Monthly Archives: May 2018

52 Cameras: # 153 — Vivitar A35 Splash Proof




Update 15 April 2019
I’ve gotten a few questions about this camera, particularly about loading film. It either works right the first time or it’s a giant PITA, so here’s a short tutorial.

If your canister goes in easily, skip down to the film leader portion. Sometimes re-used canisters or canisters for home loading can be a little off size-wise.

Loading the canister

I've had better luck with the rewind slot in the camera and the bar in the film parallel to the camera.  You can see there's a small dip in the plastic at the bottom of the chamber.

I’ve had better luck with the rewind slot in the camera and the bar in the film parallel to the camera. You can see there’s a small dip in the plastic at the bottom of the chamber.


Top 1st.  A pretty steep angle and it may not clear the bottom at first.  Jiggle-rotate the canister as you push up (towards camera top) until it goes in a little further.

Top 1st. A pretty steep angle and it may not clear the bottom at first. Jiggle-rotate the canister as you push up (towards camera top) until it goes in a little further.


It may rub the plastic at the bottom of the chamber.

It may rub the plastic at the bottom of the chamber.


It will slide in easily now but there's a little bit more...

It will slide in easily now but there’s a little bit more…


Push a little more until it clicks into the metal clip at the bottom of the chamber.

Push a little more until it clicks into the metal clip at the bottom of the chamber.


Film Leader

Pulling out the leader to the mark may not be enough.  This is a home cut leader in some scrap film but it's the same for factory film.

Pulling out the leader to the mark may not be enough. This is a home cut leader in some scrap film but it’s the same for factory film.


The sprocket holes at the top of the film need to be over these cog teeth.

The sprocket holes at the top of the film need to be over these cog teeth.


Like this.

Like this.


To reach the cog teeth, you may be past the leader mark.  It's OK.

To reach the cog teeth, you may be past the leader mark. It’s OK.


The leader goes over the spool and into the well at the right of the spool.

The leader goes over the spool and into the well at the right of the spool.


Ready to close the back.

Ready to close the back.


I thought I remembered it automatically advancing to 1 but mine isn’t. It may be because I kept opening and closing the back while I took pictures. There is a back-closed switch and a film detection switch so it knows when to stop rewinding. If it does advance, great. If it doesn’t, fire a couple of shots until the film counter is at 1. If the film counter isn’t moving as you hear the motor advancing, the film isn’t loaded over the cog teeth or it may not be grabbed by the take-up spool. You’ll have to open it up and re-do the leader placement.

End of Update 15 April 2019



Photoworks ISO 400 film. Expired in 2006. Scanned on a Canon 9000f at 2400DPI and reduced to 1024 on the long side for upload.

The sensor apparently adjusts the flash. The film is 400 but it’s lost speed with age so probably more like 200. Indoor shots are underexposed so the scanner pumps up the gain so I get film grain plus scanner noise. Still, not bad for a cheap camera and cheap, old film.

The munchkin took this one.

The munchkin took this one.


Stairwell coming out of the city parking garage.

Stairwell coming out of the city parking garage.


My timing was off and I split the car with the pole.

My timing was off and I split the car with the pole.




Some research info…
The auction ad showing the manual copyright date and the box showing that the camera was sold by itself.

The auction ad showing the manual copyright date and the box showing that the camera was sold by itself.


This next ad might be able to claim accuracy on technicalities. The shutter could be accurate at all of its one speeds. It auto-focuses at the one, fixed, focus setting. Maybe there were variations and some cameras came with an f/4.5 lens.
This same info was in several ads by different sellers.

This same info was in several ads by different sellers.


ISO info from a picture of a manual page in another ad.

ISO info from a picture of a manual page in another ad.


Kudos to QVC for advertising with accurate information.

Kudos to QVC for advertising with accurate information.

52 Cameras: # 152 — Cardboard Box Pinhole




The fugly beast itself.
325mm, F/428, 8X10" paper negative.  Custom  variable duration shutter (it's tape).

325mm, F/428, 8X10″ paper negative. Custom variable duration shutter (it’s tape).


Not a lot to show — I only took the two images.
Tree negative

Tree negative


This old cottonwood is 95% dead but the birds love it.

This old cottonwood is 95% dead but the birds love it.


The wind was trying to steal the box so the paper tore and the flaps got in the way.

The wind was trying to steal the box so the paper tore and the flaps got in the way.


Black Mesa and La Capilla de la Familia Sagrada

Black Mesa and La Capilla de la Familia Sagrada