The Old Film Cameras

Remember those inexpensive 35mm cameras that needed film and a flash cartridge?  I always loved to take photos so I had tons of them, along with rolls of film stacked on shelves (most of them probably went bad before I even had them developed).  When I got serious about photography, and started learning about the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO, I had already acquired a digital SLR camera and film was really of no use to me; but, there is something about film that always left it to be desired.

My husband came home today with two suitcases.  A family friend is trying to sell his house, and in the process of going through his attic, he came across some belongings of a relative that had passed away.  My husband told me that I should go through the suitcases, in what I am guessing was an attempt to surprise me, keep what I wanted and throw the rest out.  He gave me very little information about what was actually in the suitcases, only that the relative was a flight attendant.

The suitcases were mostly filled with tons of pins from American Airlines, old beaded purses and costume jewelry.   I couldn’t believe there wasn’t anyone else in the family that would want some of this stuff.  As I went through one suitcase, my husband went through the other and to my surprise, he pulls out a Canon camera bag!  I couldn’t wait to find out what was inside.

photo of canon Matsui film camera IMG_3678

I was hoping to find a film SLR camera and my excitement deceived me at first. The camera inside was pretty heavy and even came with a flash and flash bracket. The only information I could find on the camera was the name Canon and Camera “A. I searched and searched the internet for old Canon film cameras but came up with nothing that matched what I had in my hands. Finally after much frustration, I found the Matsui trademark on the inside of the front cover of the manual. I did a Google search and came up with one blog post to wet my appetite. You can view that blog here: Click me!

photo of Canon Matsui Camera A IMG_3672

In the words of Patrick Potts, this camera was a “lomography gem.”  Lomography is a fun new style of artistic experimental photography.  It can be characterized by snapshots that are surreal, vignetted, have off kilter exposure, oversaturated colors, blurring and strange angles.  Lomography seems to have come from the discovery of a cheaply built Russian camera, the Lomo Kompakt Automat, and a photography experiment.  Since then, several cameras have been found to produce Lomo-like results and some cameras, such as the Holga, have even been specially marketed to produce this effect.  To see a cool video and sample photos of Lomo photography, check this link out.

Photo of Canon Matsui Camera A flash IMG_3664 Photo of Canon Matsui Camera A viewfinder IMG_3676

The camera’s features not only include a flash and flash bracket, motor drive, and red eye reduction, but also comes with an “Easy Viewer” on top of the camera.  This makes it easy for those of us who wear glasses (although the image appears reversed)  to take a photo.   It uses two ‘AA’ batteries and standard 35mm film.

I spend a lot of time in photoshop trying to simulate lomo photography and other film development processes, so I cannot WAIT to get my hands on some film, start shooting from the hip, and start creating some genuine lomo photographs!

Be sure to look out for pics from my newly acquired film camera!

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11 thoughts on “The Old Film Cameras

  1. i just bought that same canon camera, (the last photo). i purchased it at a swapmeet for $15. i am trying to research on it, but there isn’t much on the web about it. can you inform me on it? does yours work well?


  2. Mine actually ended up being broken. Its a shame too because, I was really looking forward to having fun with some lomography. The only research I was able to find on the internet was ONE blog (which is why I decided to write on myself). Supposedly the cameras are cheaply made, allowing light to leak in where its not supposed to. If you get the chance, I would love to see photos you take with this camera.


    • Similar to the rest of you… I cannot find much information on this camera. My dad had found it for me while he was working, and since I collect any kind of old interesting cameras, he gave it to me. I thought it was interesting that chelsea has a matsui one, because I saw another Olympia one that looks exactly the same. I’m happy that you have enlightened me that it’s along the logographic type because I am a huge fan of those. Not sure if this canon works yet, but as I was cleaning it up I noticed someone’s old film in it and my flash did go off as I was messing with it. I am ready to throw film in it and go!


  3. when i purchased mines it looked in good condition, but i am not sure if it works properly. the lens won’t zoom it, i am thinking of just going to a thirft store and go on a quest for a film camera. but if it does work, most definately i would show you some photos.


  4. Hi my name is chelsa. I was given a camera when I was just 12. I am now 23 and for the past year has grown a huge interest in cameras. I pulled this one out of my closet. I noticed yours has cannon on it. Mine has Matsui, but looks exactly like yours. Do you have any idea where I could find more information on this kind of camera? Would also love to see pictures that have been produced by this kind of camera. Thank you so much.


    • Chelsea,

      Unfortunately, my camera wasn’t working when I tried to use it. I couldn’t find much information on the camera online either. Please feel free to post info if you find any and I’d love to see some of the photos you take with the camera!


  5. It’s utterly worthless. Worse in fact, as it costs money to have rubbish collected. if you try to sell it online then the sales fees usually exceed what the camera gets and that’s IF the camera actually sells.

    It’s a very cheaply made all plastic camera designed as an impressive looking giveaway item by catalogue companies and similar organisations. The camera comes in an impressive looking box covered with apparently high tech claims and purports to be a “professional” camera. Style-wise, the camera is designed to look like a motor driven 35mm SLR camera to anyone who knows absolutely nothing about cameras.

    In practice they’re often purchased in bulk for next to nothing and then sold on various auction sites, mostly they fail to sell but there is the occasional victim who buys one and some very unwise folks who pay a lot for them.

    I haven’t seen many Matsui Kit 3006’s yet, but until earlier this year the market was flooded with the equally dreadful Olympia DL2000A and I suspect that the Matsui is basically the same bit of tat with a new name.

    If you’ve bought one then I’m sorry to tell you that you’ve just thrown your money away. I’ve had to do the same to countless folks who have previously brought me their Olympias hoping I’d buy them and it’s never a pleasant task. Unfortunately you can’t even give them to children as toy cameras as they’re too fragile and have parts which easily fall off to leave dangerous exposed components such as the highly charged flash capacitor.

    I hope that my answer has been of use and has prevented you from wasting your money. If I’m too late, then all you can do is chalk your loss up to experience. Either way, I hope that you can take my reply in the spirit in which it’s intended and that you return the favour by rating my answer.

    reprinted from here:


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