PhotoFlex MX-35


The PhotoFlex MX-35 is kind of terrible, but of course that’s what makes it kind of great!

image from xanga

If you’re interested in owning one of the most unreliable cameras ever made (maybe a slight exaggeration) then I’d start searching your local thrift shops for a PhotoFlex MX-35. This camera has many strange qualities that are as endearing as they are annoying. The first and most important of which is that the film winds backwards – this is mostly annoying. Instead of threading over the roller and advancing clockwise it threads under and counterclockwise. This makes rewinding the film quite a chore.

The second bit of strangeness, and maybe this only applies to my particular camera, is that the film counter stops working when it gets to 20. This isn’t such a big deal, except when you couple it with weird activity #3, which is that sometimes the camera will double expose a frame. When winding forward, sometimes you can take a shot and then wind forward only slightly more and take another shot. So far I have yet to determine why this happens only sometimes…

Now all of these things can certainly be seen as faults, but I prefer to view them as quirky pluses. You never know from one roll to the next whether you’ll be getting exactly what you thought you shot or if it will be a lot of surprise doubles! it’s actually very adventurous to use this little guy. Plus i have a real weakness for plastic cameras that try to masquerade as fancy 35mm’s. So I say, don’t spend your next $4 on a roll of film, head to the thrift store instead and find a PhotoFlex.

written by bees on 2009-10-20 #gear #35mm #review #toy-camera #plastic-camera #plastic-lens #photoflex


  1. stouf
    stouf ·

    Hohoho ! So funny ! I love the description, and I love the lens with its "AUTO FIX FOCUS" ! 8DDD And the shots are very nice !

  2. kylethefrench
    kylethefrench ·

    this camera is a fickle mistress says me

  3. jeromy-d
    jeromy-d ·

    I just got one last month! Though mine is the Capital MX-II, they are identical (minus the rebrand). Picked it up @ goodwill for, well, $4 :). You can load/wind film as you normally would, it's just kind of hard to get it started. Have yet to get my rolls developed.

  4. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    I agree with you about the cheap plastic cameras playing to be a real 35mm range/viewfinder or even a SLR cam :))) And the pictures have a nice texture and mood!

  5. theotherdiana
    theotherdiana ·

    There's one at my local antique store! Not cheap, but it's there and brand new. I hope it'll still be there when I go back next week!

  6. khooper
    khooper ·

    I bought one for one dollar at a thrift store downtown because it looked silly. On my first roll, a plastic piece inside chipped and broke. I then looked up the camera on the internet and lo and behold, it has an article on lomography. I am heartbroken.

  7. rorbox
    rorbox ·

    I like mine.. I own 2, and they should be purchased knowing that they are plastic and trashy and that's what makes them so quarky.

  8. baconandmegs
    baconandmegs ·

    Im so glad you posted this article. I just found one at a thrift store and I cannot wait to try it out.

  9. lannie
    lannie ·

    I just got my hands on one of these little bad boys <3 I can't wait to see how the pictures come out. I love this article! And that's what's so perfect about toy cameras, you never know what weird stuff you'll get :)

  10. crowdizzle
    crowdizzle ·

    Nice article! I recently stumbled upon a bentley WX-3 and it looks exactly like this one. I noticed that if i wind the wheel and stop when it stops, i can shoot endless MXs on a single frame. If i wind until i hear a small 'click' i can only take one shot.
    Still doing some research on my version and cleaning it up a bit in prep for a paint job. Cant wait to start shooting with it, hope i can get nice lomos like yours from it!

  11. broom
    broom ·

    great little thing found mine on the road in a thrift for 1.85

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