Tag Archives: Film Camera

{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!

Nikon N80 {Two Rolls In}

This is basically going to be a dual review of both the Nikon N80 and the Sigma Super Wide II 24mm/2.8 lens…

I like to call the Nikon N80 “The Camera Who Waited.”*


These beauties: Nikon N80 and Sigma Super Wide II

When I first became interested in photography, I used to thumb through the camera store ads in the backs of photography magazines. I could never afford any of the cameras listed in those ads, so it was like window shopping or daydreaming for me. One camera that I really REALLY wanted though was the Nikon N80. It cost hundreds of dollars, and all I could afford was a $50 Ricoh Singlex TLS.  Now, all these years later, here is one more instance when I’ve benefited from the “demise” of film photography.** I have been able to obtain a camera I wanted, but which was out of reach for many years, at a price so low that it was downright obscene!

The reason I say this is “The Camera Who Waited” is because I bought the camera body in June 2013. I did not buy a lens for it until October 2013. Immediately, I began kicking myself for selling my N8008 with a 50mm/1.8 attached to it in 2012 – having that lens would have kept this camera from “waiting” so long! I did a lot of research as to the first lens I’d like to have for my N80 and bided my time until just the right one presented itself. I thought I’d skip buying another 50mm at the moment and go for my favorite wide angle focal length instead. I chose the Sigma Super Wide II 24mm/2.8 lens. I liked the results I’d seen from the lens around the internet and was intrigued by the len’s macro abilities.

About the Nikon N80:

It’s the fanciest film SLR I’ve ever owned, so there are lots of features I could detail here. There’s a whole series of custom settings you can dial in. One thing that I love and immediately turned on were on-demand grid lines. It’s an awesome feature for me, because I feel like I am bad at getting photos straight when using wide angle lenses (such as the 24mm I’m using on the N80.) Grid lines really help with that!

Roll #1 was expired Fuji Superia X-tra 400

Testing the macro on this TINY slice of a vegan mini pear pie I’d made. If you can fill the frame this much with a 24mm lens, you KNOW it truly focuses close up!

THIS! This right here. This shot made me say, “Yup. This lens is a keeper.”

Why all the photos of a tree stump? 1. Testing the Sigma’s macro abilities again 2. I didn’t know how else to document/convey the destruction our power company left behind when it gutted a section of my family’s property to put in power lines for a new neighbor. It was devastating to unexpectedly come home to this.

An impulse purchase the same week I got the Sigma Super Wide II

The mini pumpkin I painted back at Halloween. Pre-paint can been seen in my Konica Big Mini review.

My sister’s black and gold “ombre” mini pumpkin

Twig we used as a stir stick for paint my niece used on her pumpkin

Roll #2 was Kodak Gold 200

Christmas tree in one of the offices at work. Really close focus for a 24mm lens!

Normally these photos would have gotten a blog of their own, but as this roll was part of my testing the N80, here are some “bonus” photos from my Jobes-Shields family shoot at Christmas:

Ezra and some stuffed animals. Love the fox one!

I actually cropped this one because I thought it was cuter this way 🙂

Lionel, Lisa, and Rob (baby, mommy, and daddy)

(I know this one has motion blur, but I love it!)

I COULD NOT get enough of the “Lionel asleep with his bunny” photos!

Pretty cardinal ornament my mother had on her mantel at Christmas

Shiny new coffee maker for Christmas!

Riding to Pho Hoa Bihn with Mallory

Lovely, lovely tofu with pineapple at Pho Hoa Bihn

And those were the first two rolls with my Nikon N80 and Sigma Super Wide II lens!


LOVE it. Love the camera. Love the lens. The Nikon N80 is the quietest SLR I’ve ever used. You can barely hear the shutter/mirror action at all! And the lens, while a little noisy itself, yields such beautiful results! I mentioned earlier in this post that 24mm is my favorite wide angle focal length. I’m also addicted to taking “details” shots, so having a wide angle lens with the ability to focus down to about 7 inches is a real winning combination for me. I can’t wait to further test both the N80 and the Sigma Super Wide II (and get MORE lenses for the camera!) I’m sold!

*This is a Doctor Who reference. If you get it, you get it. 

**I say “demise” of film photography in jest. I and all the other film photographers are making out like bandits while people sell off their film gear cheap as chips! If you ever want to see how “alive” the film photography community is, just go search the hashtag #believeinfilm on Twitter!

Yard Sale Finds: Canon Sureshot Supreme

I admit: I have too many cameras. But it’s only because I love cameras SO much! I justify the fact that I have so many tools in my photographic arsenal by how little most of my equipment cost. I could probably lay out all my “camera stuff” and I probably didn’t pay more than $20 or $30 for each item. Yes, there’s my digital camera set-up that cost a pretty penny, but other than that, everything else was purchased on the cheap.

Today’s featured “cheap as chips” camera is the Canon Sureshot Supreme.

My mom brought this camera, as well as a Polaroid, home with her from a yard sale last month. She is always on the lookout for cheap camera equipment on my behalf! For the Sureshot Supreme and the Polaroid, she paid $3. Yes. That’s $3 for BOTH! That means the camera I’m showing you today cost $1.50. See, you can’t hate on me for getting new cameras when the deals are that good!

Shockingly, the Canon Sureshot Supreme is not a camera I had ever heard of before having it placed in my hands. That meant I had to do a little research on it. Here’s what I found out:

Some technical specifications about the Sureshot Supreme:

  • 38mm/2.8 lens – For a point-and-shoot camera, that’s a FAST lens! Oh, and that lens is glass. Nice!
  • Shutter speed range – 1/8 sec – 1/500 sec. I like that 1/8 end of the range!
  • Auto flash – The flash is automatic, but can be forced to fire or forced to not fire. More on that later though.
  • Close focusing – This camera focuses down to 1.8 feet. Seriously, dude, that is highly unusual for a camera of this ilk. It’s more usual for cameras like this to have a minimum focusing distance of 3 feet or so.
  • Self-timer – Ten second self-timer, which is standard. But there is a really interesting design feature Canon added to go along with the self-timer. I’ll describe that in a second.

Oddities about this Sureshot Supreme:

  • Recessed “cancel flash” button on the bottom – I don’t care for flash photography and use existing light whenever possible, so I always want the ability to turn the flash off when using a point-and-shoot camera. Usually, that is done through a flash menu or a simple on-off switch. On the Sureshot Supreme though, it’s a little more tricky. You have to shove your fingernail or something into a recessed area on the bottom of the camera in order to cancel the flash. That’s not so handy.
  • “Rubber flash cap”Never have I heard of such a thing in all my days. Just as I mentioned in the above paragraph, you can generally force a camera’s flash to fire through a flash menu or on-off switch. This camera, however, has an accessory that is stored on the camera’s strap which is popped into the sensor below the lens which reads the light and  tells the camera whether or not flash is needed. Basically, you trick the camera into thinking there is not enough light in the scene you’re photographing and the flash needs to brighten things up. Seriously though, why didn’t they just put a switch on the camera so you can turn the flash on and off at will?!
  • The “tilt knob” – This is another first for me. So, what Canon has done here is decided that they want to help you make better self-portraits using the camera’s self timer. You are supposed to put the camera on a flat surface and swivel the tilt knob so the camera is pointing slightly upward at you. I guess so you don’t have to crouch down for the picture? I mean, I didn’t realize that this was a huge problem in the lives of casual photographers. Maybe it was in the 1980s when this camera was made though. Maybe back then, photography consumers needed the ability to tilt the camera “up to 16.5°” (according the the camera’s manual.)

Despite the great detail into which I’ve gone about the Canon Sureshot Supreme’s features and quirks, all that  matters is how the pictures turn out. And chances are, most of you just skipped forward to the photo section of this blog anyway. So here are some shots from the first couple of rolls I ran through the Sureshot. These were all shot on Fuji Superia X-tra 400, for those who like to know that sort of thing.

Best of Roll 1:

My first photo with the Sureshot Supreme. A deceased bird outside of Urban Outfitters. I figured it died from hipster overload. But I was pleased how the camera handled the shot! And is that vignetting I detect at the edges? I sure hope so!

It’s shaaaarp. And I thought the lens rendered the sky beautifully.


Gelato at YOLO

Afternoon in the park with my niece

The inside of the leather case that came with the Sureshot. I LOVE when I get used camera equipment which has the previous owner’s name written or engraved on it.

Best of Roll 2:


I mostly wanted the focus to be on the Lego figure, and the camera mostly came through

Great old register at a local fabric and notions store in my family’s town.

It even works on snapshots of my niece with a chocolate bar!


Pink chair in the woods

Check out that creamy bokeh!

Srlsy. Nice bokeh, Sureshot!


The Canon Sureshot Supreme is kind of an odd bird. I honestly haven’t seen any point-and-shoot like it before. Certain design features have left me scratching my head. But I really can’t complain, since the lens on the Sureshot is pretty fantastic, the camera only set me back $1.50, and auto focus point-and-shoot cameras were still in their infancy back in the mid-80s – these weird features of which I speak were probably considered totally rad innovations back then!