Kodak 35 EF : Poundland Challenge Camera No 6

This odd little 80’s Kodak number came amongst a ton of Cameras that I picked up for 99p. This little fixed focus and fixed shutter number however has become a firm favourite

Kodak 35 EF
Kodak 35 EF. Closed (top) and Open with flash up (bottom)

Oddly Kodak had been absent from 35mm camera manufacturing from the last of the Retina Series made at end of the 60’s until 1986 when a group of compacts including the 35 EF arrived . This model was made in Japan and its key feature is the Ektanar Lens which is as we’ll see belies what is otherwise a very simple camera.

one way or another
Lochmaben, 2015. Kodak 35 EF with Kodak BW400CN

Kodak 35 EF  Specs

  • Lens :  Ektanar 35mm 1:4
  • Focus : Fixed
  • Filter : not applicable
  • Shutter :  Fixed 1/125 sec
  • Exposure : Fixed
  • Battery :  2xAAA

Bodywise this model resembles a slew of 80’s compacts. The side grip suggests a motorwind but this a manual thumbwheel advance number. Plastic bodied with a Glass lens, there is very little going on here. Focus and shutter are fixed. A small slider below the lens allows you to adjust the aperture for film speed (100/200 or 400/1000) and erm.. actually that’s all you need.  Just slide open the lens cover  which unlocks the shutter button and shoot.

Non Eclipse
Kodak 35 EF with Kodak BW400CN

The camera will run without batteries but if you pop in not only do they power the manually triggered pop up flash (with an inconvenient switch on base) but also a low light sensor and LED but given shutter and aperture are fixed you don’t actually need it it per se.  The flash has distance scales when popped up which is neat.

Kodak 35 EF with Expired Truprint FG+ 200

All this doesn’t bode well but you forget the Kodak pedigree. They’ve been making simple but good cameras since the 19th Century.

Widow's bequest
The Crichton, 2015. Kodak 35 EF with Kodak BW400CN

The lens is an absolute beaut. For such a simple camera it is insanely sharp with 400 ASA film. The shot above shows just how sharp it can be at both near and far shooting. This is one of the sharpest fixed focus cameras I’ve ever used. That said there is a bit of vignetting with the smaller aperture. For mixed weather (aka as Scottish !!) 400 ASA gives a good range. Flare is pretty minimal for such a cheap cam.

Crichton 2015
Crichton 2015. Kodak 35 EF with expired Truprint FG+ 200. Comparison shot to B&W

For 100-200 ASA you’ll need good weather or be happy to use the flash. In cloudy conditions things a bit softer and underexposed.  In fairness I shot Expired Truprint FG+ 200 which probably is effectively a 100 ASA or less film  and tolerance will also be less. 200ASA probably would be be a bit brighter . That said it became a bit of a lomo style beast with quirky shot potential. Worth noting you might be able to stretch a little bit with 400 ASA in slightly lower light by switching the camera to the 100/200 setting

doo to you
Kodak 35 EF with Expired Truprint FG+ 200

The flash works well enough. Worth noting the rewind knob kinda fell apart so the plastic may not be bearing up that well with time

Why Buy

  • Insanely sharp with 400 ASA
  • No batteries actually required
  • If used just 2 AAA

Why not

  • No controls
  • Limited exposure range (2 aperture settings)
  • Odd flash switch

What I paid, got & sold for

  • part of 99p Camera lot (+£8 P&P) = effectively 12p + £1
  • Came with strap
  • It’s a keeper


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9 thoughts on “Kodak 35 EF : Poundland Challenge Camera No 6”

  1. Just obtained one to have a play with after reading your review. Cost a whopping 3.99 with postage and a Campbell’s soup kids camera (that found its way into the wheelie bin quite quickly).

    Looking at the aperture shape at the 100/200 ASA setting (f/8) it’s no surprise it’s not all that sharp 😮 400 (f/16) at least resembles a more uniform hole.

    I think I’m going to enjoy using it this summer, its, been a while since I last used such a refreshingly simple camera.

  2. Kodak sold 35mm cameras in foreign parts. I bought a one aperture one shutter speed with flash model in Oman around 2000 . On a sunny day with 200asa film pictures are good. Oman has plenty of Sun and heat. 50 in shade one day. Car outside thermometer actually read 52 once. Mitsubishi certainly make good air conditioning units in their cars.

  3. I just got one for six quid including the postage. I’m oddly impressed with it. Mine came with a pouch case and the tattered instruction manual full of important and useful info like the shutter speed, aperture values, and even the flash guide number (12).

    The take up spool looks like serious business and I like the shutter lock combined with lens cover too.

    The whole thing seems functionally comparable to my Konica Pop, although admittedly not so pretty. Well done Kodak.

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