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  1. At least based on what they're fetching on eBay. I received an AX-3 pretty much for free, cleaned it up, put in new light seals and have been pleasantly surprised. It's as compact as an Olympus OM (which I like) and while it may have more plastic than the higher end OM-1, 2, 3, 4, etc. they seem to be better built than the OM-10, 20s, 30s, etc. Yet the asking price for even the lowly OM-10 seems to be skyrocketing. But Fujica AX cameras? Not really. Is it just the lack of lenses? I can kind of see that but I'm thinking that the people buying OM-10s aren't buying a plethora of lenses to go with it.
  2. Once it became practical to fit ships with steam engines, sailing ships slowly fell out of favor. Most people in the business were anxious to switch to something faster, simpler to operate, and cheaper. But while it's now rare to see people or goods transported by sail, sailing goes on as a hobby. And sails as propulsion for transporting cargo and people may also make a comeback for ecological reasons. I don't expect film to follow the exact same path but there are some similarities. Sailing is a lot more work than piloting a powerboat, and generally a lot slower. But for many people it's also a lot more satisfying. Just like film is for those who continue to use it. In many ways sailing and sailboats seem to be stuck in time. The vast majority of sailboats on my lake are decades old. But innovation does occur, - especially in high end racing and cruising boats. Maybe the same will happen with film and film cameras but I'm not sure what would spur that. Sailing as a pastime has had its up and downs but I doubt it will ever disappear completely. I expect the same will be true for film. It's been gaining some popularity in recent years and there's no guarantee that that will continue, but I expect that there will be people shooting film for decades into the future.
  3. The AX-3 is definitely manual focus. Does need a battery for shutter operation. What about cameras that typically need a battery to operate but will shoot at 1/60th without a battery? Hopefully you all will have this sorted out before I'm ready to post my thoughts on the camera. Would like to shoot a roll of film and process it first. That will take some time. Still needs light seals. ;)
  4. Not sure where a 35mm Fujica AX-3 from the early 80s belongs. It has a full manual mode but but also has some electronics.
  5. Even 35mm P&S cameras are getting expensive though. I paid more for a good P&S for my son's girlfriend last Summer than I did for a Yashica 12 a few years ago.
  6. I know what you mean. A few years ago I bought a Fujica GS645 and last Summer the film advance started acting up. I found a service manual and snapped a screw off in the process of disassembly, probably because it was left handed. Would have been nice if the service manual would have mentioned that. Could not find a part or even a suitable "as is" camera that I could use for parts without spending a small fortune. Then I considered looking for a "Texas Leica" instead but as you've said, prices have skyrocketed. I ended up finding a small enough tap that I could drill out the remains of the broken screw on my existing camera and rethread the hole. The head of the original screw had an usually large head that the take up film spool fits over. I used JB Weld over the top of a cap head screw to build it up to the right size and then filed it down to the proper shape. A lot of work to replace a damn screw. Anyway, the camera works again. If I didn't like it so much I could turn nice profit. Fuji/Fujica made some really unique medium format cameras. I keep searching on craigslist hoping another one will turn up for a reasonable price. No luck.
  7. Soda Ash, - which is basically the same thing except that Washing Soda typically contains more moisture. For that reason soda ash would be better for Caffenol than washing soda but you'd want probably want to use less. However, I know that some people bake their washing soda to get the moisture out so it's not clear to me if soda ash could be used as a 1 to 1 substitute.
  8. I'll go out on a limb and assume you haven't tried it. :) If you want consistently near perfect photos without all the fuss of mixing developers, then shoot digital. But if you enjoy that aspect of photography then it is kind of fun to mess with caffenol and you do get good results. If you can follow a recipe, you can successfully process film with caffenol. Is it better than Kodak's offerings? Generally no, but there are some advantages. One problem for many commercial developers is shelf life. It's not an issue if you shoot enough film, but if shooting film is just an occasional hobby, you can end up wasting a lot of chemicals. With Caffenol, you mix up as much as you need. Of course there's HC-110 and similar products but honestly I don't know that my photos turned out any better with HC-110 than Caffenol. The other supposed advantage to Caffenol I don't think is really true anymore. The whole idea was to come up with something that people could develop film with using ingredients they'd find around their home. At least in the US, not many people use instant coffee anymore, nor do they have washing soda. In fact depending on where you live, washing soda might be pretty hard to find. Same with the type of Vitamin-C that's recommended. Still, the ingredients are pretty simple to come by overall and not expensive. Many home-brew developers that might give better results require chemicals that you don't find just anywhere, are more toxic, and you might have to purchase them in amounts that would make one think twice. I don't use Caffenol anymore but I'd never talk anyone out of it that wants to try it. In fact I'd encourage people to if they're interested at all.
  9. I've developed a few rolls of film that were left in cameras I bought, - nothing as old as this though. Always makes me wonder about the lives those people led. Even the young girl may be gone by now. Fashion changes aside I find it somehow reassuring that you could snap a photo today that wouldn't look that much different. People are people. Young kids will still bashfully nibble on finger while looking at a camera, - and big hams a minute later. The older woman looks like any number of aunts and great aunts that I had along with their friends in my old town.
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