No where to set film speed

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by bedfordwebster, Jun 13, 2020.

  1. hi,

    i am new.

    i have this camera i just bought on the street in Hong Kong. A Seagull KJ-1 rangefinder.

    there is no where to set film speed. This is wierd! Does this mean I can only use 1 film speed?

    If so, what is he proper film speed?

  2. In the internet it says: "The camera has no lightmeter"i.e. you have to set speed and diafragma by hand and use an external lightmeter.
    There are many articles how to use a camera without a lightmeter.
    Good luck.
  3. What's the point of telling a camera that doesn't have an on-board meter the speed of the film you're using?

    Get a hand-held meter and tell it the film speed.
  4. AJG


    I'm not familiar with this camera, but does it have a light meter? If it doesn't, then there wouldn't need to be a film speed setting, although many cameras without meters still have a film speed setting as a reminder for the photographer as to what film is loaded in the camera.
    kmac likes this.
  5. To be fair, I have a lot of cameras without lightmeters(Hasselblad backs too old to interface with meters, Nikon Fs, etc) that have a place to set the film speed. It's so that you can remember what's in it-the dial is "dumb" and doesn't tell the camera anything.
  6. i dont know how to post a photo of the camera.

    yes, no light meter.

    i am newb to photograhy. Thanks!
  7. For starters, you can use the "Sunny f/16" rule. In sunlight set the lens aperture to f/16, and the shutter speed to 1/film speed; thus for ISO 100 film, the setting is 1/125 @ f/16. Open up one stop for partly cloudy. With print film, you don't have to be spot on. Every setting in sun light will be a variation on the "sunny f/16" rule; f/11 @ 1/250, etc.
  8. here is it...[​IMG]
  9. what the heck...

    i just realize the shutter button is crooked!
  10. As the top shutter speed is only 1/300 (normal for a leaf shutter), you'll be best using ISO 100 or 125 film if shooting outdoors in daylight, see above for how to apply the 'sunny f16 rule'.

    Check the manual, if you can find one, but many Soviet and Chinese cameras require you to set the shutter speed only after having first wound the film. Most importantly, don't force anything.

    Your camera is a rangefinder. When looking through the viewfinder, you should see a smaller patch in the centre with a double image. Place this patch over the subject you want to be in focus, then turn the outermost ring on the lens until the images merge in order to focus the lens.
  11. I dont understand the above statement.
  12. This camera has been around a while. Earlier versions were Seagull 205 and Phenix 205. Basically a copy of a 1960's fixed lens 35mm rangefinder without the meter.
  13. Steve,

    do you mean, i am not suppose to turn the SS ring before winding the film?

    i already did a few times.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
  14. I don't think it's necessary to wind on before changing the film speed on these, I think they are a copy of an old Minolta design which surely would be adjustable before or after winding. It's mainly the USSR cameras which are vulnerable to this.
  15. any tricks to remember to take the lense cap off before shooting?
  16. I don't know, I've never had a Seagull, nor have I seen the manual. I made the statement as it applies to a number of cameras, though primarily those with focal plane shutters. In general, it's a piece of advice that will do you no harm to follow, even if it's not actually required. I say this with the cautionary note of 'always check the manual' as there is bound to be one model of camera where the reverse applies, though I'm not aware of one.

    The most important thing is never to force anything. If something doesn't want to move, stop and figure out why.

    As to the lens cap, best advice I can give is to make removing it one of the actions you do as you prepare to shoot, so that it becomes habit.

    In other words, always have it on the camera, when you go to take a shot, remove cap, wind camera, check shutter speed and aperture, raise to eye and shoot. If you make it part of your routine, it helps.

    That was/is my routine when using a rangefinder (or anything else), your preference may be different.

    We've all left it on at least once, I challenge anyone to say otherwise!
  17. Thanks!

    One more question...what shutter speeds can I use, when using a flash?
  18. With a leaf shutter camera like this, you can use any shutter speed with flash.

    You are getting dangerously close to being required to show us some results from it.
  19. SCL


    I'm surprised you're jumping into using flash before you understand the basics of the camera use. Anyway, most of the cameras of this era were designed to use flashbulbs...some of them also incorporated synchronization for electronic flash as well. Generally flash synchronization was in the range of approx. 1/30-1/100, with most being about 1/50-1/60. Some of the Minolta Hi-Matics, which your camera is based on suggested when using flash bulbs setting the shutter speed to 1/30, or if using electronic flash, any shutter speed was fine since the flash duration was so short. Hope this helps.

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