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  1. #1
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Single-use cameras shutter speeds and apertures

    Has anyone ever studied the shutter speed and aperture of common single-use cameras? Is there a general trend such as "400 speed cameras hav 1/125 shutter and about f/8"?

    Has anyone had luck re-loading them?

    I would like to shoot some slides at the beach but I've swore off taking any of my cameras to the beach, between the sand and the saltwater.
    f/22 and be there.

  2. #2

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    All the single use cameras are for color print film and rely on the overexposure latitude of color negative film. If you reload with a slide film you run the risk of overexposed, thin washed out slides. If you happen to hit just the right light conditions you might get away with it.

    Yes, there have been several sites on the web showing how to re-use single use cameras, try a goggle search. They all start out with the film on one side of the camera and as you expose and advance the film it gets rolled back into the cartridge. So you usually have to work in total darkness to pull the film all the way out of the cartridge and roll it up tight to put it in the feed chamber and then close the camera back up, all in total darkness.

    Just get a Konica C35 or other simple auto only compact 35mm RF or VF camera from the mid 70's to mid 80's. Shouldn't cost very much, perhaps $20~$40 and be careful to keep it away from sand and seawater. If it does get trashed or bashed the slide film in it will be the most valuable thing you'll lose.

  3. #3

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    I take my cameras to the beach all the time and have no problems, even w/ them slung over my shoulder while I ride my bike there. Simply brush them off when you get home w/ a soft artist's brush if they get dirty, which mine never seem to do. I shoot B&W, so there's always a yellow filter on the lens (along w/ a hood) to protect things. It's a real challenge shooting only B&W there, as everyone always expects ocean photos to be in color, but it suits me.

    I'm pretty sure that Freestyle sells some inexpensive single use B&W film cameras if you wish to give that a try, but seriously, unless there's a gale wind blowing I wouldn't worry about bringing your gear there as long as you wipe/brush it off when you get home. Shooting slides could be difficult if it's sunny, as the exposure difference between the bright reflective sand, the water, and the sky can sometimes be pretty wide, but early morning and late evening should prove easier to shoot.
    Last edited by momus; 10-06-2013 at 12:51 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4
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    I second the idea of getting a cheap P&S camera, like a Canon Sure Shot of some sort. The 130u is a good one, and there's several on ebay ranging from $5 to $25 and up.
    Fred Latchaw
    Seattle WA


    I am beginning to resent being referred to as 'half-fast'.
    Whatever that's supposed to mean.

  5. #5
    AgX
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    There also are some weather-proof compacts (eg. Olympus µ-II) and amphibious compacts.

  6. #6
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    I've reloaded single-use cameras for fun, but not something I'd do instead of a proper camera. Like others said, with slide film it would be more of a problem. With the prices of used equipment, you could probably pick up something decent at a garage sale or thrift store and not worry about it getting hurt.
    If you are careful, there is no reason to not take your regular camera to the beach. I have seen some people basically put a camera in a bag, with the lens sticking out, to protect from sand, dust, and spray (though not much good if you drop it in the water).
    Truzi

  7. #7

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    if you go to any thrift store you will find a lot of small plastic pt and sht cameras that are one step above disposable cameras, in that they are precisely the same thing only reloadable.

    another option for beach use is to go buy your self a nikonos -- they can be had for about $150 or so and are water/sand/salt proof to a depth of 300 feet.



 

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