Worst camera designs

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by cliveh, May 11, 2012.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    What do you think are the worst cameras ever produced in terms of design and function? Top of the list for me would have to be the Zenith, as it is the only camera I know that when you look through the viewfinder, you can look round the edges of the pentaprism and when you wind it on, it sounds like a couple of house bricks grinding together.
     
  2. jumbosilverette

    jumbosilverette Member

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    Nice description of the cocking lever sound.
     
  3. ruilourosa

    ruilourosa Member

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    not a bad design, just bad construction and materials and for the price it´s excellent as are the lenses... i bought one for 5 euros and the biotar clone helios 58mm is a must.

    bad designs aren´t that usual, quality control materials and price target are more likely to make a bad camera.
     
  4. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Yes, the Zenit is noteworthy for its rude clunkiness and overall unfriendly design. After adoringlly casing one in a glass cabinet in the shop 34 years ago, I bought it with pocket money earned from a paper round in 1978 ($75 I think, with a lens), proudly hurrying home with it balancing on the luggage rack of my bike, held down with a single bungee cord. When my Dad saw it he was livid. "A...Zenit!? No! Take it back, now!", he barked. He and Mum had previously thought about getting me a Ricoh SLR for my birthday, but I had no idea about this. He knew the Zenit was Russian and he wasn't going to have "that Commo junk in this house!". After a verbal stoush, he came with me back to the store next morning and he told the owner there in no uncertain terms to give a refund. And that's what happened. That afternoon he and I settled on an Olympus OM10 and he (more than me!) was really, really pleased. I learned to have an eye for quality and refinement from that single cathartic incident. The Olympus OM10 was an excellent introduction and over the years I moved up to the OM1N, OM2 and finally OM4Ti.
     
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  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Nice 24 hour upgrade!
     
  6. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Sometimes, just sometimes, I remember the industrial clunkiness of the Zenit and make an unfair comparison of the Pentax 67 to it when it fires with those twin THWACK-KWACK of mirror/shutter that sends digimobs diving for cover. Hear, hear! I must get over the cruel comparison... :confused:
     
  7. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    is this just zenit bashing or can i suggest something else?

    The Mercury, I and II -- totally ugly. Completely inconvenient shutter speed and film wind dials, weird circular shutter that requires a half-moon housing on top, half frame but larger than a Leica. No rangefinder, but MADE IN USA!!!
     
  8. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Gotta admit, my Zenit-E is a piece of crap. The lens, however is pretty cool. Swirls a bit.
     
  9. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Zenit bashing! My friends called it a Burkmatic. Like Poisson Du Jour I had to have an SLR instead of the Rollei 35 I could have had for the same money. Now I would be able to appreciate the pictoral quality of the lens but at the time flare drove me nuts. Reliability it had none. Within a year it broke and I had it in pieces trying to get it to work again but it was not to be.
     
  10. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    Kodak disc cameras. Small, impossible to use viewfinders, and minuscule film size.
     
  11. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    All the cameras that seem to have been designed for right-handed people - to the exclusion of the rest of us.

    Ever tried to hold and use either a modern AF film SLR or digital SLR with one hand only - the left hand?
     
  12. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Ah, those russian junk cameras. How could we live without them? I still can smell that rotten leather bag in which a clunky Kiev88 was resting.
     
  13. KenS

    KenS Member

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    By far... the Miranda, with the shutter on the front, the shutter speed dial on the front, the 'grainy' focussing screen, and the "clunkiest" shutter sound on any 35mm camera I ever handled... and I still have two of the ugly suckers.

    Ken
     
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  15. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    the brand and model escapes me now... the shutter leaked like cheese cloth and leaving the thing on a café table for a sunny minute would result in nasty pinholes (that is, if you managed to put it on the café table without knocking the flimsy rangefinder out of alignment), a couple of whitish rectangles were permanently stuck in the middle of the viewfinder, the focus ring would turn the wrong way, shooting close or far was out of the question, changing film required three hands and, as my friend once remarked, the revolution was over before you finally did reload, there was no way to even grasp the thing firmly... i ran, not walked, to upgrade to my first zenit, a marvel of design compared to that, whatever it was called, didn't bother to write the name down, eh...
     
  16. F/1.4

    F/1.4 Member

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    I can't stand the Pentax 645. Operates like a microwave oven out of the 80's and sounds like tearing velcro with every shutter release.
     
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  17. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    Let the brickbats fly: I have never warmed to the Nikon F4s. I picked up one on ebay several years ago (on a whim) and have wondered why ever since. Yes it was Nikon's first foray into building a camera with an integral motor drive, and yes the camera - for those of us who shoot transparency films - had a great metering system...but the ergonomics just did not feel quite right. And, compared to the later F5 and F6, the F4s (and I am sure the F4e) feels...well...a little ad libbed, shall we say.

    The camera has seen so little use by yours truly that I even went so far as to give it away to my sister ( a certifiable "F3-a-phile"), who, after a few short weeks (time enough for a few rolls of her favorite film (Fuji Astia) to be run through the camera) returned the camera, basically saying "no thanks" to the gift, and comparing the F4s' ergonomics to those of a brick.

    I have the camera - temporarily - back in my arsenal (loaded with E100G) and I am prepared (keeping an open mind here) to give it another go. This weekend I am going to shoot some architectural details while visiting my sister in Calgary. We will see how I feel about this camera by Monday. Given past experience...
     
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  18. F/1.4

    F/1.4 Member

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    I don't like the F4 either, great meter, tough as nails, but an ergonomical disaster.
     
  19. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Never liked it much either. I checked it out at a dealer when it first came out, and was underwhelmed. The controls and the dim viewfinder with the notch out of it just turned me off. The 645n is much better all around, IMO.
     
  20. amsp

    amsp Member

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    Going purely on aesthetics here are some pretty horrible designs...

    Konica AiBORG
    6315286617_5a56a163e3_z.jpg

    Canon T80
    CanonT80AClens.jpg

    Pentax 645
    D3S_4698-645.jpg
     
  21. antmar

    antmar Member

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    All digital cameras have terrible design, never succeeded to load a film in any of them, couldn't find any help to the f...... manual either.
     
  22. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Any camera which only has automatic exposure without manual compensation has a flawed design: the engineer designed it right, and the marketing department made it "easy to use" and "not intimidating for the inexperienced".
    (And I own and use one of those cameras, the Yashica T3, only because I never found a camera with the same qualities and some form of exposure compensation. Should try the Olympus XA I suppose).

    Any camera where the designer gave up on placing the viewfinder on the edge of the camera (like in a rangefinder) shows lack of effort.
    Where am I supposed to put my nose while looking inside my SLR viewfinder? Do I really have to spread my nose on the back of the camera and rotate my eye to look inside a viewfinder?

    I know it's complicated, but do invent something!

    Two hypothesis:

    Cartridge and Receiving roll on the same side of the camera, to the right. Mirror box entirely on the left. Film makes a "turn" and comes back! Camera a bit thick but not so large.

    Mirror box on the center, Porro prism to move the viewfinder to the side.

    I said.

    Fabrizio
     
  23. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Haha that Konica aiborg is just off the wall.

    I never liked the om10, though the proportions we're nice, and was comfortable in hand, the manual adapter was odd and the wind on not so smooth. I think it's comparable to the Nikon EM, but that was even simpler, and I really liked its handling. The only Olympus double digit body that was acceptable in my opinion was the om40 which had it down well.
     
  24. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    ...and a grip positioned at the back edge of the body, so that the entire weight of camera and lens are forward of the grip, with no portion of the body serving as a counterbalance positioned behind the grip!
     
  25. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    As for the absolute worst, I don't know. Surely anything with a two square inch LED screen instead of a viewfinder is a strong contender.
     
  26. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    :D