Down the Road

Roads and life and how roads are like life

Cameras

I really enjoy owning old cameras that I can still use. I favor 35mm cameras because the film is still plentiful, but own several cameras that take harder-to-find film types. I even own a few cameras that take defunct film types because I was overcome by their awesomeness.

I shoot almost every camera I buy and I write about them all, but I keep only the ones that I really enjoy. Click a brand to jump to it, and then click a camera to read more about it!

Agfa Ansco Argus 
Canon Kodak • Konica
Minolta • Nikon • Olympus
Pentax Polaroid • Rollei
Voigtländer • Yashica Zeiss Ikon

Agfa

Ansco

Argus

Canon

Kodak

Konica

Minolta

Nikon

Olympus

Pentax

Polaroid

Rollei

Voigtländer

Yashica

Zeiss Ikon

My old digital cameras are hardly vintage – at least not yet:

Once in a while I buy a camera-related item for the collection:

Also check out what I’ve written about enjoying old cameras:

46 thoughts on “Cameras

  1. ryoko861

    Oh, you would have a field day at my house!

    We have vintage Polaroids…the One Step, Pronto and 320
    Kodaks? Brownie, Instamatic that my husband had when we first met back in 1980, Disc Camera, several newer Instamatics, the Kodak “Pleaser” which was their attempt at a Polaroid type camera (quite rare to find one of these), and a Kodak that I can’t remember it’s name but it was long and thin…they boasted you could put it in your pocket. I now have a EasyShare that I just love.
    Aside from the Polaroids and the Kodak Pleaser, most of these are in a drawer. Oh, the Brownie is in my curio cabinet.
    Maybe I’ll do a blog post on these. I’d have to find out more about some of them. I love these older cameras though!

  2. ryoko861

    Oh, and I love your collection! Some are just beautiful in form! You can’t hide them away. Those HAVE to be displayed! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Jim Post author

      Most of my cameras sit out on shelves and on my fireplace mantle. I only have a few put away — ugly, broken ones mostly. I love to see them out. Unfortunately, that means they need to be dusted from time to time!

  3. Zahara

    Found your blog via your having been FP’d. Congratulations. I just bought my first DSLR, and in an hour I will head over to day one of a basic digital photography class. Excited.
    Love your collection of cameras and your writing. Take care!

  4. paulo corceiro

    Your collection has a lot of cameras in common with mine. Minolta Hi-matic is my favorite, just an amazing little box!! I love digital photography and when I´m shoting with my little Lumix Lx5 I pretend I’m using the Hi-matic one. Where do you buy film?

    1. Jim Post author

      I haven’t shot with my Hi-Matic in a long time; maybe it’s time to use it again! I have six cameras on my desk that I haven’t used yet, though! I buy most of my film a Wal-Mart, a big retailer here — I just use Fujicolor 200, a basic everyday color film, and Wal-Mart has the best price. I have a couple rolls of Fuji Neopan Acros 100 in the refrigerator, too.

  5. sartenada

    I have a photo from my old camera in my About me page. It is from 1952. Then we had Olympic Games in Helsinki and only three cameras of this model were imported and my late father bought one.

    Happy collecting!

    1. Jim Post author

      Thanks for commenting! I took a look at your old camera. It looks to be in great shape, and its f/4.5 lens probably gives you very nice results!

  6. Keith Walker

    I too have a collection starting with the model I first used when I was about 4 yrs old. I began by collecting specimens of the cameras I have owned but it has grown somewhat to cover the different styles made over the last 100 years
    CAMERA COLLECTION

    No. 1 Autograph Kodak Junior, 120 roll film, 60x90mm, folder, 1914-1927, S/N 510751, Kodar anastigmatic 111mm f7.9 lens No. 25661 Kodak ball bearing shutter, (probably manufactured 1922 from internal evidence, assembled in Canada). Very good condition for its age. Cost US$23.00

    Kodak Brownie Pliant Six-20, 620 roll film, 60x90mm, folder, 1936, No S/N, f11-32 simple lens. Kodol No.0 shutter 1/50, Very good condition for its age. Found 1936 ad for this model although some sources say c1939. Cost US$40
    Kodak Retinette (017), 35mm, viewfinder, folder, 1952-1954, S/N 382408 Schneider-Kreuznach Reomar 50mm f4.5 lens, Prontor-SV shutter. Cost US$59.50. good condition
    Braun Paxette 1b, 35mm, viewfinder, 1954, S/N 368273, extinction light meter, Staeble-Katar 45mm f2.8 lens. Prontor shutter, pristine condition.
    Braun Gloria, 120 roll film, 60x90mm, viewfinder, folder (tube), 1954, No S/N, uncoupled rangefinder, Praxar Bayreuth 75mm f2.9 lens S/N 36894, Prontor SVS shutter,. Very good condition except rangefinder dual image is not easy to see which is a common problem with this model.
    Crystar Koki KK.(COC), Crystarflex, 120 roll film, 60x60mm, TLR,, 1954-55, No S/N, Crystar shutter 1/10 – 1/200, C-Master 80mm f3.5 lens Fungus in lens. Non-operational. This is a rather obscure Japanese company, I can find little about it. It seems to have operated from 1953 – 57 and made several folders and TLRs.

    Braun Super Paxette, 35mm, viewfinder, 1956, S/N 258435, coupled rangefinder, Prontor SVS shutter, Steinheit Cassarit 45mm f2.8 & Roeschlein- Kreuznach Talenar 135mm f5.6 interchangeable lenses, , Non-operational, stuck shutter, fungus in 135mm lens.

    Zeiss Contina 1b, (526/24) 35mm, viewfinder, 1956, S/N 8656, Novicar 45mm f2.8 lens, Prontor SVS shutter, Very good condition, slight rubbing on the back enamel.

    Kodak Brownie Flash II, 620 roll film, box camera, July 1957- 60, No S/N, Single blade shutter, lens: Kodet f14 with close-up lens (one source states f11).. Imitation leather covered metal box with horizontally striped front panel; 2 brilliant viewfinders; pin and screw flash contacts.. Very good condition, slight rubbing on front panel.
    Kodak Retinette (022), 35mm, viewfinder, 1958, S/N 368103, Schneider Kreuznach 45mm f3.5 lens. Compur Rapid shutter, Nickel plating on the camera front body rubbed off.

    Kodak Brownie 127, (model 2), 127 roll film, 60x40mm, viewfinder, 1959-1963, No S/N, plastic Dakor f11, 1/50 shutter speed. Good condition. Non-operational. 127 film not available.
    Agfa Optima I, 35mm, viewfinder, 1959, S/N BN4005, automatic, Color Angar 45mm f2.8 lens. Zone focusing, Prontor-Lux shutter, Immaculate condition. The first ever camera with programmed exposure..

    Agfa Optima II, 35mm, viewfinder, 1960, S/N EH6748, automatic, Color Apotar 45mm f2.8 lens , zone focusing, Prontormator shutter, Programmed exposure, Good working condition, one side of the trim covering the front plate missing.
    Voigtlander Vito C . 35mm, viewfinder, 1960, No S/N, Lanthar 50mm f2.8 lens. Pronto shutter, Excellent condition. Slight scuffing on bottom plate. Cost new 18 GBP (NZ$36)

    Ilford Sportsman, (Style 4), 35mm, viewfinder, 1962, S/N 205115, Dacora 45mm f2.8 lens . Vario shutter, cost GBP12 (NZ$24). Very good condition. In the 1960s the Sportsman range held over 50% of the UK camera market
    Kodak Instamatic 233X, 126 cartridge, 26.5×26.5mm, viewfinder, Sept 1970-71.No S/N, Reomar 41mm f6.6 lens,. shutter 1/40, 1/80, Non-operational. 126 film cartridges made from 1963 to 2008 and not available although Adox expect to release 126 film in 2012.
    Minolta Autopak 470, 110 cartridge, 13x17mm, viewfinder, 1978, 26mm f3.5 lens, electronic shutter, 2 – 1/1000 sec. programmed exposure. Non-operational. 110 film cartridges made from 1972, to Sept 2009.. Adox Pan 400 due to be released in 2012, will be available in 110 size.
    Kodak Disc 4000, HR Disc, viewfinder, 1982-1984, ‘CAMEROSITY’ code ‘YOIA’ (June 1982), 12.5mm f2.8 aspheric lens, shutter 1/100 – 1/200, Cost US$68 new, Non-operational (flash appears u/s), HR Disc film cartridges ceased production 1998 and no longer available. Kodak manf’d 8 million disc cameras in 1982

    Pentax P30, 35mm, SLR, 1985-1997, S/N 3414375, manual focus, K, KA ,KF mount lenses, SMC Pentax-A 35-70mm, f3.5-4.5, Sigma 70-210mm, f4-5.6, 2x Teleconverter, Excellent condition, built like a tank! Cost US$323.00. Has no provision for a cable release.

    Chinon Genesis III, 35mm, ZLR, 1987, S/N 10002878, automatic, fixed 38-110mm zoom f4.4-5.6 lens, 1 –1/ 1000 shutter speed.. Non-operational. This model is effectively a glorified ‘point and shoot’ camera

    Minolta 7000i, 35mm, SLR, 1988, Lenses, Sigma 35-70mm zoom, Sigma 70-210mm zoom, Excellent condition. The 2nd generation of integrated autofocus and automatic film advance. Its autofocus was found to infringe Honeywell patents and Minolta was fined US$127.6 million

    Minolta 500si, 35mm, SLR, 1993, S/N 997031015, Lenses Minolta AF Zoom 28-80, f3.5(22)-5.6 D, Minolta zoom-xi 80-200 mm f4.5(22)-5.6. Excellent condition. Has no provision for remote release.

    .Olympus Superzoom 80 Wide, 35mm, compact, 1994, S/N 1365781, 28-80mm zoom, f4.5-7.8. Contemporary with the Mju series but generally less expensive and more robust. Excellent condition

    Olympus Mju ‘Wide 80′, 35mm, compact, 1998, S/N 1201041, 28-80mm zoom Excellent condition. (I had a 1993 35-70mm model which was stolen)
    Hanimex Vision 1, 35mm, viewfinder, 1999-2003, No S/N, plastic ‘point and shoot’. Hanimex are mostly rebranded Halina cameras. Good working condition.. The company is named after the owner, Jack Hannes , an Aussie, it stands for Hannes import export,

    Minolta 404si, 35mm, SLR, 1999, S/N 00104113, Lenses Minolta 35-70mm zoom, f3.5(22)-5.6 D, Sigma UC Zoom 70-210mm, f4-5.6, good condition.

    Canon Sureshot Classic 120, 35mm, compact, 1999, S/N 3707214, 38-120mm zoom, good condition..

    Canon Sureshot Z135 Caption, 35mm, compact, 2003, S/N 1707836, 38-135mm zoom Still has unfinished film in it, good condition

    Nikon Coolpix P80, digital, bridge, 2008, S/N 70113782, 10Mp, 1/2.33in sensor, Nikkor 18x Optical 4.7-84.2mm zoom VR,f2.8-4.5 (27-486mm, 35mm film equivalent),. 38mm filter thread.

    Sony A350, DSLR, 2008, S/N 2836438, 14.2Mp, APS-C sensor, (23.6×15.8mm), Lenses Sony 18-70mm f3.5-5.6,(SAL1870) Sony 55-200mm,f 4-5.6, (SAL55200), , Sigma APO Zoom Macro 70-300mm f4-5.6, 2x teleconverter. Crop factor 1.5

    Sony Ericsson C905 Cybershot, camera phone, 2008, 8.1Mp, lens 5.9mm f/2.8

    Fujicolor Quicksnap Superia, 35mm, single use, 2009, plastic 30mm f10 lens, shutter 1/140, 800 ISO, Film expired.2009-05

  7. Richard

    Jim,
    I have 8 of your cameras (and others you don’t list).
    I just enjoy bargaining for cameras at sales, learning how to shoot with them, and getting good results with my cameras. Most of all I enjoy each camera’s story when I can find out where they have traveled.

    1. Jim Post author

      Yes, I’m totally with you on that. I like the experience (good or bad) shooting with each camera and then seeing what turns out.

  8. Keith Walker

    Since I posted my list, I had the collection on display at the local public library – and was gived another camera!

    It’s a 1949 Zeiss Ikon Itonta 522/24, 35mm folder. Prontor – S shutter,, 45mmf3.5 Novar-Astigmat lens
    In 1953 it was renamed the Contina

    1. Jim Post author

      So many of my cameras are obvious, classic choices — the Canonet, the C3, the K1000. They’re all fun to use, though. I sure enjoy the work you’re sharing on your blog.

  9. lignumdraco

    Wow. Absolutely fantastic collection.

    Some old cameras I own include a Hasselblad 501c, Hasselblad x pan, minox c spy camera, Asahi Pentax S2, Agfa Isolette, Minox 35 ML, Nikon F4, Rollei Rolleiflex, Konica T4, and a Polaroid Land camera (it says colorpack 80 on the front).

    I’ll be following your blog from now on.

    1. Jim Post author

      Thanks! You have some fine equipment there. As you can see, mine tends toward the simpler or more common — it’s because I can pick them up for under $50, sometimes well under.

  10. Dennis

    Great collection! I just discovered your blog and so happy to see you’re also from Indiana. I do not have as huge collection as yours but I’m also into the old school photography – Pentax Spotmatic, Rolleiflex and Leica LTM.

    1. Jim Post author

      For a long time I was a collector first, a photographer second, and my collection (size and scope) reflects that! A Spotmatic is on my to-buy list.

  11. Pingback: Ye Olde Flex-Master A My Gear Extra | Denny G's Road Trips Blog

  12. irenadawn

    Jim- If I need to feel happy or just relax , I read your blog!!! There is something here for everyone! I want to get into the photography hobby in my mid life. I loved taking pictures when I was younger, but it could never get people to be still. Then, I never could get a good camera. I learned quite a bit about film in a class I had in college in filmmaking as in movies!!! Same terms ?? HA! Of course as a Fine Arts major I had several art classes and I have always dealt with the terminology. Well, I am not rich but I want to start off with a good camera so I do not have to carry so much around. I am thinking to start out with a Cannon as a good basic. But , others are going Nikon or what else could you suggest for a beginner ? I would appreciate a bit of advice. Since your not being sponsored , you can be truthful ! HA! Thank you ! Irenadawn

    1. Jim Grey Post author

      Irena, if you want a digital SLR, the answer is the Nikon D3100, in large part because it has been superseded by the D3200 and the D3300 and therefore can be had for a song. Adorama Camera offers them refurbished for $349. Here’s a link:

      http://www.adorama.com/INKD3100KR.html?utm_term=Other&utm_medium=Affiliate&utm_campaign=Other&utm_source=rflAID021866

      If you want a high-quality point-and-shoot, go to Amazon and look for the Canon PowerShot S95, or S100, or S110. These are the same camera but updated every year. I own an S95 and use it all the time and really like it. It’s a great, great point and shoot, and the S100 and S110 will be as well. Buy on price, there’s no real advantage of one of these over the others on image quality. Last time I looked, you could get the S100 for $250 on Amazon.

      If you are on a serious budget, buy an entry-level $100 Canon point-and-shoot. I bought matching ones for my parents for Christmas a couple years ago and they do a good enough job. The entry-level camera won’t handle low light as well as any PowerShot S camera, and will have fewer exposure modes, and whatever — but the lenses are good and that’s what really matters.

      1. irenadawn

        Thank you Jim , I will check these out first!!! Keep writing and I will keep reading. My blog is under construction because the person that writes the thing can not get the technical arrangements set up appropriately!! LOL! When I can take a break writing my reviews I am working on among other stuff. I will call Word and just make them help me!!! HA ! Have a great Day!!!! :) Irenadawn

  13. Keith Walker

    I have added to my collection a bit since I wrote before
    I have just bought this and it hasn’t arrived yet, I’ll supply S/Ns when I can
    Kodak Eastman Retina 1 (119), 135. 35mm, viewfinder, folder, 1936-38, S/N xxxxxx, Schneider-Kreuznach Retina-Xenar 50mm, f/3.5 S/N xxxxx, Compur Rapid shutter. Identical to the type 126 which has a chrome top plate. The type 119 is the third model of Retina produced although the first to be officially called ‘Retina’. The Retinas were made for the 135 film size introduced by Kodak in 1934,. The type 119 cost new US$57.50
    I also have an absolute gem,looks and feels like new, it’s a pleasure to hold and use
    Kodak Eastman Retina IIc (020), 135, 35mm, viewfinder, folder, 1954-1958 S/N 683611 coupled rangefinder, Schneider-Kreuznach Retina-Xenon 50mm f/2.8 lens S/N 4810931, Syncro-Compur shutter. Very good condition. . It was perhaps the apex of Kodak camera quality’. Cost new was US$135 Mfd March 1957, CLA by Chris Sherlock.(see ‘retinarescue.com’)

  14. irenadawn

    Hey Jim – I am so rude not responding to you earlier. I am usually not so up thoughtful. I promise. I have had some family issues, my favorite Ain’t Dootsie died! Then we found out my Daddy has Cancer growing right on his bottom eyelash area . He went to the surgeon today and they will remove it all a they find it and do plastic surgery. It has us all very upset. Especially my Mamma . My Daddy has always been a very handsome man. He is 80 now and looks 60!!! So I have not gotten my blog going very well. But , I would love for you to share my blog and like wise I want to share yours. I really love reading your blog. You know I got into the blog thing really to see if I could do this writing and creative publishing thing. Something meant as a journal , I suppose. As I started reading the wring of other people I find my own writing and enjoyment and appreciation growing for so much talent shared . I feel so blessed. I have a couple of freelance book reviews due for promotions and I may start posting those on my blog too. BUT I HAVE TO GET THE KINKS OUTVOF MY BLOG!!!! LOL!!! I will be on it this weekend. I want to get organized before my Daddy’s surgery. Thank you so much for your help and Kindness. Dawn

  15. Jaime Acosta

    Love your blog and your collection! I got into film cameras by way of an adapted Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7 (I had just bought a micro 4/3 camera). It came attached to a X-700 which cost me a paltry $10. I got curious, bought some film, a battery, and played with the camera. I am now a film camera junkie!

    No consumer product made today feels as good and well-made in your hands as an old film camera. I sold the X700, bought and sold a Kowa Six MM, and presently I am sitting here with a AE-1 Program (no sneezing sound!) and a Yashica A drooling over your cameras! I hope to get a rangefinder sometime soon, hopefully a QL17…they’re just so sexy!

    1. Jim Grey Post author

      Thank you so much! That Minolta lens is sweet. And apparently it has sent you down the primrose path toward a camera collection of your own. Have fun! And do buy a QL17, they’re great.

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