No Love Fuji? The Discovery 90 Date

The plastic fantastic wonders of the 1980s and 1990s generally receive no love – especially looking back on them with our digitized eyeballs in 2017. These overlooked (even when new for the most part) cameras were the bridge cameras for many photographers that were moving away from their bulky SLRs from the 1970s and looking for something easy, carefree and light to take with them on short outings and family get togethers. The 35mm format was the clear winner in the format wars, now manufacturers wanted think-free 35s that were as easy to use as falling outta bed (?).

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This Fuji Discovery 90 Date was introduced in May 1993 to an already crowded plastic 35mm marketplace. So how to stand out? Drop-in loading, auto focus, auto exposure auto rewind and auto wind was a good start. A big bright viewfinder centered over the lens – and macro capability (23 1/2 inches / 60cm). Auto flash. How about a good price too? And free film? Free batteries… sure. $10 in coupons too!!! Fuji did everything it could to sell these things, and they did alright too. It helps that you make film.

We like our recently acquired Fuji… it feels balanced in my hand and I like the big centered viewfinder. The lens is a Fujinon f8 34mm lens – we can’t wait to run a roll through it to test it out. By the way, the Fujicolor expired in May 1997.

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Thanks for your visit… check back when we run a roll through it. Do you have a favorite plastic fantastic camera? Let us know.

Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Chris

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Yashica Flex AS-II by Yashima Optical

One of the original group of 6 cameras that Yashica (Yashima Optical Industries Company, Ltd.) made in the early to mid 1950s. This AS-II was introduced in 1954 and featured a built-in (well, attached) light meter. They’re solid cameras these early Yashica TLRs, and in our opinion, had some underrated features as well as great lenses. The light meter was made by Sekonic by the way.

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Yashica Flex AS-II with built-in light meter (just visible on the camera’s left side). The light meter’s cells were located under the nameplate and were exposed by lifting up the nameplate flap.

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The AS-II featured Yashimar lenses that were made by Tomioka Optical for Yashica. A Copal shutter with a blazing fast 1/200 top speed!

If you’re in the market for a vintage Yashica TLR then the AS-II should be on your list. Be advised that most will not have a working light meter – if you get one with one it’s a bonus. They are a bit hard to find – 63 year old cameras don’t often look this good or work perfectly. We were lucky as we were able to purchase this one from a collector in the US for a reasonable price.

Taken on the US Post Office steps in downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida. The post office dates to 1911.

Camera: Samsung Galaxy S4

Chris