This wacky fixed focus number arrived early on into the Poundland challenge. This quirky 2 lens camera was also sold as Cronus 35DL and Kin Son 35 DL and is closely related to the Miranda TL-200 and its clones. Sadly mines arrive with some batteries in – possible the most corroded batteries I’ve ever had. But could I get it working and was it worth the effort ?
Yes and probably not was the answer.
The batteries had to literally be pulled apart to get out ( hot tip I wish I’d known – take out screw in the tripod socket and then remove the screw on the opposite side just above the base and you’ll be able to slide the base off giving more access). I lost part of the contact in the top of the battery compartment but have been able carefully wedge a bit of tin foil in to make contact. The batteries however aren’t needed to operate the camera per se.
Hanimex 35 DL Specs
- Wide Lens : 34mm 1:5.6
- Tele Lens : 44mm 1:8
- Focus : Fixed
- Metering : None active
- Shutter : 1/125sec fixed
- Batteries : 2xAA
- Film Advance : Manual
- Filter-Thread : N/A
The camera is about the same size as any cheap compact of the time. Plastic bodied but its Most string feature and USP is glass lenses set up. Like a vintage movie camera you can rotate the lens barrel and switch between a ‘Tele’ and ‘Wide’ lens. This is pretty novel but bear in mind that the jump is just from 34 to 44mm, so the term ‘Tele’ is bordering the Trades Description Act. The simple viewfinder is marked with framelines for both and a plastic spike on the lens appears in the viewfinder to remind you it’s set to Tele. The above shot shows the minimal impact of changing lens.
There is a tripod screwpoint but that’s it.
The batteries serve 2 purposes. Firstly to power the manual triggered flash and secondly to power the low light sensor and LED. A slider on rear adjusts the low light warning for 100, 200 & 400 asa. But they don’t impact the actual basic camera which is purely mechanical. There is no metering as such (the film speed switch on back is just for the sensor). The shutter speed is fixed and the aperture doesn’t adjust except when you slide on the flash and manually an aperture ring is removed widening the aperture. Under normal conditions the Lenses are probably fixed at f/11 for wide and f/16 for Tele.
And it shows. You don’t want to be shooting without flash in less than light cloud with 100 or 200asa. I ran a roll through with Agfaphoto Vista Plus 200 and the results were pretty disappointing except in good light. Things were better exposure wise with 400asa which worked okay on cloudy days.
Focus is obviously fixed and is probably best around 3 meters. I’ve seen on-line suggestions that the lens can focus to 1.2m on wide and 1.5m on Tele. Distance is poorer but no worse than many fixed focus numbers. As the aperture is smaller on Tele shots tended to be slightly better with that lens. Vignetting is more obvious on the wide setting and I suspect there is some grot in the lens from the leaked batteries giving rise to the flair. Both lenses are prone to distortion at distance
- Twin lens
- Uses AA batteries
- Twin lens not much different
- Not best lenses
- Exposure limited especially with 200asa or lower
What I paid, got & sold for
- 99p plus £2.80 postage
- Came with case and corroded batteries
- Can’t sell or give to charity.
Nice idea with switchable lens but given the focal length difference pretty pointless. The Goko UF is a much sharper fixed everything flash compact despite having a plastic lens for 200asa shooting. The Miranda TL 200 was slightly different styled but only had a 100/200 & 400 asa switch. Don’t pay a lot and watch out for batteries !!!!!
- Goko UF – Much better fixed everything flash shooter
- Halina Micro 35 – Stylished fixed focus flash number
- Kodak 35 EF – 80’s styled fixed everything Kodak compact