My friend found this little gem at a bootsale amongst a pile of junk. The Halina 35X 35mm Film Camera from 1959.
I do like an old camera. But only if it works! I’m not one for buying a camera only to gather dust. If I own a retro camera I want to know that I can use it when I want to and still get great results. And that is exactly what this did.
At first glance is was in a real sorry state. Very dirty and sticky. Nothing that a bit of metal polish couldn’t fight. The tricky part is the mechanics. Do the aperture blades open and close? Is the shutter mechanism working? Does it fire!?
Well, all of these were a but stiff but I went to work and started to lube the mechanics of the camera using a drop of hair clipper blade oil on the end of a cue tip. A dab here and a dab there and decades of dirt was being lifted leaving the cameras shutter, aperture blades and focusing ring nice and smooth to operate.
Last thing was the lens. It was very dusty but fungus free. Taking the lens apart wasn’t hard at all and I soon had the lens clean again using a drop of DSLR Sensor cleaner and a lens cloth. Ready to shoot!
I had to test it first for light leaks. For that I would (in total darkness) cut a strip of film out of a 35mm can (Kodak Tmax 400) and place it in the back of the camera. With the back closed and ready to shoot I took the camera outside into bright sunlight and took a photograph. Then develop the strip of film and examine if the camera leaked light. I could not see anything obvious so I was confident to load the roll of Tmax and go out and put the camera to the test.
There is nothing but manual control for this camera. No rangefinder, no light meter, no auto focus, no auto advance. You have to judge it all yourself. Which is great. It makes your photography more enjoyable I find!
After going for a walk in my village I came back with some pretty nice photographs.
I found the camera easy to use, fun and also the images were very sharp making me think the lens is a good one!
Here is the video from my channel on using this camera.