This review of the Chinon 35 FS-II is a birth story. Yes, you read that right.
Chinon was a camera and movie camera lens manufacturer famous from its long line of film SLRs that uses either the Pentax K-mount or the universal M42 mount. What they also had was a bunch of point and shoot cameras. Introducing the Chinon 35 FS-II.
If you search for the Chinon 35 FS-II online, you will only get scarce results and a lonely instructional video without commentary that you can comprehend. Despite the lack of information, this camera does not need a manual to figure out. Insert two (2) AAA batteries, open the sliding door covering the lens and you are good to go. The 35 FS-IIhas a 35mm f/3.5 lens in which I will guess has 3 elements on par with other Chinon compacts with similarities with the FS-II (closest is the 35FS-A). It takes fully automatic exposures with a manual wheel advance and a manual rewind lever. It can read DX codes however manual override can be done with the ISO slide selector below the lens. It also has three focusing options: Infinity, Group and Portrait/Close-Up. Furthermore, it has an electronic self-timer around 10 seconds and a pop-up flash.
I popped an expired Kodak Tmax 100 in the Chinon 35 FS-II and was ready to test it. It has been long inside my bag and the same bag that was with me while my wife was admitted to the hospital due to some precautionary findings on her pregnancy. I took a few shots of her in the hospital and after a few days, she was then cleared to go home. I shot a few more when we made a stop at a baking supply store.
After a day out of the hospital, she felt something unusual while I was at work. My mother took her to the hospital while I followed after work. She was already in labor when I got there. Fully excited for our second child and a daughter this time around, I wasn’t ready. All of the plans of using my Delta 3200 which I have saved for this momentous occasion gone out of the window but wait yes you guess it right. I got the Chinon 35 FS-II with me. Without hesitation, I brought it out and took pictures. I even brought it into the delivery room. Never thought that I would use this untested camera to document such an important point in our lives but I guess it was all worth it.
The results speak for itself. The Chinon 35 FS-II was able to capture priceless memories and yet the most disappointing part of it was that I didn’t shoot more. It was not the optimal camera but I do believe the camera with you would always be the best in any given situation. Cheers.