One of my recent pickups was a Fujica AX-3 for $15. I carry batteries with me when I’m buying film cameras to test them. Once I popped the batteries in this one, the shutter was firing, but I didn’t bother to check the meter, which was a mistake. After getting the camera cleaned up, I finally checked the meter and it will tell you that every shot is underexposed. So, I had to rely on my manual shooting skills with this camera, after cleaning it up of course.
This camera was very dirty when I bought it. When I buy these film cameras, many of them are filthy. I sat down and gave the Fujica a good cleaning. After giving it a nice detail, I was able to see that the Fujica is a nice looking camera. The all black body and smaller size make the AX-3 a good “carry around” camera. I even put new light seals in it and put a roll of Fujifilm Superia 400 through it.
After developing the film, all of my photos had a severe light leak in them. The very first photo of the roll had a slight light leak. I even tried converting some of the photos into black and white, but the light leaks were too severe to repair digitally.
This isn’t the first camera that I have put light seals in, so I thought that something else was causing the problem. But I did the seal on the hinge door over again, I even put some foam over the little window on the film door.
After letting it sit for about a day, I put another roll of the Fujifilm through the AX-3 and that dreaded light leak was gone! I’m not sure it if was the foam on the hinge door that fixed the problem, or if it was putting foam on the film door window. Below are some shots from that test roll.