Halina 35-600 Review : 70’s noir shooter

Halina 35-600
Halina 35-600 35mm Compact

The Halina 35-600 is one of Haking’s most stylish compact  camera from the 70’s. But is this zone focus, auto-exposure Olympus Trip 35 clone any good ?

You can also find it rebadged as the Prinz Saturn 35 Auto,  Hanimex Compact A and Hitawa.

No longer sharpening
Halina 35-600 with Ilford XP2 at box speed, Keswick, March 2014

Halina 35-600 Specs

  • Lens:  40mm 1:2.8
  • Focus: Zone (4)
  • Metering: Automatic, CdS
  • Aperture: f/2.8 – f/22
  • Shutter: 1/40 or 1/200
  • EV (100asa) :  8-17
  • ASA:  25-400ASA
  • Filter-Thread: 46mm

Mechanically this camera is a revised version of the Halina 500. Both are 4 zone focus compacts and have very similar features to the Olympus Trip 35 -the focusing zone (0.8, 1.5, 3m and infinity), auto exposure with 2 shutter speeds. Like the Trip you set the focus by turning a ring on the lens with a series of pictograms (however unlike the trip this can’t be seen from the viewfinder. Also like the trip a second ring allows you to which from auto exposure (A) to flash settings.

Separated at Birth ?
Olympus Trip 35 (l) and Halina 35-600 (r). Taken on Nikkormat EL with 50mm 1:1.4

Like the Trip, if light is too low on the metering a red flag appears in the viewfinder and the shutter is locked and you can half depress the shutter to lock exposure.

If light is low you can try and sneak off a shot by turning the aperture setting to f/2.8.  This flash mode will lock the shutter at the lower speed and the aperture will open up to set the set value if the light levels allow (the metering still kicks in so if you try this in bright light even if set at f/2.8 the aperture will remain small.

This system works well and generally gets it right although the Trip is better at it. Worth noting however the metering is a bttery driven CdS system.

Railings on Abbey Street
Halina 35-600 with Agfaphoto Vista Plus 400, Carlisle 2013

The metering system used a now defunct 1.35v  px625 mercury cell (aka MR9) but there are loads of solutions to this. The cheapest is a alkaline V625U cell but this is best avoided as voltage declines from 1.5v . You can use a cheap hearing zinc air 1.4v 675 cell  with some padding which closely matches the voltage although only lasts a few month. The specialist zinc air Wein 625 cells are a match in size and last a bit longer but often cost as much as the camera.  I’ve used oth the zinc air options but also use a MR-9  adaptor that takes a smaller 1.5v 386 silver oxide cell and adjust the output to 1.35v

Prinz Saturn 35 Auto
Prinz Saturn 35 Auto version

Stylistically the Halina 35-600 improves on it’s predecessor the 500. It looks much more stylish in its noir clothes like a classic Japanese compact of the 70’s, although the crown is a bit cheezy. The rebdages fair better without.

The shutter button is moved to top but still has cable release. The Filter thread is the more common 46mm.

Heavenly storm
Halina 35-600 with Agfaphoto Vista Plus 200, 2014

So how does it shoot?

Exposure wise pretty good, this is a proper EV17 shooter. Focus and the lens is not bad. Okay it’s not as sharp in low light and more prone to flare than a Trip but it’s not too bad. Unlike the trip you can’t see the focus settings from the viewfinder

Halina 35-600 with K2 yellow filter and Ilford XP2 at box speed, 2014

Okay so so far you’re thinking it’s basically a trip clone but it needs batteries and the optics aren’t just as sharp. But it does have one surprise. Remove the battery and you get a fully manual shooter (abet with a single shutter speed of 1/40)

Lucky 7s
Halina 35-600 without battery and with K2 yellow filter. Shot on Ilford XP2

I like the camera a lot and it generally delivers. It’s manual mode is another handy quirk. The main issue is the battery but this isn’t a major one. They pop up on ebay for under a tenner pretty often. Make sure corrosion isn’t an issue in the battery compartment. The hard case is nice but not essential.

Man with Umbrella fights Giant Dog
Halina 35-600 without battery and with K2 yellow filter. Shot on Ilford XP2 2014


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9 thoughts on “Halina 35-600 Review : 70’s noir shooter”

  1. Hi do you still have this camera? I opened my hanimax compact A up to glue the film count dial back on and there was a dislodged metal part just drifting around in the top. It seems to work without t but I was wondering if you could assist me by opening up your top cover and sending me a photo. Thank you

    1. Hi yes I do but I almost destroyed my Halina 500 by doing the same repair as you as I snagged a wire and broke it. I’m reluctant to open up the 35-600 unless I really have to sorry.

  2. I just bought one of these on Ebay. It has an alkaline 1.5v battery fitted and seems to be working. How do I know when the battery has expired/run out, if the camera will still function without one? Does the shutter fail to respond (on A) in the event of no power?

  3. Hello,
    with regards to the shutter speeds do the f/stops all apply the same with a working battery? E.G the photos will not be overexposed using f/16 in daylight.


    1. Like the Olympus Trip in Flash mode the shutter is fixed at 1/40.

      In terms of the aperture my understanding is the sensor still reacts to light with the battery in just like the Olympus Trip 35 does. So if you set the flash aperture setting to f/2.8 (i.e aperture wide open) and try shooting into the sun the aperture wont open as wide as f/2.8 (this makes these cameras pretty good for fill in flash with a bright backdrop like a sunset). This however allows you to exploit the flash settings to shoot in a quasi-manual mode with the shutter fixed at 1/40. You can determine the maximal aperture width the camera can open to although the auto exposure will compensate for light. So for example say you’re shooting with 100 ISO film in bright set the aperture to f/8. In bright daylight (EV14-15) the metering will kick in and only allow the aperture to open to around f/16 to f/22 but move indoors to lower light and you metering might want to open up to f/4 but it can’t open beyond the set f/8.

      With the battery out the camera functions as fully manual at 1/40

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