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Ghost of cameras past
Old 12-17-2019   #1
d.dulin
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Ghost of cameras past

My journey into the rangefinder world, and realistically the camera world in general, was humble just like most people. I’ve now acquired a rolleiflex for medium format and a M2- V3 summicron 35mm combo for 35mm, but I often think back to some of the more plain set ups I had along the way that brought immense joy at the time. One in particular I miss a lot was a really beat up Leitz Minolta CL and the absolute worst optical condition Jupiter-8, which I loved dearly at the time and took some of my favorite photos with.
An ode to these set ups is due:
I’m curious to hear what simpler/ cheaper/ plainer set ups others miss from the past, or maybe still have.
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Old 12-17-2019   #2
raydm6
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From a recent thread, I am kindly being gifted a Miranda Sensorex w/several lenses (my 1st 35mm I used in the 1970's) and look forward to shooting with it to bring back some memories.

I also am still in possession a Polaroid Land 420 that my Dad bought me. It's somewhere at my parents house and will dig it out. Still have lot's of prints from that camera.

Thanks for resurrecting some warm memories.
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Old 12-17-2019   #3
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Well, reaching back 50 years or so brings me to buying my first ‘good’ camera. Not even knowing that Altman’s was only a block away I went into Marshal Field’s in Chicago and bought a Minolta Hi Matic 9, the last one they had. That was December 1969.
Sadly, that camera met its demise the following summer when I returned home to visit family.
I replaced that with a used Miranda D, with a 50mm f1.9 Soligor, bought at Altman’s in the autumn of 1970.
Too many cameras have come and gone since then. The ones I’ve kept long term are my Olympus Pen F (film, in case I have to mention it) with a few half frame Zuikos plus several Pen VF half frame cameras and most of my OM gear.
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Old 12-17-2019   #4
davidnewtonguitars
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I didn't own too many cameras in the past, but all of them were good to use. Not counting the Boy Scout Brownie which was really my older brother's, the first camera that I bought was a Praktica Nova SLR in '67, but replaced a couple of years later with a Pentax H1a and clip-on meter. Fun rig!
I traded it years later for a Contax IIIa. Most of my early family snaps were made with the Contax, and wish I had kept it, even if just to sit on a shelf.


The Oly Xa2 that it was traded for was not so dear, even though it worked well enough.
After it came a succession of digital cameras that were utilitarian and unremarkable. The Zorki I broke the digital chain to begin the new resurgence!
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Old 12-17-2019   #5
jsrockit
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After thinking about this for awhile... all of my favorite cameras (ones I used for a significant amount of time) have been quite nice. Leica M6 and M9, Leica Minilux and X1, Contact G1 and T2, Nikon Df, Fujifilm X Series, various Ricoh GRs... these I remember fondly. I feel lucky. However, at one point in my life... I really enjoyed using a Holga.
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Old 12-17-2019   #6
Brian Atherton
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My all-time fave is the Minolta CLE and its three Minolta lenses I used for personal work. That kit (in a small Billingham bag) went everywhere around the world with me and I took some of my favourite black and whites with it.

Foolishly, I was offered a good price and sold it. It was of its time and to this day I kind of regret selling it, but I can’t re-live the past by buying another.
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Old 12-17-2019   #7
d.dulin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Atherton View Post
...but I can’t re-live the past by buying another.
This is an interesting point, and maybe summarizes the feeling towards these ghosts of past: I think only in the case of being able to purchase the same exact camera back there is little way to actually bring back that particular set up and the feeling of using it.
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Old 12-17-2019   #8
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I don't miss any since I didn't sell any.
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Old 12-17-2019   #9
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Won't say I miss it, but mint (at the time of sale) Bessa R for 250CAD with J8 included did great for my early days with bw film.
So well, I see zero reason to have 50 Crons rather than for forum status . J3/8 are just as good on bw film. My J-3 is no slosh on M-E, either.
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Old 12-17-2019   #10
pesphoto
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best camera I ever used because of how productive I was with it, like an extension of my hand an eye!...Bessa R2a and 35mm skopar. Loved that thing, dents, scratches and all.
I was packing to sell my house last year and yes, I lost the dam thing...no clue where it went.
I think it may have been in a clump of junk I had hauled away.
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Ghoset of Cameras Present
Old 12-17-2019   #11
DennisM
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Ghoset of Cameras Present

Would have to be my Minolta SR-T 102 purchased new which I still have and shoot; also a MinoltaXD-11. Minolta, truly the Rodney Dangerfield of 35mm cameras.
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Old 12-17-2019   #12
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My best cameras ever? Well, I've been shooting since 1961, so there have been so many - but the ones that have stayed uppermost in my mind are a legendary few...

My first good camera (1963) was a Yashica D TLR with a (supposedly lesser quality) Yashikor lens. I paid a discounted C$39.95 for it from a Montreal wholesaler my dad was a door-to-door salesman with. In those long-ago days Kodak Verichrome Pan cost C$0.50 a roll and I still recall with pride when I bought my first 'brick' of 20 rolls from the local drug store. I kept this camera until I bought a Rolleiflex 3.5E2 (1966) and it then sat on a shelf for 20 years until I gave it away to a nephew who may still be using it - that is if he can afford to buy 120 film in Canada now.

The pair of Kodak Retina 1a cameras I bought in Sydney, Australia (1972) to take to Bali. Thanks to a last minute mix-up I ended up with 40 rolls of Tri-X which I used in one camera (with an orange filter to cut the film speed) and loaded the second with the old Fujicolor neg film. I shot everything I saw with this duo and sold many prints to media, but that was a time when even B&W images from Bali found a ready market Now you couldn't give a Bali snap away. The Retinas stayed in a box for decades until I sold them to a photo school student in 2014, so for all I know they may still be in use. One can dream.

Various folders I've owned (and some I still do) over the years. In the '80s I discovered the Zeiss Nettar folders and have owned about a dozen. Two are still in use including a 1952 model with an Albada finder and a synchro-compur shutter. Wonderful machines.

By far the very best pocket folder I've ever owned is (still in regular use) a Voigtlander Perkeo I with the legendary Color-Skopar lens, bought from a deceased estate for A$95 in 2015. It came with a Zeiss yellow-green filter which lives on the lens. A 1950 Weston Master III produces more or less the exposures I need with (mostly Ilford) B&W films. All very pocketable and still giving me images I treasure even in this digital age which I have to admit, is more practical but far less fun than them good old times.

For all that, my treasured negatives taken with that long-ago Yashica D still produce rock-sharp prints whenever I can muster up the energy to put in time in my home darkroom.

Some things change but life seems to be basically a big wheel and we end up rotating back to many things we did in past times. This, at least for me, is entirely as it should be.
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Old 12-17-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Atherton View Post
My all-time fave is the Minolta CLE and its three Minolta lenses I used for personal work. That kit (in a small Billingham bag) went everywhere around the world with me and I took some of my favourite black and whites with it.

Foolishly, I was offered a good price and sold it. It was of its time and to this day I kind of regret selling it, but I can’t re-live the past by buying another.
You cashed out at a good time. I had two perfect condition CLEs that later developed electrical issues. I could only find one person in the entire USA who was willing to work on it.
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Old 12-17-2019   #14
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A few years ago I really got into shooting with 35mm rangefinder cameras with my Zorki 4 and Jupiter-12. Shooting with that camera led me to get a Canon 7, which in turn led me to get a Leica M2. The M2 is now my main camera, but that Zorki 4 is still one of my all time favorite cameras. I still own it, and still use it occasionally, and over the past 2 years have made some of my favorite photos with it.
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Old 12-17-2019   #15
Nokton48
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OCCS Camera Set Test 1 by Nokton48, on Flickr

After 25 years of storage I am renovating my Sinar Normas. I have three of them, different formats.
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Old 12-17-2019   #16
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In 1971 I completed my bachelors degree. I had worked at a camera store part time to help pay tuition. When I left the store to go to graduate school, I bought a used Leica M2 (1963 vintage) with a 50mm collapsible Summicron for $200. I also bought a used 35mm f2.8 Summaron for $35. It was my only camera and went on my trips. On one trip to Colorado it got kicked into a mountain lake. I dried it out as best I could, and it continued to work perfectly. On another trip a friend of mine forget it on an overlook ledge, but it was still there in the morning when he remembered it. The camera has had a couple of CLAs but has never let me down in use. It is ugly today, but still works and I occasionally use it when I shot film. I cannot imagine a more reliable camera than that M2. It continues to live up to Leica's reputation.
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Old 12-17-2019   #17
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Pentax K1000 , 2 of them and both were stolen . Never owned a Pentax since , pity 'cuz some of my most liked and viewed pics were taken with those cameras ! Peter
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Old 12-17-2019   #18
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Back in 1967 I was trying to decide btwn a Nikon F and Miranda (as a grad student $$ were a factor). A friend gave me the advice to buy the one I really wanted, to heck with the $$, b/c if I didn't I'd probably never be satisfied.
I followed his advice - bought the Nikon (still have it) and it really is my favourite of the past (even though I have no migrated to the dark side)
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Old 12-17-2019   #19
Pál_K
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I have all the cameras I've ever used, dating back to simple 127-format Kodak Brownie cameras.

So, in over 50 years that's a lot of cameras. I really didn't start to acquire serious and expensive cameras until the 1990's.

My first "serious" camera was a Pentax SP500 with 55/2 Super Takumar. I used that one camera and one lens exclusively for 15 years. I still have thar camera and lens and still use it.
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Old 12-17-2019   #20
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Voigtlander Vitessa-L with the Ultron lens. Made some really good slides with that camera, but traded it in on a Nikkormat FTN in '73 because I wanted the ability to use different focal lengths again. I'd have kept it but on a Navy E3 salary the Nikon just wasn't going to happen without some sacrifice.


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Old 1 Week Ago   #21
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As a kid, after moving up from my First Camera, a Herco Imperial 620, Santa brought me a Brand New Kodak X15! Using 126 film, color film! Knowing no better this little camera made my first really good pictures. One in particular, a balloon ascent into a deep blue sky, won $100 in a “real” photography contest! We laugh at 126 today but it has a Lot going for it, and me and my X15 still miss it.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #22
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There was a time when I used a Leica M6 and a Leica Minilux only... in the 90s. Of course the holgas / dianas ...
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