The Travelling Canon AF35 Project - Custodian #6 - Anton Solyaev


Thanks to Anton for being a good sport and getting involved in the project! This episode wouldn't have happened without Em at Emulsive and her fantastic secret santa gift swap.

 I slipped the little AF Sprint into Anton's secret Santa package and shipped it off to Russia and this is the result. Over to Anton and his experience of the AF35.

Anton Solyaev

Anton Solyaev

I was pleasantly surprised to find this small travelling Canon AF35 in the parcel with the Emulsive Santa Gift! It was a childhood memory about my first small film camera that fitted in pocket and my first photographic experience with it. I read the story about travelling camera, about my mission and found a roll of Portra 400.

It was a dark winter with bad warm weather, there was too much rain and no snow, no interesting light. So it was a challenge to shoot something at this time! But one day heavy snowfalls begun and after that I got out to take pictures. I was afraid of automatic exposures mistakes because of many snow and too many white, but it worked correctly. I met young guy with huge digital camera and long telephoto lens in park, he looked at me with big eyes; "Is it really a film camera? There are still people who shoot on film?"


It's very easy to use this Canon, you don't need to think about apertures or focus, no heavy lens and big bag for them. Just find something interesting and push the button. Just creativity! And very nice pictures as the result, you know!


My little Canon worked absolutely normal in light frost (-5 degrees centigrade), automatic exposure was correct and mechanisms worked good. The optics is hard and sharp, something like Tessar scheme, I think, no soft effects at all. I really liked the colors!

I am grateful for the opportunity to talk to this camera. It was very useful, thank you!


Wow, I love this set of images, thanks Anton, it’s only taken me 12 months to collate this blog post and I’m sorry there was such a delay. Something about having two young children seems to shrink my free time and energy for photography projects!

Seeing as the camera is now in russia I would love to hear from anyone else in russia or eastern Europe that would be interested in being the next custodian for the might (average) Travelling Canon AF Sprint!

Read more in the Travelling Canon AF35 Porject series:

See the first post here.

Custodian #1 - Gavin Wares.

Custodian #2 - Dimitri Hon.

Custodian #3 - Hamish Gill.

Custodian #4 - Rob Edgerly

Custodian #5 - Tina Kino

Are you interested in getting involved? If so please get in touch!

The Travelling Canon AF35 Project - Custodian #5 - Tina Kino

My little plastic fantastic Canon had a tough time getting to Berlin and my friend Tina Kino. In fact it never made it to Berlin at all! We assumed it lost, and Rob was kind enough to replace it with a racy red model fresh from German eBay.

Well, that little red replacement arrived in Berlin and Tina was happily snapping away, no doubt thoroughly underwhelmed by it's rank mediocrity, when unfortunately the replacement went and broke, it's tiny little film advance cog now just a cog.

Sorry Rob, that wasn't a great return on your investment in this project!

Thanks to Tina for being involved in the project and for procuring another replacement camera; now on it's way to the USA for the next leg in it's journey.

I recommend you check out Tina's feed on Tumblr here especially love her ongoing series of camper-vans and mattresses on the streets of Berlin.

And now onto Tina's (sadly limited) experience with the Canon AF35 Sprint.

Tina Kino

Tina Kino

My first ever camera was a Canon Sprint (not this exact model, but a similar one).
It sold for 100,- Deutsche Mark if I recall correctly, and that was a lot of money back then,
I loved shooting with it - and there's still some prints of it in the family albums.

So when I saw Michael was doing this travelling-camera-thing with one of these Canons I was quick to ask whether I could join!
It's all pretty self-explanatory with point-and-shoot like this, but to be honest I couldn't wrap my head around the flash / macro mode,
so I did look for the manual online (hint: it's here).

This must be one of these rare point-and-shoots with a built-in flash-supported macro-mode for taking pictures of flowers, indoors.
I love the cute yellow indicator on the necktstrap that helps you with the close-focussing-distance.
Further it says that Flash is alwas used with close-up photography so please don't take pictures of people's faces
: ]

So this is pretty much what I did (not photographing real people though, but printed faces, in advertisments).

It was fun!
It's a neat little camera that does what it says it does, the lens is not one of the best there is, but it's reasonably sharp and contrasty, and colours are good.
One of the best things about is that it really looks like one of these cameras that people just don't take seriously.
I shot a couple of my friends with it at well, some very hesistant usually, but with this little thing they suddenly didn't seem to care.

Oh, one more I really liked - the one with the balloons! 
: ]

Film was Kodak Ultramax 400 by the way.

This is on it's way to the next custodian in the US of A.. with best greetings from Berlin!

Love,  Tina Kino

Read more in the Travelling Canon AF35 Porject series:

See the first post here.

Custodian #1 - Gavin Wares.

Custodian #2 - Dimitri Hon.

Custodian #3 - Hamish Gill.

Custodian #4 - Rob Edgerly

Are you interested in getting involved? If so please get in touch!

Half Frame Hero - Shooting With A Half Frame Camera

Half The Size, Twice The Fun

What is a half frame camera and why might you want one? Well, you may not want one (yet), but you've come this far, you may as well see what the fuss is about!

Molly East / Molly West, shot with Olympus Pen D3.

What is Half Frame?

Apologies for teaching you how to suck eggs if you already know this, but your common or garden 35mm camera shoots landscape frames 35x24mm in size (this is also referred to as full frame in the world of digital cameras), but today we're talking about film.

A half frame camera, unsurprisingly, shoots portrait images half that size; 24x18mm frames on the same 35mm film. This means you get portrait images instead of landscape when the camera is held in the normal orientation and you get twice as many images per roll i.e. a 24 frame roll will give 48 half frames.

You also get half the resolution per image and grain can be more prominent as it's larger in relation to the image, don't let this put you off, the fun factor outweighs these weaknesses.

My Olympus Pen D3 

Olympus was the first to release a half frame camera, back in 1959, with their PEN line aimed at frugal photographers, who wanted to make film a roll of film go further meaning a 24 / 36 exposure roll of film would make 48 / 72 half frames on a roll.

This idea eventually spawned a whole series of half frame cameras culminating with the Pen F interchangeable lens SLR. I will own a Pen F one day but for the moment I make do with the humble Pen D3, fixed lens viewfinder camera. 

The Olympus Pen D3 

The D3 is limited, in that it is scale focus only, you need to be pretty good at estimating distance and shoot fast enough film to stop down to F8 for a buffer. It took me a long time to learn this and I was constantly frustrated with trying to shoot at F1.7 and missing the focus.

Learn from my mistakes and shoot faster film at smaller apertures if you want to get close!

Kate, shot with Olympus Pen D3

Shooting Half Frame

Half frame is a great way to tell a story in a pair of frames, sometimes referred to as a diptych.

There are loads of ways to pair the frames; a close up and a wide shot, flip the camera 180 between frames, same subject / different time, different details of a structure, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination!

Skate and create, shot with Olympus Pen D3

Tay Rail Bridge, shot with Olympus Pen D3


Now, this is one of my absolute favorite ways to shoot half frame, easier with a manual camera like the D3 but also do-able with an automatic camera (like the Canon Multi Tele, another half frame hero in my collection, more about it in a while)

My first half frame panorama was shot on Fuji film in Berries Den estate, Newport-on-Tay and it took me until month afterwards to stich it into the panorama, when I finished putting them together I was so pleased with the results, I had to shoot more like this!

Berries Den Pond Panorama, shot on Olympus Pen D3

Berries Den Pond Panorama, shot on Olympus Pen D3

Dunottar Castle Panorama, shot on Canon Multi Tele

Aberdeen Beach Panorama, shot on Canon Multi Tele


One of my favorite places for photographic inspiration is Instagram, check out @halfframeclub to see a great selection of half frame work and get a feel for whats possible when you work with half frames.

Gallery Block
This is an example. To display your Instagram posts, double-click here to add an account or select an existing connected account. Learn more

Another of my favorite half frame shooters is @2.alfs, doing some really interesting half frame video work / animation. 

Who are your favorite photographers shooting half frame? I'd love to hear about your top photographers working with half frames.


For Sale

If you want to jump in and try this fun format I am currently selling my Canon Multi Tele compact 35mm camera, I'm looking for around £60. Please get in touch if you are interested. I'm only selling so I can buy back my beloved Pen D3, I never should have sold it!

The Travelling Canon AF35 Project - Custodian #4 - Rob Edgerley

The humble Canon AF35 Sprint continues it's world trip, delivering photographic enlightenment and frustration to each of its custodians and I hope you'll agree, creating some pretty passable images in their hands.

So, to introduce custodian number four; Rob Edgerley. I count Rob as a friend, although we have never met IRL! His street photography has a strong visual style and he's consistent with it; all killer, no filler. 

You can see a selection of his fantastic work here on his website and follow him on Instagram here.

You would probably forgive me for being jealous of Rob's ability with a camera; his transformation from a keen hobbyist to burgeoning street photography master has been rapid and really enjoyable to witness; keep up the good work Rob!

In my opinion he's one to watch for the future and his story of using the thrillingly mundane Canon AF35 Sprint is below.

Rob Edgerley

Rob Edgerley

Well, that was fun! I must admit though, it’s also a huge relief, as my first attempt at capturing three worthy images ended in total disaster. Read below to find out why, but first I will introduce myself a little.

I’m an ASIC design engineer living and working in Switzerland with a passion for photography. Growing up in an increasingly digital world, my only exposure to photography has thus been purely digital. My first camera was a Canon 7D, so the idea of taking a £1 camera out for a spin was daunting to say the least. What if I discover that I am only capable of taking a ‘good’ photograph with multiple attempts? What if I fail?. With this camera, I had nothing to bench mark against and the only things I had control of were composition, focus and when the shutter was released. A good image then, is almost purely about the photographer. Gulp.

Our journey started in Asia, where I endeavoured to capture the beautiful scenery and more importantly, the wonderfully vibrant colours that are so synonymous of this stunning part of the world. Well, erm, turned out I was shooting in B&W all along, which I only discovered after the images were developed. But that really didn’t matter anyway, as I knew already that it was unlikely I would have a single image to submit.

After shooting just a couple of images per day for the three and a half weeks we were there, my film and our time in Asia was almost spent. I was saving a few shots on the film for the last day, where we’d planned to take a walk through the thousands of red Japanese gates marking the path to the Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine in Kyoto. The sun was high, and there were tons of people making their way up to the shrine. I wanted a single shot of the gates, without hundreds of tourists blocking the view, and I got lucky. Despite the numbers, I somehow spotted a break in the crowds up ahead, just enough for me to grab my shot. With the camera hanging around my neck, I ran. Literally ran, and to my horror, mid sprint, the camera back flew wide open exposing my film to the bright sunlight. I quickly closed it but it was too late. I thought perhaps I’d get away with a few images still intact, but alas, all images in the set were either completely or partially exposed. Here are two images in the set which show the extent of the damage.

The thing that caught my eye with these images was colour. The bike was vibrant orange
and the trees a whole range of beautiful autumn colours. Not to easy to tell in monotone,

With the second attempt, I was certain not let that happen again so I taped the back of the camera shut with gaffer-tape - which I repeated for the next custodian. My original idea was to load another black and white film, but the shop didn’t have any in stock, so I went with whatever the lady in the shop recommended there and then. Honestly I hadn’t a clue either way, so it didn’t make much difference.

All images below were taken in Bern, Switzerland, over a few days and have had the following minor post processing steps done to them. A contrast boost, very very slight colour correction (towards blue) to one or two image, noise reduction and then sharpened for web at export. I just love the tones straight out of the camera, though. Just one or two were a little too warm for my liking.

The first image was taken at the rear entrance to the train station. I’ve taken an image or two here before, as I love the way the light hits the steps. It’s the first time I’d gone for this composition though, and I particularly like the way the steps help lead the eye to the left of the image.

The thing that caught my eye with the second image was the shadow cast by the people crossing the road. The sun was quite low early afternoon which usually makes for an interesting shadow, somewhere. I realise if I’d been able to review this image immediately, I would have taken it again and have my subject just entering the crossing. This is the beauty and skill of analog photography though.

Again it was a the shadow that caught my eye with my third image. A bit of growth behind a cordoned-off section of the parliament building, which is currently undergoing some partial renovation work. Simple yet intriguing and those tones!

This is my fourth and favourite shot out of the set. I was wandering around the parliament building when I spotted this guy out the back. A traveller taking time out to have a smoke out of the ice cold wind and with the setting sun on his face. I walked passed and we exchanged a glance. I was immediately thinking ‘I want a shot of him’ and with the camera in my hand, he knew I was about to ask. I approached cautiously, with a smile and a racing heart. I told him the story behind the travelling camera (in German) and he reservedly agreed to the shot. I thanked him and left absolutely buzzing. I knew, if all other shots failed, I’d at least have one I could be proud of, if I’d judged the lighting and composition correctly that was.

The next image is again taken at the train station. It’s a new office building with a few shops and restaurants on the lower levels. I quite like the perspective and also the numbers displayed in the windows, a huge advent calender, thus marking the time of year the shot was taken. I was also really curious how the AF35 would handle this shot. It was very bright and I wondered if it would would warp the perspective at all. It didn’t and the AF35 performed admirably in these conditions.

My final image is again a favourite of mine and more towards my preferred style of photography. Again the AF35 performed exceptionally well in these conditions. I really didn’t expect this one to work as well as it did. My idea was to time the step of the guy crossing the road with the statue. I was a fraction too eager, but I’m still very happy with the shot.

To conclude then, I learned that, although I pressed the trigger each time with a great deal of caution and reserve, I can submit these images with certain amount of confidence that I indeed do know how to take a photograph, and don’t need to immediately review or to have multiple attempts at an image for it to be considered ‘good’. I learned to trust my eye and my ability.

Read more in the Travelling Canon AF35 Porject series:

See the first post here.

Custodian #1 - Gavin Wares.

Custodian #2 - Dimitri Hon.

Custodian #3 - Hamish Gill.

Are you interested in getting involved? If so please get in touch!