This was given to me as an Easter present by my lovely girlfriend – she picked up this along with a Kodak Instamatic for £5 from the car boot sale. It is a lovely little semi-automatic SLR and one of my favourite cameras.

About:

Felt Fruit - Fujica AX-1 and Fujicolor Superia 1600
Felt Fruit – Fujica AX-1 and Fujicolor Superia 1600

This is little SLR was made by fujifilm in 1980. It is the most basic of its series, with the AX-3 and AX-5 having more exposure options.

Nonetheless it is a pretty advanced camera with a fully automatic shutter and exposure, which handles every well. It is manual focus, but the focussing screen in the viewfinder is clear and easy to use.

It tales x-fujinon lenses, of which there were many made, though anything other than the 50mm and 55mm seem to be hard to find at the moment.

Exposure

The film speed is set manually, with a large range, from ISO 12 to 1600 in 1/3 stop increments. The film speed dial has an extra function as an exposure compensation selector, allowing simple compensation of +/- 1 stop – though of course you can do more than this by altering the film speeds.

London Multi Exposure - Fujica AX-1 and Fujicolor C200
London Multi Exposure – Fujica AX-1 and Fujicolor C200

It has a ‘manual’ mode, with a fixed shutter speed of 1/60 (used mostly for non-fuji flash photography) allowing you to set the aperture to suit.  The primary exposure method is an advanced aperture priority. You set the desired aperture on the lens according to the light available, the depth of field you require and to choose to weight for a higher or lower shutter speed, and half press the shutter. In the viewfinder is a scale which lights up giving you an approximation of your shutter speed. From this you can see if the speed is too low for hand-held shooting, or to freeze motion, and change the aperture if desired. The shutter button acts as an AE lock so you can meter where you want in the scene to use the zone system for example. The metering is centre weighted average, and I have found it to be quite accurate.

The manual claims that the metering functions from EV2 (a dark lit street) to EV18 (a value not normally found in nature). The lower value is equivalent to 2s at f/1.4 with ISO 100 film; the shutter speed only goes down to 1/2s so this obviously would only be of use for ISO 400 and above. Still it is pretty impressive.

Vital Statistics

Types: 35mm SLR with AE
Lens Mount: Fujica X Mount
Viewfinder: 92% with 0.98X magnification, LED shutter speed indication, over and underexposure warning, battery check.
Focus: Manual split-image, microprism, ground-glass screen
Exposure Modes: Aperture-preferred AE,  manual (fixed 1/60s), Bulb. AE lock provided.
Shutter: Electronic cloth focal plane, from 1/2s to 1/1000s in 1/4 stop steps
Meter: Silicon photocells. center-weighted averaging system.
Meter Range: EV 2 to EV 18 (1/2s at f/1.4 ISO 400 – 1/1000s at f/22 at ISO 100)*
Film Speed: Manually set, ISO 12 – 3200, in 1/3 step
Flash: External – X contact hotshoe. 1/60-sec. hot shoe; special contacts for exclusive flashes. Automatic flash exposures, automatic shutter speed setting with exclusive flashes.
Power: 6V silver-oxide battery PX28, with battery check
Self-timer: Electronically controlled; with 12 sec delay and audible chime.
Film Advance: Manual Single-stroke, Multi Exposure enabled.
Dimensions: 135 x 84 x 48.5 mm
Weight: 500g

*See the text for an explanation of this slightly odd was of representing this.

Links

Manual on Butkus.org
Repair information and manual
Fujica AX series page on Camera Wiki

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