There are already several articles about the Samsung Fino 70s online, so I am not going to review this camera but talk about my experiences with the one I had kept in a closet for more than 20 years.
Theoretically, this camera does it all, winds the film, reads the ISO, focuses, decides to use the flash or not, selects aperture and speed, goes to the next photo and rewinds when the film runs out. It is frankly boring, but I have nothing against it. I bought it for my wife in the hope that she would take pictures and (selfishly) I would be in them. But it has been unused, so I decided I could take photos with it, just point and shooting, all automatic – I just threw a film and got on with it.
I bought the correct CR123A battery, a roll of Kodak Color Plus 200 and got ready to start the job. I did not expect problems since the Samsung Fino 70s was effectively new, but I was wrong! I installed the roll and when closing the back cover the closing latch broke. It was a new camera! Was! Frustratingly, the film that had loaded into the camera suddenly rewound back our of the camera and disappeared inside the canister before I could stop it. I don’t have a film retriever, so I couldn’t get it back out either.
Desperately, I decided to use a Kodak Gold 200 film that expired in 2004. Learning from the previous experience, I quickly fastened the camera back cover with adhesive tape. During the first photos the tape came unstuck and I thought that several negatives would be fogged, but fortunately it turned out fine.
My experiences handling using the Samsung Fino 70s would be best described as uncomfortable. I am only an amateur but I have been taking photos since the days when the Sunny 16 was the normal was to shoot – without a light meter, or even a rangefinder. I like to control the camera and not have the camera control me. Regardless, I went ahead and took the 36 (sorry 37) photos the roll of film gave me, looking for all kinds of scenarios and scenes to shoot in Barcelona. I did not know what the camera was doing, I could only decide to use the flash or not, or use the timer or not. I was not even sure what I saw in the viewfinder was going to be what I saw on the photo.
The artisan from the Joma store in Barcelona developed the roll for me. Unfortunately, it didn’t cooperate with me in terms of helping me achieve good results. The photos came out dark with excessive grain and lackluster color. This didn’t surprise me due to the age of the film.
I will tell you that the Samsung Fino 70s is capable of taking macro photos, but in the only one I shot it decided to focus on a distant background, it was frustrating. Partly it was my fault because I ignored the parallax correction lines in the viewfinder that asked to modify the point of view when shooting – but I’m still not sure why it didn’t focus on the near subject.
I did also allowed myself to process one of the Samsung Fino 70s photos to find out what could be obtained were I to spend some time processing the image to my taste.
While I was shooting the photos, I found a store that was selling the same camera and I took a picture of the shop window. The shot I took with the Samsung Fino 70s was out of focus – this camera kept on hating me! A few days later I returned with my Sony to take another shot for this article. Curiously the price had risen from 65 to 75 EUR…
If I didn’t know better, I would say that this Samsung Fino 70s was bewitched, or in some other way was trying to work against me. But that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. In many ways, I am much more satisfied than I would have been had everything turned out perfect. If I wanted perfect, I could have just taken out my Sony. Without difficulty, there can be no sense of merit. Once again, shooting an old plastic camera has given me a lot of enjoyment!
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed my little adventure with the Samsung Fino 70s
You can see my other articles on 35mmc here
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6 thoughts on “Samsung Fino 70s – Experiences with a Bewitched Camera – By Jordi Fradera”
Buenos tardes Jordi, don’t be too hard on the camera, you’ve both done a good job. Great composition and very atmospheric prints. I’m amazed the 2004 film performed so well. My favourite is number three’ but number two is a sad image – I would have been tempted to have opened the cages and freed them from a miserable unnatural life in jail. Regarding the out of focus shop window, I reckon it was the reflection that fooled the Samsung’s auto focus. Keep it, use it and keep on taping up the back – it’s a great conversation piece. It’s a great camera!
adios mi amigo.
Thanks for your comments, my top priority is to have fun and I get it with these experiences, I will continue to do so and hope to entertain 35mmc readers. Saludos desde Barcelona – España
As you quite clearly pointed out, Jordi, enjoyment beats out perfection in casual photography. Personally, I prefer the colour and feel of images 1,2, 3, and 5 over the one which you edited to your tastes. I would not pay the 75€, or even the earlier 65€, that this shop wanted for their little Fino but I would happilly shell out a 20 for one if I happen upon one. (I wonder what you paid for it when you bought it new over 20 years ago.) Fantastic to see the photo of you and its ‘original owner’, as well You called this little point and shoot possibly bewitched; I am tempted to call it perfectly enchanting!
I do not know what I paid for the camera but you are right that it was not little. As for my opinion, the Fino is not bad but mine is bewitched, I’m sure. Thank you for your comments.
Samsung hardware has always been a little fragile (flexible film doors come to mind, on some models) but they shoot a good shot, mostly lol. Loved what the camera did with pic no3. I’ve got around a dozen old Samsungs/Rolleis – some that are competent and some that are surprisingly exceptional, whether through sharpness or exposure or colour rendition or a combination of any of those three.
I still think that this Samsung and its sisters have a certain quality, I was close to buying the first digital DSLR they made. In the case of the Fino in the article, I think she was against me, perhaps for having her in the dark closet for so many years = she’s haunted … it’s my joke.