There’s a lot of basic point and shoot 35mm cameras…some are duds but there are some great ones to be had.
I came across this camera when I was originally looking for a Canon 35AFML which has a bit of a following and as a result more than i’m willing to pay for.
This camera is part of the same family and from 1986. It doesn’t seem to be common to find in the uk and it was very cheap in comparison to its older brother.
I wanted something that’s lightweight and completely automatic…. this fit the bill.
So why do I like it? Versatility..and so far its delivered very competent results. I have discovered a quirk but I’ll get to that later…
So lets have a look!
I’ve read this camera being described as ugly…I actually like how it looks. Very similar to Canons GX digital cameras. The grip is comfortable and buttons are nicely laid out for easy access. The camera is plastic fantastic but its that durable kind that certainly has lasted the years. My copy is in physically mint condition.
The camera takes 2CR5 batteries (seems to be a common 80s Canon battery) to operate and you have to physically unscrew the grip to place in the batteries.
Loading film is easy. The camera auto winds on and will rewind when you finish your roll..if it doesn’t you can rewind using the tiny button underneath the camera.
To switch the camera on you flip the dial on the side of the lens. Flipping it back will switch off and slide the lens protector on.
On the top you have your common shutter button (looks like a smartie) self timer and shot counter.
The camera has a very nice 40mm f2.8 lens that extends to tele at 70mm f4.9. I found the lens to be very sharp at both distances. And having two focal lengths gives you a bit extra versatility when out shooting.
Here is how the camera looks at 40mm & 70mm.
To change between focal lengths you use the slider button on the back of the camera. Its makes a noisy clunk sound when flipping between the lengths. This camera is not for stealth!
Also on the rear you have flash control (on,auto and off). Having the ability to switch off the flash is very handy.
There is a few creative extras on the camera…you can do multiple exposures using the ME button. There’s an exposure compensation button and a soft lens filter included if required..I’ve heard its crappy and too soft (it is just plastic) so I don’t use it…actually I haven’t used any of these options so at present cant report on how well they work.
The viewfinder is a reasonable size for a point and shoot. You have your basic framing guide and a light blinks on to confirm focus and another for flash.
Overall the camera is just so easy to use and having the two focal lengths gives you a bit more freedom when shooting. Its relatively fast focusing and generally nails the shot i’m after…except when using the flash!
I have had a few instances where I thought I got the shot with the flash enabled but when getting the pictures back I have found it to have locked focus in the background but not on the subject. This could be due to me not allowing the focus to correct itself or that the ye olde prefocus mechanism isn’t foolproof (this camera guesses the focus before using the built in sensors and focuses the lens only until after you press the shutter)
Aside from that little niggle the flash is actually very good and not too harsh.
I love using this “ugly” camera and take with me quite regularly.
Here’s some pictures taken with the SureShot Tele/Top Twin.. (Agfa vista + 200 some converted to b&w)
70mm (+ flash)