I am an avid collector and have a number of cameras from the 1930s. I use these cameras regularly. Some are easier to use than others. I would suggest something like a 1935 Voigtlander Bessa with a Skopar lens, which I'm guessing should cost around $100. If you want to spend more, get one with the 105mm Heliar lens. These are 6x9 which are big negatives and scan very nicely. Shutter speeds are up to 1/400s with Compur Rapid shutter. They are very well built and shoot 120 film which is easily available. Ones where the lens serial number is between 1,026,000 and 2,000,000 will be from 1935. Another thought if you want to spend more is a Leica IIIa with an Elmar 5cm (50mm) lens. These shoot 35mm, have shutter speed up to 1/1000s, and are even more compact than the Bessa (Bessa is also compact when folded up.) These should cost you around $400. Ones with a camera serial number around 150,000 will be 1935 vintage. Both are really cool and you can actually take photos with them. Keep in mind none of these cameras have built in meters. There is yet one more camera I will suggest. It's the Rolleiflex. It too shoots 120 film and all in all it's the easiest to use. It's much easier to load than a Leica, and faster to use than a Bessa. It was a favorite among wedding photographers because of it's speed to use. I think the fastest shutter speed is around 1/500s. A 1935 vintage will have a serial number around 500,000 (Standard Model with f3.5 Tessar lens), and cost around $250 with a nice case and a few accessories. The Bessa is the least expensive but the hardest to use, the Rolleiflex is the easiest to use and in the middle on cost, and the Leica is the most expensive and has the highest "cool" factor (and is the smallest.) My choice if someone is just starting out with a vintage camera would be the Rolleiflex Standard. All of these are nice cameras.

Kent in SD