What I found in my dad's old film camera drawer

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by svenkarma, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. svenkarma

    svenkarma Mu-43 Top Veteran

    566
    Feb 5, 2013
    mark evans
    In descending order of excitingness:

    (1) pentax-110-.120674.

    Pentax Auto 110 w. 70/2.8, 24.8, and a 20-40/2.8 zoom. Seen photographs on eBay and read the odd article. Justice not done to the quality construction. Battery nastiness in camera cleaned out, new ones in, seems to work. Entirely failing to understand why my dad seems to have used it very little. They stopped making 110 film a while back but now they're making it again. Yay! A film system I can pocketably bring along with the GX7. If it does properly work.

    (2) Canon Canonet QL19.

    I brought it home because the shutter worked the first couple of times. And it feels good in the hand. Plus the viewfinder focussing aid is awesome. You get a huge chunk of visual territory to slide horizontally into focus. Alas upon opening up back home I found out just what light seal meltage is about. My new eBay top tip: never bid on a film camera that doesn't have its innards on display in at least one of those 12 photos of its immaculate-looking exterior. Yuck. Very fiddly to clean up and replace. And then the shutter stopped working. Sigh.

    (3) Canon MC. Generic 80's plasticky AF compact, looks fairly used. Nah. Might as well buy a disposable compact out of the pharmacy.

    (4) Minox SE. Judging from the receipts my dad kept, this cost a lot of money at time of purchase. Previously on the internet I've seen stuff about the Minox that suggests you either love 'em or loathe 'em. First impressions are good. For a 'proper' 35mm camera it really is very compact. Nice little lens, almost exactly the same size as the Pentax 24/2.8. The Pentax has quite a decent focussing ring for its size, with a reassuring grip. The Minox however has SFA. There's a little kind of protrusion at the end of the lens, but it's unworkable. Also, given that old school analog cameras are functionally a lot simpler than digital ones, it's not unreasonable to suppose that (if you've used a film camera before) you should pretty much be able to get the hang of the snap-taking basics without having to consult the manual. This will not get you very far with a Minox 35. The body looks quite 'distinctive' in photos, but in your actual hands it just makes no sense at all. I got the lens to slide in and out. I discovered the focus ring is rubbish. Thumbs down.

    (5) & (6) Manuals for a Contax T2 and a Leica Mini-Zoom. He would have used his cameras for his work (land law solicitor) so if they were in his office, they're long gone. Hey ho.

    (7) Various flashes. A light meter. Some filters. Lots of receipts.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
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  2. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    628
    Oct 25, 2014
    Switzerland
    Matt
    Don't dismiss the Minox - I've been a Minox 35 user for the best part of 30 years now, and I'm sure it'll give you great result once you get the hang of it. You have to learn to estimate the distance; and it's aperture priority all the way; which means that you have to make use of the DoF scale a lot. There are a few features to discover, like the self timer switch, the exposure compensation (+1 to shoot backlit subjects) and the battery check button. Film advance is double stroke.

    The main thing: The lens is fantastic - the images have great colour and sharpness and really pop.

    btw. I also owned a A110 back in the day, and I agree that using the lens and specificly focusing is very satisfying - but the images were just a bit underwhelming. It's an interesting camera to own and shoot - as long as you can live with the tiny negatives.

    M.
     
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  3. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    FYI, the Pentax Auto 110 lenses work well on mu-43, although there's no aperture control with most adapters.
    Pentax 110 lens thread

    I posted some shots with my 70mm there; fairly sharp even at f/2.8.

    Barry
     
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  4. sphexx

    sphexx Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Feb 19, 2010
    Harrogate, Yorkshire
    Don't underestimate the Minox. I still use my Minox 35EL (the first model) that I bought new in 1970 or whenever they came out. Strictly speaking it was my second one since there was a fault with the paint on my first one and Leitz replaced it a few days short of the 1 year warranty running out. There is a problem sourcing batteries but I have recently had success buying from Maplins.
     
  5. svenkarma

    svenkarma Mu-43 Top Veteran

    566
    Feb 5, 2013
    mark evans
    Update: I looked in the cupboard where my dad kept his slides and found this sadly rather non-working cutie:

    ZEISS TENAX.JPG

    It's not that I underestimate the Minox. I don't live anywhere near a Maplins though. But what I was originally looking for (something small the son could take as backup to his DSLR while he's in, grr, Peru) should probably be a bit less, um, fiddly.
     
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  6. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    628
    Oct 25, 2014
    Switzerland
    Matt
    The Tenax is a beauty alright, but it's not a powerhouse - the Novar can be nice and sharp, but it's no "killer" lens like the Tessar would be; did I mention that the Minotar is a Tessar design? ;)

    I understand your wariness now, but take it from me, the Minox is a resilient little beast. The GT took everything I threw at it *except* my clumsy attempt to clean the viewfinder ... I was young and foolish then, and I effectively dislodged vital parts irreversibly by trying to do something as mundane as removing the top plate.

    I agree that the focusing ring doesn't inspire confidence, but it works well once you get used to it and learn how to use zone focusing. The point of failure can be the aperture blades - they can become sticky, so that's what I'd check first. If I'm right about the model (which I'm still not sure about), finding batteries for it shouldn't be a (big) problem.

    M.
     
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  7. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    When I first got an auto-110 I checked online for examples/scans from the films out of that camera. :crying:
    After that I converted the lens for m4/3rds using an old 39mmLTM extansion tube and LTM-to-m4/3rds adapter.
    I works great.
     
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  8. svenkarma

    svenkarma Mu-43 Top Veteran

    566
    Feb 5, 2013
    mark evans
    Correction: brainfade between houses. It's not a Minox but a Rollei SE:

    ROLLEI 35.JPG
    I wish it were a Minox now ha ha; this has some bad boy mercury battery in it. Quality lens and construction - but - the flash goes on the bottom?!
     
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  9. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Top Veteran

    860
    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    I learnt photography on that thing. Or more accurately, a B35 which I think had a Zeiss 40/3.5 lens. My dad had bought it in France or Germany in the early 70s.
    It was a very busy and small body with knobs and dials and meters on every side.
    The flash does go on the bottom which could be a challenge. Had a real light meter in it, too. I shot B&W film with it through college when the shutter spring broke. Always produced great results. Still have a nostalgic fondness for the camera and the 40mm focal length.
     
  10. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    I had a Rollei that I bought in Panama in the mid '70's. Served well until it bounced down a mountain :(

    Re: flash. It's only on the bottom until you turn it over ... duh!
     
  11. svenkarma

    svenkarma Mu-43 Top Veteran

    566
    Feb 5, 2013
    mark evans
    It's one of the later 'Made in Singapore' ones, but very sturdily built. Not tried B&W film since the 80s, so thanks for the tip! Curiosity will probably impel me to source a battery at some point.

    It's not the flash being on the underside bothers me in itself, but there's all manner of stuff under there. My hands are a bit scraped from Operation Cattletrough and weren't hugely impressed by the random corrugations.

    I feel its pain. I once nearly bounced down a mountain in Greece.
     
  12. mossie

    mossie Mu-43 Regular

    86
    Feb 14, 2012
    Hey I got the same Rollei. There is a newer kind of battery that will work but I don't quite remember since its been a while.
     
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  13. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Top Veteran

    860
    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    Yes. Like I said, a very busy body. Funnily, when the Pen-F came out and people were complaining about the JPEG dial in the front, the first thing I thought about was the Rollei. If you end up shooting with it, would love to hear your experience.
     
  14. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    628
    Oct 25, 2014
    Switzerland
    Matt
    Well, I certainly can relate to your first reaction now - the Rollei *is* a quirky camera, but it's got several advantages (and some disadvantages) compared to the Minox. Firstly, this is a fully manual (and fully mechanical) camera - the battery is only needed for the lightmeter, and it's perfectly workable without that. It's also a full metal body - sturdy as anything. In my book, one of these would make an ideal travel camera.

    The Sonnar is a very, very good lens - not quite as contrasty as the Tessar/Minotar, but very sharp (surely on par) and very even, something the Tessars can struggle with.

    Batteries are available - Weincell also makes zinc/air batteries that replace older mercury batteries (I use those in my PEN FT and Leica CL).

    As for handling, I really don't remember what the focus ring felt like - but I recall being a bit put off by the fact that the camera either invites two-handed operation (both hands twiddling the exposure controls from the sides) or taking it from the eye to adjust them - it's a bit counter-intuitive for a camera that's so small and should lend itself to quick shooting. But this may be entirely my take on things - I know lots of people who swear/sware by their Rolleis ...

    It's quite a bit chunkier than the Minox - but also considerably more robust. Oh, and the film transport is also on the bottom - the advance mechanism is very workable, though, and rewind isn't a problem (it can be on the Minox - it's tiny).

    All in all, still a great find - if you consider going into film (or have your kid try it), this is actually a great camera to do it.

    M.
     
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  15. sphexx

    sphexx Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Feb 19, 2010
    Harrogate, Yorkshire
    Ah! I wondered since there is no Minox SE (only a GSE) and the Rollei kept bobbing up in searching for SE.
     
  16. JensM

    JensM Mu-43 Regular

    188
    Mar 6, 2016
    Oslo(ish), Norway
    As screename
    I traded my Minox for a Rollei.

    Never looked back, combined with a diversity of Fujifilm it made some smashing photos. Still have it as part of the analoge "expedition kit" I once pieced together. Hefty chunk of gear, though, one could take some-ones life, by whooping them over the head with it...
     
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  17. svenkarma

    svenkarma Mu-43 Top Veteran

    566
    Feb 5, 2013
    mark evans
    Yeah, I had a twinge of deja vu when I saw it; I think it's the first camera I took away on holiday to Ireland when I was a teenager. As far as I remember the photos were OK, not hugely contrasty, but that might have been the commercial B&W development.

    I did offer it to the son, but he's leaving next week so there's not really time to check it works properly. And by then he'd taken possession of the camera I'd got him off the internet, an Olympus XA. Not as robust but I shot a roll of film through it and greatly took to it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2016
  18. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    628
    Oct 25, 2014
    Switzerland
    Matt
    :) Now the legendary trio is named - the XA is the technically most advanced of the three (Rollei, Minox, Olympus), and it's the only one with a rangefinder, and the latter's actually usable. I personally prefer the look the Minox gives me, but the XA is a great camera to shoot. I think you did well there ...

    M.
     
  19. svenkarma

    svenkarma Mu-43 Top Veteran

    566
    Feb 5, 2013
    mark evans
    Ironically, the plasticky little Canon MC I initially paid no attention to is actually the only one I'm getting any joy out of.

    SYFYDRYN.JPG

    Cross-posted horse:

    HORSEY.JPG
     
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  20. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    623
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    No, the flash is on the top. The shutter release, wind lever, and VF are on the bottom :)

    At least that's the way you should use it when using flash and want to avoid the horrible shadows.