|Konica C35 EF With Kodak Colour Plus 200|
|Konica C35 Stock Picture|
It's certainly an eye-catcher. I paid $10 for it. Too much? Who cares. It has a 38mm f2.8 Auto-Exposure, manual focus lens, all metal construction, a good textured grip, exceptionally good mechanics as felt by the film advance, Cds Exposure meter which is highly visible in the bright viewfinder, and a self-timer. There's also a built-in flash powered by two AA batteries. The Exposure Meter is powered by a small mercury button battery, or equivalent. Exposure Mode is strictly Automatic, although the film ISO is manually set on the front of the lens, so a +- EV can be achieved by setting this above or below the rated film speed. The focus is similar to the Olympus Trip-35, with four select-able Zones (in-between stops would make it eight). Also, similar to the Trip-35 is the combined two-bladed Leaf Shutter / Aperture; an arrangement which I feel is for cost-cutting, and probably has a negative effect on image quality. Let the results speak for themselves:
|Konica C-35 EF|
|Back to the Konica|
|Konica C-35 EF with B&W By DxO FilmPack 3.0|
It's also a good camera to compare with the Russian made Smena Symbol. The Konica C-35 uses "symbols" for Zone Focus, whereas the Smena uses them for exposure, by setting the shutter speed. It is a totally different way of thinking, but these are certainly two cameras that compete in the same class. The Smena is totally manual and does not use batteries, nor (naturally) is there a built-in flash. However, the Smena separates the Leaf Shutter from the Aperture, both of which are multi-bladed, which is a far superior choice of mechanism, and I believe the results show it - the Smena Symbol might be quirky, fully manual with no light meter which might slow you down, and, except for the lens barrel, is all plastic, but I believe it is the better camera as far as image quality is concerned. Here's a little reminder:
|Smena Symbol with Kodak Color Plus 200|
Note that all of these cameras are contenders in the realm of "Lomography", which is a phenomena that is growing way beyond adherence to cameras built in the Russian Belomo factory. Lomographer Blogs are popping up everywhere with reviews of all of these cheap, but very effective cameras.
I scan all of my film using the lowly Epson Perfection V500 Flatbed Scanner. It is a great scanner for these kinds of low-end cameras, but I've found that in doing scans of my Canon EOS series, for which I share lenses between both film and 35mm digital bodies, the scanner becomes the weak link, although with some tweaking and know-how, it is certainly adequate. But at this exceptionally fun end of the camera spectrum that has become known as "Lomography", the V500 easily reveals the differences from one camera to another using the same film, which means it is more than adequate.
In my heart, film photography certainly lives on, and I'm hoping that it will still be around for many years to come.