At some point in the first half of the 90s I was very much into 16mm and Minox format film photography (still am); 35mm was something of a side thing, with 120 MF just a roll every now and then. These days the proportion has changed, but I still shoot these formats, alternatively. Of course, once I got into 16mm, I was acquainted with the 110 format. And from then on, only a small step to the half frame format, which was some sort of a surprise, as I did not know it existed until then.
Among other cameras for both 16mm, 110 and half frame formats, I purchased a Fujica Half, which was almost in pristine condition at the time of my purchase. I was travelling quite a lot at the time, so it became my companion on the road all over Europe, as a back up or at times, main camera, depending on the situation or place.
True, sometimes it was annoying to have 72 exp. on a roll, as I was rather lacking patience to finish the roll. I was using this camera with colour film, I recall Agfa Color, Tura Color, and others which were easy to find in Boots or Jessops shops around Britain (Tura was purchased from the Channel Islands somewhere, it was much cheaper).
But years passed, and come 2023 I had a good look at my old cameras. I got melancholic about a few of them and this Fujica Half was one of them. Briefly checked it, apparently it had a problem with winding the film. I sent it to the doctor, it was returned working as it had been on day one. I loaded some Agfa APX 100 and went snapping away. The film was processed in Kodak’s D76 1+1 @ 13 mins, scanned on a Plustek film scanner.
I am amazed at how good the meter reads; I had really challenging light on this film, and 90% of the shots came out very well metered. To be honest, I thought initially that at least half of them will come out really bad. One such example is this here:
However, on manual mode, just turn the aperture ring at any opening you wish, and set the shutter speed accordingly. This shot above was taken on 2.8 with the B speed, for 5 secs, handheld. In all fairness, I disclose that I hugged a lamp post. The camera is both manual and automatic. In the auto mode, you just set the aperture ring to A, make certain the shutter tab is set on the auto (look under the lens mount).
I shot this one here by just framing and press the shutter, with camera in A mode. It came out very nice, and the meter did an excellent job, if you ask me. The lens seems to deliver really great, even if it is not the sharpest I worked with. But it does have its own charm.
I have a distinct feeling that the camera loves the light, the more the better. This here was also shot with the camera in A mode. Given the meter was pointed upwards to the sky, I guess it did a marvellous job.
I am really glad I took this camera for a walk, during my last travels. It took me back in the 90s when times were, well, easier. I begin to regret I haven’t used it more in the last 20 or so years, but this is about to change.
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