Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The User's Review: Yashica TL-Super 35mm camera, released in 1966

It is not much difference from new except the price after 35 years. A well built body has a mirror lock above the self-timer, a light meter switch on the other side of lens mount, and a bottom-located lock of film door.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The User's Review: Polaroid OneStep, released in 1978

OneStep is one of the Polaroid instant cameras using Time-Zero SX-7 film. These models share flashes and Polaroid Accessory Kit 183 (its manual is attached to the end of this review), which includes a tripod mount 2325, self-timer 2326 and cable release 2327.

OneStep is a plastic dark box equipped with a focus-free lens, lighten/darken control (e-eye), shutter bottom, viewfinder, picture counter, flash socket, neckstrap and front film door.

OneStep can't be tested without a film pack since the battery is in the film pack.

OneStep can be used with a flashbar or an electric flash like the IIT Magicflash.

OneStep is easy to use since my 4 and 3 years sons learnt to use it.

The picture counter is the white window on the right side.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The User's Review: Canon Photura (Epoca, Auto Jet, released in 1990), one of two models with two viewfinders as far as I know

Long-range zoom and two viewfinders in a unique-shape case, these are the words I use to describe Photura. Its specifications are marked on its body as below:

The top viewfinder is open.

The fully-extended lens and flash diffuser moving with the zoom 

Photura and its younger brother Photura 135. 

Backs of Photura 135 and Photura (at bottom)
I got mine at a discount price of USD 5 from a local used electrics shop. After getting home, I put battery ad film in and tested it. It works fine. My Photura looks not much used by its previous owner. To me, the only advantage of Photura over Photura 135 is 35mm wider zoom on Photura.

Want to know more about the younger brother? Please read this page on Canon Photura 135.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The User’s Review: Pentax K1000 – The Simple The Better

As a manual SLR body, Pentax K1000 says NOs to all of the following features: auto exposure, exposure compensation, shutter speed faster than 1/1000s, self-timer, mirror lockup, auto-winder, TTL flash, sync speed faster than 1/60 s, flash exposure compensation, diopter correction, Depth-of-field preview, ISO range out of 32-3200, DX sensor, speed and F info in viewfinder.

As a simple body, it is so popular among the 35mm SLR cameras. As you may know, more than 3 million bodies were made first in Japan, then in Hong Kong, and finally in China between 1976 and 1997; It’s one of the 35mm cameras recommended most by photography teachers to their students because everything on the camera has to be set manually; And it’s of low cost to both Pentax and its users, strong and durable (although I can’t find any statistic data to support this, most users said so in their reviews online). Time magazine listed Pentax K1000 as one of their All-Time 100 Gadgets (the most influential gadgets) from 1923 (the birth year of Time) to the present (2010).

As a used body, I found mine in a local second-hand electrics shop. The camera with lens was in a black lady handbag, which also contained two flashes, cables and other small items, and was tagged USD 15.99. The camera was dusty, but not much used. The front and rear caps of lens were also found in the bag. I changed the battery and tested the camera. It works as should. The only visible differences from new are a few scratches on the body surface and a few discolor letters on the lens front cap.  

As a simple camera, I should know how to use K1000 without referring its manual. Well, I did for most of the functions except one, the multiple exposures (ME). I did not realize that K1000 has ME until I find the ME in the manual. The way for ME shooting is: Shoot the first one; Cock the shutter while pressing the rewinding button at the bottom; Shoot the second time; Repeat these two steps as many times as you want. 

My K1000 with a SN on its bottom plate should be made in
Hong Kong. The earlier Made-in-Japan K1000 should be
engraved their SNs between the roof and rewinding bar
on the top plate.

A later copy without ASIHI and its sing on forehead
There is a special edition of Pentax K1000: K1000 SE.