I was on a lovely photowalk on a blistering hot Sunday when I saw Cody was working at the camera shop. The shop is closed on Sundays. We had a quick chat about cameras and Cody pulls out a this really cool Fuji camera. He knows I’m a sucker for a cool point-and-shoot camera. I walked away with this DL-200 to shoot a roll of Tri-X through it. I got to bring it back to him tomorrow.
What I really liked about this camera, is the ergonomics. It’s not a small camera, but it’s just small enough to fit in your pocket. It’s a basic rectangle shape 5.27in x 2.7in x 1.69in (134mm x 69mm x 43mm), with a fine textured grip for your thumb and fingers. Because it only weighs 11 ounces (310 grams) you don’t need a big hand grip. To turn it on, you just slide the door.
This is Fuji’s first camera with “drop-in” loading. How hard is it to load film. I read that the DL designation meant drop-in loading. I have a Fujifilm DL Super Mini Zoom, that is also has drop-in loading. It seems like a silly marketing thing. You slide the film in, close the back and the camera winds all the film out to the take-up spool, and as you shoot, it winds it back in to the original canister. I don’t know about you, but I’ve opened a camera back and find a roll of film loaded in to the camera. This methods protects the pictures you already shot from mishaps.
As I was researching this camera, I learned a few cool things and a really stupid thing about it. Which I will get to in a moment. The camera is so dead simple to use. It has a 32mm f2.8, it’s four elements in four groups, it’s a simple design. It’s not a Tessar, that’s four elements in three groups. It’s close enough though. It’s a nice enough lens. It’s not as sharp as the 35mm T* of my Yashica T AF. But this Fuji DL 200, has a better build quality than the T AF.
I love the shutter button, the half press is easy to feel and it takes a little more pressure for the full press. Careful, there could be camera shake if holding with one hand.
It has DX coding, there’s no overriding that, but if there’s no DX on the canister, then it defaults to 100. I’ve forgotten to change the film speed too many times to count.
The bad news:
The battery is dumb. It’s technically not user replaceable, but the user could replace them. Originally, the user was supposed to send the camera back to a Fuji dealer or repair shop and have the battery replaced. It has two, not-so-common 3v lithium batteries. The battery sits in the film compartment, I watched a couple of YouTube videos, they’re not very difficult to replace. Fuji later released a DL-200 II with user replaceable batteries.
I really like this camera. It has a good build quality. It looks nice. It’s easy to use. It fit’s nicely in your Bermuda shorts. I would buy this camera, but I don’t need another camera. If you are into these 80s point-and-shoot compact film cameras, you could do a lot worse than this camera.
Kodak Tri-X – D76 1:3 dilution.