I took this photo of Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris thirty-five years ago. A lifetime ago!
The Smiths’ ‘Cemetry Gates’ had not been released then, but I had the maudlin vibe down pat. I was living in London at the time, eighteen, in love, no grey hair or anything!
The wonderful thing about photography is those moments are kept forever. My memory is okay, despite the substance abuse, but nothing compares to a photograph that takes you back to the very time and place of your youth.
Recently shot my first roll of film on my new instax Mini 70 instant film camera by FujiFilm. It’s been a long time since I was excited by a new camera, but this one is so much fun.
My dad had a Polaroid camera back in the 70’s, and I always loved playing with it (film must have been cheaper back then!) Watching the image appear slowly was/is magical.
The camera gives a unique softness, which is highly flattering. It was also great to be able to give my model a few shot on the day, which is really cool.
It also creates an original piece of art- never to be created again-just like a real film camera. These scans are not the greatest, the images are a little crisper in real life.
I won’t go into to much technical details, but it has several modes including Landscape, Macro, High Key and Selfie Mode and Timer Mode. Built in flash (which in this model you cannot turn off, but will not fire in bright light) which can be srt to Fill In Light.
Film is not super-expensive- around $1.00 per shot, a little more for monochrome. It does not give super-sharp images, but they are really nice, business card sized photos.
There is nothing to really dislike about it. Yes, there are some better models with multiple shots (double exposure and an option to turn off the flash- the INSTAX Mini 90. But I bought this cheap off eBay, just to see if I liked using it.
It takes me back to the 70’s, and for that, I love this little yellow camera.
Do you have one? I would love to hear your thoughts!
When I decided to start shooting film again, I got very excited with my options. So many cameras out there! So many expensive cameras too. I wanted one that would not break the bank, have manual and auto exposure features and had beautiful vintage good looks too. So I decided on this beautiful camera from Fujica (now Fujifilm).
This is a small all-metal rangefinder camera with a selenium meter and auto-exposure mode. The film advance is on the base and the focusing mechanism is near the viewfinder on the rear-just where your thumb naturally rests.
I wear glasses, and I found finding the focus pretty hard with this camera. SLR’s are way easier than using a rangefinder. Half my shots were out of focus, which were a real disappointment. Maybe I just need to get used to it. (The camera, not the shooting out of focus!)
“From the solid heft of its die-cast metal body, to the soft purr of the shutter making the exposure, you have in your hands the feeling of ease and proud mystery such as you have never before experienced. Each operating control answers smoothly and swiftly to the touch of a finger. Your subject is easily focused in the a viewfinder that indicates the edges of your composition within a frame of golden light. Easily read numerals inside windows give you immediate data on your lens opening and shutter speed. The rapid-wind lever swiftly transports film to its next exposure, winds the shutter and automatically prevents double exposures…”
Fujica 35-se specifications
Fujica 35 SE 35mm rangefinder camera
Lens FUJINON 45mm 1:1.9 (6 elements in 4 groups)
Shutter speeds B, 1-1/500
Focus range 3ft – ∞
Shutter Fuji Synchro MXL
Diaphragm f1.9 – f22
Exposure modes Manual & Auto, shutter priority
Rear focusing wheel near viewfinder
Built in selenium meter cross coupled with shutter
Top plate focusing scale and depth of field indicator
(Please throw Mike coffee money if you download the manual)
Fujica 35-se test shots
The proof of the pudding is in the tasting they say, so here are some shots from the first roll. For my first roll in almost six years, it is a surprise to see how everything is so soft (and how out of focus) images are with a manual focus film camera. The film was Kodak Portra 400.
Not too sure if I will keep the camera at the moment. I do have another film camera, and and another instant camera purchase I am watching on eBay. Who knows? My main beef was focusing, plus, the 400 film is way to grainy for my taste. May have to put another roll through it before I decide if it’s a keeper. Will keep you updated!
I loved this heavyweight rangefinder. Note to self: don’t sell your old cameras! Spent a few months with this camera back in 2013 when I was exploring analog camera options. It was a bargain on eBay. Not even too sure why I got rid of it, probably so I could by another camera. But I do regret selling it.
Yashica was a Japanese camera manufacturer, active from 1949 until 2005 when they ceased production after their acquisition by electronics company Kyocera. They made so many beautiful and iconic cameras in their time. They tried to make a comeback with a digital camera which was an absolute disaster. (you inserted preset ‘cartridges’ of ‘film’ and there was even a digital film winder). Major flop and the most stupid design ever. Crowdfunded disaster.
Anyway, that was a few years ago. Back to the beautiful Electro 35G.
Here’s the spiel from the manufacturer:
The Electro 35 G was introduced in 1968 with largely cosmetic changes (from the Electro 35). The range of usable film speeds was extended a little up to 500 ASA. The lens was labelled a “Color Yashinon” to reassure the buying public that it was colour corrected at a time when the use of colour film was growing quickly. The Electro 35 GT was released in 1969 with a body painted black instead of the satin chrome finish.
A compact rangefinder film camera, the Yashica Electro 35 G lets you capture beautiful moments of your life, even when you’re on the go. Bright and sharp pictures are what you’ll get with this Yashica camera, thanks to its f/1.7 aperture and 45-mm focal length. (f/1.7!)
Moreover, this rangefinder film camera has a fully automatic exposure system that lets you capture pictures in various lighting conditions. And featuring a stepless automatic shutter with speeds from 30 seconds to 1/500s, this Yashica camera lets you capture moving subjects beautifully. The Yashica Electro 35 G has ISO/ASA range of 15 to 500, ensuring you get bright pictures even in low light environments.
This is one tough, brick sized camera. It has a very audible shutter. People would turn around in the street. So, not very good for more candid street work.
A real heavy duty workhorse. Focussing is a snap with a really bright viewfinder.
I have included a few images I took with this camera. At the time I was developing my own negs- which is fun, time consuming and also worthy of its own blog post.
Final Word: If you see one of these for sale, go for it. They are a lovely camera to hold and use. You can find out more about Yashica here: https://www.yashica.com/
Let me know if you have used one, or own one. I would love to hear from you!