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.
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. ;)
Keywords: 135 film, 35mm film, analog, analog photography, bug eyed camera, chinon, chinon 35f-ma, film camera, film is not dead, film photography, ilford hp5, infrafocus, point'n'shoot
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