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!
Write for EMULSIVE
EMULSIVE is all about promoting knowledge transfer across the film photography community. You can help by contributing your thoughts, work and ideas to inspire others reading these pages: check out the submission guide.
If you like what you're reading you can help this passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.