What follows is me repeating things I heard or found on the internet.
Some lenses turn yellow because of Thorium, which was used in their construction. It's a radioactive element and the yellow tint is the product of Thorium's decay. Or something of that sort. Apparently, or allegedly, this can be helped by leaving the glass exposed to UV lights (sunlight).
Leicaflex' prism becomes yellow due to "desilvering" and the only help is to have the prism replaced. I don't know if it's the same process that happens to old mirrors. Either way, no sunbathing will help.
edit: It's not (only) plastic lenses. 35/1.4 Nikkor (of NC Auto kind) often has a yellow tint, and its glass is real glass. Of very good radioactive quality.
There are several firms which will resilver prisms, first surface mirrors, etc. I believe Ian G knows of at least one. Since the "silver" is actually aluminium, it's doable at home with a vacuum pump, bell jar, car battery, and a bit of aluminium wire.
Originally Posted by OldBodyOldSoul
My bad, I was thinking of the viewfinders.
Originally Posted by OldBodyOldSoul
Among other cameras:
Zeiss Ikon Contax IIa: I love this camera. To me, it is just the perfect size. I don't use the focusing wheel ever. I think the earlier Black Dial version is quieter than the "Color Dial" model.
Rolleiflex SL 35E: The entire series of these cameras is unique in that each model is markedly different physically and mechanically from the one that it replaced. About the only thing they share is a common lens mount. I like this model best, if you can find one with good electronics. The viewfinder is bright, and for me, the size is ideal. And of course you can mount a series of excellent Carl Zeiss lenses.
Rollei 35: This was my third real camera. I bought a 35T back in 1979 and shot the daylights out of it. I took five minutes to familiarize myself with how it worked, and after that never had a problem.
Nikon F2A: Old-school solidly built camera. The shutter is a bit loud, but who cares. Highly dependable and is very intuitive.
Olympus XA: Nice little camera and best used by someone with little hands.
Carl Zeiss Jena Werra 3: I've had a couple of these, and I like this one best. It has a rounded top deck with well-placed controls. The method of tensioning the shutter and advancing the film is unique and genius.
Konica III: A sturdy camera with trigger advance and an excellent f/2.0 lens. It has a large viewfinder and excellent rangefinder, and it's also a handsome camera.
Carl Zeiss Zeiss Ikon: This is my last entry, because I've overdone it. For me, this camera really works. I like that the body is thin (front to back). I think the controls feels well placed and easy to manipulate. The camera is extremely well balanced. Great viewfinder, although I had to replace the eyepiece cover because the rubber surround had torn (it's identical to the one for the Nikon FE). And of course, the great Carl Zeiss optics, although oddly enough my favorite is the Rollei Sonnar f/2.8 40mm lens.
I have two Nikon F3's and I think that they are the smoothest, most beautiful black boxes that I have handled. They just feel right - great ergonomics. Of course the details are very subtle. The F3 is a wonderful example of "form follows function"!
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My favorite design: Asahi H series (predecessor of Spotmatic). - David Lyga
Yea, another vote for the F3
Originally Posted by RidinRev66
Some have actual silver, which must be overcoated to protect from tarnishing.
Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh
I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.
You can coat glass with silver with much simpler outfit than necessary for vapor deposit of aluminium.
Now wait, don't lynch me yet. Hear me out! Much like Ford and his Model T, it's not about marketting or sales. It's that this product worked, worked WELL, and was cheap, and easily mass-produced. The Model T pushed use of the personal automobile to unimaginable limits at the time.
The Cannon A-series probably did more for spreading the joy of photography to the masses than Leicas ever did simply because they made (and sold) over 6 million of the A-series. It had professional-level attachments and quality yet was within the grasp of average people. Regardless of your personal preferences on ergonomics or layout (Olympus, Nikon, etc) I have to say the A-series was one of the most important 35mm cameras of all times.
In retrospect, of course.
Canon AE-1P 35mm | 50mm/f1.8 FDn | 28mm/2.8 FD | 70-200mm/f4-5 FD | 35-70mm/F2.8-3.5 Sigma FD