Purely aesthetically speaking...
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!
"Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it." -Paul Strand
I think the Super Ikonta cameras are interesting looking cameras, with that foldout lens for the rangefinder.
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.
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.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
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.
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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.
Last edited by onepuff; 11-24-2010 at 08:59 PM. Click to view previous post history.
" ... a cook who relies on nothing but a sharp knife has no guarantee of producing excellent dishes." - Yoshihisa Maitani
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.
"Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
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.
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 .
Last edited by benjiboy; 11-28-2010 at 04:36 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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.