Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fujica DL-20 - Pocketful of 35mm Fujifun

Back in January, I picked up a used Fujica DL-20 point and shoot that had been languishing in the local camera shop.  Fuji cameras have been known to have excellent optics, and the little 35mm camera intrigued me as to its abilities.  It had been sitting in Huron Camera's bargain bin for quite a while, and I finally bit.
pop-up flash
As you can see in the first photo, the lens cover is also a viewfinder cover. It rotates to the left, revealing the lens and  allowing use of the camera.   It uses 2 AA batteries to power the auto-winder and pop-up flash.  Film is easy to load- simply release the back catch, and the back opens up from the bottom, and you simply slide the roll of film and leader into place.  Shut the back and the film loads to frame 1.  There are only two manually-set ISO settings - 100 and 400.  Not the best selection, but this isn't a camera for the picky.  The two film speeds are also ones most likely to be found at the drugstore back in 1983, when the camera was released.    There is a pop-up flash that is manually set.  The focus is zone, with icons for portrait, group, and landscape.  The default is group, which is also the flash setting. The shutter button is large and easily found, and next to it there is also a recessed connector for a standard remote release cable, as well as a tripod socket on the bottom of the camera.  This is a pretty basic, yet functional and sturdy camera.  It can fit easily into a big pocket.
top deck of camera

The camera specifications are:
38mm focal length, f/4 Fujinon lens
1/100 sec shutter speed at ISO 100
1/300 sec shutter speed at ISO 400.
dimensions - 121 x 72 x 55 mm; 300 g
Anticipating today's trends, the camera was available in black, white, and red! It has clean lines,  a brightline viewfinder, and a raised grip on the right side, providing good ergonomics for the user. Okay, enough of that, how did the camera perform?    First of all, the roll of film I tested it with was fresh Kodak Tri-X, not a C-41 film.  Here are a few photos from that roll, ranging from a snowstorm in January, to a bit of snow in mid-March.
Snowstorm in Dexter, second shot on the roll.

Jiffy in Chelsea

March reflection

not yet picnic time

cactus club
monstera leaves

The optics appear to be quite sharp. It's not a bad camera, and surely a sturdy camera to keep handy for any adventure!   Two things I recommend you do -- make sure that the zone focus is set properly before shooting, and make sure that you don't inadvertently change the ISO setting.  Other than that, the camera is quite easy to use.  Like many Fuji cameras from a few decades ago, they seem to be uncommon here in the US.  

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