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LessWaiting.com Camera Reviews

Skip To... Bell & Howell 35J Weston WX-7 Ninoka NK-700 Bentley BX-3 Short Reviews

Minolta F10BF Camera: This medium-size 35mm camera has many features, including motorized film advance/rewind, lens cover with shutter lock, red eye reduction, built-in flash, and large view finder. We developed a roll of film from it, and found that it is capable of taking good-quality photographs. However, two drawbacks are that it is easy to accidentally rewind the film (the rewind is motorized), and it is more difficult to load the film than with manual cameras. The red eye reduction appears to be effective. Overall, a camera with good performance, features, and quality if you don't mind the minor flaws previously mentioned or the need to always have working batteries in place.
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Weston WX-7: This fairly large and somewhat heavy 35mm camera has a variety of useful features. There is a hot shoe, tripod socket, and lever-style film advance. Two rings on the lens housing control the shutter speed and the aperture setting. A drawback is that the tripod socket is located far to one side of the camera (instead of the middle), so the weight is unbalanced if it is put on a tripod - this problem exists on some other cameras as well, both 35mm and digital. The back door can only be opened by pulling up on the film rewind crank unit. This makes it more difficult to accidentally open the door. Update: We developed a few rolls of film from it and had rather good results on most photographs. There were some odd streaks across a few photos.
Weston WX-7 Owners Club

Ninoka NK-700: This older black 35mm camera is relatively lightweight, but wider than many similar cameras. It has four aperture settings, a hot shoe for attaching a flash unit, a good-quality viewfinder, a tripod socket, and carrying strap mounts. The back door can only be opened by pulling up on the rewind knob. It is mostly made of plastic, with a few metal parts. A label next to the lens indicates that it is made of glass. The instructions are fairly detailed and have easy-to-read print. If you need a lens cap for one of these, the Bentley BX-3's lens cap will also fit it. Update: We developed a roll of film from this camera and had mostly good results. While the photograph quality was better than expected, two mechanical features of the camera were somewhat problematic. The rewind button worked, but was rather uncomfortable to hold down for any period of time because of its unusual design. Also, it was noticed that the film counter - at least on this particular camera - counts two exposures for each photo taken, causing it to be inaccurate. It is worth mentioning that there is a slightly different version of the Ninoka NK-700 which appears to be smaller and may or may not produce the same results. You can use the image link at this end of this review to determine if a particular camera is the same exact model described here.
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Bell & Howell 35J: This is a fairly common older medium-size 35mm camera. It has three aperture settings and a standard tripod socket. We developed a roll of film from it and had fair-to-good results on most photographs, including one of very good quality and a couple of poor quality. It is possible to connect an external flash unit to it. An advantage of this model is that no batteries are required because it doesn't have motorized film advance or an electronic shutter. It is also worth mentioning that it can be difficult to reset the film counter.

Bentley BX-3: This is an older camera with a sliding aperture ring, hot shoe, and standard tripod socket. It has a rewind lever, rather than a button. The instructions are more detailed than those provided with many cameras. There is a large counter on the top which can be manually reset. It appears very similar to the Windsor WX-3 and Bentley WX-3. Loading the film in this camera was easy and quick. It is possible to accidentally press the shutter button through a pouch; this can be remedied by keeping it in a hard case or putting a 20 oz. soda bottle cap over the button while it is in the pouch. After developing a roll of ISO-400 film from it, we found that all the photos were of at least fair quality, and several were very good. Two flash units (among others) which are compatible with this camera include the Bentley W14 and the Unomat Polo.
IMAGE Bentley/Windsor Camera Owners Club

Short Reviews

These are brief reviews of several cameras we have tested but have not used to take any photographs...

Vivitar PN2011 Camera: This is a compact 35mm camera with a switch for taking panoramic or normal/standard photographs. It also has a tripod socket and a built-in lens cover. One drawback of this camera is that there is no flash and no hot shoe for attaching a flash unit. The camera can be purchased new or used for less than $10 and is relatively easy to find.

Akira 7000: This is a fairly large and somewhat heavy 35mm camera with a number of features. It has four aperture settings, a hot shoe, a standard tripod socket, and motorized film advance/rewind. Two drawbacks are that it cannot be operated without batteries and that it is possible to accidentally press the film rewinding button. It has a more professional appearance than the newer Akira 7000DVT. It is fairly common and can usually be purchased (used) for less than twenty-five dollars.

Akira 7000DVT: This is a newer version of the Akira 7000 which has a few additional features. It is usually sold as part of the TC-508 camera set, which includes a sunshade, lens cover, pouch, flash unit, and strap. In addition to the Akira 7000 features listed above, it also has a timer and a top-mounted 2nd viewfinder. It is lighter than the original Akira 7000 and seems to have a slightly noisier motor. Unfortunately, the sunshade blocks about 1/3rd of the viewfinder, but it can be removed. Overall, it isn't the highest quality camera but is less expensive than many cameras with equivalent features.

PhotoFlex MX-35: This older medium-size 35mm camera came in at least two different versions, perhaps depending on the year it was made. It has a hot shoe, four aperture settings, and a tripod socket. There is a small rewind lever rather than a rewind button. The viewfinder doesn't look as if it would be very accurate. The instruction booklet is in color and much nicer than those included with many cameras.

Minolta Weathermatic Dual 35: This is a relatively large yellow and gray 35mm waterproof/underwater camera. It has motorized film advance/rewind and a built-in flash, among other features. It cannot be used without batteries, which can be either a 6V lithium battery (of a specific type, not all 6V batteries will fit in it) or four regular "AAA" batteries. This camera is fairly expensive, usually ranging from $35 to $60, depending upon its condition and the accessories included.

Canon Sure Shot Supreme: This is a fairly compact black 35mm camera with motorized film advance/rewind and a built-in flash. It also has a lens cover, tripod socket, and other features. It requires a 6V battery, which is more expensive than standard AA/AAA/etc. batteries and available in fewer stores. An advantage of this camera, when compared to some other motorized cameras, is that the motorized rewind button is very small and recessed on the bottom of the camera, so it is not easy to accidentally rewind the film. To open the battery compartment, two small screws on the side of the camera have to be removed.

Canon Snappy 20: This is a unusually-designed 35mm camera with a long, thin shape. It is mostly red and gray. There is a built-in flash, lens cover, bright flash-ready light, ASA 100/400 switch, and motorized film advance/rewind. It requires two standard "AA" batteries.

Suprema GP-104: This is a lightweight 35mm camera which is bright green in color. It is easy-to-use and has a built-in wrist strap. The back door is very easy to open, but perhaps a bit too easy if you aren't careful. There is no lens cover, flash, or hot shoe for attaching a flash. As with a few other similar cameras, the film counter is on the bottom of the camera and the film advance wheel is near the bottom rather than the upper-right corner. On a positive note, it does appear to have a higher quality viewfinder than some of the other low-cost cameras we have tested.

Concord 110TEF: This camera uses 110 film cartridges. It features a switchable normal/telephoto lens, built-in flash, and wrist strap. The flash requires two "AAA" batteries. It has a bright flash-ready light, flash on/off switch, and a small ASA chart next to them. According to the instructions, the 110EF and 110TEF both have a shutter speed of 1/60th second, with a fixed aperture of 9.5.

Keystone XR308 Everflash Pocket Camera: This camera uses 110 film cartridges, which are more difficult to find for sale than 35mm film. The camera has a rather large built-in flash, telephoto/normal switch, and wrist strap mount. The viewfinder changes according to the telephoto/normal setting. The built-in flash has a fast recycling time, meaning that it is ready to fire again after about 2-3 seconds. Another good feature is that the flash won't fire on the next shot after it is turned off, even if it was ready to fire, as is the case with some cameras and flash units. The flash requires two standard "AA" batteries, but the camera will still function without batteries.

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