a little bit of everything and a whole lot of film

16 Jan 2018

In Focus | Olympus MJU ii Zoom 80

The search for the much revered and much hyped MJU ii or Stylus Epic as it's known in North America has led me through a semi-wild goose chase. First of all, the MJU apparently comes in many variants which can be confusing for a film point and shoot novice. Then there's the matter of price. For some insane reason, these babies are selling at a premium, like up to 600 US buckaroos but I guess that's somewhat justified (?! maybe not, what do I know) as it's the Limited Ed ones that come with its own case. But still, the MJU ii can go for up to 300USD which is appalling because those of you who are lucky enough to live in a country where there are Goodwills or car boot sales or vintage and secondhand shops can score one for as low as 2.99USD. So if you're one of the lucky ones and you happen to come across one for cheaper than a cup of coffee, grab it - even if you don't have a film fetish like I do because eBay = buckaroos.

Still I persevered. And kept on looking. 

Countless of hours spent poring over blogs, forums and Flickr has brought me to the conclusion that the next best thing would be an MJU ii Zoom 80. The telescoping lens zooms from 38 to 80mm but I find that using the zoom makes the exposure come out a little soft. Also, the dreaded lens flare. Some people like it, I personally don't but I feel that cropping the image - especially one that you've painstakingly composed - skews the overall look and feel of whatever it was you were going for. Very inconvenient. Plus, sometimes I get lazy. But the Zoom 80 does have its redeeming qualities. It's tiny and and compact. Almost all the shots I've taken came out beautifully exposed, but please do make sure to turn the flash off as it tends to be flash happy, like all MJUs. As with every point and shoot, the Zoom 80 is fully automatic and no, you cannot set the ISO to your liking (sadly) as it automatically reads the DX code on the film you load into it, assuming you use DX coded film; I still am wondering how I am supposed to shoot Lomochrome Purple film in it as the Lomochromes are not DX coded, help anyone? 

And, it's cheaper, way cheaper than its cooler, way more desirable older brother but hey, we know I have a thing for the underdogs.


All photos were shot by me on an Olympus MJU ii Zoom 80 with a Kodak Portra 400 and a Fujifilm Pro 400H

1 comment

  1. That lens flare problem...I think the 'leak' is coming from inside the barrel. Let me explain - My lomography lomo'instant instax camera has the same problem - Nearly 100% solved by fitting a lens hood. My Rollei Prego 140 had a sticky lens-cover, so I took off the defective cover. Whilst waiting for a replacement to arrive (in the form of using the part from a Samsung Vega 140 which has the Identical mechanism), I took some shots with no lens cover. When the part arrived, put it on. The processed shots without the lens cover almost All had the circular flare. Those with the lens cover back on didn't.


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