Komrades, do not think I have turned my back upon our beloved Soviet optical systems. However, it was Fate that led me to be mesmerized by this oriental beauty!
The Chinon 35 F-A was produced by the Japanese company Chinon before it was bought up by Kodak. They produced some excellent SLRs and also point-and-shoots, which are hard to acquire nowadays (at least in Europe). Chinon SLRs were sold in Germany under the Quelle AG brand of REVUE as Revueflex, so they are a bit easier to get. However, such a camera as the 35 F-A is an absolute deadstock rarity! I came across it literally under my house at a garage sale. It is in perfect condition! The somewhat older lady that wanted to sell it told me of her reluctance to give it away as it had accompanied her to vacations to Sweden (20 years ago), but she was not shooting film anymore! It was love at first sight between me and and the Chinonex 1:2.8 38mm lens… So I grabbed it within its ever-ready-to-shoot leather case, trying to hide my excitement. Nonchalantly I haggled the price down to one-half (which was only 4 Euros in the end), vowing inside to make it up in love for the camera!
The Chinon 35 F-A is a point-and-shoot camera not very unlike our beloved Lomo LC-A. It is a little bigger. It sports a Chinonex 1:2.8 colour lens with f=38 mm. It has an in-built exposure meter but also a built-in flash, which can be turned on via slider if the shutter release is locked by the intelligent camera due to very low light levels. The film sensitivity can be set via a turning wheel at the lens, somewhat similar to the LC-A, allowing for limited exposure control. The camera has also zone autofocus, with LC-A-reminiscent symbols showing in the viewfinder and a needle pointing to the zone focused on. The film advance is a simple lever, the rewinding cog also reminds of the LC-A. Not only that, but it also makes fantastic photos with lovely colours! So, if you look for a lover for your LC-A that has built-in flash and autofocus, then this is the camera to initiate some Japanosoviet amour !