The camera you can't break

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Bill Burk, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Seems the camera that surprises me and disappoints me is also the same camera that I can't kill.

    A few examples: Kodak 35. This camera came into my life because my dad wouldn't let me have his Spotmatic II. I hated the dim viewfinder. I hated the shutter speed limitations. But man, that camera took great pictures.

    Rollei 35. Bought as a user and beat it up by carrying in pants pocket. The lens wiggles when pulling it and pushing it because the rails are worn thin. Tried once to sell it on ebay but nobody would buy, so I calibrated the meter for alkaline, replaced the rails and kept it. Still working but I still don't take care of it.

    Contax IIa. Another user purchase. Can't use 500 or 1250. Sometimes 1 second sluggish. I used to hate this camera so much I'd leave it hidden at my cabin, just so I would have a camera if I forgot to bring one along. All still same condition, as long as I stay on the working speeds.

    Minox C. Almost tossed it because the shutter wasn't working. Then someone tipped me that you can roll 3 A76's and a watch battery (like 389) in sticker paper. Last night I took it out to a concert and it worked just like in the '70s.
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I once had a camera that was in that category -- a Canonet. No matter what, that camera worked and worked and worked. Then I sold it and the buyer seems to have broke the shutter in less than 10 minutes. Autopsy showed that it was manhandled and broke the shutter. I once thought I had a camera in that category, but alas... no more.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2011
  3. altim

    altim Member

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    Hmm, I picked up a mint condition (working) Canonet at a garage sale..when I got home it was nonworking in about 5 minutes. Leave it to me :smile:
     
  4. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Ha, the Canonet is in my category too. Mine went inoperable twice. Then I learned this trick twice.

    When the shutter gets stuck. Open the back. Fire the shutter, wind, repeat. The impact of firing over and over seems to break it loose of whatever happened to it.
     
  5. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    A Nikkormat Ft2. Brassed all over and quite a lot of dings, viewfinder has a lot of dirt, and the meter is dead. BUT, the shutter speeds look really good, specially the slow ones. And it is one of the few cameras I can focus perfectly (failing eyesight).
     
  6. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Strangely enough, my 10D just won't break. It only has about 20,000 shots on it, but it has been through quite a lot, including several spills. Little things here and there act up (shutter button must be stabbed sometimes to take the picture), but the images are just as good as they were on day one.
     
  7. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Is a 10D a digital camera? If so I proclaim your post off-topic. :munch:
     
  8. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I don't think it is off-topic to talk of trying to break a digital camera.....
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I ain't asking how to work the thing or how to do a hybrid workflow with it, such as people in posts related to scanning.

    Besides, it ain't a proper declaration without trumpets anyhow.

    I simply found it odd, considering the normal outlooks on the durability of old cameras vs. new cameras, that I have killed or damaged several old cameras with far less than I have done to the new one. I would have expected the new one to have been one of the first to bite it, while my old ones would survive a nuclear blast. Not so in my case.
     
  10. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Yes, I knew my proclamation was missing something.

    Damn those people asking questions about scanning, damn them all :D
     
  11. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    .
    Share that with our Buddies over @ DPUG !

    Ron
    .
     
  12. BradleyK

    BradleyK Member

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    I have NEVER been able to incapacitate any of my F series Nikons. With the exception of an F2 body, which I will soon attempt to refoam, my only expenditure on these beasts has been for CLAs. Some are dented, several are brassed, but none have ever failed me. These cameras have been used (without any modification) in temperatures ranging from +45C to - 40C without problem. Further, I have yet to regear any of the MD2 drives. I cannot imagine using anything else. :D
     
  13. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

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    My Topcon D refuses to die despite years of rough treatment - build like brick ****house. :smile:
     
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  15. rthomas

    rthomas Subscriber

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    I've got a Yashica 635 TLR that is still 100% operational. It has been rained on, had hundreds of rolls cranked through it, and once it literally fell off the roof of a car moving at about 25 mph (I just forgot it was up there when I was loading the car). It's never had any maintenance done other than regular use, and a quick visit to the repair shop to have it checked out after the fall (the repair tech didn't find anything wrong with it). So that's my unbreakable camera!

    I've also never been able to break a Nikon F or FM2.
     
  16. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    For my it is a pair of 120 bakelite cameras. So simple onless the shutter spring breaks they will go on forever. Also, have recently oicked up a Ashahi S1a that I think will last forever. If it has leasted this long and the shutter speeds still seem right on, I suspect it will outlast me. Same with my Leica CL except for maybe the meter though,my meter is spot on. I do not the same faith in my Bronica with the electrics though historically they seem to all but never breakdown. Leaf shutter cameras don't make it. Almost everyone of them eventually need shutter work.
     
  17. Augied

    Augied Member

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    My first camera was my dad's Nikkormat FTn. I don't use it so much any more, but before being used constantly by me as a teenager, it was used by my sister as a teenager. If that's enough for you, nearly 20 years ago, it survive a swim in the ocean. It still has salt stains on the shutter curtains, but it has never worked any less than perfectly.

    I now have another indestructible camera, the RB67. When we have nothing better to do, my dad and I debate which we would rather be cornered in a dark alley with, the RB for it's brute force, or the Nikkormat for it's better maneuverability.
     
  18. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I have a Rolleiflex 2.8 that has lasted a long time.

    Jeff
     
  19. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    Argus C3

    Kodak Instamatic
     
  20. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    My grandfathers chinon something. Never ever dies. Has probably had more kodachromes ran thru it than anybody would dream about. Meter is spot on, the shutter speeds intact, the self release isn't even struggling.
     
  21. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    I had a Canon EOS3 which I gave to my then girlfriend as I began converting another soul to the darkslide. It had travelled around Europe many a times, to Mexico, Canada, and so many Alaskan fishing trips that it always amazed me when it fired perfect at all speeds.







    ...within 30 seconds--literally--of giving it to her, she dropped it shattering the lens and breaking the autofocus contacts. So it goes....
     
  22. Greg Heath

    Greg Heath Subscriber

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    that sounds like my wife. I think she was born with butter ooozing out of her fingers.
     
  23. M. Lointain

    M. Lointain Member

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    I have had a Yashica T4 for almost 20 years. For the longest time it lived in my car and much of that was spent on the dash. Every corner I went around the camera would slide from one side to the other. It eventually was so scratched up I couldn't see throughout the viewfinder but a little plastic polish cleaned it up. I lent it to a friend of mine for a trip to Thailand and she spilled bug spray on it. Melted the plastic all over the body. Dang thing still works, but it sure is ugly.

    The only camera I ever ruined was a Nikon F2. Dropped it less than a foot onto a studio floor and the resulting tiny fall crushed the corner and jammed the camera. So much for indestructible.
     
  24. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    Nikkormat FTN, I've dropped it, it's been in the water, hot direct Florida sun, freezing cold, rain, etc. I can't kill it.
     
  25. jdnewberry

    jdnewberry Member

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    I have two. My old trusty Nikon FG and a Mamiya C33.

    Everyone seems to drop the C33 when I hand it to them. I guess they just don't expect it to weigh so much. It's built like a tank, though, so it always pulls through just fine.

    I look at the FG almost as a disposable camera. They cost so little these days, if something bad happens to it, I can replace it for about $20. That being said, it always ends up on my backpacking trips since it's so cheap and so light. It's tumbled down mountainsides, been rained on, snowed on, had the film door frozen shut, survived dust storms in the desert, etc... No matter what I do to it, it refuses to die. Even the meter is still spot on!

    I think my F bodies are probably better built, but I'm not interested in finding out for sure.
     
  26. lacavol

    lacavol Member

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    I have two, a Voigtlander Dynamatic II, the meter even still works well. I bought it in 1985 from a camera repair guy. Never did anything but take pictures with it since. The other is my OM-4 I bought new when it came out. Never had any service on it, just on one lens. Fell off a rock climb with it around my neck, it worked fine, I could walk one year later. It's been through blizzards at 4200 meters, and all over the mountains on week and longer trips. It just keeps working though it has some duct tape on it.