.8-6.6 (10 elements in 9 groups) which is quite a bit faster than other point and shoot zoom cameras.  The flash is built into the cap and provides a nice large defuser unfortunately I didn’t get to test its capabilities.  Another item that’s there but I didn’t test is the low angle viewfinder mostly because it seems to require putting your eye nearly to it which sort of defeats the purpose in my opinion. waste_level

Also at 645grams and given its size it doesn’t seem to offer much of an advantage over a small SLR with a kit lens but it sure does look different.  Other interesting cameras in the same, build it around the lens, vein are the Minolta Freedom Zoom 105i and the much more conventional looking Olympus IS-10

Jan 7 2018

YashicaT4 Zoom


While I’ve used the Yashica T4 previously I had not had an opportunity to use a T4 zoom which in reality does not bear many similarities.  As soon as you go from a fixed focal length to a zoom lens they are going to be different animals.  The T4 zoom has a 28-70mm f4.5 to f8.0 lens comprised of seven elements in six groups while the T4 had a 35mm f3.5 lens of four elements  There are a few different things you can do with the controls one of which is to set the time and date and its format.  This is done while the camera is off which I did not discover until I had imprinted most of my images with a completely erroneous value (That’s okay because I was really just making sure it even worked).  Also when off you can alter the focus to spot by pressing the ’main button’ until [S] is displayed on the LCD, this is reset once the camera is turned off again.  When turned on though you can set exposure compensation of +1.5 or -1.5EV, suppress the flash and set a very interesting long exposure mode.  This mode is entered by pressing the timer/remote button until [LT] is displayed on the LCD.  Once this is done and the camera is secured, pressing the shutter button will result in a 2 second delay, to help reduce shake, followed by up to 120 seconds of exposure time which can be interrupted with a second shutter button press.

This first foray out of the way I’m going to feed the camera some better film and give it a more extensive try.  The images that I did get suggest that the lens is a decent performer across the entire frame especially given that its a zoom.



Dec 23 2017

Minolta Autopak 70


There are a lot of terrible plastic cameras that find their way into thrift store bins but sometimes there is the odd gem.  The Minolta Autopak 70 falls  more in the interesting pebble you turned over with your foot category.  It has a 26mm f 3.5 4 element lens as well as a close up lens that slides in front.  I didn’t have much success with that though as you can see bellow.


Despite its age it came with a working battery which is good because its uses a K battery which is pretty much unattainable.  In the future I will need to build some type of replacement 4.5V  but for now I have one.

With its electronic shutter the Autopak 70 has a speed range of 10 seconds to 1/330 second.  If I had know this at the time I would definitely have tried a long exposure shot however doing that even with a tripod might be tricky as 110 cameras are mostly shaped like a rectangle with the shutter button on the far end for extra wobble when you press it.  When done right though it produces and image that would be on par with a digital point and shoot camera from around the year 2000 but in a much more fun package.