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!
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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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