Chinon CA-4 / 4s

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The only difference I can find between the two models is the CA-4 has a electronic self-timer against
the manual one on the CA-4s.

1. Shoulder strap eyelet

2. Frame counter

3. Shutter release button/Exposure meter switch

4. Film advance lever

5. Shutter operation mode selector

6. Hot shoe

7. Film speed dial/Exposure compensation dial

8. Film rewind knob/Back cover opener

9. Self-timer lever

10. Lens lock release lever

11. Aperture ring

12. Depth of field

13. Focusing ring

14. Film chamber

15. Viewfinder eyepiece

16. Sprocket teeth

17. Take-up spool

18. Film pressure plate

19. Film chamber cover

20. Rewind button

21. Film guide rail

22. Film rail

23. Tripod socket

24. Shutter

25. Battery compartment cover


Type: 35mm automatic SLR (Single Lens Reflex) compact camera with aperture priority exposure system (AE).

Picture Format: 24 x 36mm.

Lens Mount: Chinon Universal bayonet mount.

Mirror: Large, quick return, shockless system.

Shutter: Seiko MFC electromagnetic metal focal plane shutter, stepless speeds from 1 to 1/1000 sec. on automatic,
    "B", "X" (X = 1/100 sec.), Automatic speeds electronically controlled.

Viewfinder: Fixed eye-level pentaprism, central split image with microprism collar and ground glass,
    10 LED's indicate shutter speeds and over/under exposure.

Viewfinder Magnification: 0.87x

Viewfinder Visibility: 92%

Exposure Meter: TTL, center weighted full aperture system employing a silicon blue photo cell.

Exposure Compensation: Built-in +/- 1 EV in one third stop increments.

Exposure Range: EV+2 (F/1.9, [sec.) to EV +18 (F/16, 1/1000 sec..) - ASA 100 F/1.9 lens.

ASA Range: 25 - 3200 (DIN 15 - 36) with safety lock.

Film Advance: Single stroke in an arc of 130° with 25° stand off.

Film Counter: Automatically indicates number of exposures and resets to " S" when camera back is opened.

Film Rewind: Folding crank type.

Accessory Shoe: Hot shoe type with X sync. and contact for Chinon dedicated flash.

Synchronization: "X" strobe sync. at 1/100 sec.

Self-Timer: Built-in

Popover Source: Three 1.5V silver oxide G13 batteries (S-76 type).

Battery Test: Built-in with LED indicator. Meter ON/OFF Switch: Meter switch is activated when shutter
    release button is pressed, meter remains on for several seconds after button is released.

Camera Back: Hinged, swing open type, detachable, memo holder provided.

Body Dimensions: 135.5 (W) x 86.0 (H) x 50.5 (D) mm. (5.33/t x 3.38" x 1.99")

Body Weight: 455 grams (16.0 oz.).


Welcome to the world of CHINON photography!
Your Chinon CA-4 /4s camera is one of the most advanced 35mm SLR cameras incorporating features normally found only in higher priced models.
This fantastic compact camera employs the latest state-of-the-art electronics which will ensure carefree operation every time.
In order to take full advantage of the features of your CA-4/ 4s, please read the instruction manual carefully so as to totally familiarize yourself with the camera before actually starting to take pictures.
We thank you for choosing CHINON quality products and we wish you years of satisfactions and enjoyment.



1. By using a coin, unlock the battery compartment cover by turning it counterclockwise (Fig. 1).

2. Remove the battery holder which is attached with the cover. Then, place three 1.5V G-13 type silver oxide batteries (Eveready S-76 or equivalent) with the plus (+) side facing upwards (Fig. 2)

3. Replace the battery compartment cover by turning fully clockwise (Fig. 3).

Note: Clean the batteries with a dry cloth or tissue paper before inserting and thereafter every six months.

× Make sure that the batteries are inserted correctly, i.e., check polarity.
× The shutter speed indicator LED and the action lamp will operate only when batteries are correctly installed and fresh.


To test the batteries, set the shutter operation mode selector to the "AUTO " position (Fig. 4). While looking at the shutter speed indicator scale in the viewfinder, slightly depress the shutter release button. If the batteries are in good condition (battery voltage is high enough), at least one of the indicator LEDs will light up. If an LED fails to illuminate, the batteries are too weak and need to be replaced, they are incorrectly inserted or the shutter operation mode selector is set to " X " or "B "


Your Chinon CA-4 camera can be used with any type of 35mm film.

1. Pull up the film rewind knob until the camera back pops open (Fig. 5). 2. Then, insert a film cartridge into the film chamber with the protruding end facing the bottom of the camera (Fig. 6).

3. Push in the film rewind knob and slightly turn the knob in either direction until it catches the film cartridge spool.

4. Insert the trimmed end of the film into a slot of the multi-slotted take-up spool.

5. Turn the shutter operation mode selector to the " X " position and advance the film while holding the film lightly
    down onto the transport sprockets.

6. Release the shutter if necessary and advance the film until the sprockets engage with the upper and lower perforation
    of the film (Fig. 7)

7. Close the camera back firmly until it locks with a click.

8. Turn the film rewind knob gently until the film slack is taken up and the rewind knob stops. Do not force or further rewind the film.

9. Advance the film and release the shutter three times ((Fig. 8).  The rewind knob should rotate counterclockwise
    when the film is advanced and the "l" marking should appear in the frame counter window (Fig. 9).

10. Turn the shutter operation mode selector to the "AUTO" position and start to take pictures (Fig. 10).


Your Chinon CA-4s camera has a built-in memo holder feature.  To utilize the memo holder feature, simply cut off the top
    of the film box and insert it into the memo holder located on the back cover of your camera. This will enable you to
    quickly and easily identify the type of the film and the ASA speed used in your camera (Fig. 11).


Your Chinon CA-4 /4s is equipped with a frame counter which displays the number of exposures and resets automatically
    upon opening the camera back. When the camera back is opened, the counter shows " S " indicating the start of the
    picture taking process.

When film is loaded according to the procedure previously described, the counter displays " 1 " indicating the camera
    is ready for the first

Every time the film advance lever is turned the counter will proceed one stop forward. The number 24 and 36 are colored
    in orange to warn the end of commonly available films (Fig. 12).

The action lamp (LED) located on the front of the camera body will illuminate while the shutter is activated. The subject
    can easily observe when the shutter is released.


Make sure the film has been loaded properly. Operate the film advance lever through a full stroke. When the film end
    is reached the film advance lever may stop before the lever is fully turned. Do not force the lever! Stop winding at
    once and rewind the film (Fig. 13). Please refer to "Unloading Exposed Film ".

Note: × When the batteries are dead, you can still use CA-4 / 4s camera. Reset the shutter operation mode selector from "AUTO" to "X" which will provide a shutter speed of 1/l00 sec. ASA/DIN SETTING

The film speed dial located on the top of the camera is coupled directly to the internal exposure control circuitry. The correct exposure factor for the film is automatically set by aligning the ASA number of the film you are using with the index mark on the camera body. The ASA number of the film is printed on the film box or the instruction sheet packed with the film.

Turn the film speed dial by lifting up and align the appropriate ASA number with the white index mark. Be sure to check the ASA number whenever you put a new film into the camera (Fig. 14).


Your Chinon CA-4 / 4s has three built-in focusing aids.

1. The center of the viewfinder is split image with a microprism collar which is surrounded by ground glass. When the camera is in focus, the image of these focusing aids become sharpest. While observing the subject through the viewfinder, rotate the lens focusing ring until the upper and lower split image match up to form one uniform image (Fig. 15). This split image focusing is particularly helpful when the subject is dominated by vertical lines.
2. The microprism is also helpful. When it is out of focus, the image on the microprism will be composed of a collection of asterisks (Fig. 16). These sparkling asterisks will disappear when the focus is properly adjusted. You can double check the focus setting by the image on the

3. You can also focus indirectly. Actually measure or estimate the camera-to-subject distance and set the lens focusing ring to the appropriate setting (Fig. 17)

1: Shutter speed indicator/ Flash ready lamp (LED)

2. Shutter speed scale (ground glass)

3. Split-image range finder spot

4. Microprism ring

5. Fine matte outer field


Your CA-4 /4s camera features TTL, center weighted full aperture light measuring automatic exposure control. As long as the shutter operation mode selector is set to "AUTO", you do not have to worry about the exposure factor (Fig. 18).

The sensitive and accurate internal circuitry will compute the correct exposure for the photographic condition and control the shutter speeds steplessly from an 1 second time exposure to a fast 1/1000 second.

When the shutter release button is depressed halfway, the exposure control circuit is energized and will be in the monitoring stage (Fig. 19). You can see the computerized shutter speed displayed in the viewfinder by a red LED (Fig. 20). If the lens F stop or the aperture size is too large for the lighting condition, the over exposure indicator at the top of the scale will flash (Fig. 21). When this happens, stop down the lens diaphragm by turning the lens F stop ring or use a film with a lower ASA number.

Another alternative is to use a ND filter in front of the lens. They are available as accessories from your local camera store.
If the displayed speed is 1/30 sec. or slower, use of a tripod is recommended. Or you can increase the shutter speed by opening the lens diaphragm. Use of a flash unit is also suggested. Please refer to "Chinon dedicated flash system".

If the computed shutter speed is even longer than one second (semi-darkness condition), the under exposure indicator at the bottom of the scale will light up and flash when the available light is less than - 2EV (Fig. 22). Note: F stop selection: The following may be used as a guide to determine the lens F stop when you are using the camera; Sunny day outside . . . F/8 -F/16
Cloudy day outside . . F/4 - F/5.6
Inside . . . . . . . . . . . . F/1.9 - F/2.8 (without flash)


Your Chinon CA-4 /4s features a two-stage shutter release with a safety cover to prevent accidental shutter release or battery drain. When the shutter release button is depressed halfway, the electronic circuit starts functioning.

When the button is fully depressed, it will trigger the shutter. Always hold the camera steady and gently depress the shutter release button to make an exposure.

UNLOADING EXPOSED FILM When the film in the camera is fully exposed the film advance lever will stop.

Do not attempt to force the lever any further. Rewind the film and replace with new film. Push in the rewind button at the bottom of the camera (Fig. 23). Unfold the rewind crank of the rewind knob and turn the rewind crank clockwise (Fig. 24).

You will feel friction as the film is rewound. Suddenly, when the film is rewound completely, the friction will decrease, then lift the rewind knob to open the camera back (Fig. 25).

When the camera back is opened, the frame counter will automatically reset to the " S " position. The rewind button on the bottom of the camera will pop out upon the next advancement of the film advance lever.

Note: Your exposed film should be processed without delay.


Your Chinon CA-4 / 4s camera is equipped with a Chinon bayonet mount which accepts all interchangeable lenses with the universal bayonet mount. To remove the lens from the camera body, depress and hold the lens lock release lever on the camera body, turn the lens counterclockwise as far as it will go, and lift it up from the body (Fig. 26).

Note: Do not remove or replace the lens while the camera is

To attach the lens, match the red dot on the camera body with the red dot on the lens (Fig. 27). Then insert the lens into the camera body and turn it clockwise until the lens locks with a click.


Specially designed and developed automatic flash units are available for your Chinon CA-4 / 4s camera as optional accessories. This highly advanced dedicated flash system permits carefree flash photography. You no longer have to alter the shutter operation mode selector from the " auto " position since the flash is integrated electronically with the camera body.

Set the f/stop indicated on the exposure calculator dial of your Chinon flash to the corresponding aperture ring on the lens. A few seconds after your Chinon flash is turned to the " on" position, the flash ready light will illuminate. Your Chinon CA-4 / 4s has a special viewfinder ready-light system which is electronically coupled to the auto flash.

When the flash has reached adequate power, the viewfinder 1/60 sec. shutter speed indicator (LED) will flash signaling the camera and flash are ready to operate (Fig. 28)
After the picture has been taken and before the flash has recycled, the camera will automatically switch to the automatic mode until the flash has once again recycled.  In this case, your flash must be set to the " AUTO " position.  Stop at your Chinon dealer today to get a complete demonstration of Chinon quality automatic electronic flashes they will light up your life!

Model Chinon Auto S-180 Chinon Auto S-240 Chinon Auto S-280
1. Type: Automatic Flash Thyristor Electronic Flash (power cut-off system) Thyristor Electronic Flash (power cut-off system)
2. Auto Flash System: YES Yes Yes
3. Dedicated for CA-4 /4s camera: NO Yes Yes
4. Guide Number in M
. ASA 100
. ASA 400
5. Setting:
. ASA 100
. ASA 400
One aperture setting
Two aperture settings
Two aperture settings
6. Manual Flash: YES Yes Yes
7. Auto-operation:
F4 ( SA 100)

F8 SA 400)

F8 (ASA 100) 1

F16 (ASA 400)1

1m - 4.5M (3.28ft - 14.7ft) 0.7m - 6m (2.3ft - 19.6ft)
0.7m - 3m (2.3ft - 9.8ft)
0.7m - 7m (2.30 - 22.9ft)
0.7 - 3.5m (2.3ft - 11.4ft)
8. ASA Range: 25 - 400 25 - 400 25 - 400
9. Sensor Acceptance Angle Approx. 20 degrees Approx. 20 degrees Approx 20 degrees
10. Flash Duration:



1/3000 - 1/1500


1/3000 - 1/750


1/3000 - 1/750


11. Recycling Time:
10 sec. 0.5 - 10 sec. 0.5 - 10 sec.
12. Number of flashes: (Alkaline batteries) Approx. 150 on manual Approx. 200 on manual Approx. 150 on manual
13. Bounce capability: NO NO Yes
14. Illumination Angle: for 35mm lens for 35mm lens for 35mm lens
15. Power Two AA batteries Four AA batteries Four AA batteries
16. Open Flash Button Yes Yes Yes
17. Sync. Jack: Yes Yes Yes
18. Dimensions: 51x69x82mm 58x77x85mm 56x133x77mm
19. Weight: 160g 210g 250g


Depth of field designates the nearest and furthest limits of the area that will be sharp in the picture in front of and beyond the subject. The larger the lens opening, the shallower is the depth of field. The smaller the lens opening; the greater the depth of field becomes (Fig. 29 & 30).

Depth of Field Scale:

The depth of field scale indicates (after focusing) the approximate area that will be sharp in the picture. Locate on the depth of field scale the corresponding pair of f/stop figures. The distance between these two f/stop figures on the focusing ring will be the area of sharpness in your picture (Fig. 31).


The self-timer when set, trips the shutter mechanism after a delay of 7-12 seconds. This feature is useful should the photographer wish to be included in the picture, and is also useful for taking pictures at slow shutter speeds when a cable release is not available.

When using the self-timer, the camera must be mounted on a tripod, or a solid support of some

To operate, move the self-timer lever counterclockwise as far as it will go. Advance the film transport lever. Upon pressing upward on the self-timer lever with your finger. the self-timer mechanism will start to operate (Fig. 32).

Note: Do not depress the shutter release button, since the self-timer mechanism will not operate and the shutter will be released instantly.

Do not advance the film transport lever until the self-timer operation completely stops.


Your CA-4 / 4s camera accepts infra-red film. To use infra-red film an extra focusing adjustment must be made. After focusing note the figure that is adjacent to the green marking on the distance scale of the lens (Fig. 33), then move that figure over to the infra-red mark engraved on the lens. This adjustment is only required for black and white infra-red film. When using a color infra-red film, you should focus in the normal way.

Note: Read the instructions carefully packed with the infra-red film for further information.


Your Chinon CA-4 / 4s camera is a precision instrument. Used with care, it will provide years of trouble free service. Protect your camera from dirt. rain, dampness and excessive heat. Avoid touching the lens. To clean the lens, wipe it gently with a soft lint less cloth or lens tissue. Do not use eyeglass tissue as it might damage the lens coating.

* Standard Lenses

45mm t|2.8 50mm f/1.9

f/1.7 multicoated

f/1.4 multicoated

* Wide-angle lenses

28mm f/2.8 multicoated 35mm f/2.8 multicoated

* Telephoto lenses

135mm f/2.8 multicoated

200mm f/3.5 multicoated

300mm f/5.6 multicoated

500mm f/8 multicoated

* Zoom lenses

28 - 50mm f/3.5 - 4.5 multicoated

35 - 100mm f/3.5 - 4.3 multicoated

80-200mm f3.8 multicoated

* Accessories

Auto Flash S-180

Auto Flash S-240

Auto Flash S-280

Synchro-eye for flash (slave unit)

Deluxe carrying case

Filter 49mm (Skylite, UV, ND4X, Y2, PL)

Rubber eyepiece

Eyepiece adapter ( - 3, +1, +3)

Rubber lens hood

Auto extension ring


Minicopy stand

Spare ring for mini-copy stand

Cable release adapter (13 inch, 20 inch)

Angle finder

Table tripod

Neck Strap

1.5V silver oxide battery (3 pcs. in one set)

3 clips lens cap

Eyepiece cover

Body cap

and many more