Classic Camera Reviews

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Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Mar 01, 2007  |  0 comments

Sooner or later, you're going to be tempted to buy a product that's labeled "refurbished." It will probably be the lower price that attracts you--after all, there is one and only one reason to even consider "refurb" and that is to save money. Depending on where you shop, you may be led to believe that the refurbished item is as good as...

Roger W. Hicks  |  Mar 01, 2007  |  0 comments

One reason why digital camera users may hesitate to make the switch to film--better quality, proven archival keeping, and lower cost--is that the cameras aren't complicated enough. For example, my Nikon D70 has around 24 buttons, levers, knobs, dials, trap doors, and switches, many of them multifunctional, plus an LCD read-out and a screen on the back. For...

Roger W. Hicks  |  Feb 01, 2007  |  0 comments

The Samoca 35 LE definitely wants to be taken seriously. The box is a classic piece of high 1950s design, and proudly announces "Exposure Meter Built-In" and "Lens - F 2.8." Open it up and there's a really classic leather ever-ready case with metal-rimmed, red velvet-lined removable top, so you can use the camera in the half case. Or you can take it...

Roger W. Hicks  |  Jan 01, 2007  |  0 comments

This would appear to be a new golden age for rangefinder users. There are now three major systems (Leica, Voigtländer, and Zeiss) and two minor (Epson and Rollei). All use the same cross-compatible lens mount, for which an extensive and excellent range of lenses is available, and all compete with one another, albeit at different price points. Who could have imagined this...

Roger W. Hicks & Frances E. Schultz  |  Sep 01, 2006  |  0 comments

Is there still a demand for an entry-level film SLR camera? The folks at Voigtländer seem to think so, evidenced by their new VSL 43. It is very much an entry-level SLR, with a manually set (but completely battery-dependent) shutter from 1/2 sec to 1/2000 sec, flash sync at 1/60 sec, manual focusing, manual diaphragm, and manual film advance. There is a through-lens meter...

Rosalind Smith  |  Sep 01, 2006  |  0 comments

For the past 55 years what has captivated collector Thurman (Jack) Naylor about photography is just about everything. He has amassed a private collection that has extended from the pre-photography days of Chinese mirrors and the earliest daguerreotypes to a miniature digital camera used today as a spy device. It has been a labor of love for Naylor and an unforgettable experience...

S. "Fritz" Takeda  |  Jul 01, 2006  |  0 comments

Tokyo, Japan--Ginza is Tokyo's Fifth Avenue. Cartier, Chaumet, Dior, Hermes, Tiffany, Harry Winston, and all the other flamboyant luxury stores are there. Department stores are there as well, but unlike their counterparts in the Western world, they are quality shops with many chauffeur-driven limousines in the parking lot. One of the most fashionable department stores...

Jason Schneider  |  Jul 01, 2006  |  0 comments

Before launching into paeans of praise for the Nikon F, which, in my arrogant opinion, may well be the most important 35mm SLR of the 20th century, I must confess to being a tiny bit biased. When I acquired my first F as a teen-ager back in 1961 (alas after trading in a mint Leica IIIg with a 50mm f/2.8 collapsible Elmar) I knew I had finally arrived. I strutted around lower...

Jason Schneider  |  May 01, 2006  |  0 comments

While I am hardly a charter member of the anti-digitist (I shoot about 70 percent digital these days, mostly with a Canon EOS 20D, and I'm currently nursing a bad case of 5D lust) I will confess to being a long-time Nikon nut. When I acquired my first Nikon F in the early 1960s, I thought I had died and gone to heaven, and there are at least half a dozen Nikon cameras on my...

Roger W. Hicks & Frances E. Schultz  |  Apr 01, 2006  |  0 comments

The Zeiss Ikon--hereafter ZI--has all the features you might hope for, plus optional autoexposure. At $1617, the body lists between Leica and Voigtländer. In features, it goes head-to-head with the Leica M7. Because we received the camera and no fewer than six lenses--15mm f/2.8, 21mm f/2.8, 25mm f/2.8, 28mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2, and 50mm f/2--we have split...

Roger W. Hicks & Frances E. Schultz  |  Apr 01, 2006  |  0 comments

Just when you thought the R2 was the pinnacle of Voigtländer Bessa design, along came the R2A and R3A. They differ from the R2 in several ways, most notably the adoption of an electronic shutter allowing Aperture Priority automation; this is combined with a new meter. Other significant differences are a revised (and easier-to-use) rewind crank; the addition of a back lock...

Jason Schneider  |  Apr 01, 2006  |  0 comments

Renowned "camera collector" Jason Schneider is out there scouring camera stores, Internet sites, and camera shows to bring you the best bargains in user collectibles, recent gems, and vintage gear.
--Editor

Presuming you haven't been meditating in a cave in Tibet for the past few years, you know that the prices of medium format...

Jason Schneider  |  Mar 01, 2006  |  0 comments

This month we begin a new column with renowned "camera collector" Jason Schneider. Jason will be out there scouring camera stores, Internet sites, and camera shows to bring you the best bargains in user collectibles, recent gems, and vintage gear.
--Editor

 

Is there a camera enthusiast on the planet who hasn't pored over the...

Robert E. Mayer  |  Mar 01, 2006  |  1 comments

This look at the history and a few of the better-known early products of Argus Cameras was gleaned primarily from the new book "Argomania: A Look At Argus Cameras And The Company That Made Them" by Henry J. Gambino. As Gambino says, "How many other companies have a museum devoted solely to its history and can also boast of a large, thriving, worldwide collectors...

Peter Dechert  |  Feb 01, 2006  |  0 comments

1950 was an important year for Canon. As they continued to make the Model IIB, incorporating some changes that resulted in an improved camera, they also produced several trial versions, between serial 50000 and serial 50200, of the models that later became the Canon IV and Canon III.

 

Most, if not all, of the concepts first reflected in these new 200...

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