Ever heard of the Nippon G-100? Neither had I until I chanced upon a brand new one at the local markets and bargained the stall-holder down from $10 to $6. Having tested the camera this past week, I think he got the better end of the deal. However the enjoyment was all mine.
The Nippon G-100 is a “Made in China” 35mm plastic film camera which boasts a focus free 50mm f.6.3 lens. There’s no way to adjust shutter speed, which I’ve estimated to be about 1/200th sec. Not surprisingly, “focus free” means you can’t focus at all. Add a centre viewfinder, a shutter button and the film wind-on/rewind facilities, and that’s it. Oh, it has a flash hot-shoe on top which I haven’t tested. So how’d it perform?
As you can see, I had some trouble – but it was the wonderful, magical, whimsical type of trouble you get when you spend $6 on a plastic camera. The lab which developed and scanned the roll of Fuji film (400ASA) only charged me $10 because light leakage had “ruined” several images, and something strange had occurred with the wind-on of the film, which resulted in a few overlapping frames. So I was down sixteen bucks plus a roll of film. Add to that a bit of time in front of the iMac rescanning the negatives, playing with the Levels and Hue/Saturation adjustments and noise reduction in Photoshop, and adding borders with Nik’s Colour Efex Pro 4 and I have some images which will hopefully make the Chinese designers of the Nippon G-100 smile.
These show before and after the rescanning and processing described above. The initial scanning was done at the lab. Of course post-processing is a subjective thing so they could have been handled differently, with different outcomes. But I did only spend $6 on the camera!