Film Cameras Archives - Photo Jottings

Film Cameras

Folding Pocket Kodak No. 3A Review

The folding pocket Kodak (FPK) No. 3A produces large 3¼" x 5½" (80x140mm) 'postcard' size negatives on either glass plates, cut film, or '122' rolls.  The area of the negative from the 3A is almost identical to 4x5 film, they just have different aspect ratios.  Believe it or not Kodak makes an even larger 'folding pocket' camera, the 4A model, which has almost twice the negative size as this one; I have one and am currently taking some test pictures for a future review!

Click through for a look at period accoutrements, like the combination back for using plate and sheet film, film holders with sheet film inserts, lens adapters, filters, and of course film, developing paper, mounting tissue, negative albums and carrying cases; all shown in the review...

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Ricoh XF-30 Review

The Ricoh XF-30 is yet another 'fixed' focus snapshot camera (more than half a dozen reviewed so far) that I seem to be drawn too for some reason; maybe for the speed and simplicity, or maybe because it was the only type of camera I could afford in my younger days, and it's simply nostalgia run amok.  Either way, it's a neat camera, and much like the Ricoh YF-20, you can change the focus of the camera by moving a switch by the lens, so it's not really a 'fixed' focus camera.  Additionally, and to completely ruin the simplicity part; this camera is not actually all that simple...

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Minolta Weathermatic 35DL Review

Today we review the Minolta Weathermatic 35DL, an all weather camera that's sealed for diving to depths of 16' (5m).  However, with the o-rings being over three decades old, I think we'll skip the underwater part of our review, and head for the high (and dry) country for our test photos.

Although Minolta markets the Weathermatic 35DL as having a 'dual lens,' it really has only one lens, but uses a 'dual' focus design, which varies the amount of space between lens groups to achieve two different focal lengths, 35mm and 50mm.  Other features include DX coding, AF above water...

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Chinon 358RZ Reflex Zoom (Genesis GS-7) Review

The Chinon 358RZ Reflex Zoom, (or Genesis GS-7) is another 'bridge' type camera from the late 1980s, and is styled after the one-handed video cameras from the day, just like the Ricoh Murai, reviewed not long ago.  This 'bridge' camera is actually an SLR, so you get 'TTL' through the lens metering, as well as being able to visibly confirm sharp focusing on the matte glass viewfinder screen, and it takes common 62mm filters with a plastic adapter.  There are a few features that are missing on the Chinon that you'd get on a real SLR, like...

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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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