Camera review – Always Coca-Cola

You’re not seeing things. It’s a can of Coke. Well, it looks like a can of Coke. Americans have this strange obsession with all things Coke. Antique signs, plates, dolls, you name it. It’s a heck of a marketing strategy. Honestly, I can’t even remember why I bought this, but I know when. I was in a meeting at work, and things were dragging among very slowly, so I pulled up eBay to browse cameras. I came across this goofy thing and though “hmm, that would look cool with the rest of my toy cameras!” So, $13 +s/h and here it is in all its cheap Chinese manufacturing glory.

I’ll be honest I threw away the box and instructions. The labeling on the side says (c) 1998 Coca Cola Company. Seems legit. It’s actually not poorly made for a toy. If I had to guess I’d say it’s a 35mm f/8 and probably one shutter speed of around 1/125 sec or so.

I suppose I could maybe really research it but why? It is just more fun to run some film through it and see how it does. It came with a cheesy little wrist strap. The lens has a cover that slides into place which prevents the shutter from firing. It has a clamshell style door on the back that opens to load the film, and even has a built-in flash.

I can tell you this: if loading the film correctly is any indication of manufacturer, this darn thing is 100% Vivitar. It takes skill and patience to get the spool to grab the film and hold it. Every cheap Vivitar point and shoot was similarly difficult. Once loaded, be prepared with a pair of Mithril gloves because the winding wheel will take the skin off the thumb with ease.

But I digress. It does actually work! It takes pictures. The film advances, the shutter fired without fail, and the flash works well… at blinding both photographer and subject.

Minimum focus distance is about 2 ft. I shot with flash for this roll. I didn’t notice any barreling or pin cushion , soft or distorted corners.

Heck, even a 5 year old kid can take a decent photo with it! In fact, the only reason i even put film in it was that the boy was pissed that mama and sister went out without him, and it was a way to coax him out from under the futon in the dining room. Of course he initially just sat on the futon, crying.

Eventually he did cool off and take some (unusable) photos with it. It’s not a bad little point and shoot. The only real downsides are the flesh-eating film advance wheel and the “conservative” viewfinder that makes it a bit tricky for composition.

But the honeymoon is over. Back in the shelf it goes, relegated to the company of Fotodiox model cameras and miscellaneous Holgas. Maybe one day, after I’m long dead, my kids can put it up for auction at Sotheby’s.

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3 Comments

  1. Steve Gabriel

    Hi Aragon,
    Everything about this is interesting, but, perhaps MOST interesting, is your hope that the dang thing may one day be auctioned by Sotheby’s ! : ) No stinkin Ebay for this priceless gem.
    I appreciate the “hidden smile” you embed in your reviews and musings.

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