Review – Sports 35 Toy Camera

 
I love this camera and not knowing what exactly you are going to get. I hauled it around the San Francisco Bay area while friends were visiting and took it to very touristy places. It was great because I looked just like everyone else taking pictures 😉 These cameras were pretty popular in the 80’s and 90’s and can be found pretty easily on Ebay or Etsy for pretty cheap at an average of about $15.

Sports 35 Toy Camera

The camera is mainly black with different colors around the four lens in the middle of the camera.  I am not quite sure when it made, but I am guessing it was in the eighties and has continued to be made to this day. It went manufactured under many names including the Action Tracker and private branded by corporations as giveaways. It is now manufactured by Lomography and is called the Action Sampler.  The camera takes four pictures on a 24x36mm negative frame.  The shutter spins around to each frame in about 1 sec, this gives each lens about a 1/4 sec shot all with a fixed focus.

Sports 35

Film

The Sports 35 uses 35mm film which you can buy at such places as Walmart, Target and CVS.  You can also buy film online from specialty camera stores if you want something special such as Lomochrome Purple film which I have reviewed here. Since this camera has a fixed focus and shutter speed the best film to use with this would be ISO 400. The camera does not have a flash and is best used outdoors in bright settings.

Film Installation

The Sports 35 has a small latch on the side that you pull down to open up and reveal it’s contents.  Film is easily installed with the roll being placed on the left side and pulling the film leader tip across the lenses and sticking it inside the slit on film sprocket. You then wind the roll until it starts to catch on the gears of the sprocket and then close the door. You can then wind the roll until the number 1 appears on the counter on the bottom of the camera.

Sports 35 Camera

Functions

There is not much functionality to this camera really. As mentioned before it is fixed speed and focus, so try to take pictures in bright settings. The viewfinder can be unfolded up so that you can get a rough sense of what you are focusing on by looking through it.

Picture Taking

Most of the pictures that I took were taken in bright sunny conditions, but I did manage to snag some nice shots when it was quite foggy out as well. Since this camera has 4 shots that are taken about 1/4 sec apart from each other its best to take photos of things or people in action. You can then see how each individual shot is different in that split second.

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Sports 35 flags

Sports 35 sea

The last two photos I actually took apart and made small gifs to illustrate the movement that can be captured from each frame. The first was of a seagull standing on the edge of the pier.

Sports 35 seagull

Sports 35 Seagull gif

 

The one below is of a carousel in motion, which I think it the perfect kind of shot for this camera. You can see how the horse is moving along!

Sports 35 carousel

Sports 35 Carousel gif

If you really like this camera and it’s design you can sometimes find in my Etsy Shop. If it’s not in stock you can always drop me a note and I can source it for you for no extra cost and make a reserved listing just for you.

Most times the manual for this camera is no longer with the camera itself, but I was able to find a copy and you can find it at the below link:

Sports 35 Toy Camera

Specifications:

  1. Type: Super mini 35mm camera with four built-in lenses four four pictures with each frame of film
  2. Lens: 4 sets of f11 26mm single element sequential lenses
  3. Focus Range: Fix focus 1.2 meter to infinity
  4. Shutter: 1/100 second
  5. Viewfinder: Foldable
  6. Eyepiece: Foldable
  7. Exposure Intervals: 0.22 second per frame, and 0.66 second in total for four sequential pictures within each frame
  8. Picture Format: 4 separate pictures within each frame of 24x36mm
  9. Film Winding: Manual, by film winding wheel
  10. Film Rewinding: Manual, by film rewind crank
  11. Film Counter: Mechanical, with automatic reset function

I hope that you have enjoyed this review. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you believe something else should be added.

6 Comments

  1. ladymadonaa May 11, 2017

    Hi i just got one and I am pretty lost about the fact that the wheel is not stopping by itself when you turn it after taking a photo. How do I know i am doing it well? thanks 🙂

    Reply
    • Adriana May 12, 2017

      Okay I think I know what you are talking about. The actual thing that causes the wheel to stop is the film in the camera. Once the film is inside you you are pulling the wheel and film with it. The perforations on the film then pull another wheel inside the camera that is above the lens and that is what causes the film to stop. Hope this helps.

      Adriana

      Reply
  2. nicol iriel July 7, 2016

    Hi! i got this camara like two months ago, i want ask you about the button next to the frame counter.
    Greetings from Argentina! <3

    Reply
    • Adriana July 8, 2016

      Hi Nicol,

      I think you are talking about the film release. When you feel that you roll is over and you can no longer wind your film for the next shot then you can press the button on the bottom. It releases the film so that you can then wind it back up into the cartridge and take it out of the camera.

      Adriana

      Reply
  3. kristynakubova December 19, 2015

    Thanks for this review, it´s really helpful!

    Reply
  4. behindthereddoor June 17, 2015

    This camera looks really fun! I think it would be great for group photo situations 🙂

    Erin, http://beingerin.com

    Reply

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