It doesn’t pay to become to attached to any one camera, I think. As William Morris advised “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”. Unfortunately, a number of my beloved old friends fulfilled neither criteria. Gone is the Centon K100, a Pentax SLR knock-off which I bought from Jessops to do my photography A-Level many years ago. Gone is the Polaroid One-Step, with its plastic lens and unaffordable film. Gone are the Lomo Fisheye 2 and the Babylon 4, fun for a roll then rather tiresome. Gone, sadly, finally, is the Rollei 35s. That was hard.
But we welcome a new friend. I’ve been looking for a quality point and shoot and decided on the Nikon 35ti. I was hoping it would be a suitable replacement for my Rollei 35s (nice lens, manual settings) and my Konica Big Mini (built in flash, automatic settings). After shooting a couple of rolls, I’m not sure it’s what I actually needed, but I still think I’m going to enjoy it.
It looks great. Google it, or search the tags on flickr. It seems like more pictures have been taken of it than with it.
The analogue dials on the top show the aperture selection, the focusing distance, exposure compensation and the number of pictures taken. There is a long exposure setting, but I have been using the program and aperture priority modes so far.
As you can see, the auto focus doesn’t necessarily focus on what you might expect it to. It generally aims at the thing in the middle of the picture, so you need to focus on your subject by lightly pressing the shutter release, then set the composition, then fully depress the button. If you add the shutter lag, this camera is almost as slow as my Nikon FM2 to operate, Slower, probably, when you factor in relative familiarity.
The colours are gorgeous, even with the cheap Kodak 400 I used for this picture. However, you can see how easy it is to knock the switch for ‘panorama’ setting. You can also see that the mask in my camera is obviously chipped. Oh well, don’t need it anyway.
Indoors with the flash disabled, the pictures are warm and soft. The flash is rather aggressive though.
The highest shutter speed is 1/500, although it appears that the camera is reluctant to go that fast. It takes a bit of persuasion to use a wide-open aperture outside, even with fast film. However, once the light dims or you take the camera inside, it would rather use the flash than a slower shutter speed. I think it is important to pick a film for the conditions with this camera.
Still, I’m looking forward to getting to know it. If you have used one, and you have any tips, please let me know!