Some New Camera Gear

So we just got back from a week in Hervey Bay & Maryborough taking little Ivan to visit some of his great grandparents and some of my aunties. Whilst we were there, one of my aunties gave me a box of old cameras. A good percentage of them were old 35mm point and shoots, but there were a couple of really lucky finds.

First up, and the camera I most look forward to trying up was this lovely little Ricoh 35 ZF viewfinder camera. This is the first of the older style 35mm viewfinder cameras I’ve acquired (aside from the really old Saraber Finetta 88 I have currently disassembled), and I am quite impressed. It has a Rikenon 40mm 1:2.8 lens with shutter speeds ranging from 1/8s to 1/500s.

Ricoh 35 ZF viewfinder camera. The production of this particular model started in 1966, but I am unsure when exactly this example was produced. Appears to be in pretty good condition, no obvious damage to the optics, although I have been unable to source a battery to test the light meter or anything. I also haven't opened the film door yet, because it has got film loaded in it, so I'm using up what's left to get it developed at some stage. 60D + CZ50.

Ricoh 35 ZF viewfinder camera. The production of this particular model started in 1966, but I am unsure when exactly this example was produced. Appears to be in pretty good condition, no obvious damage to the optics, although I have been unable to source a battery to test the light meter or anything. I also haven’t opened the film door yet, because it has got film loaded in it, so I’m using up what’s left to get it developed at some stage, not that I think the photos will turn out. Who knows how long the film’s been in there. 60D + CZ50.

And the back. Nice and clean, aside from the patch on the back door. There's a few scratches in the metal as well, but considering its age, that's to be expected. I haven't actually cleaned it yet either, so that patch on the leatherette may yet come off. 60D + CZ50.

And the back. Nice and clean, aside from the patch on the back door. There’s a few scratches in the metal as well, but considering its age, that’s to be expected. I haven’t actually cleaned it yet either, so that patch on the leatherette may yet come off. 60D + CZ50.

Next up on the interesting list is this lovely old Polaroid 600 series Land Camera with Autofocus.

Polaroid Autofocus 660 Land Camera, in pretty good condition overall, although I haven't been able to test it yet, owing to the fact that the battery and everything is built into the film cartridge, and I don't have any lying around. I did originally think that you couldn't get film for these old things anymore, but then I found The Impossible Project. It's quite expensive, but the wonderful Stacey has come up with a brilliant idea that I don't want to elaborate on just yet.

Polaroid Autofocus 660 Land Camera, in pretty good condition overall, although I haven’t been able to test it yet, owing to the fact that the battery and everything is built into the film cartridge, and I don’t have any lying around. I did originally think that you couldn’t get film for these old things anymore, but then I found The Impossible Project. It’s quite expensive, but the wonderful Stacey has come up with a brilliant idea that I don’t want to elaborate on just yet that’ll make it worth the price. 60D + CZ50.

While researching this camera I learnt that the autofocus on these Polaroid Land Cameras was actually a sound based system. The golden disc on the left hand front of the camera is actually a sonic transducer that emits a pules of high frequency sound to determine the range to the subject. 60D + CZ50.

While researching this camera I learnt that the autofocus on these Polaroid Land Cameras was actually a sound based system. The golden disc on the left hand front of the camera is actually a sonic transducer that emits a pules of high frequency sound to determine the range to the subject. 60D + CZ50.

And finally… up until now just about all the interesting camera gear I’ve acquired has been analogue or film based. All of that changed when I opened a leather carry case and discovered this:

This is an early digital camera, a Sony FD Mavica. By early I mean it's maximum resolution was an impressive 640x480px (that's about 0.3mp). 60D + CZ50.

This early digital camera, a Sony FD Mavica, in good condition with its original case, but without a battery charger. I’ll have to source one so I can see if it works. BTW, by “early” I mean its maximum resolution was an impressive 640x480px – that’s about 0.3mp. For perspective, my Sony Xperia Z has a 12mp camera, and the whole damn phone is about 1/4 the volume with everything else that comes in a decent smartphone. Progress. 60D + CZ50.

And in case you're wondering what the "FD" stands for... Yes, that is a 3½" floppy disk. That's what this thing stores its photos to.

And in case you’re wondering what the “FD” stands for…
Yes, that is a 3½” floppy disk. That’s what this thing stores its photos to.

In addition to the above there was a very good condition Canon T50 SLR with a Canon FD 50mm 1:1.8 lens, with the only visible fault being a missing battery compartment door (which I happen to have one lying around somewhere from another old T50), and a few other interesting little things I will need to get some photos of as soon as I get around to it. I’ll also be doing up further thoughts on these cameras in the near future.

Shannon Walters

An amateur photographer who also spends time making chainmaille and doing too many other things to mention.

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