135compact.com 35mm ultra compact cameras Fujifilm DL Wide Date Mini
Fujifilm DL 500 Wide Date Mini is said to be the predecessor to the DL
Super Mini aka Cardia Mini Tiara. It is a
angle (28mm) camera for 35mm film that can switch to 45mm focal length.
It has been released in 1990 in Europe under this name. There are lots
of names for the same body with slight technical variants, some
including Panorama function. In Japan it was called Cardia Travel Mini
Dual-P and in America Discovery mini dual. Its main features are:
F3.5 Fuji lens, 3 elements in 3 groups, and 45mm F 5.5, 5 elements in 5
groups, autofocus with focus lock, min. focus 0,45m Electronic shutter, 1/2-1/250 Size 121x65x41, Weight 210 gr. without battery 50-1600
ISO, automatic DX coding, self-timer, automatic film advance and
prespooling, time/date stamp possibility, manual infinity focus
front. There are no blades, but there is an UV filter instead to protect the lens.
Bottom. Tripod socket.
back. Next to the viewer green focus o.k. LED, LCD
screen (date stamp off), date setting and date mode selector, film mid
roll rewind, flash/backlight/self-timer setting and manual infinity
Camera sets auto flash
as default. Flash guide number ~14 (m/ISO 100). On the right edge:
battery cover. Takes a CR123 battery, but needs a second one (see below)
Top: Power on/off, focal lenght switch and shutter release.
Camera on. The lens only moves out a little to 28mm.
Lens in 45mm position. The viewer switches as well.
open. It only opens a little bit, just enough to drop in a film from
the bottom. The film leader is safely engaged when you close the back.
wide open. You have to unhinge a latch to do so. You should not do it
very often. The flat cable that connects the back panel to the camera
could break with age and wear and make the camera useless. This is a
problem of all cameras with back panel or buttons from those days. The
Fujis are not especially prone to this whereas the Leica mini(lux)
series and some others seem to be more vulnerable.
to the hinge is the battery cover for the second battery, a CR 1025
cell. There is one screw to undo under the metal film leader. The
camera does NOT work without this battery. If the second battery
(dim screen or empty screen), the camera respools the film without
warning. It even does so, when you put a new film into the film
compartment. If you close the back in this case, the camera respools
for 5 seconds and your film leader is missing. So be sure that the
battery is fine. Quite some of theses cameras are sold for next to
nothing as not working correctly, but it's only the battery that is
camera is easy to use.
Autofocus is responsive and works well. Putting a film is easy as well,
the back opens only a little bit, tear the film leader a bit further, drop the film and that's it. The
camera prespools the whole film and then winds it back into the
cartridge step by step. As with most point and shoot ultra compacts, auto
flash is set at start.
a good point and shoot camera
with a wide angle lens that can be switched to 45mm, good picture
quality and a small pocketable body. I cannot confirm that the 45mm
position (with 2 extra elements) is as bad, as other websites say. It
is just what you would expect if you lose 2 stops. I would not say that
pictures are unsharp at 45mm. There is a bit more grain in the scans,
that's all. The camera used with 28mm setting is absolutely fine seen
its price and you have the possibility to switch to 45mm if necessary.