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More samples from the Fuji GA645Zi

Here are a few E-6 (slide film) samples from the Fuji GA645Zi, reviewed here.  The Fuji medium format zoom correctly exposes slide film as well as the other versions, so no surprise there.  I've added the photos inside to the review, but you can check them out here if you've already seen the review.

Also, I've slightly revised my assessment of the Olympus XA.  I was pretty hard on it at the time because I was reviewing the Olympus 35 SP, and Nikon 35Ti at the same time, and the little XA just didn't have the same image qualities as the other two much more expensive cameras.

The list of 135 film keeps growing, the newest is Lomography Potsdam 100 B&W; judging by the samples, it doesn't look like anything special for $8 a roll.  Go here for a complete list of B&W film, or color here.

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Nikon 28Ti review

The Nikon 28Ti is a handsome, and high quality compact 35mm point and shoot camera, and the younger sister to the excellent Nikon 35Ti.  As the name would suggest, the Nikon 28Ti has a 28mm F/2.8 wide angle lens, with the 'Ti' indicating it's made out of titanium, and as far as I know, all are finished in matte black.  This wide angle version came out in 1994, and just like the 35Ti, was very expensive for back in the mid 1990s.  In a 1995 Popular Photography magazine ad, the suggested list price was a whopping $1220, or almost $2000 today!

The Nikon Ti's, along with Minolta's TC-1, the Contax T range, Leica Minilux and to a lesser extent the Fuji Klasse and Ricoh's were 'boutique' type cameras marketed towards the affluent novice and traveler.  Common features included...

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2018 in review

Well, another year has gone by, and thankfully It was a productive one, at least for the website.

I managed to review over 40 film cameras this year; (and now have around 52 total), much more than I thought I would be able to do---last year I said I'd like to do about two per month.  However, I did miss the mark on reviewing developing and scanning products; zero on that one, though I recently purchased a small and relatively inexpensive PrimeFilm XA Super Edition to help me keep up with all the film I've been shooting.  I also haven't been very good at posting old/antique film negatives and glass plates recently but I do have a lot in the hopper.

In 2018 I shot over 65 rolls of film, (quite a bit more than last year); mostly color print (C-41) with about 14 rolls of slide (E-6) and just a couple of rolls of B&W.  The film type was split closely between 135 format and 120. There were a few rolls of 127 and 828 too.

I did not shoot any large format this year, however, I still plan on reviewing a few cameras that I have, and have used quite a bit in the past.  I probably won't be doing a whole lot of large format anymore, it's just too expensive; 4x5" is around $5-10 per shot (depending on film type) with self-developing, and double that for 8x10." Even worse, have it developed for you by a lab, (I have E-6 film done) and you wind up paying around $35 (total) per shot with postage for an 8x10."  Oh, and it gets worse; add $50-100 per shot...

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Canon Snappy Q Review

Introducing the Canon Snappy 'Q,' it's 'Quirky and Queer,' it's Quintessential 1980s Qool!

The Canon Snappy Q (or Sketchbook) is sort of a ho-hum fixed lens camera, except that Canon made the lens cover double as a 'foggy corner filter' for those goofy 1980s Cokin moments that we all fondly remember.  BTW, I had a bunch of Cokin filters, including one similar to our foggy filter, except it was green!  The Snappy Q's filter doesn't really give you foggy corners, rather, it's a center spot filter with a clean central area, and will totally ruin your images if you use it for normal snaps; that's why Canon made it so you have to hold a button on the front with one finger, while pressing the shutter button with the other when the filter is in place.

Even though it's a run-of-the-mill focus free camera, there are a few surprises worth mentioning; for starters...

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Fuji GA645Zi 55mm-90mm Review

Nothing says '1990s' better than a 'Champagne' colored electronics product, especially an expensive camera.  The Fuji GA645Zi 'Professional' is the last, and most sophisticated model from Fuji's 'GA...' medium format line.  There were two others, the first had a 60mm,lens, the second model a wide angle 45mm, both reviewed here.  The'Zi' introduced a few handy features other than the zoom lens, like an adjustable viewfinder diopter; (great for people with less than perfect eyesight), a lens cap warning signal, (no more blank frames!), a more ergonomic placement of the shutter button, a revamped top plate, and a quieter focusing motor.   

The new features were apparently pretty expensive; a February 1999 big mail-order house advertisement in Popular Photography magazine listed the price as $1849, which may have been discounted too!  I'm guessing the...

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Rheinmetall Weltax 75mm F/3.5 Tessar Review

This week our review camera is the Rheinmetall Weltax self erecting, dual format folder, taking 6x6 images, or 6x4.5 with the addition of a reduction mask placed over the film gate.  It looks like this one was 'top of the line' as it has the four element Tessar 75mm F/3.5 lens, but ironically is equipped with an eight speed Tempor shutter, maxing out at 1/250, which was a bit slow for the times.

I purchased this Rheinmetall Weltax complete with the original box and all the paperwork, carrying case, and reduction mask.  The date of manufacture appears to be late 1955 if I read the identification card correctly.

The Rheinmetall Weltax and Welta Weltax are the same camera, but VEB Welta-Kamera-Werk, according to online gossip, was overwhelmed with orders, and shifted some production to VEB Rheinmetall for a period of time.

The Weltax looks and feels like a quality camera, and has a good lens, so how does it perform...

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Olympus Wide S 35mm F/2

I’ve been trying to get a good copy of an Olympus Wide S camera for quite a while, so when this one showed up on ebay, I jumped on it.  I was pleasantly surprised when I received it and found it to be in excellent shape, even the shutter speeds were dead-on.  The lens was clean and all looked pretty …

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Agfa Reflex (Flexilette) review

This odd looking beast is known as an Agfa Reflex in the Americas, or Flexilette in Europe and surrounding areas.  It's quite large and heavy for a 135 (35mm) format camera, and one of the few TLR 'twin lens reflex' 35mm cameras made.  This was an impulse ebay purchase, and thankfully it showed up in good overall shape, and works correctly.

The gigantic circular front protrusion houses two lenses, one for taking the picture, and one for setting the composition and focus.   The taking lens is an Agfa Color Apotar 45mm F/2.8 three element type, and is surprisingly sharp with a smooth background blur, see pictures below.

The real oddity here is not just the two lenses in front, it's the viewfinder that springs up and allows you to see a bright ground glass reversed image, along with the split image rangefinder patch in the middle.  The viewfinder even comes with a handy swing-up focus magnifier, which makes precise focusing easy.  The owner's manual suggests different shooting situations where this type of viewfinder would come in handy; such as holding it over your head upside down to shoot over a crowd or fence, or at ground level while in a crouch position, or even sneaking shots around a corner so no one can see you...

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