Mar 5 2012

Pentax PC35AF

The Pentax PC35AF is yet another of the many 35mm fixed focal length cameras that where around in the 1980’s.  Although slightly larger than the Olympus XA series of cameras it has a similar clamshell design and look.  The PC35af though is an autofocus camera that still required manual winding of the film via a thumb wheel on the right hand side.

One nice thing about this camera is that it takes two regular AA batteries to run all it’s functions.  The lens is comprised of 5 elements and has a respectable F2.8 maximum aperture .  I like the minimalist design of the camera particularly when the clamshell is closed, it is however made of a somewhat slippery material and you need to be careful when holding it. 

Operation is simple with only a +1.5 stop backlight over ride and the ability to lock focus and recompose.  As I’ve stated many times I like the 35mm focal length finding it to be versatile and this camera does a decent job with several caviets, one is that the film speed is limited to a maximum of 400 ISO and the other is the lack of aperture or shutter control. 

And now the requisite sample images.

Mar 3 2012

Wallalux Mark Ib 55mm f8.0 soft focus Multicoated pannenkoek lens

So I’ve replaced the rear element of my lens that I’m claiming to be the thinnest pancake lens in the world and there is a definate improvement in the performance.  I am now calling it the Wallalux Mark Ib 55mm f8.0 soft focus Multicoated pannenkoek lens.  If that’s too much to say then just call it the W.

Worlds Thinnest pancake lens

And here are some shots taken with it

Mar 2 2012

Canon Elph APS camera (IX 240)

The canon Elph is a very diminutive yet substantial APS film camera that came out in 1996.  So many camera’s since have used the Elph moniker but this was Canon’s first as well as their first APS camera.  It only has a 2 times zoom and a very pedestrian F4.5 maximum aperture but these are the sort of compromises that were made to create such a small camera.  It weighs 180 grams but feels like so much more, I think because of how dense it is.  The shell is made from a stainless steel alloy according to Canon and based on the small nicks and dings in my second hand copy it can take quite a beating.  It has few features for creative control such as a +1.5 EV backlight exposure compensation that is determined by the camera and not user selectable.  It does allow slow speed flash sync and with a half press of the shutter you can focus and recompose.

This camera in my opinion is an important milestone in the miniaturization of cameras as well as design,  so many digital point and shoot cameras since have had similar styling that it’s hard not to see this as the precedent of the form.  As for the images produced they are actually not bad as long as they are viewed at a reasonably small size such as 5×7″ which was really the intent of these cameras, to be small and carry anywhere camera to document life, before digital cameras and cell phone cameras ever came to market.  The Elph IX240 even came with a case that had a belt loop so you could carry it on your hip, at a time I might add when cell phones didn’t.