Why do I like this 80’s ugly, plasticky fixed focus oddity from Pentax. Probably because it delivers the best shots of any fixed focus camera I own.
Soviet manufacturer Lomo is best known these days for the LC-A that arguably launched the whole Lomography movement. But they produced a range of other cameras which have some cachet including the Lubitel series of Twin Lens Reflex Cameras. Infact the Lubitel lives on in manufacture these days with the LSI produced 166+. Now this will set you back almost 300 GBP for which isn’t really an option for the Canny photographer. Luckily you can buy its 1980’s predecessor for much less in working order.
These 60’s viewfinder point and shoot cameras drew influences from the German models of the day. But how do they fare as a retro shooter today and compared to their 70’s successors the Halina 2000 & 3000 ?
Minolta’s Hi-matic series of compact cameras span more than 20 years of production and were usually rangefinders such as the well-regarded Hi-matic 7sII. However the series also gave rise to a few Point & Shoot (P&S) most notably the Hi-matic G launched in 1974.
The Minister III is one in a long line of great Rangefinders from Yashica. This beauty in chrome popped up at the start of the 60’s and is good choice for an uncoupled rangefinder of the era
The Diana Mini has been one of Lomography Society International (LSI) best-selling products and is a gorgeous re-imaging of their simple 120 film Diana F+ in mini form taking 35mm film. But like its big brother, it is a camera of 2 halves good and bad. But do those halves balance out in this toy class manual shooter ?
The 1970’s were the heyday of the fixed lens compact rangefinder. Truth be told there can be little to pick from these beauties with the Konica C35 series leading the pack. The Ricoh 500RF and its posher brother the 500G manage to stand out from the crowd as they offer some of the best user control of exposure in the class. Continue reading Ricoh 500RF Review : The Control Freak’s Compact Rangefinder
The Agfa Isoly is perhaps one of the most influencial basic 120 point and shooters there has ever been, setting the scene for the Diana cameras and their more recent re-birth with LSI’s Diana F+. But how does this classic stack up ? Continue reading Agfa Isoly I Review : The camera that launched a 1000 clones
The 1970s were the heyday of consumer compact rangefinder. Many models such as the Konica C35 or the Olympus 35 RC are rightly hailed as classics but that means other models are often overlooked that were rivals at the time. The good news is that you can get crackers like the 35EE for a song.
Lomography’s plastic classic left me strangely disappointed when it arrived. I’d been impressed by its little brother, the Diana Mini, but this seemed a shoddier affair and worryingly idiosyncratic. However a few rolls later and I’m warming to it. Continue reading Diana F+ Review : Or How I Learned to love the Plastic bomb