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Inovar Camera: Sham Lens Reflex, but Still Okay

The Inovar Camera is a completely plastic camera that is similar to an SLR in design but...well, isn't an SLR. Its plastic lens, combined with cross processed film, produces great results. This camera has some surprising features. Learn more and see some sample photos in this review.

The next camera that I found some color negatives for was a mock SLR camera which goes by the name of “Inovar.” I have literally no idea where or when it was made. But, what I do know is it is very plastic-y and so light that it actually has a lump of lead in the bottom.

I bought the camera some time ago off ebay, and it cost very little, around £2. It was plastic and looked interesting so I took a shot.

When the camera arrived I was made aware of just how plastic this camera was. When I opened the small “forks” that rewind your film, it had snapped off, which meant I had to unload it in total darkness and rewind by hand.

Now, onto the specs, which this camera has more than expected.

It has a “Kinetic Optical Color Lens,” but I have no idea what that means! Anyway, it’s meant to be 50mm f./6, which is quite unusual for a camera like this; most are 35mm f./8. The lens is completely plastic. Now, for the bit that surprised me: you can change the aperture, and it has weather symbols—-cloudy is f./6, cloud with sun is f./8, sun is f./11 and bright sun is f./16. It has a single shutter speed of I’d say 1/100th. Another thing that surprised me was that this camera has a hotshoe.

Initially, the camera sat around collecting dust but one day, I decided to take it out for a spin. I was helping out with a school trip for GCSE students at my school (I’m doing my A levels) so I took the Inovar.

I decided I would use some slide film and cross process it—the first and only time I ever did it. The reason I decided to use cross processed film was because most plastic lens cameras produce very muted colors and have low contrast, so I thought I’d help it along.

Here are some results from the trip and some other random shots:

My scanner has had trouble scanning the negatives.

I actually find the images quite pleasing and think they are pretty decent for a £2 camera.

Overall, the camera is average. I’d recommend it to those who like to use x-pro film, since as with most plastic lens cameras, I think it would produce poor colors. This is the reason I never x-pro film, simply because it doesn’t actually show what the camera and lens are capable but only what the x-pro film is doing.

Thanks for reading, keep shooting!

written by brandkow93


  1. breakingmyself


    A £2 camera is always worth the gamble! Thanks for the review :D

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. brandkow93


    Yeah it is, your welcome :D tbh i forgot id even written it.

    FOR SALE!!! LC-A refurbished, bought two weeks ago so has 1 year and 50 weeks of warantee left, message me if you interested

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. vicker313


    get to know another camera, thanks!

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  4. neanderthalis


    Nice review...

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  5. brandkow93


    @neanderthalis thanks :)

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  6. reminator


    Ah, nice. I have one of those bearing the Ford sign. It was 2 euros and I paid ten because the money went to a good cause. Haven't used it yet, but your pictures make me want to try it out!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  7. robotmonkey1996


    I know these... They're used a classic scam where a little guy would run up and say he had a good SLR for cheap... Basically your dollar store disposable but with a fake pentaprism bump and a lump of lead in the bottom for that 'high quality' feel.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam