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Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Matsui

When dad told me over the phone that he had found an old camera at a yard sale for $5 that was "like my others" , I was excited and had no idea what to expect. I thought that maybe it was a classic with worn shutter springs, causing it to seem "broken" when all it needs is a good dry run of all the speeds a dozen or so times. I completely did not expect to find a lomography gem. The camera is a cheap Chinese Matsui Camera "B" . Yes, that's right. The only name I could find on the camera other than the maker was Camera "B" . I have searched and searched for anything about this camera but with absolutely no luck. I can just imagine that it's a company that got into the "toy camera" market far too soon. Before the $20 wonder known as Holga came along.

You see, there is a whole different crowd of photogaphers out there. In fact, they don't even call themselves photographers. These are lomographers. People that see a rough pressure plate as the producer of "creative" scratches on the film. People that see light leaks as neat effects to odd photos. People that cheer when their cheap plastic lens produces harsh vignetting around the corners of the photo. You may think that this would be a collection of junk photos that any child could take. You may be right. But every now and then, a lomographic (or "toy") camera can make even the most mundane subject appear fascinating.

I have loaded a cheap roll of FujiFilm SuperHQ 200, though 200 ISO may be too slow for this camera's f/6.3 "lens" . It's difficult to call this thin piece of plastic a lens. Even better, it came with a huge (and heavy) hotshoe flash! Crazy! I detached it though. It's quite rare that a flash will do anything but ruin a lomo shot (if such a thing is truly possible). The camera takes standard 35mm film, two AA batteries, and is motor driven. Crazy, no? It provides two methods of setting up a frame. Standard rangefinder port on the far left end of the body (way too far, anything midrange will be offset by at least a foot), and a top down mirror view through a circular port directly above the lens. This is a neat feature as this is quite common with medium format cameras. Of course, things appear completely backwards through the top viewfinder. But who cares? Anyone "setting up" a shot on a lomo is doomed to fail from the start. I am really anxious to see this first roll developed. It's bound to be... interesting at least. ;-) I really wish I knew the shutter speed. It's a fixed speed. Usually lomos have a fixed speed of 1/125 sec. Fast enough to avoid handshake blur and slow enough to be versatile.

Oh, I finished HL2:Ep1. I'm still saying "wow" about the ending. Amazing. Oh yeah, after the credits it shows a preview for HL2:Ep2. :-D Frickin' sweet. There were some amazing HDR effects at the end. Made me pretty glad I purchased my 7800GT.

---I'm still madly in love with Alicia. There are so many new things in this relationship. Things I've never experienced before. It's exciting. I get to see her Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Woohoo!
And finally, I'm going to bed. I've been up since 3:30 AM this morning. Had to go to Evansville and do a drill day for SRP. They want everyone's records straight before AT and "just in case" we "ever" mobilize. Duh, anyone that joined the Army knew they were going to mob eventually. I'm not excited about it, but I know it's coming sooner or later. I have 4 years left on my contract, do you really think I'll get that lucky? Methinks no.
Currently Listening To: Prince - When Doves Cry - Purple Rain - 1984


Anonymous steven said...

I feel as if I'm a slight bit of a lomography shooter, according to the wikipedia definition. Notice I said slight. I don't like setting up shots and having people smile, I'd much rather catch them in their natural state as they are.

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG! I can't believe I actually found something online about this crazy camera! My husband and I just received a bunch of stuff from a friend who's aunt died (yadda yadda yadda) and inside one of the two suitcases of stuff were two film camera. One was a Nikon and the other was what appeared to be a Canon Camera "A." After searching and searching I finally saw the trademark Matsui on the inside of the manual and I found your blog. Kindof crazy that there's "Canon" on the outside of the camera huh? Please post some pics once you get them developed!!! I would love to see how they came out!

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Joe Carter from Baton Rouge Louisiana and i have a friend that wants to sell me a Matsui Camera and to my surprise it was brand new still with the plastic, it also came with the flash. Well i was kind of nervous on buying it at first so i came to the internet to look it up and this is all i could find to on this camera. So do i need to purchase it for 75 dollars or is it even worth that? Is it a vintage camera? Is it worth my time? Is it worth any money? by the way he has two of them brand new.

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay so I have a question about the camera. I have the same one and would really like to use it. I have no clue of how. I was thinking maybe you could help me out. Thanks!

I have a blogger too..
-Carmen Castorena

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings, I have just come into possessing two Matsui cameras, both "A" and "B". however your blog is the one thing I have found with the Matsui brand mentioned. If you could please send me any/all information you have about this mysterious company.

~Carl Bergstrom

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings, I have just come into possessing two Matsui cameras, both "A" and "B". however your blog is the one thing I have found with the Matsui brand mentioned. If you could please send me any/all information you have about this mysterious company.

Sorry, totally forgot to leave my contact information...


6:49 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

Hi,my name is Melanie,I recently was given a Matsui camera,I was wondering if you could possibly tell me how to find out if it's Camera A or B.I had film developed recently and was wondering if you had has yours developed,the pictures from my camera are on my facebook,I'd love to share them with you,I hope to hear from you soon email-sweetcobalt@yahoo.com


3:38 PM  
Blogger NSanz said...

Hi, Im nicole :) i've bought the same camera so ill like to know something else about it. Would you mind send me some information? I really apreciate it, my email is: nicolet_sanchez@hotmail.com

thanks :D

4:45 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hello! My names Melina; I had just purchased one of these from goodwill and have no idea how to make it work. Help? I have the kit 3006, but it looks almost exactly the same and has the same features as far as I can tell! Haha

If you have time, hit me up and let me know how you got yours working!

5:17 PM  

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