I had been hearing a lot about this little camera, so I found one on eBay for $15 and decided to give it a try. This is hailed as one of the world’s most advanced cameras which provides fully automatic exposure completely without batteries or external power!
In auto mode, all you have to do is choose your focus setting (one person, two people, 3 people, or mountain) and compose your shot. The camera has 2 shutter speeds: 1/40th of a second and 1/200th of a second. You can take it out of auto mode and adjust the aperture manually, although I never tested that.
I like this camera for the weight, size and simplicity. There are no settings to get bogged down with, just pure shooting joy. If there’s not enough light for the camera to work with, a little red flag pops up in the viewfinder. The shutter sound is even more impressive than the larger Canonet G-III QL-17.
One thing I don’t like about this camera is the lack of a shutter lock. If you put it in your pocket, you’ll most likely trip the shutter if you’re not in auto mode. I’m not sure if it’s this specific camera/lens or the film I was using, but the photos were a lot softer than I was expecting. I’ve seen sharpness comparisons with modern DSLRs and this had the sharpness of a pinhole camera. It could be the lens, it could be issues with my focusing or it could be the film. I’m not ready to give up on it just yet though.
Below are a couple shots from last week when I took it for a test run. All the photos were shot on Tasma NK-2 100 black and white film. Check out my Flickr album to see all the shots taken with this camera.