The film is back, sorted and scanned. The results are in.
The Minolta Hi-Matic 5 JCPenney camera works!
Bad news first: It is not able to focus from (my) arms length… unless I want self portraits that look like this:
If only I could make my right arm grow a foot longer it would work (note the in-focus far shoulder and garden ornament in the photo on the right.) These photos were taken on the close-up setting outside in bright sunlight (on the sunny setting.)
Mimi Pug hasn’t figured out that it’s a camera yet, so she doesn’t rush right off for her reward (yet! don’t ask me how she trained me to reward her for having her photo taken…) You’ll notice the ground and feet in focus in 2 shots. And huge lens flare in another. (Apologies for the pee shot. But this is my reality.) The final shot is bright and well focused – because I used the flash!
These photos turned out great. The first one shows the flash on the camera, but not in use. It’s clear because I have sufficient light and because the sink prevented me from getting too close to the mirror (I think!) The second one is arms length, indoors, flash on. You might be able to see that the camera focuses quite well deep into the background – outside, the chain link fence across the street…
btw, do you notice the green flash of light under the lamp in the right hand picture? Compact fluorescent light is green! I learnt that the hard way using film indoors at work. The left hand picture shows how our “reveal” color balanced incandescent bulbs produce a warmer prettier light, even in our green bathroom.
If I want to start taking overexposed foot self portraits, this camera is the one! It was a very bright day and the grass is really dry. I’m actually quite happy with this shot. It would be even better with my awesome contrasty lomographic film (which I will show off in another post, very soon)
This was the very last picture I took. Do you see what’s awesome about it…? Besides being in focus at arms length… (and having a flash of pug side-boob!)
It’s a double exposure! I wound the film on, but it was the end of the roll, and the lever got stuck. The only way to go back or forward was to fire the shutter… which I did while pointing landscape-wise at the wall across from the couch apparently. So lucky! It’s amazing how happy I was to see this!!
So the verdict is… $25 well spent! It’s not the (Diana) camera of my dreams, but it’s far from a dud. I think I might be able to have some serious fun with this thing.
Next tasks – experimenting with focus settings and then with lomographic film…