03 November 2010

Sometimes You Get What You Pay For

As I mentioned the other week, I've dug around a time or two in the camera bin at the local goodwill looking for toy cameras. Most of the bin cameras are point-and-shoots dating from the 80s and 90s. Most probably don't work (there's no way of knowing) and are only fit for recycling. But some of them, for what they are, were the best of their kind in their day. I bought one such and ran a roll through it.

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 80
Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 80

I had almost this exact camera years ago. Many of the early photos of my daughter were shot with it, so I picked this specimen up partly out of nostalgia. As you see, I paid $3 for it. The battery to run it cost twice that. Most of these cameras run on CR123A or CR2 batteries. Add in film and they were not cheap to run, but they were very advanced cameras. Multi-element glass lens, excellent autofocus and metering, auto DX (ISO) sensing, auto film advance (auto everything, in fact), and a very smart clamshell design. It would have been at least $200 new. These were produced right up until just ten years ago or less. Digital killed this little guy before his time.

Everything works on it, but the lens suffers from some kind of horrific flare. This is not normal. I'm guessing one of the internal lens elements has come loose. The photos still come out decent, if you can ignore the flare. But you can't. In most photos, it's just awful.

Sometimes cheap or defective cameras produce photos that are so bad they're good, but that's not the case here. I just got what I paid for. Junk. It's headed back to recycling.

No Parking

Driving for Jesus

Orange Cruiser

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