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  • How to (roughly) test your point-and-shoot film camera’s shutter speeds and aperture.

    (In response to this thread on Mastodon:…)

    1. Go outside in full sun. Point your camera at something brightly lit, and press the shutter button while listening and observing your camera’s lens. The shutter should be very fast and the aperture must look tiny. If your camera defaults to ISO 100 film, it should fire at about 1/125s with an f/16 aperture. It’s often the smallest aperture and highest shutter speed.

    2. Go indoors and turn off your camera’s flash. Point it at a dim corner (some cameras will need a certain minimum of light, so look for the darkest spot your camera will work on). Your aperture should look the largest and the shutter should stay open noticeably longer, between 1/15th of a second and 2+ seconds.

    3. Your camera isn’t working right if: a) it does not show a noticeable difference in shutter speeds between the outdoor sun and dim indoors, b) if your camera’s shutter is unexpectedly slow in the sun (i.e., like in this video:…), c) if your camera’s shutter is unexpectedly fast indoors.

    Note that this test does not verify your camera’s accuracy — just whether it works or not.