Tag Archives: 35mm

{Getting to Know You} Minolta Hi-matic AF2

This is the Minolta Hi-matic AF2.

I found it at Salvation Army for $5. Scratch that: when I went to be rung up at the cash register, the camera was actually $2.50 because certain items in the store were half off that day!

View of the back of the camera – you can see the flash ready lamp on the left. On the right is a window that indicates whether or not film is loaded. An orange “flag” appears in the window if film is in the camera (and loaded properly)

The little label on the back makes me laugh, with its descriptions of the “beeps” 

This is an auto focus camera from the early 1980s – one of the first of its kind! It even looks like its Minolta manual focus rangefinder brethren.

Minolta Himatic AF2 Specs:

  • 38mm f/2.8 lens with a 46mm filter thread
  • Shutter speed range: 1/8s – 1/430s (slow shutter speed “beeeeeeeeep” sounds when the shutter speed would be 1/40s or slower)
  • Ten second self-timer
  • Manual film advance, via film advance lever (I like this – auto film advance in cameras from this era was LOUD!)
  • Auto focus range: 1m-infinity (you can lock focus by half-depressing the shutter button to lock focus, then recompose before fully depressing the shutter button.)
  • Power source: two AA batteries

Normally when I get a camera, I shoot a couple of rolls with it and then write a post as a little review/share photos from those rolls (see my “Two Rolls In” series.) The Hi-matic AF2 is one of a few cameras that I picked up last year but didn’t share any results from because I needed to save the photos for different blog posts I have in the works. What I decided to do is share the shots from my test roll that weren’t set aside for other purposes, plus shoot a whole other roll to share here!

Roll #1 was Ilford XP-2, shot in May 2017

I was surprised with how sharp some of these were!

Roll #2 was Fujicolor 200, shot in April 2018

I was less impressed with this roll. I don’t know if I shot too hastily (these early auto focus cameras were easily tricked by certain subjects or lighting situations) or if the batteries needed changing, but the camera missed focus and exposure on more shots than I was expecting.

I converted these two to black and white in post-processing, because the colors in the scans were off but I liked the photos of my dearest at a baseball game with attended!

Since I wasn’t particularly happy with certain aspects of the previous roll, I went ahead and changed the batteries in the camera, loaded a fresh roll of film, and tried to pay more attention to lighting situations/whether or not the focus seemed to have locked properly.

Roll #3 was Fuji Superia 400, shot in summer-fall 2018


(see – the camera exposes for the sky)

I don’t think she knew I was taking her photo – but the photo is nice and sharp! 

Origami sculpture in the Memphis Botanic Gardens  

Again, the camera exposed for the sky and underexposed the rest of the scene, but I kinda like the way it looks in this shot 

For $2.50, the Minolta Hi-Matic AF2 is definitely a keeper. It may just be my particular camera, but I think it’ll benefit from not shooting the film at its intended speed. I’ll probably dial in the ASA as one stop slower (technically over-exposing the film) than box speed. And if the scene has sky in it at all, I’m going to dial it back another stop to give the scene more exposure!

{Getting to Know You} Sears 35rf

I really like it when I find a camera at a thrift shop that I’d never heard of before.

(this photo was taken with another 2017 thrift shop find: my Yashica T4)

I’ll set the scene for you:

I was making my weekly thrift shop run and about to call it quits when I saw saw this camera on a shelf in the paltry electronics section of a particular store that usually doesn’t yield many “finds.” It was so tiny that I couldn’t believe it was actually a rangefinder, even if “rf” was part of its name!

But it was $6.59. I decided that I really didn’t need to buy the camera since I’d spent $3 here and there on random point and shoot cameras throughout the course of 2017 and was feeling pretty guilty about that. Like, had I not bought those silly cameras, I could have this one. So, I left it.

I left the store, drove down the road to go home, regret set in, and I turned back around to get the camera.


It even came with its original case, with the stylized “SR” ( Sears and Roebuck) butterfly logo. I accidentally shot case upside down though, so I inverted the logo separately so you could see it  😀

Some of Sears 35rf’s specs:

  • Rangefinder focusing (.9m/3ft – infinity)
  • 40mm f/2.8 lens
  • Shutter-priority auto exposure and manual exposure 
  • Shutter speed range from 1/500s-1/8s, plus Bulb
  • Aperture range of f/2.8-f/16

In a move thoroughly unlike me, I immediately set about replacing the foam light seals. They were such a gunky mess that I figured I might as well get it over with.

In the meantime, I found out a little about the camera. It’s a rebranded Ricoh rangefinder (500 series.)

I shot a very quick test roll to see if I had done an okay job with the seals and if everything was functioning well mechanically too. I got it developed right away (also unusual for me as of late.)

I shared these on Flickr and Instagram (because I wasn’t sure when I’d put together a blog post for it here!) But hey, everything looked fine for the light seals and the camera seemed to be functioning fine!

(Shot on Fuji Superia 400)

I fell in love with this camera as soon as I saw the results from my test roll. I even took it on family vacation with me a few weeks after I got it. Here are some of the photos from that trip that I originally shared on my blog post about our vacation.

(Shot on Fuji Superia 400)

When I got home from vacation, I finished up the roll of Kodak Ektachrome 320T that I’d started shooting on vacay. Here are some of those photos (and these haven’t been shown anywhere before now!)

(Shot on expired Kodak Ektachrome 320T, cross-processed)

Then, I loaded the camera with the roll of JCH Streetpan I’d been holding onto for awhile. The results made me turn into the heart eyes emoji!
(I also haven’t shared any of these photos online previously 😉 )

(Shot on JCH Streetpan 400)

I LOVE the Sears 35rf. I cannot believe I was blessed to find it that day in a thrift shop that rarely yields any scores. The camera’s lens is nice and sharp, it’s little (though not so lightweight since it’s mostly made of metal,) and it’s now a prized member of my camera collection <3


This summer, I was given a couple of rolls of FPP Retrochrome by a Twitter friend. I couldn’t wait to try it out!

What is Retrochrome? From the Film Photography Project website:

RetroChrome is government surplus Eastman Ektachrome. Made for industrial and governmental applications…

It is meant to be shot as positive film (slide film,) but of course I had my Retrochrome cross-processed! As you can see, the results were largely yellow and green. I like it though! A lot. Besides, most of this roll was shot on a night I would call “one enchanted evening,” when I had a girls’ night out in Midtown Memphis, so I loved the feel the Retrochrome gave those photos.

My mother made an appointment for her THIRD tattoo…

Photos from a girls’ night out

One of my niece’s photo shoots

One of my recurring photo test subjects…

One of the photos I took to docuaiment my friend Kayla’s wedding invitations. I have more shots of the invites taken on film that WASN’T yellow! 

Kiev 4AM • Helios 53mm f/1.8 • FPP Retrochrome 320, cross-processed 

{Redscale Zoo}

I recently made some DIY redscale film with Fuji Superia 400 that expired in 2007 (thrift shop film!) The majority of that roll was shot at the Memphis Zoo this summer, and I honestly am in love with the results. I like to shoot my redscale film at a much lower film speed than is indicated on the film box so I get more muted tones than deep reds and oranges. I guess the age of this roll of film meant it was harder to get enough exposure to keep the shots from going red and orange, but I feel it really worked in this scenario.

My new favorite redscale photo

Kiev 4AM • Helios-103 53mm f/1.8

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