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Chinon Auto2001
Autofocus DX 35mm (1985-1986)
© 2012 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations

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Chinon Auto2001

Chinon Auto2001. enlarge. This free website's biggest source of support is when you use these links, especially this link to them at eBay (see How to Win at eBay), when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Thanks! Ken.

April 2012, May 2009     LEICA   Canon   Nikon   Pentax   All Reviews 


Introduction         top

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Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations

The Chinon Auto2001 is a basic 35mm autofocus point-and-shoot from the mid 1980s. It reads film speed via DX coding, which are the black and silver squares printed on the cassettes.

It works fine; here's a sample:

Chinon Auto2001

Sea•Life Aquarium, California. Shot with Chinon Auto2001 and expired, made-in-China, Kodak Gold 100 print film. enlarge.

The Chinon Auto2001 is a $3.50 point-and-shoot camera I picked up at a local thrift store. It works fine.

It's a basic, cheap 1980s autofocus fixed-lens point-and-shoot. The only shooting control is the flash switch.

I loaded some expired-in-2007 Chinese print film and had at it.

NCPS processed the film, and it looks fine. I posted another shot from it at Ryan's website for 08 April 2009.

Call me crazy, but this beater old point and shoot has its charms, like a far-faster wake-up time than a digital camera, and faster than other point-and-shoots since as soon as you slide open the barrier, it's ready to fire. Likewise, it has a perfect spring-loaded flash OFF - AUTO - FILL slide switch right by your thumb as you shoot.

Why can't good cameras be thought out as well as some crappy cameras? How come no other camera has as smart a sliding flash-mode switch as this $3.50 camera? This Chinon goes the instant you flip open the barrier; you never have to wait for a lens to motor out from its burrow, and it had 3 LEDs in the finder to let you know the autofocused distance.

Ryan Sweeping

Ryan loves sweeping, 08 April 2009. bigger. (Chinon Auto2001, Fill Flash ON, Kodak Gold 100-8 film, (expired 2007/06/01), NCPS process and scan.)

Not bad for $3.50.

As I wrote on 31 March 2009, I was more excited about heading out to The Flower Fields (after I drop my other film at NCPS) to try shooting this 35mm fixed-lens Chinon Auto 2001 point-and-shoot from 1986, that I just bought for $3.50 at a thrift store, than I was about shooting some of the ultra-expensive Leica gear that's wandered in here for review.

It's probably because its more fun to try to make great images on crappy gear than it is to use great gear.

It's also the treasure-hunt aspect: we know Leica lenses are going to be great. Big deal. I have no idea what I'll get from the Chinon. If I get anything, I'm going to be totally stoked, as if I just found the treasure!


Specifications         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations

35mm f/2.8 lens.

Program Auto Exposure

Auto Focus.

Motorized film advance and rewind.

Manual and DX film speed setting.

Self timer.

Sold for $150 in 1985, which would be $325 today in 2012 considering inflation.

I bought this one for $3.50 at a thrift store in March 2009.


Performance         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations

The red flash-ready light almost covers the distance lights in the finder.

Focus locks with a half-press of the shutter, but not exposure. The flash will come on if the light dims, but not go off if it brightens.

Instant flash recycling.

Unlike the D800's built-in flash, the Chinon Auto2001'a flash is far enough away from the lens that there is never any redeye.

Frames 0-37 = 38 shots per roll.

Motorized rewind, left leader out. The frame counter counts down during rewind.

Perfect flash switch, goes in wrong direction.

One-step slide cover for power and protection.

Green light means film is advancing or rewinding.

There is always some light falloff in the corners.

My sample had a hair in the film gate; I should have looked more closely as I loaded film.


Recommendations         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations

I wouldn't go out of my way to find one, but if you do, for a few dollars, it works great.


Help me help you         top

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Thanks for reading!



Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.


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