Nikon L35 AW AF is the point and shoot that the Nikon L35 AF wanted to be

People who know this site know that I shoot with the Nikon L35AF a lot.

Along with the Konica TC-X with a 40mm F1.8 Hexanon, the Yashica 635 twin lens reflex, and the Nikon D40 with a whole slew of lenses, the L35AF (aka the Pikaichi) is one of my go-to cameras for a lot of endearing reasons.

Also, I'm superstitious. If a camera tends to take the pictures I like best, for whatever reason, I tend to go back to it. Well, that's the Nikon L35AF for me.

But one should note, it's not a perfect camera: the flash pops up on its own if it deems there's not enough light; like most point and shoots you don't get to pick the aperture; uh, really freaking noisy (lovably so).

There are work-arounds amply discussed at the Flickr discussion group. The reason to put up with all the fuss and muss is because of the lens. It is charming and has a je ne sais quoi. It just has it.

So, I've put up with its quirks and go out of my way to collect versions and models of the L35 mark.

Until this week, I had never found a Nikon L35 AW AF in decent enough condition. Now that I have my hands on one, I believe this version of the L35 (called the Nikon ActionTouch in the US), with its all-weather/ underwater design, does away with some of the more irky quirks of the original L35.

1. The L35 AW AF is not NOISY. This is because of all the heavy rubber gaskets. The film advance screech is mellowed to a gentle whir.

2. Underwater cameras can't use the auto focus. With this model one can pre-set the focus with the dial on the top.

3. The flash doesn't pop-up unless you want it to. This allows a user to take advantage of the lovely f2.8 aperture and the slowest shutter time of 2 seconds (despite what the manual specs say - which say 1/8 sec).

4. And, you can do the opposite, if you like force flashing. Just  flip the switch and it's on no matter how bright it is outside. I used to have to trigger the flash by sticking it inside a bag and take a light reading.

There are a few problems though with this version too: can't manually set the ASA though one can circumvent the encoder with a bit of tape on the film cassette in which case the camera defaults to 100 ASA providing two-stops over-exposure on a roll of 400 ASA black and white;

...there is no lens filter thread while on the original L35AF  offers a 46mm thread on which I usually slap on a YK2 when shooting black and white.

These are just initial thoughts on the camera. Loading it soon and will let you know how it does.

If you need the manual, kiss my BUTKUS.


  1. hi i was wondering if you knew of any slip on adapters for filters for the nikon L3f af2 ?

  2. I just got one at a garage sale, in excellently condition, can hardly wait to take it out for a test drive.

  3. toonboy7 that's great. I let me know how the shoot goes!

  4. Brian Galderisi there is definitely a slip on filter. I have one. Smug chortling. I'll photograph it and put it on the blog.


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