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Expired Paterson Acupan 800 35mm Film,The Olympus Mju 1 & The Epson Photo 1660 Scanner...

Street Art, Portswood

A camera that fits in your pocket, film that's a grainy masterpiece and a scanner that won't break the bank. Excellent!

You're probably familiar with the Olympus Mju II / Stylus Epic - a great, small 35mm compact film camera with a super sharp and super fast f/2.8 lens. Before the Epic there was the Mju I, again with a fixed 35mm lens, but with a slightly slower maximum aperture of f/3.5:


I picked up the above example, at you guessed it, our local car boot sale. Complete with a nice leather case, all I had to do was pop in a fresh battery and the Mju 1 was almost ready to shoot. I had a very old roll of Paterson black and white film knocking around in a drawer, but I wasn't sure whether to use it or not because it was severely out of date, 1999 to be exact.


The problem with ISO 800 film, or any high-sensitivity type film, is that it is more prone to time-related fogging than the lower types, but I thought it was worth a go, loaded it up, and put the Mju I in my bag ready for some opportunistic photography.



I think I got this roll of Acupan Paterson film in the bag that came with my Mamiya C33. Paterson are more well known for making developing tanks and systems, but they did use to produce all kinds of photographic chemicals too. I have got one of their colour print systems, including an enlarger, in the garage, so I'll have to have a go with that soon.


Being a home developer I've been at a loss since I had to send my V500 scanner back to Epson, but again, the car-boot sale came to rescue. An Epson Photo Perfection 1660, along with the requisite negative holders, power supply and leads, for a tenner, completed my hybrid work-flow.



On to the photo's themselves. I took the Mju 1 (also known as the Stylus in the USA) to work and shot some photographs when I was helping out in Southampton. Set in a semi-industrial part of Portswood, a fifteen minute walk uncovered some interesting views.


The Post Code Lottery


The Mju I is slightly larger than its more well known younger brother, the Mju II, but it still fits your palm perfectly. The sliding clam shell design is a classic, automatically turning the camera off or on as you pull it open or closed. Auto focus is quick, although the view-finder is quite small.


Hot Tub Sale


The joy of using this type of camera for me is its size and speed. A small 35mm film compact can always be in your pocket, and an auto exposure and autofocus model makes taking photographs quick and unobtrusive. The Mju could be the perfect street camera for the film photographer on a budget.


BMXer (Ols) From Above


I took the Mju to the skate park when I was testing the Nissin flash and took the above grab shot. Being small and light, this type of camera is also a perfect accompaniment to your digital kit.


Church Door


If you've read any other of my reviews, you'll know that I don't go into many details about the technical features of the cameras or film. I just have to say that I love the Mju, I think that the graininess of the Paterson Acupan 800 Film is full of character, and the Epson 1660 Scanner did an OK job of capturing the negs and converting them to digital. Photoshop added a little more contrast and cropping.


If you see a Mju I at a local car boot sale, thrift store or charity shop, grab it quick and put some black and white film in it. You can't beat the look of film, and I especially enjoyed this high grain 800 Paterson emulsion. Hunt it out and shoot it while you can.


Cheers, Rob.

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