Chinon CP-5
A self-made user's manual

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This self-made manual can be used for the Chinon CP-5, DP-5, and CP-6.  The Sears KSX-P is a direct clone of the CP-5 (Chinon Program - 5) with the Sears name on it.  The CP-5S is a variation with a spot metering system.  The DP-5 has a chrome top with a few different markings.  The CP-6 has a spot metering system and a DX film reading system in the camera back.   This camera can use any Chinon flash (to automatically set flash shutter speed)  or the specific Sears flash for the KSX-P that will set the shutter speed.  (I have a few Chinon flashes for sale!)

Sears usually sold Ricoh made cameras (KS brands: K for K-mount - S for Sears) which were clones of the Ricoh KR (K for K-mount and R for Ricoh) but Ricoh flashes will not set the shutter speed for the flash automatically on any of the "Auto" cameras.  I would not even use a Ricoh dedicated flash on a Chinon or Chinon clone camera as the special contact pins could damage the Chinon electronics.

The Chinon CP-5, DP-5, CP-6 is a Dual program camera.  It has a large grip which contains 3 AAA batteries.  Hopefully the battery case is clean and the contacts not rusted. The actual contacts are on the side of the battery case where they contact the camera body.  Make sure those points are clean too.  Use a ink eraser to clean them.  Very, very fine sandpaper can be used if necessary.  Without that battery pack and contacts working, the camera is dead in the water.  I only know of one camera repair place in N.J. that repairs them and as of Jan. 2001 they do not have any spare battery holder. If the battery case is shot, try to find a PW-610 or PW-600 winder.  The winder is very hard to find but powers the camera from the winder's batteries.  In case you don't know, Chinon cameras are a orphan.  Chinon dropped all 35mm cameras in the early '90s, just like Ricoh did in March 1999.  Ricoh announced they will no longer sell 35mm cameras in their US market.  Both companies are only supporting digital cameras.  The Chinon web site no longer contains information about the 35mm film cameras.
(The CP-6 is basically the same except both program settings are on the shutter selector.  It also has an average or spot meter setting where the CP-5 has the program selector.)

The Chinon CP series cameras did what no other camera maker have done at that time.  Wide open lens metering  exposures in a program mode.   Most other cameras had the Auto mode.  You would chose a aperture, the camera would choose a corresponding shutter speed.  Chinon, as I am guessing, figured that if the camera's program only chose apertures of F22 to F4, all K-mount lenses could work in a "program mode".  A camera program would figure out an average of both the shutter and aperture (point - focus - shoot) or be able to give more shutter speed (Pa) or aperture (Pc) for depth of field.  Later, other camera manufactures made "multiple program cameras" as you will see.  These gave you a choice of either the higher shutter speed or smaller aperture.  Most other cameras like the Pentax or Ricohs required special lenses with pins to tell the camera's computer what was speed of lens was attached to it and were able to meter down to the widest aperture of that lens.  The Chinon CP models, I'll assume, choose the F22 to F 4 range and only made the camera's program work in that range.  So if you had a F 2.8 lens, in program mode it would only open to F4 and the shutter would go way slow if needed.  Need more shutter speed!  Go to "Auto" mode and open the lens to 2.8 or 1.4, if you got it, and your shutter speeds will go higher in dim light.  That's basically it for the Program ability.  The camera will only let the lens open to F 4 when in any "program" mode.

With this idea you can take any K (Pentax K), Ka (Pentax auto) or Kr (Ricoh auto) lens and use it on this Chinon CP series program camera.  Set the lens to F22, put it in program and shoot away.  Some of the newer lenses have a lock beyond the F22 for program modes with CP series Chinon, Pentax or Ricoh cameras.    A button on the lens needs to be depressed to get it out of lock mode. The CP-5 was started in '84 and ran for a few years as usual.  You should be able to find them for $100 or so depending on the condition.  Lenses can be had for various prices.  Zooms are available too but watch out for the older, cheaper zooms that only open to f5.6.  Not sure if they will meter the correct expose wide open.

There are winder connections to the base of the CP-5 camera.  I tried a working Chinon PW-530 winder and could not get any lights to function.  The CP and  DP Chinon 5 & 6 models need the PW-610 or PW-600 winder.  I have yet to find a PW-600 winder.  These winder models work on this camera in all modes but limited abilities on older Chinon brands.   You can't have both the winder and the battery holder on the CP-5.  The pin contacts at the bottom of the camera and pins on the top of the winder is suppose to supply the camera with battery power so you use the 4 AA batteries of the winder for the metering.

Your back comes open like most cameras, pull up on the rewind knob.   Want to know if there is film in the camera, turn the rewind knob.  If it stops after a turn or two, something is in there.  You have a bunch of plastic slots in the winder reel.  Place 1/4 inch of film into the sprockets, wind once until the film is flat and film sprockets are in the camera advance sprockets then fire the shutter.  Close the back.  Rewind the rewind knob clockwise until it is a bit snug.  Wind the shutter and watch the rewind knob, it should move counterclockwise.  Fire and wind again watching the rewind knob move.  That's how you can tell if the film is loaded right. The rewind knob will move as you wind the film.  Two shots need to be fired off after you close the back.  This is where the new point and shoot cameras get a frame or two more out of today's 35mm film.  They don't have to wind around the sprocket once and then fire two frames after you close the camera.

You have 6 stops on your shutter switch.   You have lights in the viewfinder showing the modes Prog, Over - Under and the shutter speeds (1000 to 8s (that's 8 seconds exposure), lighting bolt symbol (flash is charged), and upper middle part of viewfinder you will see (if you have light) a mirror showing you the reflection of the F stop on the lens.
Double exposure switch (in front of the winder) - after taking a picture rewind the rewind knob just snug.  Push the double exposure button then advance the winder.  The film will not move this time but the shutter is wound allowing you to shoot one picture on top of another.
On the side by the lens  a switch ST for Self Timer.  Wind camera, pull up switch, press shutter and red light above switch will flash slowly.  Then flash quickly just before taking the picture.  You would have to set the correct setting in Auto or flash mode but program mode will work fine.  On the same switch is a "Chime" icon.  It is suppose to chime at various setting if you can remember then all.  See the full manual for the correct notes.  My Self Timer nor Chime doesn't work.

All these modes will work correctly if you place the ASA in the correct setting which is located by the rewind knob.  Pull up on the ASA setting, turn to the correct ASA by the green line, release.  Put in ASA 100 film and your camera's ASA is set to 400.  You will get nice dark pictures.

L - Lock.  No shutter or metering.  Good to place the shutter in LOCK as anything  pressing on the shutter will operate the meter and drain the batteries or fire the shutter if wound.  This could occur in a camera bag or of item are place on top of the camera.

P - Program mode (point - focus - shoot)  You have a small arm by the shutter.  It will allow P1 and P2.  Basically they are equal to Pa and Pc of most other cameras.   P1 is a action mode (Pa), more preference is given to the shutter speed for action shots.  Hence the camera will let the shutter go to higher shutter speeds and larger (wider) lens openings.  The wider lens openings will give less depth of field but you will freeze action.  In P2 or Pc is your Creative mode.  You will get smaller aperture openings giving you more depth of field but your shutter will be slower.  With this mode, in deep shade, your shutter could go down to 1/60 or slower creating possible camera shake problems or blurry images if your subject is moving fast.
That's your two Program modes, there is a computer program that selects a different shutter and apertures for these two modes for the same amount of light.  Outdoors in bright light with 400 ASA film you won't notice any difference in your pictures as the shutter will be fast and depth of field great.  Only with 100 ASA or dense shade will you have to check the shutter speed/aperture settings to make sure you aren't below a safe shutter speed/depth of field for what you are photographing.

Program light blinking? - Your lens is not set to past F8.  In program mode you should set it to F22.

A - Automatic.   This was the big '80s thing with cameras that had light meters.  You would change the lens aperture until the shutter speed (in the viewfinder) would be in a safe range.  Somewhere above 1/125 but below the Overexposure.  If needed, and you are good, you can shoot down to 1/30 or 1/15 hand held with a normal lens.  This mode also allowed you to shoot your lens wide open at high shutter speeds.  This mode also allows you to lock the exposure.  To do this you focus and activate the meter.  Pressing the M (manual mode button) once will lock the exposure as long as you have pressure on the shutter.  Yes, you need two fingers, I usually use my other hand. Sorry, it doesn't work in P1 or P2 mode.  Don't know why.

M - Manual.  Yes, this camera is fully manual.  A bit strange to get it to work but here's how.  Place the shutter switch to M.  Look in the viewfinder.  Choose an aperture, the current shutter speed the camera is set at will be blinking and correct  shutter speed (according to the light meter) will be lit solid.  You also may see the Over or Under blinking if you are way out of metering range.  What you need to do is set the aperture to an appropriate F stop (try F 5.6) or press the M on the top of the camera by the shutter.  Pressing (and releasing) the M, the camera will change the shutter speed blinking light (not the solid one) downwards then start at the top again when it hits the bottom.  You must match the blinking light with the solid shutter light.  That is suppose to be the correct exposure.  If you change the aperture, you will need to adjust the shutter speed again.

Two ways to do this.

1. Pick a shutter speed (blinking light) then open the aperture more/less so the blinking and solid meet.  That is the correct exposure for that specific shutter speed, at least what the camera thinks is the right exposure.  You can choose a higher or slower shutter speed if you think the exposure meter is slightly off due to what you are photographing (bright sky or sunset shots).

2. Pick an aperture and press the M until the solid light meets the blinking light.  The camera believes this is the correct exposure.  You can open the lens at that point and let in more light or close the lens more if you think it should be less light.  In manual mode you can choose whatever you want.  High shutter speed or smaller aperture for depth of field.

X - Flash Sync speed - 1/125.  You must use this mode with a manual  or automatic flash and the correct F stop according to your flash gun setting (depending on ASA of the film)  With a Chinon or compatible flash the flash will set the shutter to 1/125 when the flash is ready in Program, Auto and Manual modes.  The red (lighting bold) symbol will go on with that special flash only.  Actually 1/125 is fast.  Most other Chinon cameras only have 1/60 and moving objects can be blurred.

B - Bulb   If you have tripod ($30 and up, lots of used ones around) and a shutter release cable you can take time exposures.  These are exposure  "guesses" as the meter doesn't work in this setting.  Most film containers have shutter times and apertures to try for night scenes.  When in this mode setting, pressing and holding the shutter button down will keep the shutter open until you release it.  So you can bring a stopwatch or press and count, one second, two, etc.  The shutter release cable can be bought in any camera store for under $10.  Most have a locking knob on it for long (5 - 10 min.) exposures.  Again you can shoot at wide apertures (F 2.8 for 30 seconds) instead of  smaller apertures (F 8 at 4 min) for more depth of field.  Warning - Warning  - Will Robinson!  Bulb keeps the shutter open by what, the battery!  Remember no battery, no shutter.  You can take as many 10 -15 min exposures as you want.  Just remember your batteries might die after 10 of those types of those shots.  I don't know of any way to determine long exposures against battery life.  Just remember AAA batteries are cheap and always carry some spares.  The best fun with time exposure is pictures with traffic or moving lights.  Red tail lights and headlights, or ferris wheels with a  sec or longer exposure makes for nice red and white flowing lines.

Lenses -
Any K mount lens will work in Program and Auto mode with the Chinon CP series.  Even the newer Pentax AF lenses?  They will not AF but are suppose to work.  They are difficult as the lens apertures are very thin and focusing is hard as many do not have good grips to turn the lens in manual mode.
The Ka and Kr lenses will have pins the the mounts.  Many newer lenses will have both Ka and Kr pins to make them available to both Pentax and Ricoh cameras.  These pins will not be damaged if used on this camera.  These just tell the camera the maximum and minimum F stop so they will open to full aperture on program mode (on those specific cameras) if needed.  Lenses can be had at many places especially the K mount.  Pentax was big in the '70 and '80.  Hate to say it but Pentax has lost much ground in the camera place and now Ricoh no longer makes 35mm cameras in the US market.  Most stores sell the Nikon, Canon and Minolta brands now.

Any old lens should be checked for ease of focus (no gumming of the grease), fungus (no fine "branches" on any elements), aperture reflex - set the aperture to F22 and press and release the aperture arm in the back  while looking at the aperture at a light source.  It should snap open very very quickly as should the aperture arm.
I can talk about lens quality till I'm blue in the face.  Yes major brands (Pentax, Ricoh, Vivitar, Tamron and the like) are better quality and will give better and sharper images then the cheaper no-name brands.   Sears and Sakar lens can be had for $15 and up.  I have made many photographs that people consider really great shots by a old Vivitar screw mount zoom lens that was made before the "computer produced multi-coated lenses" of today.  If you will be making 8X10 or larger prints, you may want to get name brand lenses.  If you are going to scan your images and post them or make copies from a printer, or get the normal 4X5 prints from Walmart/Kmart, I doubt if you can tell if the camera lens cost you $20 or $245.   Most of the time the image created by a creative photographer will catch your eye then someone who is just taking snapshots.  I saw a photographer at a mall selling beautiful scenic shots.  They were taken with a real old Olympus camera and lens.  Beautiful 11X14 and larger prints from 400 and 100 ASA film.

Flash (hotshoe) -
You may use any standard flashgun with this camera.  Chinon made a few special flashes.  I have a few personal flashes for Chinons for sale, some $70 each as well as a smaller $20 one.  You still may find some flashes that fit multiple cameras like the Sunpak Auto 2000DZ.  A switch on the flash determines what camera it will work with.  What the extra pin on the Chinon (and compatible flashes) do is set the shutter speed to 1/125 (or the X speed of other Chinon cameras) of a second.  That's a  very high shutter speed that will stop most motion along with the speed of the electronic flash.  Most Chinon flash speeds are 1/60

In Automatic Flash mode with a dedicated Chinon flash:  Change the ASA on the flash to what speed film is in the camera and place the camera to P (program) or A (automatic).  The CP-5 will set the shutter speed only when the flash is charged .  By looking into the viewfinder you will see the shutter speed light go to 1/125 and the red "lighting bolt" appear in the CP models.  You can then shoot as the flash is charged and ready to go.   Fire and the shutter speed will change to the current meter reading setting until the flash is ready again and the shutter moves to 1/125.

Automatic flash (any flash with electric eye):  You must still set the camera shutter to X and the lens F stop to the setting determined by  your flash.  Some Chinon flashes have two F stop choices on the flash and flash range shown by a color code.  Your film speed basically determines the maximum range away from the flash. The faster the film speed, the further away from the flash you can correctly expose the film.  Also, the bigger the flash the more light it can produce. Hence the tiny compact flashes may only give a 10 foot range.  The color chart on the flash setting corresponds to the distance guide so you can see just how far away you can shoot at the chosen F stop.   With ASA 100 you may only get 10 foot distances.  Remember though, the flash is not TTL (Through The Lens) like the CP9-AF or most modern cameras.  Close objects will reflect light back to the flash unit thinking the exposure is correct and turning off the flash.  A long line of people lined up towards you will correctly expose the third person and leave the people the furthest away in the dark.  You can try to bounce the light off the ceiling if your flash allows it but you need a powerful flash unit.  You must add the distance from the flash to the ceiling then to the object and then add some for loss of light not reflected from the ceiling.  The large Vivitar and Sunpak brands can do that up to a point.  Bounce also takes the "shine" off of faces. Careful with bouncing.  Uneven ceilings will create huge shadows on the faces.  No camera can fix every kind of flash picture but be careful shooting in crowds.  People on the sides and closer to the camera can reflect light back and tell the flash enough light has reached the object and turn off the flash.  The group, in the center of the picture that you wanted,  is now in the dark.

Manual Flash mode (cheap units):  Turn the dial, if needed, to the ASA of the film being used.  Most flashes have a manual mode.  Determine your distance from the object you are photographing.  Look at the flash and it will determine what F stop you need to choose for that distance.  Set camera to X and the F stop to what ever the flash stated for the distance and film ASA.  Most flashes have an automatic mode and do quite well with their built in electric eyes.