Click here for a quick look at the parts of a Chinon CP9-AF and Specifications.

My story of Chinon cameras
(How to operate the Chinon cameras)

I first picked up a Chinon camera in May, 1997, a Chinon CP-5 dual program.  I was at a camera store and they had a 100-500 Samyang (PK-A/P)zoom lens.  I picked up the camera and lens for $95 each.  The camera had a two auto programs so it would work with the 100-500 by just point, focus and shoot. The zoom had a PK/A and PK/R lens so it would  work with both Pentax and Ricoh in program modes.  I took that camera set to vacation and the zoom works great on the beach.
Information on the CP-5 camera will follow as well as the type of lenses that work on each.

    My next discovery was in September at another camera store near work.  A Chinon CP-9AF.  It was in perfect shape. It came with the traditional 35-70 macro AF lens (metal case too).  It takes 4 AA batteries or the $12.00 - 6v battery for the built in motor drive and camera operations.  Also included in this deal was the S-120 flip up flash and original manual.  All for $175.  In reading the manual I find that there is a 70 - 210 zoom and AF-S280.  Something to look forward to finding.  The AF function works well in bright situations... in darker lighting an AF light on the camera can help assist but  you can forget the very dim situations (as with other AF cameras).  The built in flash charges when flipped up and sets the camera to 1/60 to 1/100 sec. This flash will also work as "fill in" lighting up to a point. The battery power for the flash comes from the camera.  The camera has a square program changer by the shutter and a LCD for the information on battery power, manual/auto focus, distance to subject, number of exposures taken and program mode.  By the shutter two buttons allow you to use AEB (Automatic Exposure Bracketing) and RESET the camera back to normal program.  The shutter on/off switch allows single, continuous and multiple exposures.  Two up down buttons allow shutter speed and aperture changes in Automatic and manual modes.  This camera has many features taking 77 pages in the instruction manual.


    The Chinon CP-9AF is a well built camera, with metal lens mounts on both ends.  The lens is also made with metal tubes.  This makes it a bit heavy, but what can I say.  It is auto load, automatic advance with auto ISO selection.  The square program selection allows easy Auto, Program, Bulb and Manual.  With Program mode you can choose one of three:
"P"rogram, that gives the same priority to aperture and shutter speed.
"Pc", mode allows the aperture to close more allowing more depth of field.
"Pa", mode more preference is given to the shutter speed for action shots.
Any of these exposures can be locked by a button on the front by the lens, the mode will flash in the viewfinder until a picture is taken or that button pressed again.  Each of the modes you selected can be seen in the viewfinder. You can also view information on the LCD panel.  Aperture information is not in the viewfinder but on the LCD as is distance to your focused object.
"M"anual mode, shutter speeds are changed by the Up/Down bar and aperture settings are changed by holding the front bottom right exposure lock button and pressing the Up/Down bar.
"A"utomatic, the shutter speed it chosen by the camera as you choose a F-stop.  Now the F-stop selection is the Up/Down bar.  This is how you will use non-program PK lenses.
"B"ulb.. yes it eats batteries as the battery holds the shutter open. (electronic shutters only, if you take lots of long time exposures you many consider getting a manual [battery used only for metering] shutter camera.)
Those are the basic functions.


Any Pentax lens (PK) will fit your camera... but you will have to go to A (automatic) or P (program)  modes without a PK-A lens... You will have to press the shutter a bit and then turn the F-stop on the lens.. the shutter speed will adjust to match the correct exposure. Make sure the shutter speed is fast enough to stop the action and camera shake.
This does get confusing but here it goes:
A contact on the camera body mount (facing camera mount on bottom left, right next to screw) sends information to a PK-A lens with a matching pin on the mount.  As usual, there had to be two types of program lenses.  The Pentax and Ricoh lenses.  Each with a pin in a different area, so the Ricoh lens would fit but only work in Manual and Automatic mode.

PK-A:  That is a Pentax K mount with a matching pin on the lens to match the Pentax A mode.  They call it A for Automatic mode.  Put the F-stop on the lens to A... it should lock in that mode. If you have a PK-A lens... It should say "A" in red on the lens by F-22/32.  If you have an PK-A, turn on the camera.. lens to A and press P to choose whatever Program you want.  In the viewfinder you should see P in the upper left.  Press P again and you should see Pa in the viewfinder.... press P again and it should change to Pc... It this happens, the lens is a PK-A.  The A mode on the lens should lock (some lenses just click.. some have a button to lock it in and out of the A mode).

PK-R: Ricoh (also using the K mount) but the pin for the lens info (facing the camera mount) on the bottom right.  They are called PK-R or PK-P (R for Ricoh or P for Program, the word that Ricoh uses).
Since Tamron, Vivitar and other NON-OEM companies didn't want to make yet another lens for each of these cameras they call them PK-A/R (A for Pentax and R for Ricoh) or PKA-P lenses with the P for Ricoh's Program.  Those lenses will work fine on both cameras (Ricoh, Pentax and Chinon) It's very easy to tell with the lens in hand... It should have BOTH the P and A on the F-stop setting.  Check the lens and they will have BOTH pins (bottom left and right).

There are a few (a real few) Ricoh only lenses (PK-R)... this would not work in program mode on a Chinon or Pentax.


Not to really confuse you... BUT if you want a new lens.. any K mount auto focus lens will also fit and work on a Chinon in program mode!... you just have to manually focus.
Should you ever "move up" the lens will work on any Pentax AF camera. The Pentax AF lenses will be harder to focus depending on where the focus knob is located. Check it out.
The other universal lens makers do make new lenses that are PKA-R.  They will work in Program and Automatic mode with either Ricoh or Pentax bodies.  Make sure the store will guarantee that without "re-shelving" fees.  Usually the Ricoh cameras have this problem as most lenses are PK-A, not the dual A and R / P pins.


    The Chinon CP-9AF and CP-7M, seem to be the same camera.  It seems the 7M is just not Autofocus and has a different switch by the firing button.  Plus the CP-9AF can do interval photography.
AE lock:  By pressing the front button by the lens when in A, P, Pc or Pa mode you can lock the exposure (when exposure readings are being taken) while still maintaining slight pressure on the shutter.  The shutter speed in the view finder will flash while locked.

AEB: (Automatic Exposure Bracketing) By pressing the AEB button, on the LCD 3 small covering squares will appear.  Pressing the shutter three separate times (single shot mode) or holding it (continuous mode) will expose the shots as one normal, one stop over and one stop less.
You can't do this with flash exposure.

Time Exposure:  You can take long exposures in BULB by using the time exposure mode.  Up to 90 minutes can be set (this uses battery power).  A variation of this feature allows it to be used as a self timer up to 90 minutes.  Select either B or a regular setting, press the TIME button and hold it while pressing the Up/Down bar to change the amount of time it states on the LCD.  Remember AF many not work correctly, so turn it off. You should be able to use the auto exposure lock with the bulb or self timer.  When you press the shutter the LCD will display time left.

Other Information on Chinon products

Chinon AF-S280 flash .  I found this new in a box at a camera store in NJ.  They used to sell the Chinon cameras and still had one.  The store still wanted $79. for it back in 1995.  When I asked to see it I asked the sales person for the "used" flash they had.  "Oh, we don't have used flashes" they said.  I told them I was sent by their other store and the reply was "Oh, the NEW flash" (that hasn't been sold in 9 years!)