Misc Cameras
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More cameras that just needed a place to be

Some of my favorites are shown here with some background of their history to me.  If you have gotten this far in my pages, I hope you have enjoyed my leisure approach and the many variety of collectibles I have shown.  See the next page, favorite links, for some sources of more authoritative information, more sites I keep up to date and other fun photo sites.

It looks like a Leica
The Zorki 1 shown, and Fed 1 Russian 35mm cameras are nearly identical to the Leica II. A nice feeling camera, but not as smooth operating or as well finished as a Leica. These bodies have been used to create many Leica fakes. Some have even been inscribed with the Leica logo. My gold Leica (Fed 1) is an obvious fake and has the Leica name on it. (see Pretty Cameras page).
Zorki 3 - Best Looking

Many fans of the Russian 35mm cameras with interchangeable Leica thread lens mount consider this the most attractive design of the look alikes. I really think it looks more like the old Canon made Leica clones, due to the combined rangefinder/viewfinder. But, I agree.  I think this is a very attractive Leica clone design camera.   I shot the 50mm f2 recently and it seems like an excellent lens. They claim it to be a Sonnar clone, and that seems possible from the results. Some so called Leica imitations don't look much like Leica's - see Misc. Pictures page for not so look alikes that use Leica thread lenses.

Customized Konica I

Yes, I am one of those wierdos who puts his own covering on some of his cameras.  Normally I don't do it unless the leather is already bad and needs replacing anyway.  If it's bad, so what does it matter what I put on.  It's not original any longer anyway. I bought this Konica I on eBay with the leather already missing.  This soft cloth seemed to me to match the camera style and it gives it a nice feel.  It's the first camera I have re-covered in over 20 years.  I did several with vinyl back in the 70's, the one I remember best was a Kalart Press that I got with part of the leather missing.  I replaced it with a leopard skin look vinyl.  Pretty wild, but I liked it. Most collectors I knew felt I had ruined it.  To each their own.  Back in the 70's there was a collector in St. Louis who used to polish Mercury II bodies on a buffer til they looked like chrome, then replace the leather with various vinyl coverings.  They looked great and got top dollar. 

Almost my First 35mm camera

Elsewhere on this site I have shown the Kodak 35RF, the first 35mm camera I owned, and the Mercury II, one of the two other cameras I was considering for my first camera.  The last camera in my price range was this Universal Buccaneer.  Like many Universal cameras, it does have some unusual design features - the wind knob towards the top left and on the back a rotating lock for the back.  A fairly large and bulky 35mm, this one tore up my film when I tried to shoot a roll of film through it.  Other than that, it is in really nice condition.

Futura - camera of the future?
Maybe not all that futuristic, but it was a nice, rugged camera that I had admired much and wished to own back in the 50's. Rugged cast body. It was unique in that it had a leaf shutter and interchangeable lenses. At that time the Voigtlander Prominent was the only other camera with that feature I am aware of. By the end of the 50's and through the 60's there became many leaf shutter interchangeable lens cameras, both rangefinder and SLR, so they were ahead of the fad. In rangefinder cameras, this concept died out in the mid 60's. Interchangeable lens leaf shutter SLR's continued into the mid 70's.
Coronet B - my first light meter

In 1957 I bought my first light meter, a Waltz Coronet B.  It was a pretty common design Japanese selenium cell meter of the time, and came with a booster cell for low light readings (no where near as low as our modern battery powered meters).  Mine got me off to a bad start - it needed to have the needle "O"'d to get correct readings.  I overexposed a whole vacation 1 stop - pretty tragic since I was shooting slides.

My first 120 Twin Lens Reflex

The Super Ricohflex was about as cheap as you could go and have a 120 twin lens reflex with full controls - focusing lenses, ground glass focus and adjustable f-stops and shutter speeds. My greatest memory of this camera was shooting a roll for my father of a commercial airplane crash.  At the time he was with military intelligence and there had been some classified documents on board.  I had to let him have my roll of film, but it was still a special experience.

Rolls Royce of 35mm SLRs
At another location, I call the Exakta the Cadillac of 35mm SLRs. It was top quality and well built - and advertised using an emblem similar to Cadillac. Alpa on the other hand required considerable hand construction and was built with the fine detail you would expect from the Swiss - an easy comparison to the hand work and detail of a Rolls. This is a rugged, heavy and heavy duty 35mm SLR. The feel is a little different than the usual SLR, but when you get used to it, it is smooth and solid. I bought an Alpa soon after coming to my employment in a photo store in 1969 and when I had the opportunity to buy this one recently I decided I wanted to have one again.

My Dream Tripod

Back in the 50's, I had many different dream cameras, though some, like the Exakta, stayed fairly constant.  I pretty much had one tripod I liked the best through those years- the Star-D Continental.  It seemed like a full featured tripod, lightweight made of Reynolds Aluminum, and fast operating.  It is also a beauty to look at.  The twist to lock legs I have discovered become less than dependable with age, but still loyal to the old Star-D, I use a Conquest with the rotating collars on the legs as my main tripod. My older Star-D Continental with twist lock legs show here is still fully usable, but the legs can be stubborn about locking or unlocking at times. 

Special Nostalgia Camera
When I was in the 9th grade (1957)we were stationed in Buffalo, NY. I belonged to the camera club at the high school, and we took a field trip to Rochester to the Kodak Plant and Eastman Museum. We all carried our cameras. One boy was carrying a camera that stood out among the rest - it was a 2 1/4 X 3 1/4 Pacemaker Speed Graphic with the Kodak Ektar lens and Synchro 800 shutter. This one looks about the same, but it does have the Kodak 400 shutter (looks almost identical - no 800 marking and I think the 800 shutter has a little deeper body)and the spring back instead of the Graflok back, but it is still a charmer. It did come with a slide in 620 roll back so I can use roll film - will just have to respool some 120 film onto 620 spools to use it.