Quick Survey: How many cameras?

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How many collectible/classic cameras have you acquired? Care to list them? Favorite?

-- Chris Ober (caober@ev1.net), November 06, 2000


I have (and still shoot) my Dad's Nikon F. It is a magnificent camera, NPK, plain prism and accurate Photomic "flag" prism (with all attachments), in better shape than any other I've seen (and I have all its original purchase receipts and paperwork - it was purchased the year before I was born, in 1961). Yeah, I'm aware that it's valuable. However, because its emotional value is connected with its use, I'd rather continue using it occasionally (along with the brace of beautiful lenses that go with it, all marked in cm) and risk "devaluing" marks that will only increase its precious-ness to me and my son (who will eventually get the camera). Because the plain-prism F is lighter than the F3, it accompanied me and my best man on my bachelor party snow backpack on San Jacinto. I protected, but did not coddle it; it performed flawlessly in temps down to about 15 degrees with a light dusting of snow. (I used the 50/1.8 AF to shave weight.) Assuming a statistically normal lifespan for me, I cannot imagine my son inheriting my N90s; the F, on the other hand, feels like it has a few generations of use left in it. Perhaps part of the joy of having this old stuff lies in using it.

On the other hand (I have three hands), I also have my Dad's lovely Contax IIa. I've thrown a couple hundred bucks at it twice to get it repaired, and it still isn't fully functional. It's starting to look like a mantel camera, not a shooting camera. A pity, because it handles well and the couple rolls I managed to put through it had an indescribably nice quality.

I also have and shoot a Mamiya C3. A workhorse. I have the 65mm and 105mm lenses, both chrome.

Hey, does a champagne Nikon F3/T count as "classic" or "collectible"?

-- John Kuraoka (kuraoka@home.com), November 07, 2000.

Roughly a hundred; that's kind of a lot to list, but in general I'm kind of fond of American and East German 35mm and medium format stuff, with some West German and Japanese thrown in for good measure and I've recently become fascinated by the Russians.

Some of them are at:


rick :)=

-- rick oleson (rick_oleson@yahoo.com), November 07, 2000.

Nikomat FTN, Nikon FE2 (w/MD-12) , with a bunch of old MF lenses.

Rolleiflex 2.8F / Rolleicord Va, assorted rollei goodies.

"Baby" Century Craphic with all the cool stuff (luke skywalker flashgun, projecting beam rangefinder).

The Rolleiflex w/ Velvia is my favorite for landscapes, the FTN with 85 1.8 w/ delta 100 for people. I can't quite figure out what to do with the Century (it's an awesome conversation starter, however).

A double wind M3 (with a new asph 35 1.4) remains on the wish list.

A lot of old tech is fun to have but not very useful (my '73 triumph 500 vs my K1100 is one example), but cameras seem to sidestep a lot of these limitations . The ability to use new film (and in the case of Nikon, new lenses) in old cameras makes them much more useful.

-- Henry Dorsett (Henry_Dorsett@hotmail.com), November 07, 2000.

I don't think of myself as a collector, but I do like to use manual equipment, and I like the look of certain old lenses.

If my Canon "New" F-1 counts as a classic, that might mean I'm starting to count as a classic, since I bought it when it really was "new," thanks to insurance money that came from an A-1 kit and a small Ricoh rangefinder that were stolen when I was a kid and my parents' house was burglarized. Fortunately, I had an equipment list with serial numbers and receipts filed.

I've adapted a Kodak Ektar 100mm/f:3.5 lens for the Canon, because I like the look of Heliar-type lenses. There's a picture of the adaptation and some test shots here on Bob Monaghan's site. I also have a 360mm/f:4.5 Heliar that I use on my 8x10" camera, and I picked up a 240mm Heliar that had previously been adapted for Exacta, I think, that I plan to re-adapt for my Bronica S2A.

The 8x10" is a Gowland Pocket View (see examples at Peter Gowland's website). Other lenses I have are a 120mm/f:14 Berthiot Perigraphe (probably pre-WWII) superwide, 10" Kodak Wide-Field Ektar, and a 12" Gold Dot Dagor.

I've put together a nice Bronica system with 2 S2A bodies, four Nikkor lenses (50, 75, 135, 200), a tilt-shift bellows and other close-up knick-knacks, and two backs.

The most recently acquired classic is a Voigtlander Vitessa-L with a 50mm/f:2 Ultron lens that has a nice smooth tonality, not unlike the Heliars, though it's a 6-element, 5-group design.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), November 07, 2000.

Oops... This should be Peter Gowland's website. Click on "Their Cameras."

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), November 07, 2000.

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