Chinon CM-4

The Chinon Company was founded in 1948 and in the 60’s & 70’s it was primarily a camera component company, like Cossina they also made lots of cameras for other brands such as Revue, Argus, & Prinz. Though they never became a first tier camera producer during the 1970’s they made some solid well built if bare bones cameras. They stuck with M42 lenses longer than most and that probably didn’t help them. They finally switched to the Pentax K mount in 1979 with the release of their CM-4 (mechanical) & CE-4 (electronic) cameras

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Chinon CM-4
TypeSLR
Manufactured1979 - ??
Battery2 X 1.5V LR44 (For the Light Meter Only)
Fully MechanicalYes
ShutterBulb + 1s-1/1000
ISO25 - 1600
Fully ManualYes.
Aperture PriorityNo
Shutter PriorityNo
Fully AutoNo
NotesThe CM-4 released in 1979/80 was the first Chinon Camera to use the Pentax Mount. (There was also a nearly identical camera, the CS-4 which was an M42 screw mount). The Camera is mostly plastic and doesn’t have the robust feel of earlier Chinon cameras like the CXII but it’s still well built. It’s fully mechanical with 2 LR44 batteries powering the light meter. Unlike most cameras the Light Meter guide lights (1 green & 2 red for under & over exposure) are not inside the camera but outside next to the viewfinder. It's a design that works well & I’m surprised it’s not seen on more cameras. One other curious feature is the red LED “Action Lamp” on the front of the camera this flashes red when the shutter is open. I suppose it’s a useful feature if you are photographing people and you want them to know when the shutter fires or has fired! There was also a CM-4s which replaced this “Action Lamp” with a self timer lever.

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