Your Personal Choice: What is your all-time favorite camera?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by BradleyK, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    Like may others on this forum, I shoot, as the mood or necessity strike, a variety of formats (35mm, 2 1/4, and 4x5). That said, I retain a particular liking for my first "serious" camera, my (now retired) Nikon F2AS.
    This particular body has traveled the length and breadth of North America, and been shot (KM and KR only), in temperatures ranging from +40C to -45C without protest or failure. Perhaps encumbered by the weight of memory this particular item holds a special place: it is one of only three items in my "arsenal" ever to have been retired and put on "display" as an item of "memorabilia" (the fact that it among the three bodies used to shoot my last rolls of Kodachrome is, admittedly, part of its "specialness." What about others out there in APUGland? Is/are there a camera/cameras that can be considered a personal favorite?
     
  2. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I have several SLR's Nikon and Pentax, also several TLR's including a Mamiya C330. Of all my cameras I use a rangefinder a Voigtlander Bessa the most. I have an R and two L's.
     
  3. X. Phot.

    X. Phot. Guest

    Without a doubt my favorite would be a toss-up between an Anthony & Scovill Champion Variation 3 - 8x10 view camera http://www.dtristramludwig.com/images/AnthonyScovill.pdf; and a Sands & Hunter Exhibition 5x4 Tailboard camera (1883)

    Wood, Brass & Glass. The finest materials for the finest cameras.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2011
  4. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    My pre-AI Nikon F2/DP1. Saved my pennies and bought it new in 1974. Used it yesterday for some fall colors (Provia, not Kodachrome... <sniff>).

    Took it in for a CLA several years back. First one ever in 30+ years. The camera repair tech had it ready two weeks later. I came in to pay and pick it up, and he apologized to me for taking my money. He said the camera really didn't need a CLA. The lubricants were fine. The meter was right on. The shutter speeds were within factory tolerances. He felt guilty so he had gently tapped out a few dents and dings here and there since the covers were off anyway. He said not to expect him to be alive for the next CLA.

    How can you not love that...?

    Ken
     
  5. dasBlute

    dasBlute Subscriber

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    without a doubt, my desert-island camera is - by far - my Rolleiflex
     
  6. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    My top three are my Rolleiflex, Canon F1, and the RB67.

    Jeff
     
  7. F/1.4

    F/1.4 Member

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    My F100 that I picked up for $75 It was my first film camera that I could feel confident shooting. All my other film cameras I've just haven't felt right.
     
  8. Metroman

    Metroman Member

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    M2 - 50 years old next year and still sweet as a nut..
     
  9. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    The last two posts were great !

    Jeff
     
  10. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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    The Rolleiflex (3.5B) is by far my favourite. It feels just right, and it's capabilities/weight ratio is the best of all my cameras.
     
  11. Kugerfang

    Kugerfang Member

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    Canon EOS 500. It's small and ridiculously light. AF is great, especially with its built-in AF assist light. I have a Minolta SRT-101, but I hate manual focus cameras, to be honest.
     
  12. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Canon F1N-AE
     
  13. gedra

    gedra Member

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    Rolleiflex 3.5F
     
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  15. chioque

    chioque Subscriber

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    My Rolleiflex 2.8f :smile:
     
  16. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Leica M4. I've only used it for 41 years, so there's no way of knowing how durable it really is.
     
  17. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hard choice between Nikon F and Canon F-1. I think the F-1 is more user friendly in a purely practical sense, but the F is pure beauty in terms of aesthetics and construction quality, plus it has more historical value, being the heart of the first professional SLR system. It's effect not only on photography, but on the way the world takes pictures, and who takes them, was enormous. I think if I used an in-camera meter more, I would choose the F-1 on a practical level, because I highly prefer it's meter. But since I don't, I pick the F.
     
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    i don't know if i have a favorite ...
    but the one that i enjoy using the most these days
    is a ww1 era post card camera .. a graflex 3a
    that i spool my own 122 size paper ...
     
  19. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    Favorite all time camera - wow, a hard decision as I've owned some great cameras as far as I am concerned. There was my first, a Kodak 135 Pony. Collapse the lens and put it in your pocket. All mechanical and simple. It an extinction meter and the Sunny 16 guide off the Kodak boxes made me lust after making pictures. To this day, no other camera I owned does more while many did less quality wise.

    The there is the Minox LX, an artform in of itself. Shooting it required understanding of the limitations of the image size but it was such a wonderful carrying camera for street photography and with the flask indoors. I have many fond memories in the files of some great places I visited. Likewise, the ML had most of the same attributes and maybe for me the best of that style camera - a pocket camera that yielded amazing results. Minox knew how to make glass.I only became turned off of it because of the continuing shutter failures.

    The Olympus F series; what can one say about it, a nearly perfect size, glass that was as good as anything at the time, light on the hip with full kit and, reliable as heck. Again it did what it was supposed to, make great shots. Maybe the ultimate travel camera as it is half frame so twice the shots per roll and unobtrusive. On the street, the shutter is quiet and camera is small enough that you wer just not noticed.

    Rollieflex, I'll leave it to others to praise. I agree.

    Leica CL, in my opinion what the M series should have been size wise. A true successor to the SM Leica bodies as it adheres to the dimensions closer than the M series. It comes closer to the Kodak Pony than any other camera for me as a user.

    Bronica ETRS; maybe the best compromise in a camera I could imagine. A long term user that never failed, that allowed me to try different ways to hold and shoot a camera with great results, reduced the need for duplicate systems as it does both FM and 35mm sizes. ONly failing is that as you get older it seems to put on weight.

    Exacta VX and the entire Exacta line. A non-conventional layout that offered different views, a good selection of lenses and all the goodies to take technically excellent negatives and transparencies. To me still probably the best of all 35mm SLR systems. Of course being left hand friendly helps this lefty.

    None of these limit the ability or quality of the negative or transparency. Each and everyone of them points out the imitation is the eye behind the instrument and pushes for the photographer to improve himself.

    I guess though, the favorite though is now nearing the end of its life as Fuji seems to be pulling the plug on the film and the Impossible Project seems to be challenges still. I'm taking of the Polaroid 180 and 195. With the film, from Polaroid it was just so nice to use. A great lens, 1st generation prints not 2nd as the film is a positive, the same as a transparency but look at the print and see the etching on the surface giving it an almost 3rd dimension, depth. While marketed showing it as a hand held, it is really to large except for the grab shots and most pack camera users never really saw how good the Polaroid pack film cameras were. The 180 and 195, being all manual seemed to be used more for the professional to confirm lighting and settings than as a primary camera and missed how good they were. I loved the results from them when using them in the Everglades and traveling elsewhere. Smaller than a 4x5, larger than a MF it bridged the 2 sizes allowing it to be carried as a walk around without having a big box hanging such as a Graphic. Sadly, today they sit unused as finding the film is very difficult.

    As to users, the Leica CL is my all time favorite. Every bit a Leica, lens quality rivaling the Rolleiflex and is small enough to be a daily carrier, it overcomes the limitations of the Bronica whoch is weight. I can not imagine not having it by me side.
     
  20. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Easy...my Hasselblad. It has no extra features I don't need and I can never blame the camera for a bad image. It is funny, though: some cameras you just bond to. I'm not sure why.
     
  21. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Subscriber

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    What Mark said.... I've been through my fair share of systems in 35mm, medium and large format..... During this evolution, I owned a hasselblad once, and sold it to get into large format. I stopped acquiring, and changing after this.... I settled on a blad again for all of my medium format needs. Its the system I know and love best, and which I am at one with. It's such a great system.
     
  22. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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  23. georg16nik

    georg16nik Member

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    Without a doubt - Voigtländer Bessa I Color-Skopar 1:3,5/105
     
  24. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Number one would have to be my Rolleiflex f3.5, closely followed by my Blad.
     
  25. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    +1 on this, followed by whichever camera I happen to be holding. (but the Rollei is definitely #1 :smile:)
     
  26. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I can see my latest analog acquisition becoming my favorite. With DOF and ML and good "era" lenses at reasonable prices my FT2 is my new darling. Next favorite shooter would have to have been my N80 for it's abilities at a reasonable price point.