Fun with Film: The 35J

I picked up an adorable toy camera this previous weekend: The Bell and Howell 35J

Taken with a Canon 300HS on 'Toy Camera' mode. 

Don't be fooled by it's gorgeous appearance however, as it is entirely plastic. I found it at the "Unique" thrift store (a poorly rebranded Savers). It was a dollar! Who could resist such a deal on Bauhaus styling? Its only adjustable control is a plastic aperture with three possible settings: sunny, cloudy and the mysterious 'clouds with lightning'. Research suggests that these correspond to F/8, F/11 and F/16, but I wouldn't hope for more accuracy at this price point. Case in point- the aperture isn't actually a bladed diaphragm, instead just a pinwheel with different sized holes. 

After buying it, I realized this was the perfect opportunity to try shooting film for the first time. A quick trip to the nearest Walmart lent four rolls of Fuji X-Tra 400 for around ten bucks. I chose ISO 400 solely based on the reccomendation of Yahoo Answers

I shot my first roll over the remainder of the day, trying out the various aperture and lighting combinations. The next day I took the finished roll to my location camera shop, Mike's Camera. After some discussion with the rep, I learned that they will cross process your film for you. Cool! I had them develop my C41 in E6 and push it one stop, as I'm told cross processing C41 in E6 needs a bit of a push.

After a day of eager waiting, I picked up my film and scanned it with a film scanner I found at work. Some Photoshop color correction was done on the more washed out photos, and I threw out a whole bunch that weren't exposed right. Crappy scan job though. 

I also discovered that my strobe works on the 35J. This turned out to be critical to getting proper exposure indoors. 


It's a lot of fun to shoot with. Obnoxiously, it's about ten bucks to develop-only with cross-processing, so I may try taking my film to a photo-killer like Walgreens. More experiments on the way!