The Nikon Zoom 70W is another automatic camera, with a famous name and a shiny case, is it pure gold or plastic tat?
Nikon Touch Zoom 70W
Decoding the film
It uses DX coding to auto-detect the film speed but can only use 100 or 400 ASA film. I like to try out unusual films and one of the biggest drawbacks with these type of cameras is that you can’t manually set the film speed. It’s a compact design and slides closed to protect the lens when not in use, reminiscent of the Olympus mju – a camera which seemingly influenced design for decades. It’s trimmed in gold, which probably looked a lot nicer when it was new – it’s not an ugly camera, but it’s not a colour I would have picked out either.
It was a very easy camera to use – with the light colour extending to the back of the camera the contrast makes the viewfinder quick to find with the eye, something that is not always the case with a black-backed camera.
Shot in black and white
I used Ilford XP2 which is an unusual black and white film that can be processed using C41 colour chemicals. The film was designed for the time where there were lots of places offering colour developing but black and white processing was comparitively rare and expensive – these days there isn’t much difference. At the time I shot this I only had the chemicals for black and white processing so I developed it using those and it worked fine, although the images do show a fair bit of grain.
This is because treating it like a black and white film lays down a layer of silver, whereas if I had used colour chemicals it would have formed the image using dyes. Some high-end scanners use infrared light to remove dust from images, as the dust is invisible to infrared, which would normally work for XP2 film, but the layer of silver formed by processing it as black and white would block infrared and stop that feature working. My scanner is not a high-end one and I have to remove all the dust marks myself.
Its the pics
Ilford XP2 400
Expired: September 2007
Format/Type: C41 Black and White
Full Total: £3.98
Cost per shot: £0.11
My Rating: 8
Certainly one to put another film through – I aim to try to put at least one colour and one black and white film through each camera, unless they are truly horrible. I especially want to be fair to the cameras where I put what might be called challenging film through them. This camera coming up with nice pics despite me cross-processing a ten-year-expired film shows that it’s a good one. It also worked out as one of the cheapest all round.