Film Cameras Archives - Photo Jottings

Film Cameras

Kodak Motormatic 35F Review

Today we step back to the early 1960s for a close look the Kodak Motormatic 35F, one of the last USA made 35mm Kodak Cameras.  The Motormatic 35F has a somewhat unique feature that allows you to take over one frame per second by simply winding up a spring drive mechanism and pressing the shutter button as fast as you can; it actually works quite well and apparently was the forerunner of the modern day spray and pray 'continuous' drive mode.  Additionally, the 'F' in the name means it has provisions for flash use; in this case you can use 'peanut' size AG1 bulbs...

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Kodak Instamatic 100 Review

Today we review my very first camera; a Kodak Instamatic 100.  My Parents bought this camera brand new for taking snaps of my older baby brother.  Actually, my Dad took pictures of my brother with this good camera, and by the time I came alone, the fascination and uniqueness of babies and pictures was over, and my Mom ended up taking all the snaps of me with this inexpensive instamatic.

The Kodak Instamatic 100 used a new type of film which came in a plastic cartridge, called a 'Kodapak' by Kodak; there was no need for the awkward task of threading film on the take-up spool like 35mm film, you simply dropped the cartridge inside the camera, closed the back, wound it until the lever locked, and started taking pictures, all in about 5 seconds flat...

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Canon Sure Shot Zoom XL Review

Our latest camera for review is the 1989 Canon Sure Shot Zoom XL, a very expensive point and shoot zoom that Canon claimed had the optical quality comparable to Canon FD interchangeable lenses; well, we shall see about that; (if you're impatient, scroll down to the test pictures for instant gratification, or displeasure).  Other high end, and almost 'SLR' like features include a powerful flash that zooms with the lens; almost two frames per second continuous shooting; and a very useful docked remote control, (a nice feature that unfortunately has not found its way to the cameras of today---some thirty years later).

I bought this camera as new old stock, it still had the sealed wrappers on it; and believe it or not, the batteries in the docked remote control are still good!  As a side note; this is the only camera so far I've reviewed that originally came with factory installed batteries, in both the camera (2CR5), and a couple of CR1220 for the remote, however, the main camera battery still had some power, but not enough to operate it properly.

I have to laugh; Canon tells us in the owner's manual...

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Ricoh Mirai 105 Zoom Review

The 1980s brought us some goofy cameras, and the Ricoh Mirai (the future) 105 Zoom is one of them; it's boxy and almost camcorder like in it's appearance since the flash and AF sensors are on the side of the lens instead of along the top as it would be on a traditionally designed 35mm type camera, so it's actually a regular camera, but it looks odd as it has a big upturned grip for your right hand.  The Ricoh Mirai 105 is not the only unusual looking camera from the crazy 80s, (remember the Samurai?), did you know Olympus...

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Expo Watch Camera Review

This week we check out a unique device for taking stealthy images; the Expo Watch Camera.  An October 1917 ad in a Popular Mechanics Magazine suggests you'll get lots of fun taking pictures of your friends in an act of a 'funny stunt.'  You'll also have even more fun when you see the look of bewilderment on their faces when you show them the pictures you took.  I bet the 'funny stunts' back then were a little different than the 'funny stunts' that get pulled today.

The camera actually works properly, so be sure and check out my test samples at the bottom of the review and see what the Expo is capable of today...

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Konica Pearl III Review

This diminutive, but stylish Japanese coupled rangefinder camera is a Konica Pearl III, and it's from the late 1950s, a time when medium format folding cameras were on their way out, (as were folding cameras in general), and small format 35mm cameras were all the rage.

Our late model Pearl III has a nice feature set including a four element 75mm F/3.5 'Tessar' type lens, a nine speed shutter with the dreaded light value scale embedded on the shutter speed ring, and an 'automatic film advance' mechanism which BTW, doesn't wind your film automatically, you wind it yourself just like a regular folder, but it's supposed to be safer, and more precise than watching for the shot number in the red window of your average folder.  Other nice features include a coupled rangefinder, cable release, accessory shoe, and the ability to use 30.5mm screw-in filters.  Oddly, this high spec camera has no...

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Ricoh YF-20 Super Review

The Ricoh YF-20 Super is, at least outwardly, an uninspiring fixed focus compact 35mm camera, with a three element lens, flash, and motorized drive.  However, upon close inspection, it has a really nice feature that makes this model stand out; there's a sliding switch under the lens that allows you to focus the camera to longer distances.  The switch is spring loaded, so you have to keep it pressed while taking the picture, that way when you go back to taking snaps of family and friends, your focus is back to where is should be for sharp shots.  The real beauty of the infinity focus feature is that you can use wider apertures and still get crisp images, so...

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Olympus LT Zoom 105 Review

Our review camera for today is the compact and elegant Olympus LT Zoom 105, featuring a rich 'Leather Tech' outer cover which actually appears to be an automotive grade naugahyde, but it still looks pretty neat, that's why I bought it---unfortunately I think I got ripped off, see the test shots below.

Olympus offered at least two models of the 'LT' series, the Zoom 105 with a 38-105mm lens, and an LT-1 prime with 35/3.5 and a faux leather flap lens cover.  I see four colors available, burgundy, brown, black and a greenish one.  Later versions include...

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