From 2018 to 2020 I slowly got rid of dozens of cameras I seldom used, frequently after putting one more roll through them just to be sure. I called it Operation Thin the Herd. I thought you might like to see a full list of the cameras I’ve kept — all 28 of them. My goal is to use them all regularly, meaning at least once a year.
Agfa Clack: This box camera for 120 film delivers surprisingly crisp images. I don’t actually need this camera, but it’s so fun to use that sometimes I spool some FP4+ or Ektar into it and blow through the roll just for the joy of it. Review here.
Certo Super Sport Dolly: I kept this folding camera for 120 film in part because it belonged to the father of a dear friend, and in part because it’s a pleasure to use. Review here.
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6: I have only bought a tiny handful of brand new film cameras in my life, and this is one of them. I’m still deciding whether I like it. I haven’t reviewed this camera yet.
Kodak Brownie Starmatic: I have a soft spot in my heart for 127 film as my first camera took that format. This little 127 camera has a built-in selenium light meter. Review here.
Kodak Monitor Six-20 Anastigmat Special: This is the other folding camera I kept. It takes 620 film, but it’s not hard to respool 120 film onto 620 spools. This camera needs a repair to the shutter linkage, and I’ll have it done someday, because the Anastigmat lens is wonderful. Review here.
Kodak Pony 135 Model C: Every time I use this camera, I’m deeply impressed with the quality of images it returns. It punches way above its weight class. But I vastly prefer any of my SLRs for the kind of work I do with the Pony. I use it so seldom that it might not keep its place in my stable. Review here.
Konica Auto S2: I enjoyed this rangefinder camera for 35mm film more than any other classic rangefinder I tried, and I tried a lot of them. I’m far more an SLR guy than a rangefinder guy, but this one merits an annual outing. Review here.
Minolta Maxxum 7000i: I only need one Maxxum body, but I own two because they are both brilliant. I may shed one of them someday, but darned if I can decide which. Review here.
Minolta Maxxum HTsi: I only need one Maxxum body, but I own two because they are both brilliant. I may shed one of them someday, but darned if I can decide which. Review here.
Nikon F2A: I love my Nikon F2s for their incredible build quality. I sent this F2A to Sover Wong in 2020 for an overhaul and now this camera is like new again. Review here.
Nikon F2AS: When this F2AS came to me in 2014, it had recently been overhauled by Sover Wong. The meter head has quit working, so it needs to go back to him. Review here.
Nikon F3: This is the one camera I’d keep if I could keep only one. It’s solid as a tank and offers aperture-priority mode, my favorite way to shoot. Its meter isn’t reading right now, so I need to send it for repair. Review here.
Nikon FA: This, the most technologically advanced manual-focus 35mm SLR Nikon ever made, keeps a tenuous spot in my stable. I just don’t use it very much. While I like it, as I have other SLRs I enjoy more. Review here.
Nikon N90s: I got rid of almost all of my other auto-everything 35mm SLRs becuase this one is so great. Review here.
Olympus OM-1: This belonged to the father of a dear friend. I like my OM-2n better, but this OM-1 is delightful in its own right. Review here.
Olympus OM-2n: This camera is my second choice, after my Nikon F3, for the one camera I’d keep if I could keep only one. It’s brilliant, and small, and lightweight. The Zuiko lenses are sublime. Review here.
Olympus Stylus: This little point-and-shoot is fun to use and delivers the goods. I like to slip it into the saddlebag on my bike so I can photograph interesting things when I ride. Review here.
Olympus XA: My life would not be complete without one of these in the stable. There are wonderful, highly capable little 35mm rangefinder cameras. Review here.
Pentax IQZoom 170SL: This small 35mm point-and-shoot has a sharp deep zoom lens. I don’t use it as often as I thought I would, however. Review here.
Pentax KM: This belonged to one of my closest friends. I had Eric Hendrickson overhaul it this year, and put in a new meter. It’s good go to for another generation. Review here.
Pentax ME: I adore this light, small 35mm SLR. I’ve found the bodies not to be hardy, however. The meter in mine recently died even after a 2017 overhaul by Eric Hendrickson. I bought a brown-leather ME SE to replace it. Review here.
Pentax ME-F: This historic 35mm SLR is the first to offer autoexposure. It’s fussy and finicky. I keep it because it’s pristine and a real collector’s item. Review here.
Pentax Spotmatic F: This is the Spotmatic to have because of its open-aperture metering. It’s also a jewel of a 35mm SLR. Review here.
Polaroid SX-70: I have always been attracted to instant photography. This is the one Polaroid camera I’ve kept. I put about one pack through it a year. Review here.
Sears KSX-P: Chinon built this 35mm SLR for Sears, and it’s a peach. I like it a lot, but it’s no better than other cameras I own that I like more, so it is on the bubble in my collection. Review here.
Yashica Lynx 14e: This camera is big, heavy, and slow to use. But oh my gosh, is its lens ever sublime! I keep passing over this camera in favor of the Konica Auto S2, so it might not survive the next thinning of the herd. Review here.
Yashica-D: I love my two Yashica TLRs. I prefer the other one, but this one belonged to the father of a dear friend and is pristine. Review here.
Yashica-12: This is a truly wonderful TLR for 120 film. I reach for it first when I want to shoot medium format. Review here.
I still own a handful of cameras that aren’t on this list, cameras I’ll sell off or give away soon.
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