Chinon 35F-MA

May 01, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Chinon 35F-MA

In January I picked up this hideous blast from the past for 75DKK / 10EUR / $12 and for a while I wasn't really sure if I had made a good bargain or not. In hindsight I think it was an okay deal, it's not a fantastic camera but it's fun to shoot and it works. I had hoped for better sharpness from the lens, could be that my sample has a layer of something something on the front and rear elements but I haven't really taken the time to do a propper CLA of the camera. The viewfinder can be compared to looking thru a pair of yellow sunglasses covered in fingerprints, which I'm sure might just be gunk in the viewfinder, but I haven't really figured out how to take that bit apart either.

When I first got the camera I didn't know if it worked, so I loaded it with a roll of Ilford HP5 and took it for a walk with the guys from Platea and shot with it for most part of the day (the keepers from that roll can be seen below in chronological order). To my surprise both the light seals, shutter speeds and auto focus worked seemingly well. To my even bigger surprise the camera sounded like a Nazgul screaming at a fat hobbit when it advances the film, which gave a lot of laughs as street photography is normally a stealthy genre of photography. Not the case with this camera.

So if you come across this camera, in working condition and cheaper than what I payed for it, then I recommend you do a coin toss, because I won't tell you that it's a fantastic camera, it isn't. You are probably going to have some fun with it but, that's true for almost any analog camera in my opinion. When I think about it I actually payed much less for my Canonet QL25 and that old rangefinder outperforms the Chinon in every way, except for it lacking auto focus (sorry, Infrafocus) and has no built in flash. The Chinon also takes two AA batteries, whereas the QL25 takes a discontinued PX625 mercury oxide battery, but that's about as positive as I will get with the Chinon.

The Nazgul sound it pretty fun and it is a light weight and an easy to operate camera to bring with you. I'd surely bring this with me if I was going out for beers and fun, as it's not the biggest loss If I accidentally leave it on the counter of McDonalds in the wee hours of the morning. ;)

Marmorkirken

Jonas Rask + XPan

Cold Hands


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