52 Cameras – Week 13 – Chinon CM7

(The report on week 12 will be delayed, due to a 36 exposure roll and an incredible deal I found on a Crown Graphic. Details later.)

This week marks the beginning of a new month, thus a 35mm camera is next in my informal rotation. I've selected the Chinon CM7.

George inspects the CM7 for clues as to its age.

The CM7 is a Japanese SLR of unknown age. I'm guessing it dates from the late 1980s. It features an electronic meter with three LEDs visible inside the viewfinder to indicate over-, under-, or correct exposure. Focus and exposure settings are completely manual, controlled by a ring on the lens (aperture) and a knob next to the shutter release (speed.) Shutter speeds range from B to 1/2000. Film speed is set using a ring below the rewind knob. It has a hot shoe for flash. The meter and shutter are activated by pulling the film advance lever slightly away from the body, in similar fashion to my favorite Nikon FM2.

My example is another Goodwill find, and it came with a 28mm f2.8 “Aetna Rokunar MC Auto” lens. I've found that I really enjoy shooting with it despite the cheap plastic feel of the controls. It's simple to operate, has a very satisfying mirror 'thunk', and makes beautiful images. As it is not extremely valuable or rare, I find myself more likely to carry it for general use.

I've had a partial roll of Kodak Gold 200 loaded for a while. Here are a few favorite images from the past to tide you over until I finish and process it.

Alma mater
Shot on HP5 and stand developed in Rodinal 1+100.



Camera Wiki has an article on Chinon which gives some history but nothing specific on the CM7.

But Mike Butkus has the manual, of course.

Want one? Probably eBay is your best bet, short of making a lucky find like I did.