One day I woke up with the feeling that I really needed to have a classic rangefinder from the late 1970s. After some Googling in fora and other resources, I decided to go for the REVUE 400SE – a white-labelled camera based on a standard design that has been used by other brands like Konica or Minolta and introduced in1978 by Foto-Quelle.
Its bold mechanics and a sharp lens were the arguments that convinced me.
I got my REVUE 400SE at eBay for €40 – I felt quite happy with the deal. My next trip took me to Leipzig, Germany where I tested the camera with a roll of Kodak ColorPlus 200 I got from the local drugstore. Shot at EI 100. The camera handling was smooth, although focusing felt a little bit sticky (more on that later). I took some photos when strolling around, from the hotel balcony and during the train journey back home.
Once at home, I developed the film with the C41 Cinestill kit (I like it — it lasts for a long time — the developer still works after 5 months and several uses but you need to fill up the bottle completely with water to have no air enclosed). I scanned the negatives with a DSLR / macro lens and inverted with NegativeLab Pro.
It happened at nearly that last shot of the roll — the camera’s focusing lever broke.
Luckily I found www.lichtgriff.de to be a specialist for such kind of repairs. After a short time and at a reasonable cost I got the camera back serviced and repaired. Matz from Lichtgriff told me that unfortunately the focus mechanics have been previously repaired in an unprofessional way before. That was the reason for the focus issue.
Nevertheless it has been a great experience with the camera in Leipzig and I am happy with the results!
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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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