Always on the look out for something different, I came across this camera and lenses on Facebook Marketplace at the end of January. The camera however, was not as interesting to me as were the lenses. They are Focal FD mount lenses which are also compatible with my Canon AE-1 Program.
The camera is a Canon T50 35mm SLR. Released around March 1983, Canon took the functionality and the automatic working of a point and shoot camera and moulded it into an SLR body. It's a bit clunky looking but is very simple to operate from an absolute beginners point of view. The thing I like about this camera is that you can throw your cares to the wind and use it as a point and shoot. It has the added benefit though, of being able to change lenses. From prime lenses to zoom lenses, there are many FD Mount lenses that you could use with this camera that would give some excellent results.
This camera does not allow for changing the aperture setting. The camera has a fully automated shutter with speeds of 2 seconds to 1/1000 when selecting automatic mode (point and shoot) on the lens. Once moved out of auto mode and manually setting the aperture, the shutter has just one speed of 1/60 second (which is also the flash synch speed) so there is a good chance that the shot taken with aperture selected manually will not turn out.
The camera came with 3 lenses; all Kmart Focal brand. As with all its Focal branded gear, Kmart would have other companies build the product and Kmart would simply put its own brand on it. Kmart acquired Sears in 2005 and it was known that Sears sourced their lenses through Ricoh. Kmart also sourced from major manufacturers like Haking and Cosina.
Haking (est. 1956) was a camera and binocular manufacturer based in Hong Kong selling cameras under the brand Halina. In 1978, Haking bought out the US firm ANSCO and its trademark (which originally started up in about 1841 in Binghamton, New York as a daguerreotype gallery). Long story short, in the 1950s, ANSCO was selling rebranded imports that were built by AGFA, Chinon, Ricoh and Minolta. This rebranding was obviously continued after the takeover by Haking in 1978.
Cosina is a Japanese camera and lens manufacturer and founded in 1959 under the name Nikoh. The company has produced cameras and equipment under its own name but is better known for making equipment for other brands such as Canon, Contax, Nikon, Revue, Olympus, Vivitar and Yashica! I have also read that some Focal lenses are rebranded Makinon lenses.
It's pretty confusing but the long and short of it is; I have no idea what the original brand name of these lenses would be!
Three lenses came with the deal. A Focal MC 28mm f2.8 prime, a Focal MC 80-200mm f4.5-5.6 zoom and, a Focal MC 28-70 f4 Macro zoom. Unfortunately, the last lens appears to have been dropped at some stage. It has a dent in the area around the glass and won't zoom out past 35mm. I might look at this at a later time to see if I can do anything with it.
I Googled these lenses prior to use and was a little concerned with some of the reviews I read. Most said that they were cheap (and let's face it; they are!) with soft focus and some went into some minute detail about chromatic aberration on the edges and this and that. I have never let someone else's review make my own mind up though. Different lenses will give different results - embrace the differences, take note of how lenses can work to achieve a desired outcome!
The film I used for this was a Fuji Colour Superia 100. It was expired in 2006 or thereabouts. At the start of the roll I was shooting with the 28mm prime and then swapped over the the 80-200mm zoom.
I am very happy with the results from the 28mm prime; some nice sharp photos. The 80-200 zoom faired well also, although when zooming into those ships on the horizon on an overcast and hazy day, there is more grain due to the lower light I think. Both lenses have a split focus system which I like but, I have found that sometimes, it is a little difficult to get the correct part of my multi-focal glasses just right when focusing through the viewfinder.
I went for a wander during my lunch breaks down to the beach and from atop the bluffs in James Fletcher Park in Newcastle to shoot these.
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|My fav from the roll taken with the 28mm prime.|
|Zoomed in for the yacht race just off Newcastle Beach. Very hazy and overcast day.|
|Nice capture with the 80-200mm zoom.|
|Subject is sharp here - 80-200mm zoom.|
|My panning shot worked! 80-200mm zoom.|
|80-200mm zoomed right in on the T&G spire in Watt Street.|
|80-200mm zoom - Terraced houses in Watt Street, Newcastle.|
|Looking down Watt Street and over to Stockton. 80-200mm zoom.|
|A hazy Nobbys in the distance.|
|'Straya mate! 80-200mm zoom|
|Post Box - 80-200mm zoom|