Ever since the digital boom in photography film photography has been on the decline… Until about 5 or so years ago. Texas has one of the largest film communities in the nation. The North Texas Film Photography group meets up once a month on the second Saturday. The group usually meets for coffee, a drink, a bite to eat, good conversation, and photo walks…
I’ve been doing photography for 23 years. I’ve purchased various photography products off of others recommendations as well as my own research, or lack thereof. I’ve purchased very inexpensive gear as well as dished out a lot of cash on various items. I overpaid for junk as well as found some great items that didn’t break the bank.
The other day I received a package in the mail and in the pack was the Stiff Strap wrist strap (I did an un-packaging video which you can see here). This strap is made of 550 paracord. It’s hand made. It’s made right here in the U.S.A., and most importantly, it’s comfortable! The Stiff Strap has a lifetime warranty. I’ve owned several wrist straps and honestly, because of the quality, I lost interest in them. I had just decided to wrap my neck strap around my wrist several times. However, that gets messy. LOL. Now, I have the perfect wrist strap. I liked it so much that I purchased another one and will be receiving it in the mail just a few days after I placed the order. For just under $25, in my opinion, it’s the best wrist strap you could buy!
Sunday Jan 13th 2019 my son and I met up with another local photographer to walk the very cold streets of the Fort Worth Stockyards. I brought along my dad’s old Bronica ETRS which he gifted me around 2001. This camera has become my all time favorite as it’s very sentimental to me as my dad is not living anymore. Anyway, us three meet up and we start walking, talking photography, and making images on the streets. Soon a stranger comes up to me and tells me how cool my camera is. We talk for a while and then move on. We keep shooting. Another person comes up to us and asks about my camera. We walk the streets for about 2 hours and then decide to call it quits as the cold is getting to us. In total I’d say about 4 or 5 people stop me to talk about my camera. That’s 4 or 5 new people that I got to meet because of the camera I was carrying. Over the years I’ve done the same, as far as going on walks, many times with a up-to-date more modern digital camera. Maybe 1 out of every 10 times someone might ask about my camera. However, just about 9 out of 10 times I take this camera out people stop me and want to talk about it. I’ve actually gotten clients because of this camera. I love meeting new people and this has been a great way to do so. I compare classic cameras to classic cars. Nothing wrong with new cameras (or new cars), but the classics just seem to turn heads and start conversations more often than not compared to “latest and greatest” new stuff!
So this little camera pack a good-sized punch for a point and shoot camera. I previously did a blog on the Minolta Hi Matic AF 2 and said that it was one of my favorite point and shoot cameras. This Olympus is right up there with the Minolta. This was the second camera that I brought with me to San Diego our wedding / honeymoon trip. I shot around 6 rolls with this camera and focus hit nearly every shot.
This camera has a 35mm F3.5 lens, which isn’t super fast but isn’t too terribly bad either. There is a f2.8 version as well but I don’t know if I can justify the cost different in the two cameras. I did not run into a situation the whole time on the trip where I thought I needed a faster lens. The camera has multiple flash settings including turning it off. One downside to the camera is that when you turn off the flash and then turn off the camera and then turn the camera back on, the flash is automatically set to auto mode again. I’d rather the flash be set to off by default. The camera feels very good in the hands and is small enough to fit in a front pocket in your jeans. Everything about this camera is automatic (except being able to control the flash functions). I do like the fact that this camera can read film DX codes and can shoot faster films than ISO 400 and ISO 800. When you are finished with the roll of film the camera also automatically rewinds the film for you too. Two other features worth mentioning are the tripod socket on the bottom and the self timer mode.
The only downside that I can think of with this camera is the flash being turned on auto automatically when the camera is turned on. Overall this camera is almost the perfect point and shoot for just about any situation. I bought this camera for $15 and have seen them being sold for $30 and even a little more. This camera is well worth the purchase if you are looking for an all around film point and shoot and can deal with the flash function.
- Some might say the f3.5 lens compared to the f2.8
- focus is a smidge slower than I would like but definitely not a deal breaker
- The flash function
- very very compact
- very nice sharp lens
- auto rewind
- reads DX codes
- can be had for a great price
In late 2016 / early 2017 I took this camera (along with the Olympus Stylus Infinity) on my wedding / honeymoon trip to San Diego, California. I must say I was quite pleased with the results of both cameras. I will do a review on the Olympus as well.
The Minolta Hi Matic AF 2 is a funny little camera. It has manual wind and rewind and just about everything else is auto. The shutter speed, aperture, and focus is all auto and only auto. There are no manual overrides. The only other option the user can manually control is the ISO, which goes from 50 to 400. The viewfinder is nice and bright. The camera feels good in the hands. There is a switch that turns on the flash when desired. One other option that the camera has is a self timer. Oh, and I almost forgot… There is a tripod socket on the bottom. During my trip I shot around 6 rolls of 24 exposure film with this camera and I think I MAYBE had 1 or two frames where I missed focus. I must say, I was quite pleased with the results.
- Some might say the manual wind and rewind but that does not bother me
- I wish the ISO went up to 1600 or at least 800
- Feels great in the hands
- Great build quality. Built in Japan
- Awesome… Sharp… lens
- flash can be turned on or off by the user
- great battery life
Over the last year or so I’ve been interested in shooting with fully or mostly fully automatic cameras. I found this Nikon RF 2 at a local thrift store and bought it for under $5 U.S. This camera feels good in the hands. While it’s mostly plastic it has more weight than I expected. It’s well built for being all plastic and it was made in Japan.
There is a switch that turns on the camera by opening up the 35mm lens. There are two buttons on top. One triggers the shutter and the other is for the self timer. There is a tripod mount on the bottom. There is one switch on the side which opens up the compartment for the film.
- Well built for being plastic
- Built in Japan
- nice lens
- feels good in the hands
- It is a plastic camera, would rather it be metal
- flash fires when camera thinks necessary (no flash on / off button)