Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sears 35 Motor Drive

In the early 1980's cameras like the Sears 35 Motor Drive made it possible for almost anyone to take decent photos in most circumstances.  You didn't have to be concerned about focusing or exposure.  That challenging process now was taken care of by your camera.  And most of the time it worked pretty well.  And if you didn't have enough light the camera had a built-in flash. More advanced photographers didn't like that there was no possibility for manual control, however most everyone else didn't care.  The auto exposure auto/ focus cameras were very popular.  All the major makers made one.  The Sears 35 Motor Drive seems to be one of the lesser known cameras of this type.  It looks like it was made for Sears by Chinon although I don't know for sure. 

I couldn't find any detail about the Sears 35 Motor Drive other than what you can tell by looking at the camera's picture.  Its all plastic and fairly light, however it has a solid feel to it.  Like many cameras of this time it has a built-in lens cover which also turns the camera on.  It runs on two 2 AA batteries.  As the Motor Drive part of the name implies it has one of the loud motor drives that were typical of the era.  I would have much preferred a quiet manual winder. The auto focus worked well in the few pictures that I took before the camera went belly-up.  About half-way through the test roll the auto-winder stuck and wound what was left of my film.  Since then the motor grinds away anytime that I turn the camera on.  I did like the few pictures that I got with the Sears Motor Drive. Most of this type of camera had pretty good lenses.  Some of the versions by the major makers like Canon, Nikon, and Minolta are very good picture takers.  And if you have some times when you don't care about manual control they are a good bargain. As for the Sears 35 Motor Drive I would say it takes worthwhile images, however the loud motor drive is not something that I care for.  In a camera of this type I would look for the versions made before motor drive became a fashion.