View Full Version : Purely aesthetically speaking...

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11-24-2010, 02:10 PM
As someone that loves old cameras, I collect many of them (as I am sure maybe one or two others here might...;) ) Anyway I use many of them, as many as I can, but there are some that I bought purely for the aesthetic qualities of the camera itself. Do you have any favorite cameras based solely on the looks of the thing? If so, which one(s)--post photos if you have them!

11-24-2010, 04:33 PM
I think the Super Ikonta cameras are interesting looking cameras, with that foldout lens for the rangefinder.

Steve Smith
11-24-2010, 06:45 PM
Cameras and guitars have to look right for me to buy them, functionality often comes second.

One of my favourite cameras in the looks department is the Kodak Retina Reflex III of which I have two.


11-24-2010, 06:57 PM
Even though I already had a Nikkormat and a silver F, I bought a black F. I had always wanted black one, but refused to pay a premium for one. I found this one in a pawn shop for $140 and snapped it up immediately (sans Vivitar lens, for which they reduced the price from $180). They did not know that black ones are more valuable than silver ones. To my credit, I do often (if not most of the time) use two SLRs when shooting 35mm, and it has relegated the 'Mat to backup/#3 duty.

I have a few older low-end cameras that I don't shoot much, or haven't shot at all yet...but I would not pay good money for something that I do not use. I got these free or for under five bucks each. I have a few square format 620 Brownies that I have tried, but after viewing the results from them and comparing them to my much earlier 120 Brownie No. 2 6x9, I do not think that spooling 620 from 120 is worth it just to use them. So, they sit and look cool, and that is all. The No. 2 actually gets used, and leaves me wanting for nothing, like the later plastic ones do. I also have a few cheap Polaroid cameras that have come my way, and I kept them intending to make pinhole cameras from them. It hasn't even come close to happening yet, and they are ugly as sin, so I think I will offer them to APUGers soon.

Dan Fromm
11-24-2010, 07:20 PM
I'm with 1:1 even though to my everlasting shame I have a couple of cameras I bought to use and then decided not have made usable.

Retina 1b (small b) and Retina IB (large B). They're pretty things, also pretty heavy, but that's not why I bought them.

I have a couple of bizarre-looking cine cameras that I bought to use and did use, shot parts of a couple of epics (66 min, 45 min) with them. Again, I didn't buy 'em for looks or cool, I bought 'em for what they could do. Oh. 4008 ZM-II, 5008S-MS.

11-24-2010, 09:50 PM
Probably the prettiest cameras I've owned were an Olympus OM-1 and a Werramat. The Olympus because it is small and jewel-like and is a delight of proportion and to hold. The Werra because it is such a clean design with obvious Bauhaus influences. I still hanker after an early olive green Werra 1 or Werra 3. They still look modern after 60 years.

Jim Chinn
11-25-2010, 09:25 AM
Everything I have is based on function and price, except for the ones I made myself that of course are the prettiest to me. However, you can always dream of stumbling upon something of exquisite beauty. Here is the most comprehensive archive of vintage and collectibles I have found on the web. Maybe you will find one at a yard sale one day.:)


11-28-2010, 01:05 AM
The 4x4 Rolleiflex cameras from the early 1960's are one of my favorites.
Well made, small, convenient, fun to use, 127 film not hard to find, decent size negatives. In a strong plastic case that quickly swivels out of the way.

I have 'better' cameras, but this is one that's often in my bag when I'm on the go.

11-28-2010, 05:13 AM
The prettiest camera I own is the Canon EF http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Canon_EF_top.jpg it took me almost twenty years to find a mint one I could afford, I'm not a collector just a user .

Dan Fromm
11-28-2010, 08:38 AM
jscott's post jogged my memory.

My post #5 above isn't right, I did buy one camera because it was so beautiful but I had a use in mind for it, I didn't get it only because it was beautiful. I wanted to shoot superslides. There were many nice 4x4 TLRs available, including Baby Rolleis like jscott's. AFAIK nearly all people who shot superslides used TLRs, except the ones who had Komaflexes and cursed a lot.

I went to a camera show, saw and handled a Primo Jr. Gem-like is the only word for the Primo Jr and its twin the Sawyer's MK IV. Not to be disrespectful to you and your camera, jscott, but in comparison with the Primo Jr. the Baby Rollei seems shabby.

Eventually I bought a MK IV. Still have it, and it is still a jewel.

A few days after I bought my MK IV Kodak discontinued 127 size Ektachrome. I later bought some very expensive 127 Ektachrome from Film For Classics. Those <deleteds> had attached the film to the wrong end of the backing paper. The Primo Jr/MK IV has automatic frame spacing after the film has been advanced to frame 1, has the normal red window (with blind) for telling when frame 1 has been reached. I'm still mad at FFC.

11-28-2010, 09:04 AM
The only camera I might consider only for its looks is the Kodak Bantam Special, but that's just because the 828 film isn't made any more. Otherwise I'd buy one and use it. :) Close but no cigar, for the good looks category is the Pre-war Rolleiflex Baby Sport, which uses the still made 127 film, but at 500 euros - not until I win the lottery.

11-28-2010, 06:23 PM
Not this one :):


(My first 35mm camera)

11-28-2010, 06:38 PM
I like my Yashica D for it's looks . Kind of Rolleiish !! :)

11-28-2010, 10:28 PM
I find that one aesthetically pleasing in it's own way! Then again, I like Edsels...

Not this one :):


(My first 35mm camera)

12-24-2010, 06:53 PM
Although I don't own one, to me the Contax IIa is the most beautiful camera I've ever seen.

12-25-2010, 12:22 AM
I think Kodak did a great job with the Signet 35:


Not so impressed with its predecessor:


I like the Rollei 35. A huge amount of functionality in a small package:


I'm also a fan of the Rolleimatic:


I love the postwar Zeiss Ikon Box Tengor:


And also the Zeiss Ikon Ikonette:


Mark Fisher
12-25-2010, 12:34 AM
Looks: as to be my canon P, OM1, and Hassy 500C. All are pretty spectacular. THere is one I use occasionally that is simply wonderful:my conatflex Super. ...... wonderful operation. A work of mechanical art.....and it weighs a ton

12-25-2010, 01:15 AM
My personal favorite is my kodak bantam : However, that may change to the kodak tourist II.

12-25-2010, 01:33 AM
One of the SLRs that I've always found attractive is the Minolta XD11.


12-25-2010, 03:41 AM
Not 100% pure since it takes great pictures still but I'm biased towards the 1937-50 Super Ikonta A 531. :cool:

http://i.pbase.com/o4/87/331787/1/62351179.zMsO2anK.zeiss_super_ikonta_a_531_100133. jpg