Just received a Kiev 4AM I purchased on #bay, described as perfect working condition. The split image RF will not work past about 6' and the focus is so hard that trying to turn the focus wheel is like running your finger down a steak knife. Will be sending it back. I also had purchased a nice small Sunpak 321 flash (also arrived today, also purchased on &bay) to use on my RF cameras, described as working perfectly. I have cleaned the contacts and put 3 sets of fresh AA's in it and it will not work. Worst *bay day I have ever had
Circa 1941, I think based on serial number on the body. The lens might be post war though, not sure. That makes #4 for me. Minolta HiMatic 7s, Kodak Retina 1a, Zeiss Ikonta 6X9, and now the C3. Plan to "invade" Normandy this Fall and will shoot with the C3 ala Tony Vaccaro.
You are indeed a lucky dude. I bought 3 duds on evil-bay, then had to spend $80 to get a good one made out of the 3. Anyway, you need to check out http://www.flickr.com/groups/994592@N24/ . It's a HiMatic 7 group.
I started film photography in November and since then I've gotten a more than a handful of cameras. Started with 1970s SLRs and moved my way into rangefinders, which I think I'm starting to prefer.
This one, purchased this week, is the jewel of my collection though (despite the annoyance I mentioned in a separate thread):
It's just a fantastic size and feels great in the hand. The Yashica Electro 35, my first rangefinder, is just too big, despite looking gorgeous. It's an attention catcher though, which has its plusses and minuses. For the truly discreet shooter, I use my Olympus XA, even though the rangefinder is nigh impossible to see sometimes.
I'm probably leaning more towards camera collecting than shooting, but cameras from before the 1980s are so beautiful in their own right.