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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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)
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.
- Olympus Trip 35 – The archetypal Classic P&S camera
- Halina Autoflash 35 – With added flash
- Chinon 35 – rare scale focus compact
- Halina 6-4 – Halina zone focus 120 film shooter
- Halina 35-600 at Camera-wiki
- Manual in English and in French at Sylvain Hagland’s site (French)
- Halina Film Camera Club at Flickr
- px625 replacement discussion at small battery Company’s site