This was the first film compact I bought, for £2.99 in a charity shop in Scarborough, boxed with a case and information leaflet.  I can find very little about it on the internet. This is one of my favourite cameras and has a special place in my heart.

About

In such a way as something red, plastic and slightly reminiscent of a tank can be sexy, this is a sexy camera.

The styling is so very 80s, thick angular lines and a rubberised black grip, none of this ergonomic nonsense.

It is fully manual. It has a sliding lens cover, under which is an ISO/Flash (100, 400/1000, Flash) selector which operates as a basic Waterhouse-stop aperture control. The flash setting is largest and I think we can assume this to be f/6.3 as the legend on the casing suggests.

 

I think it is unlikely that it is manufactured by any relation of the original Franka-Kamerwerk company, and most likely is produced in Japan or America and the name has been bought.

Lens and focus

The box lists the lens as a 35mm f/6.3 optical lens – as the higher spec AF-1000 is listed on the box as having a glass lens, I think we can assume this is plastic or resin. It is ‘focus free’, meaning fixed focus. If is was focused hyperfocally at f/6.3 this would give a range of about 2.8m-∞. I think that it does not quite reach infinity focus, and that you would not necessarily want it to on a flash setting so it may be focused closer – close to, or at, the hyperfocal for the ISO 400 setting which I am guessing to be f/16, giving a close focus of about 1.7m.

Exposure

The shutter speed is not listed on any of the literature that I have seen, but I would estimate it to be 1/100s as this matched with f/8 is quite common on compacts, allowing decent shots in semi-cloudy conditions. One could then assume the ISO 400 setting to be f/16. Using ISO 100 Neopan Acros on a sunny day in northern England seemed about OK, and ISO 200 Colorplus in the sun is that tiny bit over-exposed that Kodak consumer films benefit from.

I aim to test the shutter before producing a detailed table, but suffice to say the three apertures give some choice for using different ISO films and for creative exposure.

Gallery

Vital Statistics

Type: 35mm Viewfinder Camera.
Lens: 35mm, f/6.3, optical resin.
Aperture: f/6.3, possibly f/8; f/11.
Transport: Manual.
Flash: In Built, Selectable.

Links

My sets on Flickr from the Franka AF-300
Set using the Franka AF-300 and X-Pro Provia
Another post about the AF-300

3 comments

  1. I have black one. I loaded the film, rewinded already but when I take a photo, I dont hear anything without “tack”. I want to know that “does it work??”. I want to know the signal or sound that let me know it has still worked

  2. It varies. Many of these are Slide Film (Fuji Velvia/Sensia and Kodak Ektachrome) which was cross-processed at various places, some are Kodak Colorplus, some are Fuji Neopan.

    If you have a look at the Flickr sets it says which film was used for each one.

    Can’t wait to get this Camera out again in the Summer!

  3. im thinking about buying one of these cameras, just wondering what kind of film you used in your pictures and if you developed them yourself?

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