Who knew? I didn’t until I opened a video camera remote control and found these gems sitting inside since around 2004.
Astro Boy on a pair of Sony AA batteries – expired 11/2005 and they didn’t leak! High-quality batteries made by Sony in Japan. If your a fan of Anime and Manga then these are right up your alley. I understand these were produced in a limited run back in the early 2000s. I’m just happy that they didn’t destroy my remote. Hooray for Mighty Atom!
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 (?).
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…
Fujifilm = Fuji Fun! Here’s a simple but fun to use point and shoot 35mm film camera from Fuji Photo Film Company – 1993. It’s hard to imagine that this camera is now over 25-years-old and it’s never been used.
It features a Fujinon f8 34mm lens with 3 elements in 3 groups. The shutter operates from 1/40 to 1/600 of a second. Built-in automatic flash and of course, red-eye reduction.
The Discovery line from Fuji was very popular with a ton of models produced in the early 1990s. The Discovery 90 Date listed for ¥18,500 in 1993 (about $160 USD).
It has some pretty nice features for such an easy to use camera. That’s the original film that came with the set – it’s expired but still usable.
I replaced the original CR2025 battery with a fresh one and reset the date.
These “Plastic Fantastic” cameras are a joy to use and with its Fujinon 34mm lens produced some quality images especially loaded with Fujicolor film.
Thanks for stopping by and have a fantastic Sunday! – Chris
From 1952, a little known Japanese lens maker produced this super nice Leica screw mount telephoto lens. The Arco Colinar 13.5cm f/3.8 short telephoto.
It was one of the first lenses produced by this start-up company. The serial number, No. 27559 gives a clue as to when it was made. The ’27’ is the Showa year and when converted to our Western calendar is 1952 (27 + 25 = 52). The remaining numbers would indicate the number made up to that point. In this case, it is the 559th made.
I believe it is a chromed brass bodied lens as it weighs 615 grams. Lots of brass and glass in a small package.
Test image from about 10 feet at f/11.
Test image from about 15 feet at f/11.
The lens is designed for 35mm rangefinder cameras that use the Leica LTM/L39 screw mount – Leica, Nicca, Canon, Leotax to name just a few.
The lens was mounted on my Fujifilm X-A10 mirrorless digital camera using a Fotodiox M39-FX adapter. I’m very happy with the performance of this classic and a rather rare lens that’s still going strong after 68 years of service.
Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful day! – Chris
Here’s a seldom-seen “system camera” from Miranda first released in 1965. The Miranda G was a one-hit-wonder and was quickly replaced with metered models. I think it was called the Miranda GT when a metered pentaprism was added.
Exploded view of the Miranda G. Up to three viewfinders were available for use in the system.
A fast Auto Miranda wide-angle lens (made by Soligor?) – f/2.8 2.8cm
A focal-plane shutter with speeds from bulb to 1/1000 second.
There are 8 different focusing screens available for this model.
This beast weighs in at 877 grams as pictured minus film and batteries. Wait, there’s no batteries as this is the meterless prism. Time to break out your hand-held meter because this is basic photography 101 – pure analog.
I wanted to post an advertisement from around 1965 or so with the Miranda G but I couldn’t find any. The G is rather uncommon in any condition.
Here’s an advertisement that appeared in the Asahi Camera Yearbook 1958.
Leotax TV advertisement from Asahi Camera Yearbook 1958. Other than this ad, I haven’t seen any other mention that the TV was also known as the Silhouette. Leotax went on to name two other cameras – Merite and Elite.
It’s important to point out that Leotax, for the most part, did not engrave the names of their cameras on the top plates so you won’t find cameras that have Silhouette, Merite, or Elite on them. So far I’ve seen these names in advertisements, in a sales brochure, and on a box.
My box with the name Merite vice Merit as it is incorrectly known.
Flyer from 1959 clearly shows the camera as being the Merite.
If you’d like to know more about the Leotax Camera Company please visit my good friend Paul Sokk’s site at http://www.yashicatlr.com/Leotax.html. Paul’s done an excellent job at compiling some of the best information anywhere about Leotax (and a bunch of other things too).
Thanks for stopping by and if you have anything you’d like to share with me about Leotax please do so in the comments. I would especially like to see more examples of Leotax boxes and advertisements (and brochures). – Chris