View Full Version : Stately Cameras !

10-30-2009, 09:16
Just a nudge away from ' pretty ' but my Grande Dame , Contax III could be considered ' stately and dignified ' rather than pretty .
I love it's Art Deco lines , and that it has all been restored - including the 1st ever built in meter which raised this dignified Prima Donna above the lowly non metered Rangefinder - and made her quite a handful .
But when has a Grande Dame been anything but formidable ?

A Blue-Belle [ KIEV ] version in metallic silver blue with matching lens to follow .

Anymore for this category ? Alpha ? Exakta ?

Roger Hicks
10-30-2009, 14:13
Dear Dee,

Gandolfi 12x15 inch, where I have to glue the film to glass plates before I can try to use it. The camera, 3 plate holders and carrying case weigh 65 lb, near enough 30 kg, so I need a BIG tripod.

The speed of use is a bit like a state funeral...



10-30-2009, 14:44
Roger's description makes me think of my own Mamiya C220. It's a lot lighter than that, but feels just like a major production.

Steve Bellayr
10-30-2009, 14:49
Any Rolleiflex

Steve Bellayr
10-30-2009, 14:53
Let me clarify: If by stately do you mean that you feel under dressed if not wearing a tie and sport coat? Again, any Rolleiflex.

10-30-2009, 15:24
A Graphic View? The red bellows is regal.


10-30-2009, 15:34
Hmmm , any mahogany camera then ?

10-30-2009, 15:36
Pearlescent pink Grande Dame - Grande Damned ? In a state ?
Probably won't happen - But it would be very much 30s Hollyrude . LOL

10-30-2009, 15:51
Art Deco not regal? Perhaps. :)


Roger Hicks
10-30-2009, 16:14
I took Dee to mean measured, slow, rather formal, highly organized, somewhat complicated, preferably with heavy, slow-to-use, beautifully finished kit: rather like a wedding limousine or (as I said) a state funeral. Yup: a Contax qualifies. So does an Exakta Varex, especially if you want to use the slow speeds: http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/ps%20collect%20varex.html



10-30-2009, 16:44
That's about right Roger - with style thrown in for good measure - but it's multiple concepts that I am open too - what does STATELY mean to YOU ?
The Prima Donna slows me down - even getting it ready needs dee'liberation - and it is heavy enough for a 35mm camera to hold steady too .
A very different experience from my Leica II or IIIc ... and from a Soviet version too !

Tom A
10-30-2009, 19:59
The 1937 Contax TLR. Over two lbs (1 kg) of german over engineered camera! I also think my latest aquisition - The Robot Royal 36 is rather stately in it heft and design.

10-31-2009, 01:34
Contarex Bullseye without a doubt. Great lineage and breeding and impeccable credentials. A real blue-blood.\


Vince Lupo
10-31-2009, 01:58
The 1937 Contax TLR. Over two lbs (1 kg) of german over engineered camera! I also think my latest aquisition - The Robot Royal 36 is rather stately in it heft and design.

I'd agree with both of those! My Contaflex TLR is my favourite camera, and it is truly a joy to use. The Royal is also a fantastic camera to hold and to use, though my only complaint about it is the lack of strap lugs.

10-31-2009, 02:08
Had to laugh at the 'jacket and tie' comment for the Rolleiflex. I always feel I should be wearing that with my Rolleicord, especially if I'm using the leather 'never ready' case.


11-02-2009, 13:48
I like that Contarex - sums it up perfectly - not pretty but imposing .