Halina Paulette: A Camera I Will Never Forget, for All the Wrong Reasons!


You often read reviews of peoples first film cameras saying how grateful they are and that it will always hold a place in there heart. Well, to be honest, the Halina Paulette is the opposite, find out why in this review.

After looking through my old boxes of negatives, I found rolls of film from when I used to shoot color negative film. Now, I shoot only black and white film.

I first got into photography about 4 years ago, but it wasn’t until about a year ago that I woke up and realized that film is well the way forward. I decided to go out and get a cheap film camera. I went to the local charity shop and picked rather stupidly the best-looking one. It was a Halina Paulette from the 60s.

I didnt really have any idea of how good it was or any of it features. It was just an impulse buy.

Here are the specs:

Type: Viewfinder camera.
Film: 35mm
Lens: 1:2.8 / 45mm Halinar Anastigmat.
Distance focusing (not coupled to viewfinder) from 3 feet to infinity.
Shutter speed: 1/30-1/250s, plus B. (Flash X-synch at 1/30s)
Aperture: f/2.8-16
Tripod socket

Anyway, I kept the camera for a couple of months without putting any film through it, until in July of last year. I went on a trip with my college to the WW1 battlefields and to the cemeteries and even went to the last post ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium. I saw this trip as a great chance to take my film camera, so i picked up 3 rolls of colour film and put them in my bag.

I had an amazing time on the trip, it was rather moving and I learnt an incredible amount. I used the Halina to capture the trip so in years to come I could look back on it, I shot a roll a day until I ran out. Even though I was new to film photography my 3 years of DSLR use meant I was good at getting exposure correct.

Usually, you would expect see some photos of my trip which i took with the camera, well unfortunately all the photos came out terribly they were just blurry and almost smeared, and most of them you couldn’t make out what was in the frame, i have checked the negatives and they are just the same. Luckily I took my DSLR with me, if i hadnt well i wouldnt have any photos of the trip.

After that disaster the camera sat on my shelf for literally 4 months untouched, until one weekend me and my friends decided to go on a walk. I decided to give the Halina another chance. I loaded her with Ilford HP5+, the “bulletproof” film which I will review next, in a hopes that I would actually get some decent images that I can use and be proud of.

It was a lovely sunny day and I used the entire roll.

Here are some results. Please note that I included some of the blurry images as examples of what basically all my photos from my trip were like. Also the slowest shutter speed used was 1/60th which isn’t slow enough for motion blur to occur.

I included all the photos that actually didnt come out blurry, all 7 of them, and to be honest, I don’t really like them. The lens is very poor and lacks contrast and sharpness and detail. The only photo I like really is the 9th one.

After this roll, I sold the camera.

Overall, it’s an awful camera and one that you should avoid. I may have just been unlucky and got a bad example but it just is a waste of film. You can see from the images it blurs them and isn’t sharp at all, it would be fine if it was dreamy and vignetted but its just plain ugly. I hope this review helped you.

Thanks for reading! Keep Shooting!

written by brandkow93 on 2012-05-31 in #reviews


  1. mikeydavies
    mikeydavies ·

    how did you get so much dust in the lens, looks super cool!

  2. brandkow93
    brandkow93 ·

    i think it was either the scanner that was dusty or the negatives themselves, though with a camera so crappy it could have been the lens lol.

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