I enjoy shooting wide angle, and the wider the better. I’ve used 24mm lenses and got a lot of fun from a cheap Vivitar UltraWide and Slim camera which has a plastic 22mm lens. What I hadn’t used was an SLR with an ultrawide lens, so I recently invested in a Vivitar 19mm f/3.8 manual lens in PK mount made in the 1980s.
The Chinon CG-5 is an automatic aperture priority model with metal Seiko shutter and speeds from 1 to 1/1000 sec in automatic mode and 4 to 1/1000 secs in manual mode. The viewfinder is a match LED system and the camera has depth of field preview, a multiple exposure lever and self-timer. Chinon seem to have been a poor relation to the better known manufacturers but they shouldn’t be overlooked, not least because you can now pick them up for not much. Made in Japan, their SLRs were built down to a price, but they were usually properly designed, decently made and are often well-featured. Considering I bought it on ebay for around £10.00 it’s quite a lot of camera for the money.
When looking for a PK mount ultrawide manual lens at a budget price, for me it came down to either the Tokina 17mm f/3.5 RMC or the Vivitar 19mm f/3.8. Reviews for both were mostly positive and felt they represented good value. The Vivitar is usually cheaper and I managed to get a nice example for £69.00. Metal, solid feeling and reasonably compact, it’s f/3.8 to f/22 with a 62mm filter thread. I found it perfectly OK to use and it’s nice to have that really wide angle in the viewfinder.
The lens acquisition coincided with a delivery of some rolls of Ilford Delta 3200. This black and white film, which I hadn’t used before, is designed to be very fast and suitable for low light and night time shots. Obvious grain is what you might get, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for some images so I loaded up the Chinon CG-5 to see what happened. Looking at some of the frames I shot and I’ve not included here, I would say Ilford Delta 3200 is fine in the right situation, but it’s not intended for normal daylight use outdoors so I wouldn’t use it unless the situation is appropriate.
Another thing to be aware of is Delta 3200 can be affected by airport cabin-baggage x-ray machines. I mention it because my camera loaded with the film went through machines twice on a trip to Valencia, and some of the frames have a faint vertical stripe running through them which I’m pretty sure is due to the x-rays. I had read this might happen, although one photographer travelling with this film stated he had not experienced any problems with the scanners after multiple passes, so I felt it was worth taking a chance to see if this was actually the case. At least I now know.
You can find more of the content and reviews I’ve submitted to 35mmc here