What is the rarest camera/lens you own?

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by darinwc, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    Minolta XE1, I don't think many were made and they have been out of production for at least 25 years which will make them quite rare in fulkl working order. For the lens, a Minolta 28/85 MD lens fitted to the same camera. MD lenses must be horded somewhere because you hardly ever see any of the really good ones.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Electronic flash equipment made in the UK by Dawe Instruments Ltd was on sale through their French agents by 1947, studio as well as portable, Promesur V. Spahn, 23 Rue Clapeyron, Paris. 8e. I've just checked 1946,7,8 & 9 BJP Almanacs and electronic studio and portable flash is adverts first in the 1947 BJPA (published late 1946). This would coincide with when I think the camera was actually made.

    Ian
     
  3. Andy38

    Andy38 Member

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    Thanks Ian, for the information.

    I also modified my post #100 : "The turning knob (2) adjusts the speed of descent of the mirror before shutter firing."
    It's rising, of course, not descent...
     
  4. AgX

    AgX Member

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    And why does one want to adjust that speed?
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's a very interesting camera, I have a few early large/medium format SLRs, Thornton Pickard, Dallmeyer (actually a re-badged Ensign), Ensign, Soho, Graflex but yours is a lot rarer and more enigmatic:D

    Looking at other cameras from the same manufacturer they appear to be quite experimental, a bit quirky, Dawe also made cameras as well as early studio and portable flash units and weren't a long lived company they seem to have only lasted 7-8 years they'd gone bt 1954.

    I have 3 Camera books from Focal Press from the 50's and early 60's essentially taking data from their Camera Guides and there's so many short lived companies after WWII, often making complete system cameras. They only cover 35mm, 120 and Subminiature so no LF cameras unfortunately.

    My gut feeling is your camera is late 1940's, so can use early studio flash or conventional tungsten modelling light (or daylight), you need the mirror to close earlier with tungsten lights or daylight to help dampen vibration, it's almost irrelevant with flash.

    Ian
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I suggest the mirror might need to be raised early to help dampen vibration with daylight and tungsten studio lighting. On most my British early MF and LF SLRs the first action of the shutter release is to lift the mirror, you can only trigger the shutter once it's totally lifted, but it's my own pressure lifting the mirror, If this is done by a spring after triggering the shutter vibration will be very much higher.

    Ian
     
  7. Denverdad

    Denverdad Member

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    No problem. It's nothing to do with that particular lens but instead has to do with use of 35mm film. After trying out medium format I realized that having the larger piece of film was the way I wanted to go for landscape photography. At the same time I found that for birds and wildlife my Canon FD teles worked great with mirrorless digital, so I wasn't interested in 35mm for that any more either. So in general for my particular photographic interests I pretty much just ran out of reasons for 35mm film and consequently stopped using my Canon FD bodies.
     
  8. MultiFormat Shooter

    MultiFormat Shooter Member

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    Thanks for the information! It certainly makes sense. Plus with the mirrorless system there is crop factor so your lens "becomes longer" which is big help for birding.
     
  9. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    My WideLux F7 is not rare but unusual.
     
  10. mshchem

    mshchem Member

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    I have a mint 105mm Bellows Nikkor. When fitted on a PB-4 bellows you can focus to infinity. I'm not really sure why you would want to go walking around with your Nikon F, with bellows, and a lens, shooting distant landscapes but you could. Maybe a Geek's way of showing off to the Ladies?
    Mike
     
  11. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    For twenty years my rarest lens was a 21mm f/2.8 Rokkor lens. It was like walking around with a headlight on my chest.
     
  12. Nokton48

    Nokton48 Member

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    I own the Minolta MC 21mm F2.8, Yes it is BIG. Also I own the 21mm F4 MC Rokkor that requires SRT mirror lockup and a separate Minolta SRT 21mm viewfinder. Unusual rather than rare
     
  13. Kodachromeguy

    Kodachromeguy Subscriber

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    How about a Leitz 50mm f/2.0 Summitar lens that is absolutely unscratched and has perfect coating? It was not an unusual lens, but the good condition now might make it rare. My father bought it in Guam in 1949.
     
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  15. Luis-F-S

    Luis-F-S Subscriber

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    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  16. M Carter

    M Carter Member

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    This isn't spectacularly rare, but pretty cool. Canon FL 19mm 3.5 R; got it in mint shape, even had the Canon Series IX retaining ring in a Canon-branded baggie. Pardon the focus gear, but I've been building up a set of FL primes for shooting 4K video. There's something kind of magical about them for beauty and creative stuff - wide-open, the 100mm has sort of a "glow" that's just the softness at 3.5, but it looks flat-out luscious. Color rendering is a little muted - do some rembrandt-ish lighting and the glass puts it over the top. Found a Series IX skylight and a 90mm push-on cap to complete the setup. Very cool lens - pull out from a closeup and the lack of distortion is kind of dizzying.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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  18. Luis-F-S

    Luis-F-S Subscriber

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    Thanks Ian, it will go well with my British style 8x10 triple extension field cameras and my British made 8x10 enlarger! Is all the DeVere production now sourced to China? Glad mine was made across the pond!
     
  19. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    wish i still had it, it offered oodles of coverage, was sharp as nails and had really nice bookah
    it was the military ( air signal corps ) wollensak 90mm purple dot raptar in a rapax shutter.
    the mythos was that they put dots in the barrel to denote what sort of lens it was ( advertising &c )
    a lens guru told me it used to be yellow dot, purple dot yellow and purple and something else .. ( can't remember )
    it was the only one i ever saw ( him too, and for a guru that means something i guess ). i used it on a
    graphic view II and photographed a quarry with it, it performed extremely well ..
     
  20. flavio81

    flavio81 Member

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    I have that lens. I think it's an excellent lens.

    :mad:bandit::pinch::sick:

    Seriously.
     
  21. M Carter

    M Carter Member

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    Aww, gimme a break. I do corporate stuff but really like music videos and beauty projects. Going FL, you could have a set of primes of 19, 28, 35, 50, 60-ish (58?), 85, 100 and 135 for $500-$600 if you shopped smart. Drop the 19 and the 85 and you're talking almost nothing. Not the best look for everything, but for motion work it can be really beautiful; for something like a short film or web series it could really be a gorgeous look.

    I've got Nikkors I used to shoot fashion on film cameras since the early 90's. It's REALLY COOL to have some corporate interview gig and shoot the footage with the same glass I've used for 25 years. I've got a 4x5 darkroom and shoot mostly RB and 4x5 for film, but making a living is kinda handy. I'm glad I get to pay the mortgage with photography and imaging and lighting and audio and music, even if it's not film. And I can still write off every bit of paper, chems, and darkroom gear I buy. I don't "love" digital like I love film, but I really am thrilled with how powerful video tech has become, and every time I cut an invoice, I'm like "I get to do this for a living?!??!" The fact that I can use such a mix of eras of gear is pretty cool, too.

    Yeah, I get it, this is the "we're old guys and we hate digital" zone, but I'll be 56 in a couple weeks (according to my kids that's "old as hell") and as far as making a living goes, having the choice of digital for video, audio and motion means I can do an entire project by myself without even an assistant, much less the hoops we went through in the 16mm film days. I find it pretty freaking glorious.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
  22. Kyle M.

    Kyle M. Member

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    I have a G. Leitmeyr Sytar 210mm f4.5 barrel lens that I use on my Pre-Anniversary Speed Graphic. I don't know that it's actually rare and I imagine it's not that valuable but I've yet to come across another one anywhere. So I guess that makes it the rarest thing I own.
     
  23. flavio81

    flavio81 Member

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    I really take issue with videographers buying old film lenses and thus driving the prices up. Particularly if they are rare lenses like the FL 19/3.5R.

    I mean, the video DSLRs or video mirrorless cameras can also accept modern lenses and also purpose-built inexpensive cinema-type lenses from Rokinon/Samyang/etc. I'd be happier if they used those lenses, and left the classic ones to us film gearheads.

    Sorry, i just can't help it. They have really driven the prices up.
     
  24. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

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    Yeah, look at the price of a 35mm Contax G lens.
     
  25. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Hmm. I remember the US housewives beef price protest of around 1973-4. The price of beef rose. Household budgets were squeezed. The response? A beef boycott, by people who thought they'd be better off not eating inexpensive beef than they'd be not eating expensive beef. I've always thought that the most vocal boycotters intended to cheat.

    You just don't want to pay prices that buyers who value the lenses more than you do will. If you can't afford lenses that are in high demand, take your own advice and buy ones that no one else wants.
     
  26. M Carter

    M Carter Member

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    Well, I am a film gearhead. And I bought it for the asking price, from eBay, where anyone could have bought it.

    I'm glad you'd be happier if I used a Samigon 19mm or whatever - but I like the FLs because of a specific way they render color and light on video. For a specific character. Thing is, it's not at all a look I want with film. I did a stop-by-stop test of the FL against the 16-50mm kit zoom that came with my 4K video camera (Samsung NX1) and it's nowhere near as sharp, saturated, or color-accurate. The crazy flat-field sort of look is great though - in motion, but overall the lens holds little interest for me as far as stills go - and I shoot a lot of stills.

    And I will most definitely shoot some B&W with it (FTQL). But I can't imagine there are many film shooters that are desperate to get a wide lens for the old FL mount. In the same sense that there are Rokinon lenses for video, you can buy, say, a Nikon 8008 body for $25 these days and have a camera that's superior to any FL-compatible camera in every way, with an amazing range of glass available.

    So anyone that got screwed out of their life's dream when I got the 19 before they did - they must be buying because they have some aesthetic love for the pre-EOS film cameras (metal & leatherette?) or there's some specific thing about how the 19mm renders that they want. So essentially, similar reasons to why I bought it? But because they're sticking it on a film camera it's morally acceptable?

    And - I don't think videographers are driving film lens prices up (until you get to super-16 cinema glass, which one camera blew through the roof, and those lenses were just collecting dust until the BMC pocket camera came along). Most people that shoot at the mid-level of the business like I do want the sharpest thing they can get, and they're fine with The Rokinons, they're thrilled to get brand-new EOS glass. A Nikkor 28-70AF and 85mmAF covers 90% of my video use (with that little Samsung kit doing steadicam), and neither of those is the end of the line (IE, there's a still-in-production version - there's nothing unobtainable about them rendering-wise). When it comes to sticking film lenses on DSLRs, I think hobbyists are buying them, not professionals, from everything I've seen (other than some higher-end Nikkors). And a lot of those hobbyists are buying them for film cameras. Notice how prices for the AE-1 have gone through the roof? That's kids, getting into film for the first time. Which is why we're seeing new films and imaging products coming to the market after 15 years of watching products die off.