Monday, September 30, 2019

Kwai Chai Hong, Olympus AF-1

Kwai Chai Hong, Olympus AF-1

'Analog Diary - Five frames with the Olympus AF-1 (Infinity), on the quest for an equivalent or alternative to the Olympus Mju II'

The Olympus AF-1 (Infinity in the US), 1985, the first of Olympus AF series cameras, was also the world’s first weatherproof fully automatic autofocus 35mm compact camera, a product of extensive research and development by the Japanese giant.

Due to its ability to be used in all weather conditions, the camera was nicknamed 'Nurepika' (wet flash) in Japan. Boxy, durable and all with a slightly offbeat option of an auto-on flash, the camera requires a quite hard to get CR-P2 Lithium to power its operation.

The AF-1 is fitted with a Zuiko 35mm F2.8 4-elements in 4-group lens with a minimum focusing distance of 0.75 meters, auto-exposure with an exposure range of 1/30 second at F2.8 to 1/750 second at F13.5, auto-flash with no flash override control, film autoload and rewind, and self-timer.

The autofocus system is supported by a 'focus lock' button which is a bit jiffy to use - press and hold the lock button with the left thumb, aim at the target with central box and press the shutter release button down, recompose the view, then release the lock button to release the shutter.

What is interesting about the camera is the 35mm F2.8 lens, which I took for a street walk down at Kwai Chai Hong, and the newly opened Pandan Republic, which could very well be the predecessor to the one found on the highly acclaimed and over-priced Olympus Mju II. For the duration of the shoot, just as well, I had the flash unit blocked with a piece of duct tape (see image above) as a test on how well the camera captures images in low shutter speed situation.

Shop Now: 35mm AF Compact / All Weather Cameras

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