In thinking about it, I think the Polaroid 180 and 195 I have. When I used them more people would comment on them than even my Rollei. Seemed every familt has cool memories of their father having one or them owning one in their younger years. Of course they were referring to the autopack cameras though a few did mention they had the 180 or the 195 but they tended to be less gushing as they tended to be more into the hobby including the equipment.
Next as for the stuff I've owned would be the Exactas that it seemed many returning service personnel from Europe seemed to bring back with them and remembered fondly; then the Rollei, again, memories form returning service persons. Seemed in the '50s and '60s cameras and stero gear were standard fare for returning service persons to buy before mustering out.
It's chrome like the hassy. Also the clattering of the shutter is so loud that even if you don't want to draw attention, you certainly will. Besides all that, it got a nice "3d look" with the nikkor lenses and quite affordable.
The baby Zeiss Ikontas. Y'know the way babies are so cute because they have such disproportionately large heads, especially eyes? Baby Ikontas kinda remind me of that.
IIRC, it's polished stainless steel.
Originally Posted by markldn
I second the Hasselblad 500CM for its legendary status as a super trooper among photographers of all pursausions. But it does not sit on the pedestal alone. If size and noise matters, a Pentax 67. If stickybeaks aren't running their fingers over mine, they're telling me "what a cool camera! Oh, and it's a film camera... COOL!"
The "Coolest" camera in terms of appearance I own is a Arca Swiss 6x9 SLR - it has a monorail front with full front movements, and a mirror box with focal plane shutter on the back...looks great, but not the easiest to use...
Coolest camera I use? That changes from week to week - generally the one I pick up to use....
When I use a RB Graflex (2 1/4 X 3 1/4), people want to know what I do...
Lots of medium format cameras are really cool, but I am gonna have to nominate the following as EXTRA COOL, based on both style and substance:
1. Fuji GX680 series. The deformed love child of the Mamiya RZ67 and the Linhof Technika...ON STEROIDS. The Batmobile of medium format cameras. (The ugly, bulbous, Michael Keaton Batmobile, not the bitchin' '60's one.) It terms of looks, it's high-tech, modern, and very late-80's/early-90s. However, it's hideousness is made COOL by the fact that it is such a kick-butt camera system. Not only is it an SLR that shoots 6x8 frames, but it has front movements! The only thing that could make it much better in my book would be if it shot 6x9 (and didn't need that damned battery). Oh well; I'll settle. It's one of the most capable cameras ever made that operates as quickly and seamlessly as it does. It's like having an RZ that is just that much better in the studio. (As if RZs are not good enough already.)
2. Mamiya C series. Interchangeable lens TLRs. As an every day user, there is not much cooler in the world of medium format IMHO. All the coolness of using a TLR, plus the benefits of cool things you normally don't get with a TLR (i.e. a 7-lens system). And the older ones with the silver lenses and gray "M" vinyl covering look SO COOL. I have shot so much with my C33 and C220 because they are absolute joys to use, and I LOOK SO COOL using them!
3. Mamiya Press series. Giant, multi-format rangefinders with interchangeable lenses. If only they were SLRs, they'd be the best cameras ever made. Oh well. They are still pretty darned cool, and have that same awesome Mamiya styling that I mentioned above. I must say that the old Fuji 6x9 RFs are probably better users, but they don't even approach the Press system in terms of cool factor.
RB Graflexes and Arca-Swiss Reflexes
Linhof 6x9 view cameras
6x9 press/field cameras like Linhof, Horseman, and Graphics
Rolleiflex Wide Angle
Fun thread. But I can't tell whether "cool" is measured by reactions from others, or our own feelings of "coolness" when using them. Based on the previous responses, it seems like people react to big (as in, "What the heck is that??" -- Mamiya RB or Pentax 67 fit that bill) or retro (TLRs). And if they're shiny, and/or have stuff hanging off them like a finder, all the better.
I did recently see a guy using (actually using!) a gold-trimmed Hasselblad 501C. I thought he was pretty cool for not letting that sit locked away at home, but I don't know whether the average person on the street would have noticed particularly.
Why should I care what anyone else thinks of my camera? I'd much rather have them drool over my photos.
Originally Posted by demonboy