Friday, October 21, 2016

Rangefinder Camera - Minolta hi-matic F


I'm finally getting around to adding more cameras to my film camera guide - today's addition, is a camera I've had for a while but shamefully have only put one roll of film through it. It's a relatively cheap film camera, you can pick up for under $50 off eBay and I got mine whilst thrifting.


The hi-matic f, is a range finder camera which peaked my interest since I've never owned one before. Your typical SLR (single lens reflex) cameras have a mirror (reflex mirror), so when you look through the viewfinder the mirror shows you what the lens sees, with a rangefinder camera it's mirror-less so the viewfinder doesn't give you an accurate view of your shot which is something you have to take into consideration when shooting. On the plus side without a mirror it's really compact and inconspicuous and from reading this article makes for a good street photography camera!

Another thing with rangefinder cameras is to get an image in focus you look through the view finder and you'll see a ghost image in front of your image.  You then need to match up both images by turning the focus ring on the lens. Since this was my first range finder, I found it more novel than awesome but I definitely want to revisit this camera again.  

The batteries meant for this camera are no longer in production (or at least I couldn't find them) so I bought a pack of AG13 (LR44) button cell batteries, placed two batteries on top of each other, wrapped a thin strip of paper around the two (to stop them falling apart) and popped them into the battery compartment which did the trick :)  The comment thread of this article suggests that this battery trick will give more voltage and thus causing the exposure meter to read wrong and underexpose. The film I got back did seem to err on the underexposed side so possibly due to the battery voltage.  Unfortunately, because this camera is auto, the only way to really play with exposure is to rate the film speed lower.  You do this by turning a black wheel on the front element of the lens.  The film I used was 100 speed and I set the camera to 50 but next time I'd use a much higher speed film and go a few stops lower :)

The camera comes with a fixed 38mm Rokkor lens 2.7f/stop so wide but not super wide!

I also think the camera looks really nice, that counts for something right?

I put through a roll of lomography 100 Colour for my test roll, I wouldn't say I got stand out results and probably why I never came back to it but I'm definitely keen to put through a black and white roll next time, I think that's where its magic could lie!

Blue light leak? Not too sure what caused this guy


Rangefinders are meant to be sharp with no edge distortion or vignetting (black edges) which I think these photos do a good job of showing

Hi-matic F - Colour film



Have you guys had experience with rangefinders, yay or nay - any tips?

10 comments:

  1. The camera does look really nice! it's too bad that the batteries are no longer in production, but you're pretty innovative ;) Love the photos too!

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    1. the battery work around is clever, I can't claim it for myself, thank-you other smart people of the internet!! :) :)

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  2. Wow, that's quite a lot to keep track off, haha! But probably one of those things you get used to and are able to adapt to when you know how it all works.

    It's been such a long time since I took any analog pictures or had any film developed. Of course it doesn't help that the photo store I liked to use closed down… But I'm sure I can get it developed somewhere! And I should… as all my lomography stuff "expired" a few years back. But hey, I hear that can be a cool experiment too:)

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    1. Always so much to learn with a new camera! It's a bit sad that film processing isn't the norm anymore so it becomes harder to get film processed, I went through the same thing with my local store, discontinuing film processing but I was able to find another in my town that I didn't even know existed and I live in a fairly small town :) Or there are online options to send film away too but then costs start adding up hey! Expired film is fun :) Although if it's not that far expired and you stored it in a fairly coolish place, I don't think it will have too much effect on the film :) You should take the plunge with a roll!!!

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  3. Totally forgot to say I love the pictures! There's some very pretty and interesting color definition in them too.

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    1. The colours are interesting, I'm trying to think how/where I had them developed and processed - I'm sure it played a part in the colours!

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  4. I love the subtle grainy atmospheric aesthetics of this baby!

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    1. I think you couldn't mistake these shots for anything but film which I like :)

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  5. I really really must pick up on film camera. You inspire me every day with your posts

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