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