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Mark's Chinon CM-7 Page

Released late 80's. I saw (really tiny) ads for it in 1990 Popular Photography. It's actually a Cosina CT-l super, upon which the Nikon FM-10 and many other brands of camera were based, give or take a feature or two. It's a basic manual / mechanical SLR using Pentax K-mount lenses. It has an LED 3 light meter, a metal, vertical shutter that goes from B to 1/2000th, and a 1/125th sync speed for flash. The advance lever both locks the shutter and turns the meter on/off. There's also a self timer. It takes a couple of LR44 or SR44 1.5 volt batteries for the meter only. There is no exposure compensation system but you can advance or retard the ASA setting or just stop the aperture up or down with the same effect. There is a split screen and a microprism circle to help you focus. The ground glass is faster and easier for me. There is no depth of field button or lever, but the scale on every lens works just fine. It only came in grey over black. Mine came with a couple of lenses and a generic flash, and a bag with some lens cleaning stuff. One of the optional accessories was a "Wide band strap with CHINON logo", which is ironic because nobody would recognize it. They should have given one away along with a T-shirt and baseball cap for free advertising. Chinon was the best kept secret in the camera industry. They're really great cameras. I couldn't resist buying another one. My winning bid was $11.00.

11-6-23: The package arrived intact, with everything in working condition. The camera does indeed have a cheap, plasticky feel to it, but it's very light so easy to carry. The seals are of a newer type that doesn't rot. It looks like another camera that was bought and never used. There's a scratch where the strap hanger rubs the plastic top. The batteries in it were still fully charged. It came with two lenses, a Tokina SZ-X 80-200mm F4.5-5.6, and a Ozunon 35-70mm F3.5-4.8, with all caps and skylight filters. A P/KA lens doubler with both caps and a pouch was included, and a Chinar A-150 generic thryistor flash. This all came in a large camera bag. All documentation was included, and a pamphlet for a Canon AE-1 Program which I imagine they ran out and bought right after this. My bid was $11.00, which came to $30.96 with freight, taxes, handling.
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11-10-23: Shot this camera right away, after checking the light seals. Results were the best since I started using coffee as developer. Also used the 70-300mm lens I just received yesterday. Have to be very careful with camera shake at that magnification. This roll got 11 minutes in the Caffenol-C. Even though it's getting darker I'm still using Arrista 100 ASA film. The houses pictured are on the opposite side of the river, at 300mm (lens 6880). The first few pictures were taken with a Chinon 50mm lens, #6387. The camera itself is perfect.

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