Most 'surprising' camera?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by mesh, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. mesh

    mesh Member

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    For a bit of fun, I'd be really interested in the camera that always seems to 'surprise' you... the one that you might pull out of the cupboard every now and then and love the results...

    For me it's the Konica S2. It's not the prettiest camera and the ergonomics aren't wonderful, but I am always pleasantly surprised when I dev a film and do some prints. That lens has a really nice quality to it... the best $20 I have ever spent.

    I also handled a Leica IIIf for the first time yesterday. It's damaged but I LOVED just holding it. That camera seems to fit my hand perfectly. That was a surprise I guess ;-)

    Anyway, I am interested in your surprise cameras! Thanks.
     
  2. dehk

    dehk Member

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    My Yashica 230AF surprised me from day one. MY Petri 1.9 Color Corrected Super also have magical qualities.
     
  3. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    My first Yashica Electro 35 GSN ($3 from a thrift shop) surprised me with its optical quality...so I did not hesitate to pick up another one for only $2 when I saw it at another thrift shop. My Brownie No. 2 box camera (free via Craigslist freebies section) surprised me when I first shot it. I love the images that come from it. They are about a million times more interesting to me than Holga pix. I just need to take care of a spring that broke, so that my rolls will wind tightly again. Once I do that, I will shoot it often. My early 1990's Canon Sureshot Zoom 76 does pretty well too. I have no problems taking it along with me as my only camera on snap-shooting occasions. It is the one that cost the most. I got it brand new for a birthday/Christmas present in the early '90's.
     
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  4. mesh

    mesh Member

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    It's fabulous that great cameras can cost $2 now ;-) I found a mju v1 for $2 a few months ago, and have put about 5 rolls through - have been really happy with the results. Unfortunately I dropped it into a gorge on a canyonning trip over the weekend :-( Anyway, I am sure another will turn up!
     
  5. Ottrdaemmerung

    Ottrdaemmerung Member

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    I was browsing some antique stores in St. Louis last fall when I picked up, among a couple other camera, an Argus C3 (from the serial number, it seems to be from 1950). I'd never used one and had no earthly idea how to operate it, but it was in nearly mint condition and I just couldn't pass up owning such a legendary camera. I took it back to my hotel room and studied the manual online, then the next morning I took it out on a photowalk in the historic Soulard neighborhood with some B&W film and my light meter. When I developed the film upon returning home from my vacation, I was stunned. Not only were most of them amazingly in focus, but they were sharp and they were some of my best artistic photographs ever. I'm still in awe of this camera.
     
  6. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    My Olympus OM-2 with a 28mm wide angle that I was payed $250.00 to take it. Well... actually the camera and the $250.00 were payment for a John Deere sign that I got for free.

    That is the camera I use the most but I have several that are surprising and enjoyable to use and create great pics. They are just to many to list.
     
  7. cblkdog

    cblkdog Subscriber

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    I have a Pentax K1000 that I bought off some guy on the street for $30 25 years ago. Great camera and as basic as they come.
     
  8. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    Voigtländer, E-messer. I had it for a year or so, and just love to hold it. It will get more use now, for portraits and landscapes. My FED3 is also lovely and had it not scratched the negatives it would have been more used.
     
  9. brian d

    brian d Member

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    My most surprising one is a Retina Reflex, got it for 10$ at a tractor show took it home cleaned the glass and checked the light meter, took it back to the show the next day and started taking pictures with it. It always gives excellent results. A different year at the same show picked up a Yashica 635 that also was a very pleasant surprise.
     
  10. mesh

    mesh Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Yashica is certainly doing well ;-)
     
  11. daemon

    daemon Member

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    Olympus Pen D. Its 1.9 zuiko was pin sharp and contrasty. I remember developing my first roll of film and being blown away. I thought since it was half frame an 8x10 print would end up looking soft.
     
  12. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Konica S2 also. I got it many years after my uncle had passed away. A sleeper!

    Jeff
     
  13. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    Retina IIIc I picked up at an antique store. First time I saw a good camera price there - it was on consignment so it was very cheap. I remembered hearing something about the camera between apug and RFF. I picked it up, assuming something would be wrong with it.

    Cleaned the glass and it worked perfectly. Not quite mint condition, but closer than any other used camera I've owned. And the negatives totally blew me away. Shockingly sharp. I love the camera.
     
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  15. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I have a Retina Reflex III (I have two actually) which I like a lot but the camera which always surprises me is my Rolleicord V. It's the camera I would keep if I could only have one.

    One of my Retina Reflexes last saw action at a sort of tractor show - actually a ploughing competition (some pictures in my gallery).


    Steve.
     
  16. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    100% agree. An underrated camera for sure.

    Konica Big Mini - bought one for pocket change and it's taken some real nice pictures.
    Nikon L35AF - also bought for pocket change, again really nice pictures.
    Pentax PC35AF - WOW: very contrasty lens and uses AAA batteries.
    Olympus Trip 35 - the secret seems to be out now, and I think prices have gone up on this camera :pouty:
     
  17. blockend

    blockend Member

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    A Yashica Minister, usually overlooked because it has a 2.8 lens, not the 1.4 or 1.7. Best £3 spent last year.
     
  18. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I paid £8 for mine! It still has a good mercury cell in it and the meter is accurate.


    Steve.
     
  19. LunoLuno

    LunoLuno Member

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    For me, it's the Yashica Electro 35GL (Yashinon 40mm 1:1.7) that I bought for about $4. I'm a kind of old style shooter who prefers all manual operations, and had never had fun shooting AE only camera before. But the Electro became a rare exception. I still wish it had the manual override some time while shooting, but when I get the results from the lab, I always forget all about those things.:D
     
  20. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Kodak Instamatic 500. Practically useless now because of the 126 format film but a great Schnieder Kreuznach Xenar 38mm f/2.8 lens with Compur shutter to 1/500, Gossen selenium meter that still works and is accurate. The lens retracts into the body making it very pocketable. Takes great pictures outdoors and indoors with real flash connections (hotshoe and PC socket) it works great and doen't need the usual flash bulbs/cubes of other Instamatics. When I tire of paying $12.99/roll for expired Solaris 200 and reloading old cassettes I can just use it as a portable light meter for my RB67... bought for under $10 though that sounds expensive now after reading about the $2 deals here!
     
  21. mablo

    mablo Member

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    I picked up a Retina IIS a while back mainly because I just couldn't resist its retro looks. I had no idea its Xenar would compete with any lens I've had for my other rangefinders from Leitz/Voigtlander/Canon etc. and the camera feels and operates like a handmade Swiss watch. It's just an amazing object to hold and operate.
     
  22. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    Yashica 14e IC with a 50mm f/1.4
     
  23. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    For me it is my Nikonos V with the 15mm lens, I think that it is because I don't get to shoot this camera and lens that often because it is an underwater only setup, but when I do I can see why people say that this was the best underwater camera and lens combination ever. I also have to admit that the 35mm land and underwater lens makes nice photos on land when I am willing to spend the time to focus it. I have gotten some really great day at the beach photos with this camera and those lenses.
     
  24. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I would like to get a Retina IIIS (rather than a IIS) as it is a rangefinder body which takes the same lenses as my Retina Reflex III SLR.


    Steve.
     
  25. brian d

    brian d Member

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    I always forget that the Reflex's are a numbered series, I checked the one I have it is a IV. Am I right in assuming the lenses are interchangable over the entire line?
    I have a few plowing pictures here
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/50158407@N06/sets/72157623932639497/
     
  26. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I think so. And with a bit of modification, the Bessamatic lenses can be made to fit too. They share a lens mount but have tabs to prevent interchanging them. A bit of filing makes them work.

    http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-150.html


    Steve.