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Cameras you bond with, or that have "soul"
Old 05-02-2016   #1
mdg137
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Cameras you bond with, or that have "soul"

I read a number of articles this weekend about cameras that have "soul"-- and it got me thinking-- absolutely, a camera is a tool, but I cannot deny that we bond with some tools more than others, and for me at least, this makes a difference in the final product.

I complied a list of some of the cameras I have used over the last 30 years to see which ones I truly enjoyed using, and which ones ...less so.. to see if there was a clear pattern.

Cameras Ive Bonded with

Canon A1
Canon EF
Nikon F2AS
Nikon F5
Nikon D3x
Contax G2
Nikon D2x
Leica M6TTL
Leica M240
Hasselblads (various)

Cameras ... less so..

Canon Eos A2E
Nikon F6
Nikon D3
Nikon D800E
Contax G1
Nikon D200
Leica M4-P
Leica M9
Rolleiflex 2.8F

No real pattern that I can see-- but the visceral feeling about them is certainly real enough.

What have you bonded with, and why?
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Old 05-02-2016   #2
lueej
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Bonded With
Ricoh GR1s compact, incredible ergonomics, exposure comp and aperture priority offered enough control for me, semi-quiet and quick to use, especially with the SNAP feature, and good enough for me IQ. I would give up my current combo of the Oly Mju-II and Nikon 28ti just to have a working GR1s again if someone could guarantee it would live a full life...my favorite advanced P&S of all time, possibly my favorite camera ever. went everywhere with me, but as a student I just can't afford to risk buying another.

Olympus 35RC: My first and favorite RF. Compact with full manual operation available. Quiet and unassuming.

Canon WP-1: so fun to use underwater and on land...unfortunately lost at sea and a bit bulky.

Pentax Espio Mini/Konica Big Mini: both compact and did exactly as a point and shoot should...but both suffered electronics issues. needed to have a physical switch for the flash though.

Currently Bonding With
Fuji GA645W: Ergonomics good, compact for basically a 645 P&S with fully manual operation (even if that is a bit of a pain to use). Great VF and fairly quiet and light.

Olympus Mju-II: almost as compact feeling as the Ricoh GR1s, and faster. a flash switch would be appreciated over a button. starting to really like it.

Nikon 28ti: Not as "pocketable" as I'd like, but the IQ and metering are simply incredible. time will tell how reliable it will be but for now the results are excellent. Size and noise are the only thing keeping it under the Ricoh GR1s for now.

Never Bonded, But Great Results
Mamiya Super 23: Great IQ, big negatives so much fun...honestly fun to operate. Just so bulky and heavy!

Rolleiflex 2.8D: Same as the Super 23, great IQ and fun to operate. Never got along with the square format personally.

I suppose the pattern I see here is that I desire good enough IQ in something quick and compact enough to carry daily. A physical flash switch and some semblance of control via aperture or shutter speed or exposure comp is also valuable. I wonder if anyone has any suggestions for me to try next when the funds are available?
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Old 05-02-2016   #3
MikeL
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SWC and Plaubel 670

The lenses work and the ergonomics feel comfortable to me (for some reason). Nothing gets in the way.
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Old 05-02-2016   #4
Ko.Fe.
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FED-2 as family camera from country I came from. I'm using it now same way as in eighties.
And few years ago, M4-2 as camera of the land to where my family came.

I offered M4-2 for trade once, but I'm very thankful to this guy who never replied.
Never again!
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Old 05-02-2016   #5
nickthetasmaniac
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Bonded:
- Ricoh GR (V)
- Ricoh GRD (I)
- Leica M2
- Pentax LX
- Olympus E-3


Not so much:
- Fuji X100
- Sony A100
- Minolta SRT100
- Konica C35
- Panasonic GH2
- Pentax K20D
- Pentax MX
- Pentax Spotmatic SP F
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Old 05-02-2016   #6
BillBingham2
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Perhaps my bar it a bit too high.....

Very Strong Bond
Nikon S2


B2 (;->
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Old 05-02-2016   #7
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Bonded
Nikon F, Nikkormat
Pentax H3v
Leica IIIc
Leica M6

Not
Anything Minolta. Sorry. Not Minolta's fault, just me.

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Old 05-02-2016   #8
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My Fuji x100. Superb
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Old 05-02-2016   #9
benji77
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Bonded
Konica Hexar AF
Mamiya RZ67 Pro
Fujifilm GF670
Ricoh GRD4
Nikon D3s

Failed to bond
Fujifilm Klasse W
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Old 05-02-2016   #10
Doug
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The one that comes immediately to mind in this context is the Pentax 6x7... Big, friendly, easy handling, big bright viewfinder, looks good, sounds impressive, great results.

And I can add the Minolta CLE and Bronica RF645, upon reflection. Easy users.
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Old 05-02-2016   #11
Timmyjoe
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Bonded with:
Canon TX
Canon F-1n
Canon 6D
Nikon F4s
Leica M6TTL
Leica M2S
Leica M8.2
Leica M3-SS
Nikon D4
Nikon F

Not so much:
Nikon N90S
Nikon FM2n
Nikon D100
Nikon D700
Leica M3 DS
Nikon F2
Nikon 1 V2
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Old 05-02-2016   #12
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I really loved to work with these ones:
Leica M4-2
Leica M5
Leica M6TTL
Contax G1
Nikon S2
Nikon F80 (or N80)
Nikon F100
Nikon D700

Not so much with these...
Nikon F5
Fuji X100
Fuji XPro 1
Leica M3
Nikon 35ti

Why? Maybe because of the experiences or emotions associated to the camera in some point of my life? Who knows... I tried to like my Nikon 35ti, but it just didn't work. I tried to get to like my Leica M3... and there wasn't a chance there. On the other hand, the other ones just fit in my hands like gloves and there they stayed. Except, sadly, for the Nikon S2; it's an entirely different system and the infatuation is over, but there was a time when we were inseparable... Not now... It's for sale.
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Old 05-02-2016   #13
nikon_sam
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Bonded with:
Nikon F4 & F5
Pentax MX
Yashicamat 124g
Olympus 35-S
Mamiya m645
Zone VI 4x5
Nikon FE


Not so Much:
Nikon F, F2, F3 & FM
Pentax ME
Olympus 35-SP
Spotmatic
Canon A-1
Even though I've used all of these camera on the Not So list & still have them I will continue to use them just not as much as the Bonded list...
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Old 05-02-2016   #14
taemo
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bonded with

Leica M3
Fuji X100
Nikon F3
Hexar AF
Canon 5D Mark II
Fuji GF670
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Old 05-02-2016   #15
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Anything with the Sigma logo on it. I really admire that little company's attitude towards it's quirky products ... and photography in general.
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Old 05-02-2016   #16
FrozenInTime
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Bonded:
Leica M-A,0-series
Hasselblad 501c
Minox AX
Ricoh GR-1s, GR-D

Work-horses:
Leica M6,M9,MM
Olympus OM-D E-M5
iPhone

Disliked:
Nikon FM2n
Ricoh GRD ( MkI )
Olympus E-3
Minox GTE
Hasselblad 203FE, Flex Body
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Old 05-02-2016   #17
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My love life since 1976...

Woke up the next morning and knew it was a fling:

Fuji GSW690III
Mamiya 6
Agfa Super Isolette
Pentax K1000
My boss’s Bronica
My buddy’s RB67

Dated for awhile but knew it was merely a chapter:

Nikon FM2N
Nikon F2AS
Nikon F4
Nikon F5
Leica M8
Leica M9
Pentax 6x7
Shenhao 4x5
Fuji X100, S & T

Sorry honey, but you were (are) purely maintenance, at least I paid ya:

Kodak / AP NC2000
Nikon E2S
Nikon D100
Nikon D1H
Canon 10D
Canon 20D
Canon EOS1D
Canon 5D
Nikon D700
Nikon D800
Nikon D810
Nikon D750
Leica M240?

Sweetheart, would mind being one of my wives?

Nikon F3
Nikon FM3A
Leica M3
Leica M6TTL
Leica M240?
Hasselblad Xpan
Hasselblad 500 series
Hasselblad CFV50c
Chamonix 45N2
Rollieflex 2.8D

TMI?
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Old 05-02-2016   #18
bobkonos
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Bond with now and forever: Leica M6, Nikon FM2N, CV Bessa R2S, CV Bessa T

In the bonding stage right now: Nikon SP 2005

Know I will likely bond with it once I use it more: Hasselblad SWC/M, Nikon F3, Zeiss Ikon SW

Let's bond again like we did in the past: Nikon S2, Leica MP

Putting our bonding on hold just a little bit longer: all of my Canon rangefinder cameras

Dream bonding: Plaubel Makina 67
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Old 05-02-2016   #19
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i have soul...the camera not so much!
i have the vision, the joy and disappointment, the shared moments...the camera has bits and pieces, plastic and metal, smooth lines and some comfy places to hang onto...but it has no soul.
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Old 05-02-2016   #20
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BOND:

Leica M2
Leica M6 (sold when M2 arrived)
Rolleiflex 3.5F

Not so much bond:
Leica M3

The reason may be because I am very fond of 35mm focal length lens. Even though I shoot with the 3.5f not so often but I am always amazed with its IQ and industrial design and precision mechanic.


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Old 05-02-2016   #21
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The Minolta CLE is an easy choice for me.

Work in progress: Nikon SP, Leica M3, Leica C, Plaubel Makina 67W, Canon L1.

Waiting in the wings: Hexar AF, Nicca 3L, Agfa Clack.
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Old 05-02-2016   #22
gavinlg
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Bonded with:
Nikon f3hp
Leica m6
Olympus OM1n
Olympus MJUII
Pentax 67
Fuji x100
Fuji x-pro1
Canon 5d mk1
Hassy 501cm

Just a tool:
Fujifilm x-t1

Didn't bond with:
Nikon FM2n
Nikon d300
Olympus e-p1/e-3
Epson R-d1
Contax G1
Canon 5d mkIII
Sigma DP-1s
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Old 05-02-2016   #23
aizan
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i like all of them. i'm the casanova of cameras.
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Old 05-02-2016   #24
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Bonded:
Leica film M's - to me they're all so similar.

Not Bonded:
Everything else I've tried; ALL compacts, Nikon SLRs, Nikon DSLRs, Minolta SLRs.

I find it interesting how some people seem to react to the subtleties. For instance, bond with an M2/6 but not M3; bond with F5, not with F6, etc... "It's a fine line between pleasure and pain..."
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Old 05-02-2016   #25
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Camera's that I tend to bond with are usually very fit for purpose and/or have an instinctive UI

Bonded:

Nikon FM > simple, sturdy, always good results.
Nikon FM10 > it may be plastic, but looking at ergonomics this is the best camera ever. Punches way above its weight.
Olympus Mju-II > A true, foolproof, blazing fast point & shoot.
Polaroid 195 > knobs, levers galore, yet easy to understand, use and love.
Nikon D70 > My first digital workhorse, practically was married to it.
Olympus PEN EE-3 > So lovely and retro and simple, has no right to work this well, but it does.
Minolta Dynax 7 > The best 35mm camera I have ever used, manages to pull off that very difficult trick of merging high-tech with a great UI. Besides, world class auto focus.
Yashica Mat 124 > Fantatstic lens, surprisingly easy to use, portable medium format.
Canon Canonet GIII QL17 > Quintessential small rangefinder, extremely well suited to my style of photography, impossibly good lens for the price.
Polaroid SX-70 > Weird yet sexy, great concept.

Not bonded:

Sony NEX-3 > Odd ergonomics, terrible UI. Good results though.
Nikon D600 > Great sensor, but feels big and clunky. Unforgiveably poor auto focus with older 'screwdriver' lenses. Impossibly long winded menus.
Olympus XA > Too small and fiddly and fragile.
Werra 3 > Just too weird.
Fuji Instax 210 > Oversized, clunky, primitive.
Hasselblad 500 C/M > Wonderful engineering and results, but ergonomics were not considered. Clunky.


As for my Leica M2, I am on the fence. It is a solid and beautiful camera, capable of great results. But is also fragile and slow. In my mind it is no match for any decent mechanical Nikon SLR. Heresy, I know.
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Old 05-02-2016   #26
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I'm not sure I've had a camera that I really didn't like.

Questionable: I used these for travel and loved them for this purpose. Otherwise, I never use them.

Olympus 35 RC
Vivitar 35 ES
Canon GIII QL 17

Bonded to TLRs: I love TLRs and I have Minolta Autocords, Mamiyas, Rolleis, Yashicas, and a Ricoh. In order of bonding:

1. Minolta Autocords, especially the CdS-III
2. Mamiya C330f, C220 plus lenses and accessories
3. Rolleiflexes (T and 3.5f)
4. Yashica-Mat EM, D, and Ricohflex

Bonded to 35mm: I really like Minolta manual-focus prime lenses and SLRs, though I'm probably more bonded to the lenses than I am to the cameras. In no particular order:

Minolta SR-T 101
Minolta SR-T 102
Minolta X-570 + Autowinder

An Anglefinder greatly facilitates use of these SLRs on a tripod.

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Old 05-02-2016   #27
joe bosak
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Lomo LCA

Too soon to tell with Fuji X100T, Olympus Pen EPL7, Lumix LX7 but maybe.
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Old 05-02-2016   #28
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Interesting thread.

I can't think of a camera I've ever "bonded" with. They have always been tools for me, and I've tried to use, over the decades, the tool that seemed most effective at getting the job done at the time.

In general, I just want a camera that gets out of my way, or can be set up to get out of my way, when I'm taking photos.

While I've used Canon DSLR's, for example, since the first one, I'm becoming increasingly frustrated with them because even when set to full manual, they still override my decisions. Engineers have decided I'm too stupid to know what I want, so they have decided to "protect" me from myself. Their ETTL flash systems have become totally unpredictable, even when supposedly in "manual" setting.

Rant aside, I liked the Nikon FM2, FE2 of the 1980's, the Canon F1 (new) of the same era, the Leica M2 and M5, and the digital Canons up to the original 5D. The Canon 1D Mk IV is probably the finest DSLR I've owned, ticks all the boxes, but is too big and heavy for anything but shooting sports on a monopod.

No long-term love for any of them, though.
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Old 05-03-2016   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelwj View Post

I find it interesting how some people seem to react to the subtleties. For instance, bond with an M2/6 but not M3; bond with F5, not with F6, etc... "It's a fine line between pleasure and pain..."
It really does boil down to subtle things, many of which I can't quantify-- I still occasionally wax nostalgic about the F5, or my M6TTLs, but never the F6 or M4-P.
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Old 05-03-2016   #30
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Bonded with
Canon F-1
Hasselblad 500 C/M
Leica MM

not so much
Canon 1DS MKIII
Canon 5D
Canon 5DII
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Old 05-03-2016   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelwj View Post
I find it interesting how some people seem to react to the subtleties. For instance, bond with an M2/6 but not M3; bond with F5, not with F6, etc... "It's a fine line between pleasure and pain..."
My M3 Double Stroke always caught me out because I used it with the M6TTL (which I had owned for over a decade). When I advance the film, I do it with a swift, somewhat forceful, stroke. Every time I went to advance the film with the M3 DS I smacked into the DS stop, and became fearful that eventually I would break it. So it got sold and replaced with another single stroke M.
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Old 05-03-2016   #32
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I love my M4-P and for some unexplained reason, I adore my Zorki-1.
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Old 05-03-2016   #33
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Leica M6
Epson RD1s/x
Mamiya 7
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Old 05-03-2016   #34
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Love my X100.

The M2 I had was beautifully made but I just couldn't get on with its ergonomics
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Old 05-03-2016   #35
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Soul and Bonding very different!
I bonded with my Pentaxes(SP and K series).
Work with my Nikon-F's.
Only use my F3.
But soul!
A camera that comes alive in my hands, eyes, fingers and thought.
Where photographs jump out at me!
That is my M3 .
Ziggy has soul.
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Old 05-03-2016   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdg137 View Post
What have you bonded with, and why?

Old vs. New by Narsuitus, on Flickr

The Loves
Nikon F2 SLR with non-metered prism (long standing love affair)
Fuji X-Pro1 mirrorless digital (the new love)

The Hates
Miranda Sensorex 35mm SLR (the "B" failed me too many times)

The Admired (but avoided because they required me to change for them)
Leica rangefinders
Hasselblad
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Old 05-03-2016   #37
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Yashica MG-1.

...Even though I left it behind at my real home in China and probably would never use it again. It's a camera made me cultivated an attitude that determines my photographing style.

Nothing on soul-level yet.
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Old 05-03-2016   #38
Brian Atherton
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I don’t believe that a camera has ‘soul’. But I soon ‘bonded’ with my constant companion of the last fifteen years, the one I always go to over preference for anything else I own, my M6TTL ‘Millennium”.

Also my newly acquired (late last year) M5 is an absolute joy to use; a real shooter’s tool. It would be hard to part with it.

The camera I most regret selling was my Minolta CLE, together with its three lenses. Travelled the world together; a great tool.

Dislikes?
M3 DS
Pentax MX
Anything Praktica
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Old 05-03-2016   #39
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Barnack Leicas have soul as do the Retinas.

yours
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Old 05-03-2016   #40
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Bonded with over the years... i.e. made me happy and used them for more than a few months.

Leica M6
Leica Minilux
Contax G1
Leica X1
Leica M9
Fujifilm X100
Fujifilm X-Pro1 / X-Pro2
Ricoh GR
Nikon Df

Not happy or no bond? Way too many to mention...
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