Vintage mechanical cameras will run okay forever (shutter accuracy maybe a little iffy)
No failures on my clock (if you don't count my $10 Nikon N2000, which occasionally does not fire when the shutter is pressed), but my dad was a camera collector
2 brand new in box Rolleiflex SL35Es, dead on arrival
1 jammed Rolleiflex SL 35 (shame because the lenses are so nice)
1 abused Pentax 67II where the electro magnets wouldn't hold the shutter open, resulting in it not cocking
a bunch of Graflex XL and Linhof Super Rollex backs that never spaced correctly
Linhof Press 70s that never synced properly (mechanism did not wind and cock correctly)
As a former camera repair tech, he tried, but none of these have successfully been revived
A few years ago, I was taking pictures with a Voigtlander R2a and the advance lever stripped all the gears inside. Watching it flop around uselessly was disgusting so I tossed it. On the other hand my original Nikon F from the 70's is still going strong, I was using it just this week. I've never had a single problem with that camera.
A FE10 where the shutter caved in. I sent it for repair and then sold it.
A F100 where the back door clips was broken due to rough handling of the bag the camera was in. I bought a new door and put it on.
A point and shoot Ricoh GR1 where the shutter seized to fire. Sent to Ricoh Germany for repair and they estimated the repair to cost 200 euros or 50 euros for them to send it back. I told them to keep it. This, the Ricoh, I haven't forgiven.
The only camera failures I've encountered were with 3 different Goodwill finds. A Canon AF35M which exposes about a stop too hot but is otherwise fully functional; a Minolta AF2-M with a weak motor which can't wind on past about frame 15-20; and a Ricoh XR-2 which had a jammed shutter and dead meter, both of which I got working but the shutter turned out to be capping at higher speeds due to oil on the blades and jammed again after a couple of rolls.
I can forgive the Canon because the overexposing meter is an easy problem to work around.
I can't forgive the Minolta. I'd take another just like it, perhaps, but this particular example is unforgiven for its failing. I like everything about it as a simple P&S camera goes and shot some nice frames with it, but I can't cope with the flaky wind-on.
The Ricoh I can forgive, but only because it failed again quickly enough that I hadn't committed to buying any lenses for it, and because it came with a nice M42 mount Mamiya 55mm f/1.4 on an adapter. Sadly not the official Pentax adapter, just a cheap knock-off.
I must lead a charmed life, because on reflection in 61 years of photography I have never had a camera that crapped out on me, and most of my cameras were bought second hand, although not from auction sites because I don't buy stuff I haven't had my hands on and tried out, having worked for more than 20 years in camera stores and testing second hand equipment that customers wanted to sell or part exchange makes me very reluctant to buy things sight unseen, when especially when I see the cameras on eBay that are described as mint that look like they have been used as hockey pucks.
I've had several failures over recent years, and all were my own fault. Every one was an attempt to fire a battery-powered camera with dead or no batteries in the camera; a Pentax ZX-M jammed in a dry-firing attempt but came clear when fresh batteries were installed in the auxiliary grip; some jams didn't clear with fresh batteries installed [Pentax ME-Super, Pentax ME-F, both when dry-firing, so not affecting any shooting sessions], and a Canon T90 that I'd left unattended with film and batteries for way too long came alive with a replacement set of batteries, but discharged the replacements sitting idle for just a couple of days, and now won't power up even after I hit the camera body's power contacts with a wire brush and 91% isopropyl alcohol.
Thanks and regards,
Couple of Minolta SRTs, meter failures. Minolta XD5, film winding mechanism. Switched to Nikon FMs, they are all still running, but 1 is missing a film rewinding crank for some reason. That made us a Nikon family, 2 of my offspring both shoot D type Nikons and I also have a Nikon S2 that I will never part with.
I have a pair of camera models that I don't trust. Fujica's AX-3, which I just received another copy of, is notoriously bad. This one has several blinking LEDs in the viewfinder when there should only be one. And Pentax - should be ashamed of the ME Super (and probably all subvarieties of same) because I've had like, 4 of them, and they've all let me down. I have one off at Eric's now for resurrection. That may be my last.
Nikonos II, main spring in the shutter/ film advance mechanism snapped.
Not really a full failure, but very frustrating -- yesterday I loaded some respooled Kodak movie film that I had managed to get my hands on into my N80 (wanted shoot some nice shots of my girlfriend before she left for a month on a work trip), but it jammed after the first shot. At first I thought I had misloaded it and it was my fault, but decided to waste the first couple frames by opening the back to check, and I hadn't misloaded it. So I tried rewinding it to try again but it rewound the feeder all the way into the roll so now I'll have to find someone with a film puller. Not a huge disaster, but a frustrating inconvenience nonetheless...