8other Fujica cameras in my collection:


JapanFujica 35-EE [1961 - ?]



Fujica 35-EEThe Fujica 35-EE was one of a series of auto-exposure rangefinders, and Fuji claimed it to be the first camera in its class to offer three methods of operation: automatic, semi-automatic, and manual.

Setting the camera to auto means all you need to do is focus, using the combined viewfinder/split-image rangefinder, with its adjustment wheel located on the back of the camera, and compose the shot within the automatically adjusting white frame (white rather than gold, as stated in the manual). A viewfinder white dot (again not gold) indicates Go (light levels within the camera's capabilities), and is replaced by a red Stop dot if light levels are too low.

Semi-automatic mode allows any shutter speed or aperture to be preferentially selected. For shutter priority operation, you set a speed and simply read-off the aperture that the top-plate located meter window needle points to. Alternatively, and aperture can be selected, and the shutter speed adjusted until the meter window needle points to that aperture value.

Depressing and holding the shutter release button half way engages an exposure lock, and the user manual recommends this feature is used to take and retain a close-up reflected light reading of a subject (from about a foot away) to ensure the correct exposure where there is strong back-lighting (or something similar).

The lens is a fast f/1.9, and the top shutter speed - 1/1000th sec. Phew ... this is a pretty hot camera ... but there's more.

The subject to camera distance and depth of field is displayed (in feet and meters) via a rangefinder linked rotating dial on the top-plate. When the aperture ring is set to auto, the shutter release springs upwards (and stands tall), so you know you're on auto. There is a slow shutter speed release switch, which has to be pressed to engage speeds between 1/15th to 1 sec and B. It's also got a self-timer, and a lock on the film speed setting dial. The film advance lever is on the base, along with the frame counter, and the rewind crank is one side of the top plate.

Hanimex (Fujica importer) took a full page advert in, what I'm guessing to be a 1963 edition of Practical Photography, which shows the price of the 35EE as £42 - 10s - 0d, which was about 2 weeks average pay.




Viewfinder: Coincidence rangefinder integrated with reversed Galilean viewfinder . Automatic parallax correction with projected bright frames, and stop/go adequate/inadequate light level indicator dot.

Focus: Coupled rangefinder with adjustment wheel on the back of the top-plate.

Lens: Fujinon 45 mm (6 elements in 4 groups).

Close Focus: 2.5' (<0.8m).

Diaphragm: Five blade f/1.9 stopping down to f/22.

Shutter: The shutter appears to be a Fuji Syncro MXL, with speeds of 1 sec to 1/1000 plus B. Built-in self-timer.

Cable Release: Standard socket in shutter release button.

Meter: Coupled Selenium photocell in auto mode, un-coupled in semi-automatic mode.

Exposure: Automatic, semi-automatic, and manual.

Film Speed: From ASA 10 - 200.

Filter Size: 35.5mm screw fit.

Flash: Cold shoe and PC terminal. Switchable M and X sync.

Film Advance: Lever.

Frame Counter: Counts up. Resets automatically when camera back is opened.

Rewind: Camera-side mounted collapsible crank, and rewind selector switch on base of camera.

Back Opening: Sliding lever.

Size: 132mm (w) x 90mm (h) x 73mm (d).

Weight: 792g.



My Camera

I bought this Fujica 35-EE in February 2014 for £10.00. In a nutshell, this is a camera with all the latest gadgets of the time, combined with an unconventional layout, yet the design still works well. As usual for an early 1960s camera from a less popular (at that time) manufacturer, there isn't a great deal of information available for this model. I suspect it did not enjoy a long production run as Fujica adopted CdS metering in the mid-60s.

My camera is in nice cosmetic condition (with just a slight knock depression in the top-plate - behind the meter window - and which the seller chose not to disclose). Mechanically, the faults are that the lens diaphragm doesn't open beyond f/8, and the shutter blades stick below 1/30th. In fact, the whole slow speed selection seems amiss, in so far that these speeds do not click-stop (like something has failed to engage or disengage). The rangefinder is slightly out of alignment, and the light seals need to be renewed. That might seem like a lot, but there is a heck of a lot more working than not. The front lens element housing unscrews quite easily, giving access to the shutter blades, so a bit of a clean-up might help sort out the sticking low speeds, but I suspect there's an underlying problem? I'll get around to it one day.

All things considered, this is a really nice camera. I am, once again, impressed by the efforts of those Fujica Boffins.



Image pending Fujica 35-EE

Fujica 35-EE

Fujica 35-EE

Fujica 35-EE

Viewfinder Types: Albada & Bright Frame

Bright Frame viewfinders have a translucent panel (next to the viewfinder window), which provides illumination via a half-silvered mirror to reflect frame lines into the viewfinder. They became common from about 1960, and offered clearer framing, plus a brighter view. The projection of frame-lines also facilitated moving parallax correction according to focus distance.

Viewfinders with illuminated frame lines but without an adjacent window are Albada finders. Here the rear face of the viewfinder's front lens is half-silvered, to reflect an image of a set of frame-lines, painted on the eyepiece lens. The user sees the frame-lines superimposed upon the scene.