5 Frames… With ILFORD FP4 Plus (EI 125 / 35mm format / Fujica Compact Deluxe) – by Guilherme Maranhão

These images date back to 2017 when I was working Mondays and Thursdays in a camera repair shop to learn a few things and I found this Fujica Compact Deluxe. It was in an old box of equipment for which the repair had never been approved and the owner never came back to pick it up. Many cameras die like this. I had never seen one like it and decided to do quick internet search about it. There isn’t much out there but a few reviews assured me it was worth my time to get it to work again.

The main problem it had was a complete misalignment of the rangefinder focus system. For those who have never seen the camera, focus is accomplished by rotating a thumb wheel which in turn moves the lens assembly back and forth. A few gears are used to do so and they were all wrong. It took me an entire afternoon to get to them and probably another hour just to get the focus spot on. Another morning, on the next day I was there, to put back together.

I took the camera for a spin with a very old roll of ILFORD FP4 PLUS. This film became so grainy probably due to an extended development in Parodinal 1:25 to compensate for the number of years it was expired. Yet, I loved the way it looked after I scanned it in my Pakon scanner.

I like how the 45mm f/1.8 lens barely covers the format, giving some dark corners at the very edge of the frame. This old lens gives very little flare and renders the out-of-focus areas in a pretty way. I added a see-thru lens shade to make sure this old glass wouldn’t suffer from excessive flare.

For a camera that has a focusing wheel where you would usually find an advance lever and an advance lever on the base plate, this Fujica is actually easy to use and quick to learn. It is silent as well. The green stripe on the camera front is very cool as well!

~ Guilherme

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This series is being 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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Guilherme Maranhão
Guilherme Maranhãohttp://guilhermemaranhao.art.br
Guilherme Maranhão, artist. Published Travessia book, author of Refotografia blog. Colaborates with FotoPlusTV. Currently living in Braga, Portugal.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Me gustó que tú la volviste a la vida, tenemos una tienda de fotografía en la ciudad de México en pleno centro,
    Y me gusta subir a la bodega y ver las cajas de cámaras olvidadas y revisar llegó a encontrar cámaras así y me preguntó que historia tendrán,
    Algunas tienen timbres de países otras algunas fechas otras nombres,
    Tomo alguna y pido a los técnicos que las reparen se sorprenden por qué a veces en esos modelos aprendieron las reparan o les dan servicio y a tomar fotos,
    Aveces pienso quien fue su dueño una cámara dice mucho del dueño

  2. Nice review of an unknown to me camera. I like the contrasty look of the fp4 also. I was perplexed by your reference to the lens shade. What do you mean by “look-through” lens shade? Is it a hood or some kind of filter?

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