Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Spotlight: Canon A35F


Released in 1978, the Canon A35F is a fun little auto-exposure rangefinder camera, and one of the first Canon cameras to feature built-in flash. I bought mine as part of a huge lot of cameras from an auction, and decided to test it out before selling it. 

The A35F comes equipped with a fairly fast and decently sharp 40mm f/2.8 lens. 40mm is my personal favorite focal length, providing a standard, if ever-so-slightly wide field of view that I find to be extremely versatile. At f/2.8, the A35F can give you some nice shallow depth of field -- not that you have much control over the aperture of the lens, since the camera is entirely automatic. 

The viewfinder!

Based on the amount of light in the scene, the camera automatically selects a shutter speed and aperture combination to best expose the film, which can be rated anywhere between 25 and 400 ISO. Shutter speeds range from 1/60 to 1/320, while apertures span from f/2.8 to f/20. With your eye to the finder, a little needle points to the aperture the camera will use, depending on the intensity of the light. If there is not enough light for the camera to make an exposure, the shutter will refuse to fire.  There is no option for long exposures with the A35F. Instead, the pop-up flash must be utilized. The flash is popped up manually via a little switch on the back of the camera. Once up, the flash turns on and begins to charge, which takes around 7 seconds or so. A little orange light turns on when the flash is ready to go. The camera then automatically selects the correct aperture for the flash to fire at based on the distance at which the lens is currently focused. All my flash photos were nicely exposed! 

Focusing is manual, via a rangefinder system. The rangefinder patch in the viewfinder is nice and bright, which made focusing easy, even in dimly lit interiors. The lens can focus as close as 0.8 meters (2.62 feet), which is pretty good for a point and shoot! Film loading, advancing, and rewinding are all done manually. The rewind crank is nicely designed, featuring a little indicator to show if your film is properly advancing out of the canister. 

Overall, the A35F is an enjoyable camera to use for casual snapshots. The only annoying thing about it is that it takes those old 1.35 volt mercury cells, which are not available anymore. Instead, I used an Exell 1.35-Volt Zinc Air Coin Cell Battery, which can be bought off Amazon here. The A35F was soon replaced a year after its release by the high tech autofocusing AF35M camera (which I looked at here), so the poor A35F is rarely talked about these days. That said, if you want a fun point and shoot with manual focus control, the A35F could be the camera for you! Below are a few photos I made with the A35F at my sister-in-law's birthday party. The film was Ilford HP5+. 

Thanks for looking! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Tuesday, November 15, 2022