Friday, July 11, 2014

Zero Image 135

Yet another camera!
I just couldn't resist.
I actually ordered this one before I started on the FT66, you know, so that maybe I could 'borrow' some design ideas.
Anyways, the Zero Image 135:

Lemme just say right here, this camera is very well made and designed and I know a little bit about the making part.
Fit and finish is excellent and the cable release shutter mechanism works great, sort of.
More on that later.
The back has a handy exposure guide:

The top includes a nice bubble level for your picture taking convenience:

The camera is very small, about the size of a pocket 35mm; I was expecting something a bit larger.
The size makes it very handy to carry around though I wish there was a strap lug or something of the sort.
I suppose I could get one that attaches to the tripod mount on the bottom.
Loading the camera requires an empty 35 cartridge:

You can see how everything fits together here.
It can take wide pano 35mm pictures, 24x70 I think, roughly double the frame size, by removing some spacers in the film chamber.
I did my tests with the spacers installed.
I ordered the deluxe version which comes with the cable release mechanism which works great.
Except if want to put the camera down:

The release mechanism extends the shutter below the bottom of the camera so it must be hand held or tripod mounted.
I've taken a look at that shutter release and it's pretty much a design compromise; they would have had to increase the height of the camera to fix that problem and I think the camera is nicely sized so it's a give and take sort of thing.

There's a lot o'camera shake going on there!
Manually releasing the shutter with that mechanism there is bit tricky for you got some parts in the way.
The camera is also very light so it's easy to jerk around, you must be careful in operation.
If you look at the top picture of the camera you can see the film counter markers, Zero Image recommends 1 1/4 revolution for the first five frames, then one full revolution for the rest.
Image spacing:

A little bit of waste there, but if you wanted to reduce it I suppose you could and it's probably perfect for the pano shots.
Overall, a really nice camera!
After building my own, I gotta say this little image maker is worth every penny!
The finish and fit are first class, the Hong Kong maker knows his wood and the design and materials used are excellent.
I would have no problem purchasing one of their 120 format versions.
Fun camera that I'm looking forward to using again!


Trevor Woodford said...

I think that you should open a camera

limom said...

I've actually sold a bunch as I've narrowed my favorites down. Looking for anything in particular?
Something motorhome appropriate?