This is the review of the camera I used in the first week of my "30 Weeks, 30 Cams Project": the Ilford Sportsman 300. I found this camera on eBay for € 2.49. I didn't know anything about it but thought the name is somehow funny and it would be a nice camera to start the project with. So here is my review about the handling of the camera.
For those who got here and don’t know what it’s all about, I have a project called “30 weeks, 30 cams” where I try to shoot a roll of film with a new or different camera each week. I upload it here and let people know what I think of the camera. Read about Week 1 in my Lomography blog, and check out the album from Week 1.
When I first held it in my hand I thought, “Woooo, it is pretty heavy!” Well, it has a metal body and is old so this is not very astonishing.
My second thought was that the design is really vintage, or better, old-fashioned. I could smell that there’s more than 40 years of the camera. But it looked nice.
The camera actually seems to be an Ilford Sportsman 300S — you can say that because of the hotshoe being alongside the rewind knob but the “S” on the camera is missing. The Sportsman was produced by Dacora and its equivalent from the Dacora brand is the Dignette 300.
The lens is named a Color Isconar f2.8/45mm. The Prontor shutter has 4 speeds from 1/30, 1/60, 1/125 to 1/300 and for longexposures you can use the “B”-mode.
The camera is very easy to handle. It came with a parcel service in the evening hours just the moment I left so there was no time to have a closer look. The next morning I had to leave early and I just grabbed it and on my way, I stopped to load it. That was quickly done and I took the first pictures.
In the afternoon, I went out for a walk with my son and then I had the opportunity to get to know the camera a bit better. It was a sunny day and that helped with the exposure time. But apparently, some shots were overexposed even though I thought shooting the 400 ISO Kodak at 1/60 and 1/125 is a good choice.
On other shots, it worked out and that is the only thing I really wonder about with this camera. But you have to keep in mind that this is obviously a test roll, so I am satisfied with the results.
Conclusion: I got a lot of bang for the buck. I’ll definitely shoot more rolls with this camera. The heavyweight champion feels good and the mechanical sounds of the Ilford Sportsman 300 gave me a good feeling. Each time I felt like everything is working fine. That is an important point I think when buying a vintage camera: if it doesn’t work, € 2.49 would have been too much.
Now, stay tuned for the next posts!
Thanks for reading!