Film Camera 2018/3 – Olympus Infinity Stylus Epic (Mju II) DLX

The other day my wife wanted to go to a nearby Goodwill store to look for some pots. While we were there I took a look around. At first I didn’t see anything of interest – just one broken 1980s vintage point and shoot. Then at the back of a bin I noticed a case, possibly empty, possibly not. I took it out and had a look and, lo and behold, an Olympus Infinity Stylus Epic DLX!

Now I already have two of these (see: Finally found something at the thrift store; and Back to film: Olympus Stylus Epic where I’ve already described the main features of this camera)

Since I already have two why get another one? First the cameras that I have, while functioning well, leave a lot to be desired cosmetically. This one also appears to function perfectly (hopefully it won’t be plagued with the light leaks that tend to affect the Infinity Stylus line), but also is in near mint condition. Second it’s hard to ignore a camera that costs $5.99 (actually less. When my wife paid she got them down to $3.00) and sells at the moment on ebay for around $200.

Corvette Stingray

This is the last picture I’m posting of the vintage cars outside DiCicco Market in Brewster. It’s also my personal favorite: it looks like it was taken in the 1960s. The woman with the hat is just perfect.

I’ve always been fond of Stingrays and I believe this is one of the early ones circa 1963-67.

According to Wikipedia:

The 1963 Sting Ray production car’s lineage can be traced to two separate GM projects: the Q-Corvette, and perhaps more directly, Mitchell’s racing Sting Ray. The Q-Corvette, initiated in 1957, envisioned a smaller, more advanced Corvette as a coupe-only model, boasting a rear transaxle, independent rear suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes, with the rear brakes mounted inboard. Exterior styling was purposeful, with peaked fenders, a long nose, and a short, bobbed tail.

Meanwhile, Zora Arkus-Duntov and other GM engineers had become fascinated with mid and rear-engine designs. It was during the Corvair’s development that Duntov took the mid/rear-engine layout to its limits in the CERV I concept. The Chevrolet Experimental Research Vehicle was a lightweight, open-wheel single-seat racer. A rear-engined Corvette was briefly considered during 1958–60, progressing as far as a full-scale mock-up designed around the Corvair’s entire rear-mounted power package, including its complicated air-cooled flat-six as an alternative to the Corvette’s usual water-cooled V-8. By the fall of 1959, elements of the Q-Corvette and the Sting Ray Special racer would be incorporated into experimental project XP-720, which was the design program that led directly to the production 1963 Corvette Sting Ray. The XP-720 sought to deliver improved passenger accommodation, more luggage space, and superior ride and handling over previous Corvettes.

While Duntov was developing an innovative new chassis for the 1963 Corvette, designers were adapting and refining the basic look of the racing Sting Ray for the production model. A fully functional space buck (a wooden mock-up created to work out interior dimensions) was completed by early 1960, production coupe styling was locked up for the most part by April, and the interior, instrument panel included was in place by November. Only in the fall of 1960 did the designers turn their creative attention to a new version of the traditional Corvette convertible and, still later, its detachable hardtop. For the first time in the Corvette’s history, wind tunnel testing helped refine the final shape, as did practical matters like interior space, windshield curvatures, and tooling limitations. Both body styles were extensively evaluated as production-ready 3/8-scale models at the Caltech wind tunnel.

The vehicle’s inner structure received as much attention as the aerodynamics of its exterior. Fiberglass outer panels were retained, but the Sting Ray emerged with nearly twice as much steel support in its central structure as the 1958—62 Corvette. The resulting extra weight was balanced by a reduction in fiberglass thickness, so the finished product actually weighed a bit less than the old roadster. Passenger room was as good as before despite the tighter wheelbase, and the reinforcing steel girder made the cockpit both stronger and safer.

Taken with an Olympus Infinity Stylus (Mju).

Blue Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme

Another one from the mini vintage car show outside DiCiccos Market in Brewster. According to Wikipedia:

The Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme is a mid-size car produced by Oldsmobile between 1966 and 1997. It was positioned as a premium offering at the top of the Cutlass range. It began as a trim package, developed its own roofline, and rose during the mid-1970s to become not only the most popular Oldsmobile but the highest selling model in its class.

It was produced as a rear-wheel drive two-door hardtop, sedan, and station wagon into the 1980s, and a convertible through 1972. In 1988 Oldsmobile sought to capitalize on the brand equity of the Cutlass Supreme marque by replacing it with a downsized front-wheel drive model based on the GM10 platform W-platform.

When production ended there was no direct replacement for the Cutlass Supreme, although the Intrigue introduced for 1998 was designed in size and price to replace all the Cutlass models.

I’m not at all sure what model this is, but to me it looks a lot like the 1972 version described in Car of the Week: 1972 Olds Cutlass Supreme

Taken with an Olympus Infinity Stylus (Mju).

Finally found something at the thrift store

There are three Goodwill stores in the vicinity. From time to time I visit them. I’ve only once bought a camera: a Yashica FX2 with, as it turns out, a lens stuck wide open and non functioning 1/1000 speed. I’ve described the story behind this in an earlier post. Usually they have a selection of cheap, plasticky point and shoot cameras often with obvious damage. The selection never seems to change. This time, however, it was different. The usual suspects had all disappeared and the shelf was empty apart from one camera. I walked over to take a look and lo and behold there was a black Olympus Stylus Epic in pretty good condition price less than $10.00. I couldn’t resist even though I already have the silver version (quartz date), I had always wanted the black. Cosmetically it’s in better condition than the silver one, but would it work? I took it home and put in a battery. Everything seemed to be working fine, but of course I wouldn’t really know until I put a roll through.

It’s a bit disturbing to have a camera that gives you no feedback other than a green light to tell you that it’s found focus. No sense of shutter speed. No idea what aperture has been selected and, of course, no digital image to show you how you did. You just get the film processed and wait to see the results.

The conditions were not ideal. It was late in the afternoon and getting dark very quickly. Most of the pictures had snow in them making exposure difficult and a number of them were backlit. Some of the pictures came out blurred. I noticed that these were all towards the end of the roll and taken when it was getting dark. I imagine the camera selected a long shutter speed. My hands are not too steady at the best of times so it wouldn’t take a very long speed before camera shake set in. Some of the backlit pictures didn’t come out too well. I would probably had done better if I’d use the spot mode.

All things considered I’m very pleased with my new acquisition. Can’t wait to try it when the light is better.

One of Putnam Valley’s mysterious stone chambers

View from the house (with deer footprints – they walk across the frozen lake) – early evening

Kent and Fishkills Baptist Church (I think)

Graveyard – Kent and Fishkills Baptist Church

Interior – late afternoon

Pine cones

Back to film: Olympus Stylus Epic

My small camera collection has so far mostly (but not entirely) focused on older rangefinder cameras. However, while browsing around looking for Olympus rangefinders I came across this camera. It’s much younger than most of my cameras having been produced from 1996 to 2003. It’s an Olympus Stylus Epic (or mju ii as it’s known outside the US). It’s not a rangefinder camera. To quote Wikipedia “The Epic has a fixed 35mm f/2.8 lens, and can focus down to 14 inches. It has a spot meter, and optional red eye reduction. The clamshell design is very tough and the camera can be carried in a pocket or handbag without fear of damage. The camera is also very lightweight (145 grams) and splash proof.” It also has an “active three point” exposure system, which is reputed to produce very accurate expoosures. My model also has a date back, which I don’t use.

The camera has something of a cult following. This has driven up the cost up of late. However, you can still find usable examples for between $50 and $100. You also might get lucky and find one at a garage sale or flea market for much less. Beware though. There are a number of “Stylus” models, most of them zooms. Although very cheap (I picked up one in pristine condition with a nice case in a thrift store for $4.99.) they do not have as good a reputation as this camera. The predecessor to this camera (Olympus Infinity Stylus or “mju” as it’s known outside the US) also has a good reputation. It’s less expensive than the Stylus Epic, has a slower lens, and lacks some of the Epic’s features.

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