Fuji Fail-ed… Discovery S700 Zoom Date

It was bound to happen. One klunker out of a bunch of good ones isn’t bad. We think it isn’t so much a bad build as possibly improperly stored… maybe.

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Another in the long line of plastic fantastic Fujifilm cameras from the late 1990s.

Part of the Discovery series of compact 35mm point and shoots from Fuji Photo Film. This one came to us still new in the box, unused but maybe stored in a too hot environment. Some of the plastic bag protecting the camera became stuck to the back film door (see below). This one is, using a nautical term, dead in the water. Despite a new battery, the camera won’t fire the flash and the shutter works intermittently or not at all. The power zoom works but beyond that, nothing else. Possibly a short in the circuitry caused by the hot storage (pure speculation).

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Sticky residue on the film door from the factory plastic bag. So far it’s resisted all attempts at cleaning it off.

When the battery was first inserted for the date mode, this is the programmed date that popped up. We’re thinking it may be the build year. Why not?

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Talking about the date mode battery, what a pain to change it! Number one, it’s not even mentioned in the owner’s manual for starters. It takes a CR2025 3V lithium button battery but it wasn’t mentioned. Take a peek at what it takes to get at it… ⇓

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Remove 6 screws and the film pressure plate, the battery cover and then peel up 2 felt light seals!

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That baby was buried and stuck down with the light seals!

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Back together.

Anyway, it’s a good looking camera and may have been fun to use.

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Oh and the remote control (below), no mention of that battery either.

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Another CR2025 button battery.

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We’ve had great results with our other Fujifilm Discovery series cameras in the past. No reason to believe the series is not worthy of a look. Having said that, this is a new camera that’s never been used and still failed – but that’s why there’s warranties.

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Quick specs: Lens Fujinon 35-70mm electronic zoom, 5 elements in 5 groups. DX coded for ISO 100/400. Continuous shooting at 1 frame per second. Weight 235 grams with battery and data back.

Can we recommend the S700 Zoom Date? Well no. There are much better models out there from Fuji. Stick with the longer zoom models still built in Japan.

Thanks for your visit! Comments always welcome.

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Chris

 

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Canon Sure Shot Zoom S – S AF (1989)

Part of the “Modern Classics” series of our collection. This one is from mid 1993. One of the more sophisticated AF point and shoot (click) plastic fantastic 35mm cameras of the 1990s. There were two versions of this camera – this one, the Sure Shot Zoom S and the Sure Shot Caption Zoom (with removable remote control).

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As released from the factory – still new in the box.

The zooming range covers 38-60mm. Other features include auto focus, auto film load, advance wind, auto flash and auto macro. Canon claims it has an improved autofocus control – ‘Evaluative Active System’  that looks at the entire frame and recognizes the main subject based on its distance to the camera (sounds pretty standard to me). Anyway they made a big deal about it in the owner’s manual.

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The Canon lens is Spectra-coated and is constructed with 6 elements in 6 groups. I assume it’s glass.

Canon recommends using DX-coded film. The camera automatically sets ISO 50-3200. Non DX-coded film will set to ISO 100.

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Well placed shutter release button and large LCD. The auto flash feature can be turned off. What I found surprising was that there was no “Red Eye” reduction system available. Probably too early for that.

The Canon Sure Shot Zoom S features a 3-zone metering, AE programmed system that focuses from about 60cm to infinity. It uses one 6V lithium battery (2CR5) which is still readily available (I just purchased one for $7 with free shipping).

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Nice centered viewfinder that is bright and well marked. Super simple back with easy to find and use on-off button.

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The TILT lever is pretty cool – it has two positions when you pull it out. When setting the camera down on a flat surface (like a table) for taking selfies, it tilts the camera slightly upward so as not to get the table or whatever in the pic.

The camera is large for a point and shoot – weighs in at 384 grams with the battery and compared to the 1980 model Canon A-1 35mm SLR, almost as large!

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The Sure Shot is a large camera – it fits very nicely in my hands and feels solid. The buttons are all recessed so it does take a bit of finger olympics to push them all the way in. By the way, the A-1 with my FD 24mm lens weighs in at 934 grams!

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As you hear us say all the time, if you want to collect modern film cameras from the 1980s and 1990s, the best way is if you can find a complete original set, new in the box. Why not if they’re still out there and available. They don’t make them anymore and some of these cameras are quite capable of outstanding images – some would spend crazy money on the more well known cameras for almost unnoticeable differences in the final image (especially since most people don’t enlarge and print images anymore) and scanned to a PC they’ll look just fine on a high quality monitor.

Pick up one of these Sure Shots and I’m sure you’ll be impressed with it.

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Chris

Fujifilm Discovery S100 – 1999

Another Fuji for our “Modern Series” collection. Why collect plastic cameras from the 1990s? Because they’re out there and they’re still in the box new!

If you’re a collector of vintage camera equipment, how many times have you wished that you’d kept all the original boxes that came with your then new Canon, or Nikon or whatever? The old saying, “they don’t make them like they used to anymore” is as true today as it was 50 years ago. Yeah, in 2021 the original Canon F-1 will turn 50 years old! Amazing for me to think that I remember reading about the new F-1 in the photo mags of the day and looking for it at my favorite camera dealer’s shop. If only I had kept the boxes! If only I had bought two instead of just one and kept the second one locked away unused! Wow, that would be nice but it would have been a really bad return on my initial “investment”.

More to the point of this post. Someday these plastic fantastic, point and shoot 35mm compact cameras of the 1980s, 1990s and even the 2000s, will be worth collecting. Notice I didn’t say “worth something”. It’s a chance to have a collection of cameras that represented some pretty amazing technological breakthroughs of their era. And if you start collecting them now, you’ll be able to still get them absolutely new in the box unused. We happen to find collecting these inexpensive cameras a whole lot of fun – it’s like Christmas morning never ends!

Here’s our latest find –

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From 1999 – this little Fuji came as part of a neat kit that included a fresh roll of Fujicolor, a case and coupons for up to $10 off on film and processing.

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Toys

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When the lens cover is slid open the flash automatically pops up.

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Takes 2 AA batteries and a flat watch battery (CR2025).

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Original battery still going strong 17 years into the future!

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Super nice case and a fresh roll of Superia that expired in 2000.

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Fuji Photo Film Company made millions of these type of cameras in the 1980s and 90s. Finding them still in the box new is what makes collecting them fun.

“Tech Specs” – Fujinon Lens 32mm, f/ 4.5, 3 elements in 3 groups – autofocus 1 meter to ∞ – programmed electronic shutter (1/30 to 1/250 sec) – DX coding – auto film advance and auto rewind – built-in flash – self-timer – date function – about 185g

Oh and the date function is good up until 2049! No worries there!

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Chris

 

 

 

Fujifilm Smart Shot Deluxe – 1994

The Fujifilm Smart Shot Deluxe is one of the most basic modern cameras we have in our collection. It’s interesting to note that Fuji returned to using Fujifilm in its name with this camera vice using simply Fuji.

It was released in September 1994. It’s super small (compact) and lightweight (175g) but still featured drop-in loading and motor drive. It came packaged with Fujicolor Super G Plus 400 film and the box was designed with a hang tag for sale next to their films. The shutter is fixed at 1/100th of a second and the aperture is fixed at f8. Fixed focus is from 1.3 meters to infinity.

*** Please note: If you know what the U.S. (or MSRP in Japan) selling price was in 1994 that would be great! We have ¥12,000 which seems a tad high. Thanks ^.^

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One of the advertising tag lines for the Fujifilm Smart Shot series was – “a smart shot, a good price, a firm picture, a camera that looks good if you go for fun”! That may not be the best translation in the world but I think you get the idea.

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Fujinon f8 33mm plastic lens.

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Built-in motor drive and motorized film rewind. Sliding lens cover and crazy big flash button.

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Film view window and a cool Fujifilm logo on the back.

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Still made in Japan at this point in time which is surprising as most of the simple Fuji cameras were made elsewhere.

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Back in 1994 when this camera set was released, it came with a fresh roll of Fujicolor 400 film and 2 AA batteries. The film is a touch out of date.

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The owner’s manual is more of a fold out pamphlet and shares info with the Clear Shot Plus. The oversized button on the front left of the lens is the flash button. You press it and hold it until the flash ready comes on then you push the shutter release button on the top right. It’s odd that the flash “on” button is so big – designed to make it look maybe more sophisticated or cute.

I’m sure Fuji sold a bunch as they were nearly a disposable camera with a free roll of film and came with rebates for additional savings on film purchases.

I would say it’s a bit better than average for a mid 1990s camera and free film never hurts sales!

Thanks for your visit!

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Chris

Fuji Discovery 900 Zoom Plus – 1991

From the Fuji Photo Film Company, Limited, Tokyo.

Actually quite a sophisticated 35mm compact autofocus camera from the early 1990s – during the compact camera war period where each manufacturer was trying to cram as many features into as small a package as they could. In the case of this Fuji, it came pretty close to having everything except the compact part.

Which in the case of this camera, is a very good thing in our opinion. It has a wonderful feel to it – it has some heft (362 g without battery and film) and fits nicely into your grip. It’s plastic but with a host of motors and what not the weight goes up which helps to hold it steady when taking a picture.

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It was packaged in a descriptive and colorful box that included a roll of Fujicolor film, a lithium battery (which was still working after 24 years!), a padded strap and a series of 3 HG Creative Exposure cards for exposure compensation. The film expired in May 1994.

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We think it’s one of the better designed compact 35s of that era – beautiful lines and a quality fit and finishes. It was made in Japan – and it appears that it was also assembled there as well. The June issue of Popular Photography has it listed as $299.95 as the manufacturer’s suggested retail price! I believe that gives some clue as to the design that Fuji put into this nice update to their Discovery 900.

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The Discovery comes with a Fujinon 38-85mm power zoom lens (f/3.8 – 8.2) and uses a 3 zone multi-beam autofocus system. Focuses close-up to 29.5 inches and the AF focuses from .75 meter to infinity.

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The Fujinon lens consists of 7 components, 7 elements. The programmed electronic shutter operates from 1/8 to 1/250 second.

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The top view is simple and uncluttered. The HG card slot is in the center (where a hot shoe would be). It has a sequential self-timer and the power zoom buttons are on the far right. It also features drop-in film loading and uses DX coding with ISO 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1600 DX-coded films.

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This camera was a presentation camera to the employees (?) of the plant – or maybe the plant only got one. It is in mint never used condition so I’m guessing it never took pictures of their cement pipes at the plant. Our first thought was to remove the plaque, but it is well designed and affixed properly so it’s best to leave it be. Besides, it helps to date the camera and that’s okay with us.

The little Pac Man looking symbol and slide lever opens and closes the lens cover and activates the camera. The landscape button on the left helps the AF system to fix a distant focus at infinity or at least takes an average focus from the scene. We love the centered viewfinder – it provides a nice bright view of the composition.

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The Fuji Discovery 900 Zoom Plus 35mm camera.

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The Fuji Discovery 90 Date – a smaller and less feature-packed cousin to the 900.

We think Fuji did well with this sophisticated camera and can’t wait for a field test! Soon!

Thanks for your visit.

Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Chris

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Yashica MF-2 Super… 1986

We don’t often collect modern Yashica cameras – especially during Yashica’s last days after Kyocera (Kill-a-Yashica) took over.

This one was sent to us by a Flickr friend and as you can see, it’s new in the original box. The MF-2 Super is a DX camera which sensed the DX code on the 35mm film canister and set the appropriate ASA / ISO / DIN.

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Yashica MF-2 Super 35mm film camera set from 1986.

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We haven’t found the time to load a roll of film and check out this little beauty… soon we hope. We like the black, red and gold details on the body and lens and the auto everything (almost) features. As a comparison, we also have the Fujica DL-20 as pictured below in the sales brochure.

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DL-20 in black and red.

The DL-20 is a mid-1990s camera from Fujica. We have the red body model and it would be fun to take the two (Yashica MF-2 Super and the Fujica) out for a side by side photo shoot. Sounds like we’re going to be busy in 2018 shooting a bit more film.

Thanks for your visit!

Chris & Carol