At first, I didn’t get the hype but I really respect Dan Ko’s opinion when he said he would buy any Konica Waiwai at the silliest price he could find. So, when Hong Kong’s Showa released the rebooted new-old-stock, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a few (Thanks a heap to Vishal from Camera Film Photo for running to get it for me).
I took the Waiwai with me to Italy with zero expectations and shot it on scenes I thought would best capitalize on the camera’s 17mm lens. I also read somewhere that the fixed aperture and speed is f/8 and 1/100 respectively.
Here you go!
While of course, the quality will not compare to anything other than a disposable camera in terms of sharpness and depth, it was still was so satisfying. Get one if you still can. Seeing the results was really happiness (and I actually dropped this camera twice), simply because I was not expecting anything.
It wasn’t all consistent though, I also shot a few frames in full sunlight, and I personally do not like the results – overblown in the middle. So I’d advise you to shoot yours in warm, evenly brightly conditions, not glaring sunlight. The camera didn’t vignette as much as I thought, so the tonality and look pretty even in my eyes. While the camera does have flash, I oddly didn’t use it (in hindsight, I should have). I also had 1-2 frames with dark random edges, and I realized they were from my fingers… so careful holding it, the 17mm captures a lot.
We checked in the lab and believe that the film loaded is a Fuji Xtra-400, or similar to that found in Fuji Simple Ace disposable cameras.
These are honestly some of my faves from this 2-week trip. I had similar shots of these places with my Leica M6 and Mamiya 7, but the Waiwai shots bring a smile to my face. I have 2 more stored and if ANYONE has successfully reloaded the Waiwai, I hope you’d allow me to reach you and ask for some tips.
Caveat: Contrast & exposure was bumped a bit in the San Giamano & Cinque Terre shot, as I found the middle part a little “over”. Cinque Terre shot was cropped a bit as the scanning was a little off.
Thanks for reading!
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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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