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Chinon Genesis II (GS-8)

JDM von Weinberg , Jun 06, 2011; 04:02 p.m.

Chinon Genesis II (GS-8)

Kadlubek Nr. CHI0316

Another late 80s to early 90s auto-focus, auto-exposure SLR 'bridge camera' with a fixed Chinon 35-80mm with some 'macro' capability.

Chinon Genesis II was the second model Genesis SLR 'bridge' model, the first being the Genesis GS-7 of 1988. I had been looking for the original model, but this is quite similar, and I grabbed it when it was offered. There was a Genesis GS-7 model offered a few days later on eBay, but I decided not to bid on it. Probably one copy of Genesis is enough in one household. They sell for very low prices on eBay, but the original price was $300 in 1990 US dollars.

Here is the ad for the original model from Modern Photograph of December, 1988.

Original Genesis (GS-7) model ad -1988-12 Modern Photography


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JDM von Weinberg , Jun 06, 2011; 04:04 p.m.

The camera is very much like the Ricoh Mirai that I recently reported on ( http://photo.net/modern-film-cameras-forum/00Yk4S ) in appearance and function, except that it is simpler and less capable of photographer-control than the Mirai.

Here is the Genesis II (GS-8) model:

As you can see, the II is similar to the I

JDM von Weinberg , Jun 06, 2011; 04:06 p.m.

When I first turned the camera on, it popped up the flash (it does that and, although there is a way to turn flash off, most pictures are meant to be taken using fill flash). The LCD screen on top, lit up for a few seconds, blinked and went dead. Looked in Butkus's html>pdf manual, and found out that the battery was too low for the camera to function. So I put in another 2CR5 battery, got further down the road, but that one turned out to be weak as well, so finally with a 'new' battery everything came alive. I could see there was some film in the camera, so I shot a few pictures to see if it was working, but then noticed that the frame counter still read '0'. Opened up camera, and sure enough the film was probably the rewound last roll shot with it and for once, I didn't try to shoot it again in my unfortunately long series of double exposure films.

My D-76 developer is very old, probably no longer working well, and I didn't have any 35mm color except for some ancient color-infrared (E-4 process, good luck with that) and some other extinct slide film, so I stuck in a roll of slightly outdated Ilford XP-2 -- a C-41 B&W film. I got a huge batch of this free at my photo-collective, and this is third from the last roll left.

In the instructions manual, Chinon does not actually recommend against slide film, but clearly there are limitations on the AF-AE capabilities in that regard. Nowadays, I hardly ever shoot slide film (warm dark room, click-click-click, gentle snoring from audience), so not a problem for me.

Here are some shots from my test roll.

First, a section of architectural screen on my carport (even where there used to be garages here, they've been converted into faculty home offices). This was handled pretty well by the autofocus, I thought. The AF is an active infrared system like that on many contemporary point-and-shoot AF cameras.

Focusing test - architectural screen on my carport

JDM von Weinberg , Jun 06, 2011; 04:07 p.m.

Then a picture of the local coffee/bread/internet shop's ceiling, showing the 35mm minimum focal length, and the 80mm maximum focal length.

short and long of the built in AF telephoto

JDM von Weinberg , Jun 06, 2011; 04:08 p.m.

My someday-to-be-a-seasonal-series of my neighbor's flagpole and house is next. The second shot is the "artist at work" reflected in my front door glass.

flag and me

JDM von Weinberg , Jun 06, 2011; 04:09 p.m.

Finally, my neighborhood is diverse, but under my carport, it is kind of waspish (with the built-in fill or not flash, as all of them are). All the other pictures show the full frame, but the wasp is cropped.

The last of my pictures taken yesterday on the Genesis II is a fairly complicated image for this kind of AF - a yucca plant in bloom with lots of other detail around. The Genesis did well again.

Wasp neighborhood and Big Yuccas

JDM von Weinberg , Jun 06, 2011; 04:10 p.m.

That's it, folks.

A post of the found film which I got with the camera will soon follow.

JDM von Weinberg , Jun 06, 2011; 04:30 p.m.

Maury Cohen , Jun 06, 2011; 06:25 p.m.

I love how they describe 80mm as capable of "distant telephotos" in the ad.

JDM von Weinberg , Jun 06, 2011; 06:45 p.m.

As you can see, the range is not so huge by modern standards, but in 1988, everyone described the 35-135mm zoom range on the Ricoh Mirai as being extreme - and that was not just the ad copy writers. Times change.

Imagine what they'd have made of an 18-300mm or so.

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