Film Cameras Archives - Page 3 of 9 - Photo Jottings

Film Cameras

Olympus IS-5 Review

The Olympus IS-5 Deluxe is an all in one SLR zoom, or more commonly known as a 'bridge' camera.  At first glance it seems like a slightly upgraded version of the IS-30 DLX, reviewed here, the main differences seemingly being the longer zoom and the full manual controls you get with the IS-5.  However, both cameras are quite different when compared closely; the bodies, controls, lenses and even the shutter mechanisms are different.  With that said, there are some similarities too, but mostly internal like exposure times, shooting modes and flash use.

The Olympus IS-5 is the perfect camera for the hobbyist or advanced amateur that wants complete control over their camera, but without having to bother with changing lenses.  This relatively small SLR...

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Aires 35-III L 45mm F/1.9 Review

Today's review camera, the Aires 35-III L, was purchased brand new by my Father in late 1957.   Dad actually wanted a kodak Retina, but it was quite a bit more expensive than the Aires, and the upcoming month long vacation in Arizona with my Mom was going to eat up most of their finances, so he settled with the Aires.  However, 'settled' may be a bit too harsh; the Aires 35-III L was highly rated in all the magazines at the time, where the writers gushed about the great lens, single stoke rapid film advance, and rangefinder focusing down to 20 inches (0.5m).

The Aires 35-III L has a six element (H) 'Coral' lens of 45mm, and a F/1.9 Seikosha shutter mechanism.  The camera feels very solid in the hands, and is quite heavy at over 800g bare.  Aires incorporated the much dreaded 'light value' system into this model, and in actual use causes too much fiddling with the lens ring to change it; you could easily miss a good shot by screwing with this feature, I don't like it.

My Dad used this camera exclusively for almost 30 years, running only Kodachrome or Ektachrome through it, and rarely printing anything as he liked to project the images with a Three Dimension Company set-up on a sparkly Da-lite screen...

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Konica Pop 10 Review

The Konica Pop-10, (or Tomato, and Dynamite! in some markets) is a high-end, (relatively speaking) fixed focus, manually operated camera with a multi-coated four element lens and a whopping five apertures to choose from!!  Also a big plus at least as far as I'm concerned; it has manual film loading, advance and rewind, and needs no batteries at all for picture taking!  However, if you want to pop the flash, you'll need a single AA, which also runs the low light warning lamp.

I have a certain affinity for fixed focus simple cameras like the Pop-10, they're small and lightweight, and always ready to go; plus, you never have to worry about an out of focus shot or dead batteries!  During my research for the 'perfect' entry level compact camera, I found out this Konica model had a 35mm F/4, four element lens and several apertures ('ISO's') to choose from, so I bought it with high hopes.

Back in the day, the Konica Pop-10 was a mid, to high-priced compact camera in the 'entry level' (fixed focus) category, originally selling at discount stores for about $39.95 in late 1985; however, these little suckers are now super expensive...

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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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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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