That Time I Hacked a Canon AF35ML to Make a Loupe

WARNING: The next could be sacrilege with a working Canon AF35ML point-and-shoot. However in case you occur to stumble throughout a “trasher,” this can be a nice hack for turning it into one thing helpful.

The AF35ML (additionally referred to as the “Tremendous Positive Shot”) is known for being a pleasant 35mm compact with a quick 40mm f/1.9 lens. On its launch in 1981, reviewer Ken Rockwell referred to as it “the quickest lens ever placed on any totally automated fixed-lens point-and-shoot digicam.”  He thought that even Leica and Nikon couldn’t compete. In actual fact, the one quicker fixed-lens 35mm digicam on the time could have been 1965’s big and heavy f/1.4 Yashica Lynx-14 (described right here.)

Unhealthy Positive-Shot Luck

As an existing-light photographer, I like quick lenses, and as soon as purchased two “ML”s on-line in sadly fast succession. Why? As a result of the primary unit had an infuriating downside. Its shutter briefly flicked open once more after each publicity… including a faint double-exposed echo to every picture. So I attempted shopping for a second one, which suffered the identical concern!

I ended up promoting each models on the “Bay” for “Components or Restore,” and didn’t strive for a 3rd.

Enter a “Trasher”

However lately, I discovered an clearly unusable free one at a yard sale. The lens appeared OK. However the battery compartment was caked in acid. And the viewfinder, trashed. I believed, although, that I’d be capable to flip its beautiful lens right into a high-quality loupe.

Because it turned out, the one issues I wanted for the indelicate process had been a jeweler’s screwdriver and a hacksaw.

Within the Working Room

I eliminated the few tiny screws that I might discover, and the digicam got here aside to a degree. However it was ruggedly constructed! The lens and circuits had been mainly encased in what seemed to be a strong block of molded plastic.

Therefore the hacksaw.

It took some cautious effort to extract the lens,  nevertheless it lastly got here out as a single unit in its personal plastic casing (as seen within the opening photograph). It’s:

  • Excessive-quality,
  • Sufficiently small to slide right into a denims coin pocket,
  • Comparatively freed from distortion and
  • Vivid (with comparatively massive 30mm entrance and 15mm rear parts).

In different phrases, I now have an amazing everyday-carry loupe, and might return my hacksaw to extra conventional duties.

–Dave Powell is a Westford, Mass., author and avid beginner photographer.

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