Mr. Martin's Web Site - 35mm Rangefinder and Viewfinder Cameras
Camera Museum - 35mm Rangefinder and Other

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This section contains over 70 still cameras from A to Z (Agfa to Zeiss Ikon) using 35mm film but not having single lens reflex viewing and focusing. There are four primary ways these cameras focus. First, some are fixed focus. There is no focus adjustment. The lenses are usually small aperture and will provide a clear depth of field from perhaps five feet to infinity. Second, some have zone focusing. The lens focuses, but the user has to estimate the distance. Often there are two, three or four distance zones often represented by icons to help the user. The third way is rangefinder focusing which provides precise focusing. Rangefinder cameras have at least two windows which produce two images. There is usually a yellow square or diamond seen in the viewfinder with two overlapping images. You rotate the focusing ring until the two images merge together. For further information see The Living Image and Olympus 35mm Rangefinder Cameras. Rangefinder focusing became common in the 1950s and remained popular until being largely replaced by the fourth focusing method, autofocus which begin with the Konica C35 AF in November 1977. With autofocus, you just point at the subject and the camera focuses automatically. See Wikipedia - Autofocus for more information. With all of these cameras the photographer views the image through a viewfinder which is not connected to the lens. The view through this viewfinder or window can hence be slightly different from the image that hits the film.

The cameras are arranged alphabetically by manufacturer and then generally by date for each manufacturer.


Agfa | Argus | Canon | Canter | Kodak | Konica | Leica | Mamiya | Minolta | Nikon | Olympus | Pentax | Petri | Ricoh | Voigtlander | Yashica | Zeiss Ikon | Other

Ansco - Agfa

[Ansco Memar/ Agfa Silette]
(Large Image)
Ansco Memar (aka Agfa Silette) (introduced 1953) bottom states: "Made for Ansco by Agfa Camera Werke AG Munchen Germany." Camerapedia.org - Silette indicates it is the same as the Agfa Silette. The Memar and Silette focus by estimation. The Super Silette has rangefinder focusing.Camerapedia.org - Silette has a lengthy discussion of the various designs over the years. This is the original and simplest model apparently produced from 1953 until the early 1960s. The "New Ansco 35mm Memar" sold in the 1955 Sears Camera Catalog (page 10) for $39.50. Astonishly, that's $311.50 in 2009 dollars. The leather eveready case was an additional $6.95 and the Ansco Flash (page 40) $7.95. Sears advertised the Memar as "simplicity and quality at a low cost." It is a simple, well built camera, with sufficient controls to take some serious photos. It has an Agfa Apotar 45mm f3.5 lens, a Pronto shutter with speeds from 1/25 to 1/200 plus B. Apertures go to f16. Focus is set by rotating the focus ring in front with focus from 3 feet to infinity. It is not a rangefinder - focus distance is set by estimation. Behind the focus ring is the shutter speed selection ring. The aperture ring is behind that, closest to the camera. There is no light meter. You set the shutter speed and aperture by estimation or a separate light meter. Film advance is with a lever, something fairly advanced for this level of camera at the time. The film advance cocks the shutter and also increases the exposure count. The shutter release has a cable release socket. There is also a cold flash shoe and a socket for a flash. The camera also has a self timer and a tripod socket. I purchased mine at a Fletcher Hills (El Cajon, CA) garage sale for $5 on 3-14-09. The camera and case are in good cosmetic and working condition. The focus is very stiff, however. The Kodak Pony 35mm selling for $29.75 and the Argus A-4 selling for $32.50, both made in the United States, were similar to this German made Ansco Memar. It is a nice, basic, yet serious, starter camera that is actually considerably better than many of the Instamatics of the 1960s and 1970s or the 35mm fixed focus cameras of the 1980s and beyond that were to follow. The manual is available at www.butkus.org.
[Agfa Optima]
(Large Image)
Agfa Optima (1959) The original Agfa Optima, introduced in 1959, is the world's first camera with automatic exposure selecting both the aperture and shutter speed. It does this with no battery! The light meter is made of Selenium, an element which is sensitive to light. The Selenium meter activates a mechanical system that sets the aperture and shutter speed. There is a switch on the bottom - front that you switch to the A (automatic) or the flash setting. When set to the A setting, you have to slide down the big button on your left hand side before operating the shutter release on top. A comment by Marc Rochkind at Another 50th Anniversary - The Agfa Optima, photo.net indicates pushing the big button or lever on the side of the lens supplies the necessary force for the camera to select the aperture and shutter speed since the only other energy input is the very minimal voltage supplied from the Selinium meter.

A follow up entilted Agfa Optima: Pop Photography 1959 Articles to the original photo.net discussion above has links to two November 1959 Popular Photography articles. The first What's New article describes the lens as a 39mm Apotar f3.9. The shutter is a Compur with continuously variable speeds from 1/30 to 1/250 second. The article describes the exposure system. "[A]s the photoelectric cell constantly monitors scene brightness, it feeds current to a mechanical system which alters the position of a cam. When the lever on the left side of the camera body . . . is depressed before each shot, it releases tension on a feller arm, thus allowing spring-loaded aperture and shutter-speed controls to move until halted by the cam, thus setting correct exposure and placing a green dot in view-finder to signify sufficient light." The shutter speed stays at 1/250 until the aperture goes to its maximum at f3.9. The shutter speeds then begin to go slower until they get to 1/30 second. It is therefore really the first programmed exposure mode camera! The other article, Electric Eye indicates the lever stops the lens down to the correct aperture.

Curiously, the Optima I and other models below do not have a separate lever you hold down while pushing the shutter. Rather, they have an identical looking button on the opposite side of the lens that serves as the shutter release. This shutter release does go down quite some distance compared to most shutter releases. I'm guessing that the lever action and shutter release were combined into one button on the Optima I and later models. The What's New article lists the price of the original Optima as $79.95 which is nearly equal to $600 in 2009 dollars. The original Optima has zone focusing consisting of only three zones shown by icons with two people, three people and a mountain. According to Agfa Optima - Wikipedia Commons the focusing icons use Wilhelm Busch's famous Max und Moritz cartoon heroes. As noted in the photo.net discussions above, 1959 was a landmark year for cameras with such notable cameras as the Nikon F, Canon Canoflex and the Minolta SR-2 single lens reflex cameras also coming out in that year.

My Agfa Optima was purchased on 10-25-09 for $15 plus $9.05 shipping on eBay from Pacific Rim Camera. They describe it as being in EX+ condition with the shutter working on bulb, but the meter not working. That's the disadvantage to a totally automatic system. When the Selenium meter is out, you are really out of luck. Selenium meters also tend to stop working over time. I bought it while doing the description for Agfa Optima I which I got about a month earlier. I thought I should have the very first model of the very first truly automatic exposure camera!

[Agfa Optima I]
(Large Image)
Agfa Optima I (1961) The next successor to the original Optima above. Camerapedia has photographs comparing several of the Optima models. The Optima I sold for $69.90 (case included) in the 1961 Sears Camera Catalog. $69.90 in 1961 has the equivalent buying power of about $500 in 2009. Zone focusing with three indicators for closeups, groups and distant scenes. 45mm f2.8 lens. Shutter speeds from 1/60 to 1/500 second. Made in West Germany. Agfa, like Kodak and Fuji, was a large film manufacturer that also marketed cameras. More information at The Camera Site. The manual is available at butkus.org. I purchased my camera on September 10, 2009 on eBay for $6.03 plus $5.45 shipping from Oceanside, CA. It is in good working and cosmetic condition.
[Agfa Optima IIS]
(Large Image)
Agfa Optima II S (1960) similar to the Optima and Optima I above, in addition to the automatic exposure system, the Optima IIS has a coupled rangefinder for focusing. A vintage 1960 magazine ad describes it as "the only totally automatic 35mm with rangefinder for under $100." It is a Christmas oriented ad with a gift box with the camera inside and urging you to see it and try it before Christmas. The same ad refers to the new Optima I for $59.95 and the new Optima IIIS for $124.50. A January 1961 ad for the Optima IIS states: "totally automatic and still under $100 the new Optima IIS with rangefinder. The only totally automatic 35 (sets its own lens opening and shutter speed) priced at $99.95 that includes a coupled rangefinder for precision focusing! Magic Key operation. Fast precision Agfa Color Apotar f/2.8 lens. Simple flash system. Single-stroke lever advance." Agfa Color -Apotar f2.8 45mm lens. Prontormator shutter. I believe the Agfa Optima II S was also sold as the Agfamatic II S. An Optima II was also available with zone focusing instead of a rangefinder. (See Peter's Cameras.) The Optima II was also sold as the Agfamatic II through Mongomery Ward. The price of the Agfamatic II with flash and case was $89.94 in the 1963 Montgomery Ward Camera Book. (See also 1961 Montgomery Ward Camera Book.) The manual for the Optima II S is available at butkus.org. Excellent information is also at Peter's Cameras. I purchased mine on September 14, 2009 on eBay for $2.53 plus $4 shipping.
[Agfa Optima III S]
(Large Image)
Agfa Optima III S (1961) similar to the Optima cameras above, in addition to the automatic exposure system, the Optima III S has a coupled rangefinder for focusing. (See, e.g., www.ukcamera.com.) I purchased my camera on September 12, 2009 for $20 at an estate sale in La Mesa, CA within a mile of my home. The camera belonged to the seller's dad. It is in good working condition and comes with the case. When I got it, I had forgotten I won the Optima I above a couple of days earlier. It arrived at my house on September 14. I also bought the Optima II S above on September 14, 2009.
Agfa | Argus | Canon | Canter | Kodak | Konica | Leica | Mamiya | Minolta | Nikon | Olympus | Pentax | Petri | Ricoh | Voigtlander | Yashica | Zeiss Ikon | Other

Argus

[Argus C3]
Argus C3, an enduring American classic 35mm rangefinder, known as the "brick" due to it's boxy and solid design, millions of Argus C3 cameras were sold from 1938 to 1966. While basic, it is a serious camera with adjustable apertures from f3.5 to f16 with the standard 50mm lens, adjustable shutter speeds from 1/10 to 1/300 second plus bulb, and rangefinder focus with close focus of 3 feet. It has separate viewfinder and rangefinder windows with the rangefinder giving a magnified view. The windows are very small. A round knob on top advances the film and a separate lever on front cocks the shutter. Two holes on the side are used to mount a flash. This one was purchased on eBay on July 2, 2005 for $2.01 with $3.75 shipping. It is in nearly new cosmetic and working condition except that the viewfinder and rangefinder windows are foggy. While still usable, a close-up examination with a hand lens reveals likely mold. It comes with a brown leather case also in excellent condition. The camera has no exposure meter although an uncoupled meter could be mounted to the accessory clip on top of the camera. The camera can use interchangeable 100mm and 35mm lenses in addition to the 50mm lens. Numerous sites feature the C3. Manual, Favorite Classics, Argus C3 history, Dad Owned an Argus C-3, Photos with Argus cameras, Repairing viewfinder and rangefinder. Additional views of my C3. Front, Top, Back, Open, Bottom, Case.
[Argus C4]
Argus C4, a classic American rangefinder with a 50mm f2.8 lens, adjustible aperture from f2.8 to f22, shutter speeds from 1/10 to 1/300 and Bulb, no meter. Manufactured from 1951 to 1957. The camera is in good working condtion. I have taken photos with it. Purchased at a neighborhood garage sale for $20 along with case, two instamatics, and a vintage working light meter. This was one of the cameras that got me interested in vintage collecting. See argoflex.com for excellent information on Argus cameras including neat old advertisements (e.g.,1954 C4 and 1957 C4) and manuals (e.g.,C4 Manual). Price in 1957 Sears Camera Catalog was $84.50 ($585 in 2005 dollars).
[Arugs Autronic I]
Argus Autronic I (1960-1962) Sort of a big '60s space age C3 with many strange features. The shutter release is in front surrounded by the focusing knob. The camera has rangefinder focusing that work well. It has a one turn film advance lever. The shutter speeds are disguised by using 500, action, scene, and flash descriptions. Using the manual, however, you find there are speeds of 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30 and bulb. The aperture readings are also simply labeled from 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 although the manual indicates these are really f2.8, f4, f5.6, f8, f11, f16 and f22. As best I can tell, it has a match needle and automatic shutter preferred selenium (no battery) metering system, although mine does not appear to work. According to other Web sites, most of Autronic meters no longer work. It has an Argus f2.8 Cintar lens and Compur shutter. The camera back opens down instead of out. It has a nice folding flash which fits on the side. Price in 1962 Montgomery Ward Camera Catalog was $79.97 ($515 in 2005 dollars). Mine is in excellent cosmetic and working condition except for the meter. I purchased it on August 2, 2005 on eBay for $6 plus $7.70 shipping together with flash and case. Additional photos:camera with flash, case and folded flash.
Agfa | Argus | Canon | Canter | Kodak | Konica | Leica | Mamiya | Minolta | Nikon | Olympus | Pentax | Petri | Ricoh | Voigtlander | Yashica | Zeiss Ikon | Other

Canter

[Canter Beauty]
Canter Beauty (November 1963) (large image) Mine has a very stiff focus as does the camera described at APUG Forum. Complete disassembly instruction are provided at Camera Collection and Restoration. 45mm f2.8 lens. Shutter speeds from 1 to 1/500 second. Comes with leather case. Purchased in Lemon Grove, CA for $15 from an ad on Craigslist in November 2009. It is dirty but in decent cosmetic condition. It seems to work although the focus is very stiff.
Agfa | Argus | Canon | Canter | Kodak | Konica | Leica | Mamiya | Minolta | Nikon | Olympus | Pentax | Petri | Ricoh | Voigtlander | Yashica | Zeiss Ikon | Other

Canon

[Canon Dial 35]
Canon Dial 35 (November 1963) (large image) a very unique design featuring a ring (hence "dial") of CdS exposure cells surrounding the 28mm f2.8 lens and a handle with a spring film advance/rewind. The format is half frame 35mm using regular 35mm film, but with a frame area half that of the regular 35mm frame area as seen in this interior photo comparing a Dial 35 with a Minolta Hi-Matic E. Zone focusing. Shutter priority automatic exposure. More information at the Canon Camera Museum under film cameras - other. I have included the Dial 35 under both the 35mm non-SLR category and sub-miniature category. Canon also marketed the Dial Rapid in October 1965 and the Dial 35-2 in April 1968. Canon from February 1963 to April 1967 also marketed their half frame Demi cameras similar to the Olympus Pen half frame cameras begun in 1959. My Dial 35 was purchased on eBay on 8-10-06 for $29.80 plus $9.94 shipping. It included the original box, manual, leather case, and warranty cards. It was not known if it worked and it was noted that the film rewind button was missing. It is in good cosmetic condition. The 1.3 volt HM-N mercury battery (larger than a button battery) was heavily corroded. I cleaned out the battery compartment as best I could, but there remains some corrosion. I tried to get the meter working with a 1.5 volt LH-44 battery packed into the compartment with Aluminum foil, and also with a 1.5 volt AA battery with wires. Neither got the meter running. The shutter will also not fire. I wound the spring film advance/handle and loaded film. The shutter would still not fire. The spring film advance is now fully wound and will not do anything further. A cool camera (although a bit pricey) which will some day provide hours of fun trying to repair.
[Canonet QL 17 Rangefinder]
Canon Canonet QL 17, rangefinder focusing, 45mm f1.7 lens, aperture range f1.7 to f16, shutter speeds from 1 to 1/500, aperture shown in viewfinder, quick loading feature. This and the QL 19 purchased on E-bay July 2004 for $5.23 with $8 shipping. Good cosmetic condition except slight ding on top right rear. Unfortunately, shutter does not work and I have not been able to get meter to work. Includes case and lens cap. Canon Camera Museum states introduced in March 1965 together with its sibling the QL 19. Price in 1967 Leedar Photographic Catalog for similar Bell & Howell/Canon model apparently without quick loading feature was "under $120" (about $680 in 2004 dollars) with the ready case priced at $13.95 (about $80 in 2004 dollars).
[Canonet QL 19 Rangefinder]
Canon Canonet QL 19, rangefinder focusing, 45mm f1.9 lens, aperture range f1.9 to f16, shutter speeds from 1 to 1/500, aperture shown in viewfinder, quick loading feature. Good cosmetic condition. Unfortunately, like the QL 17, the shutter does not work and I have not been able to get meter to work. Also, there is some corrosion in the battery compartment. Comes with case, lens cap and reversible lens shade. Good discussion at www.photoethnography.com/ClassicCameras/. Canon Camera Museum states introduced with the QL 17 in 1965. Price in 1967 Leedar Photographic Catalog was "under $114" (about $650 in 2004 dollars).
[Canonet 28 Rangefinder]
Canon Canonet 28 Rangefinder, rangefinder focusing, 40mm f2.8 lens, automatic exposure only, aperture range f2.8 to f16, shutter speeds stepless from 1/30 to 1/600, shutter speed shown in viewfinder (but not aperture). Purchased on E-bay July 2004 for $5, about $6 shipping. Excellent mechanical and cosmetic condition. Meter works. Seals need to be replaced. Good discussion at www.photoethnography.com/ClassicCameras/. Canon Camera Museum states sold from 1971 to 1976. 1978-79 Sears Camera Catalog still has a Canonet 28 outfit with case and flash for $104.50.
[Canon AF35ML]
Canon AF35ML, also known as Super Sure Shot (Americas) or Autoboy Super (Japan), this camera was introduced in July 1981. It has a fast 40mm, f1.9 lens, with a Canon made electronic shutter with speeds from 1/4 to 1/400. Autofocustriangulation system with ccd and foucs lock. Exposure is fully automatic (not TTL). It takes two 1.5 volt AA batteries. Purchased on August 7, 2004 at a neighborhood garage sale for $15 with a Poloroid Impulse and a lens cleaning kit. It appears to be in good condition, but I have not run film through it. This model shows the evolution away from manual focusrangefinder cameras to fully automatic, autofocus cameras by the 1980s. For more information see the Canon Camera Museum under Super Sure Shot. Made in Japan. Price in 1984-85 Sears Camera Catalog was $199.99, or about $400 in 2008 dollars.
[Canon AF35M]
Canon AF35M, (November 1979) the original Canon Sure Shot. According to the Canon Camera Museum: "This was the world's first Lens-Shutter 35mm autofocus camera at the time." Note, that the Konica C35 AF described below was the first production autofocus camera, however. Purchased at a garage sale for about $2.50 on 4-22-06. (This was actually priced at $1, but I bought 4 cameras and some typewriter ribbons for $10 total.) In good cosmetic and working condition except was quite dusty when I got it and the top cover was loose. I took off the top cover and shutter button and cannot get them back together firmly. It still works, however. The second Sure Shot was the Canon AF35ML above with a f1.8 lens and the third was the New Canon Sure Shot below. Made in Japan
[(New) Canon Sure Shot]
(New) Canon Sure Shot, Canon Camera Museum states marketed April 1983 as an improved version of the original Sure Shot which came out in November 1979. The 1983 Sure Shot has a four element 38mm f2.8 lens. ISO from 25 to 400 set by switch at bottom of lens and seen in window on top of lens. Near infra-red triangulation system for autofocusing. Uses two AA batteries. Quick loading feature. Self timer. Tripod socket. Built in electronic flash turned on by switch on back. Made in Japan. Serial no. 1841883. In good working and cosmetic condition. Purchased for $2 at a garage sale on 1-14-06 in Fletcher Hills area of El Cajon, CA. I purchased a second one on 2-25-06 on eBay with four other cameras for a total of $4.95 with $9 shipping. It is also in good working and cosmetic condition except the battery cover latch is broken. The camera works, however, if you hold the battery door shut. Made in Japan. Price in 1984-85 Sears Camera Catalog was $149.99, or about $300 in 2008 dollars.
[Canon AS-6, Aqua Snappy]
Canon AS-6, Aqua Snappy. (Large Image) According to the Canon Camera Museum, the Canon AS-6 known as the Canon Aqua Snappy in the United States, was first marketed in February 1986. It is an underwater camera capable of being submerged to 10 meters or about 30 feet. It has a 35mm f4.5 fixed focus lens. The focal length is 33.6mm underwater. The instruction manual states the lens has 5 elements in 5 groups. Focusing is fixed at 3 meters (10 feet) on land and 1.5 meters (5 feet) underwater, giving a shooting distance range of 1.5 m (5ft) to infinity on land and 1 m (3.3 feet) to 3.2 m (10.7 ft) underwater. The camera is fully automatic with an electromagnetic programmed shutter and aperture, DX ISO setting, and motorized film advance and rewind. Shutter speeds vary from 1/40 second to 1/250 second. Apertures vary from f4.5 to f11. It has a built-in electronic flash which is turned on by a switch at the top of the camera. The camera is powered by 2AA 1.5 volt alkaline batteries. To make it water tight, there is a replaceable seal around the camera back and around the battery compartment opening. The camera is made in Taiwan. I have two. I forget where I acquired the first. It is serial no. 439603. It is in good working and cosmetic condition, but does not come with any of the attachments. It also has a crack on the camera back at the top of hinge area. I don't think it would affect camera operation on land. It might cause problems underwater, but the crack is outside of the seal and hence might not leak. The second is serial no. 198564. It comes with numerous accessories including a strap, lens cap, accessory base, sports finder, case, extra O rings and an instruction manual. The accessory base straps onto the camera and adds a tripod socket and an accessory shoe which holds the sports finder. The sports finder allows a photographer wearing a diving mask to frame shots more easily underwater. I purchased the second camera and accessories at an estate sale in the Kensington area of San Diego on 1-6-12 for $10. It was listed for $15 but they gave me a reduced price since I indicated the batteries had leaked. When I got the camera home I discovered extensive damage from the leaking battery. I ended up taking the camera apart. To take it apart, I opened the camera back, removed the large O ring, and removed six screws which hold a plastic frame in place. I then removed two other screws. At that point the entire camera assembly (back view) can be removed from the camera housing. Extensive corrosion could be observed where one battery had leaked. While repair of that camera is not worthwhile, the door of that camera could be used to replace the cracked door of the other camera. The accessories of the second camera are generally in decent shape, although the rubber straps which hold the accessory base in place are cracked and will likely fail at some point.
[Canon AS-6 with Accessory Base and Finder]
Canon AS-6 Aqua Snappy with accessory base and finder (Large Image)

There were other point and shoot 35mm underwater cameras introduced around the same time. The Minolta Weathermatic Dual 35 had a dual focal length of 35mm with a maximum f3.5 and 55mm with a maximum aperture of f5.6. Unlike the Canon AS-6, it had auto focusing on land. I purchased a new Minolta Weathermatic Dual 35 in 1989. In general, I find it to be a more substantial camera than the Canon AS-6, although the Minolta Weathermatic Dual 35 could only be submerged to 5m and the Canon AS-6 could be submerged to 10m. Upon reflection, my favorite point and shoot 35mm underwater camera from the late 1980s is the Nikon Action Touch. It has a fast 35mm f2.8 lens. It also had autofocus. Underwater, you used manual focusing which could also be used on land. You simply estimated the distance at 2.3 feet, 3.6 feet, 5.3 feet or 12 feet. The Nikon Action Touch also feels the most substantial of the three cameras perhaps benefiting from Nikon's experience in making the famed Nikonos series of underwater cameras. The Nikon was only rated to a depth of 3 meters or about 10 feet, however. Then again, that is enough for most snorkeling. None of these three cameras were intended for SCUBA diving.
[Sure Shot Supreme]

Sure Shot Supreme Canon Camera Museum states marketed June 1986. Known in Europe as the Top Shot and in Japan as the Autoboy 3. Automatic shutter speeds from 1/8 to 1/500 second and automatic apertures from a relatively fast f2.8 to f16. Automatic film advance and rewind. Built in flash. A decent, very simple to use, point and shoot camera. I think I got it at a rummage sale in the Fall of 2009 for a couple of dollars. It is in good mechanical condition. I haven't actually tried it, however, since it uses an expensive 6 volt 2CR5 battery. It is one of over 60 Sure Shot cameras in the Canon Camera Museum made from November 1979 to 2005. That large number in the span of 25 years may be driven by marketing decisions in addition to technical advances. By 2005 film cameras had been largely overtaken by the rapid rise in digital cameras.
[Canon Sure Shot Tele]
Canon Sure Shot Tele, Canon Camera Museum states it was marketed October 1986. Two focal lengths. 40mm f2.8 and 70mm f4.9. Not a zoom. Switching to the 70mm causes the lens assembly to project significantly forward. In addition to the built in (but not automatic) lens cap, it has a built in soft filter. Also, has a multiple exposure switch. Shutter speeds from 1/3 to 1/500 second. Has a +2 backlight button (sun icon). The most bizzare feature is the very well concealed battery compartment. I must have looked for 1/2 hour trying to find the battery compartment before looking on the Internet to find a picture of a replacement door. The battery compartment is on the right side and is accessed by removing two small Phillips screws - surprising for a point and shoot camera. It uses a 6 volt 2CR5 battery like the EOS 650. Using a battery from my EOS 650, the camera worked well. It is also in excellent cosmetic condition. Comes with Canon case. Made in Japan. Purchased on eBay with four other cameras for a total of $4.95 with $9 shipping.
[Sure Shot Max Date]
Sure Shot Max Date, Canon Camera Museum states marketed September 1991. Similar in concept to the original Sure Shot over ten years earlier but with a fully retractable lens and date back, but slightly slower lens (f3.5 instead of f2.8). Uses one CR123 3 volt battery. Date back uses one CR2025 3 volt button battery. Purchased at a garage sale on 4-22-06 for about $2.50 with case. In excellent cosmetic and working condition including date back. Made in Taiwan.
[Canon Snappy Lx]
Canon Snappy 50, (1982) according to the Canon Camera Museum marketed July 1982. It has a short and wide shape with the flash and viewfinder on the side. It has a Canon 35mm f3.5 lens. It has two manually set ASA (ISO) settings of 100 and 400. Apertures from f3.5 to 9.5. Shutter speeds from 1/20 to 1/500 second. Electronically controlled programmed shutter and aperture. Automatic film advance and rewind. Powered by two AA batteries. Flash is activated by pulling out the orange lever on the side. It is not automatically activated in low light. No tripod socket. Made in Taiwan. Two zone autofocus according to 1984-85 Sears Camera Catalog which sold it for $99.99, or about $200 in 2008 dollars. The fixed focus Snappy 20 was $79.99. My Snappy 50 was purchased at a San Carlos area of San Diego garage sale for $5 around February 2008. It is in excellent cosmetic and working condition.
[Canon Snappy Lx]
Canon Snappy LX, (1992) fixed focus f4.5, 35mm focal length, three element lens. 3 shutter speeds: 1/45, 1/60 and 1/250 seconds. Built in electronic flash. According to the Canon Camera Museum it is the first fixed focus camera to have red eye reduction. The electronic self timer allows you to take two consecutive shots. A large bright viewfinder. Purchased at an estate sale in summer 2006 for about $2. It is in like new cosmetic and working condition with manual and a generic case.
[Canon Sure Shot WP-1]
Canon Sure Shot WP-1 (Circa mid-1990s) (Large Image, Back, Open) There is debate on the Internet whether the Canon Sure Shot WP-1 is the same as the Canon Sure Shot A-1. For example, the Amazon description and comments for the WP-1 describes WP-1 as "weatherproof" while the Amazon description for the Sure Shot A-1 describe it as "waterproof." Some of the reviews make the same distinction. The two cameras look largely identical except the Sure Shot A-1 with a black grip while the Sure Shot WP-1 has an orange grip. Also, the Sure Shot A-1 has a little fish icon on the close-up setting while the WP-1 has the traditional flower close-up setting icon. The Canon Camera Museum under the Sure Shot listings just has the Sure Shot A-1 with an introduction date of April 1994 and not the Sure Shot WP-1. The Canon Support Web site has a single entry for the "Sure Shot A-1 / WP-1." The manual for the WP-1 is at butkus.org. On page 6 it states it is "waterproof" but then says: "This camera is designed to be waterproof and can be used in the rain or splashed with water with no ill effects. However, this is not an underwater camera." It indicates it is not to be immersed in water. The manual has a copyright date of 1996 and is printed in China. Butkus.org also has the manual for the Sure Shot A-1 with a copyright date of 1993 and printed in Taiwan. On page 2 the manual states the camera is "waterproof." "Take pictures up to 5m/16.4ft. underwater." On page 6 it has instructions for keeping the O rings for the camera housing and battery compartment clean. It also has instructions for the underwater close-up mode. It appears the Sure Shot A-1 was introduced first. My guess is that the Sure Shot WP-1 remained the same as the Sure Shot A-1 except for the slight cosmetic differences but the instructions changed so Canon would not be responsible for flooded cameras. If anyone has additional information, please let me know. The camera has a 32mm f1.35 lens. From the specifications discussing the flash, it appears the shutter speed range is from 1/60 second to 1/250. It has automatic film loading, automatic film advance and automatic DX ISO settings from IS0 25-3200. Shooting Distance Range is listed as "0.45/1.5ft. to infinity; close-up mode: 0.45m/1.5ft. to 1m/3.3ft." The focusing on land is autofocus. The close-up mode is a manual setting apparently originally designed for underwater use. The camera generally gets good reviews. I purchased mine on February 21, 2012 for $5 in the Normal Heights area of San Diego from an ad on Craigslist. It is in good cosmetic condition. I am awaiting a CR123A battery to try it out.
Agfa | Argus | Canon | Canter | Kodak | Konica | Leica | Mamiya | Minolta | Nikon | Olympus | Pentax | Petri | Ricoh | Voigtlander | Yashica | Zeiss Ikon | Other

Kodak

German Made Retina

Retina cameras were made in Stuttgart, Germany by Nagel Camerawerk which was acquired by the US film and camera giant, Kodak. The original Retina was the first camera to use standard 35mm cartridge film introduced by Kodak. The film is encased in a metal cartridge and can be loaded in daylight. It remains the most popular type of film to this day. While 35mm film existed prior to this, prior to the Retina each manufacturer had there own cartridge format. The early Retina cameras therefore represent an important piece of history. The Retina cameras were designed to be economical and compact, yet very high quality. They allowed fine German camera technology to be introduced to the masses since cameras like Leica rangefinders were too expensive for most including today. The Retina series was quite successful and they still have an active following today commanding relatively high prices on eBay, although nothing like Leica cameras. Dozens of models or versions were made over the course of 4 decades and up until the recent predominance of digital photography, Kodak sold a lot of 35mm film. The various models and numbers sold are listed at Kodak Retina. (See also Wikipdia, "Kodak Retina and Kodak Classics.) Photoethnography has an extensive discussion of Reina cameras. She points out that model I cameras were viewfinder cameras, model II were rangefinder cameras and model III cameras where rangefinder cameras with light meters. The Nagel factory was seized by the Nazis during World War II, but Kodak regained control after the war.
[Kodak Retina I, Type 119]
Kodak Retina I, Type 119, (1936-1938) (Large Image) The original Retina was introduced in 1934 (Retina Type 117). There was also a type 118 followed by this version, type 119, the first to bear the name Retina I. My Retina I, Type 119 was purchased on eBay on 7-24-07 for $21.50 plus $15 shipping. It was shipped from England. It is in good working condition. The cosmetic condition is generally good, although there is considerable paint loss on the top. The seller stated: "I have tested this camera with several rolls of black and white film, and it gives excellent results. The uncoated Schneider lens is capable of creating stunning and detailed images in B&W." It has a Compur shutter and Schneder-Kreuznach Retina-Xenar 50mm f3.5 lens. Shutter speeds are T, B, 1, 1/2, 1/5, 1/10, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100 and 1/300 second. Close focus is 1 meter. You have to focus by estimating or measuring the distance. All in all a very cool camera and a nice piece of history.
[Kodak Retina I, Type 119]

Kodak Retina Ia, Type 015, (1951-1954) (Large Image Synchro-Compur shutter with speeds from 1 to 1/500 second plus Bulb. Schneider-Kreuznach Retina-Xenar 50mm f2.8 lens. Viewfinder focusing. Accessory shoe. Winder lever instead of knob like the Retina I to the left. Close focus 1 meter. My 1953 Sears Camera Catalog does not have a Retina Ia, but does has a rangefinder Retina IIa at a price of $164.10, close to $1,300 in 2007 dollars. The Retina Ia is discussed at several sites including Kodak Classics, camerapedia.org, Matt's Classic Cameras, Classic Cameras, Photoethnograpy, Kodak Retina, Chris's Camera Pages, and marriottworld.com. My Retina Ia was purchased as one of seven cameras, lenses and accessories in the Hillcrest area of San Diego on 11-19-07 from an ad on Craigslist. It is in good operating condition. The lens is clear. It is dirty and had a large exposure chart taped to the back. All in all a cool post World War II Retina to complement my pre War Retina I to the left.
[Kodak Retina IIa]
Kodak Retina IIa (Type 016) (1951-1954) (Large Image, Closed, Back) German folding, coupled rangefinder camera. Over 100,000 sold during the three years it was made according to www.cameraquest.com. Price in 1953-1954 Sears Camera Catalog was $164.10. Adjusted for inflation, that's equal to over $1,300 in 2009 dollars. The price did fall to $127.50 (just over $1,000 in 2009 dollars) in the 1955 Sears Camera Catalog, likely due to the Retina IIc (Type 020, 1954-1957) being introduced in 1954. The leather field case was an additional $10.50 both years, or about an astonishing $85 in 2009 dollars. The camera is quite compact at about 12cm wide, 8cm tall, and 4cm thick at the thickest point while closed. You open the lens compartment with a small button on the bottom. The door then sticks out about an additional 4cm. The lens is a highly praised wide aperture f2, 50mm Schneider-Kreuznach Retina-Xenon coated lens. Shutter speeds range from 1 to 1/500 second with Bulb. To close the lens compartment, the aperture must be on infinity. You then press two buttons on the top and bottom of the lens compartment to close it. Winding is done by the lever on the top. The Retina II had a knob instead. The film counter must be set. It also counts down. When it gets to 36 the shutter is locked. You then have to reset the counter to the diamond symbol and advance it three times. The shutter can then fire again. Next to the shutter release is a film release button. You can press this to advance the film advance even if the shutter is locked. There is no light meter. The Retina II series have a rangefinder but no light meter. The I series has no rangefinder or light meter. The III series have a rangefinder and a light meter. Unlike the folding retinas starting with the IIc and IIIc, the IIa also does not accept other lenses. The Kodak Retinas site has a nice list of the Retina series.

I purchased mine on October 24, 2009 at an estate sale in the Fletcher Hills area of El Cajon, CA. The camera belonged to a physician who lived in a modest Fletcher Hills area house. The camera was under a pile of other things and sold for $5. I also purchased wooden slide cases that appear to be hand made and showing excellent workmanship. There were hundreds of mainly Kodachrome slides in the cases from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. The majority were from the early 1950s and I suspect were taken with this camera. The Kodachrome slides are in excellent condition with the colors remaining true and vibrant. In contrast, the few Ektachrome slides have turned larely monochrome. The slides are mainly of scenic, natural places in the Western United States including Death Valley, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Crater Lake, Painted Desert, Anza Borrego and Colorado. The photographic quality is quite good, although it appears the photographer was limited to his single 50mm lens. Most of the photos could have been taken today. The few with cars or people, appear quite dated. My camera is in very good cosmetic condition. There is a slight amount of green oxidation on the metal trim in front. Optically it looks excellent with perhaps a slight amount of dust inside the lens. The lens is clear with no evidence of mold. The viewfinder is bright. The rangefinder works well. It seems to focus accurately, although the focus is very stiff. Unfortunately, the shutter will not fire. I'm aware the Retina IIa will not fire when the film counter gets to zero. I believe I have set things correctly and that it should fire. I may take it somewhere to see how much it would cost to get it fixed. It is a gorgeous camera, and once repaired, will capable of taking gorgeous photos of the beauty of nature today just as it did well over 50 years ago. Several sites discuss the Kodak Retina IIa including: Shutterbug.net, www.photoethnography.com, camerapedia.org, Classic Cameras, The Camera Collector (pictured with a rotary phone and an Olympia typewriter), Chris' Camera Pages (repair), butkus.org (owner's manual), photo.net, Dante Stella Retina II, IIa, IIc page.

I purchased another Retina IIa for $65 (advertised for $80) in El Cajon, CA on October 27, 2009 from an ad on Craigslist. Like the one above it is in excellent cosmetic condition. Further, the focus is smooth and the shutter works! Pretty rare to come across two Retina IIa cameras in great cosmetic condition three days apart in the same city! I bought it since I think a Retina IIa is a nice vintage user camera and paying $65 for a working one is probably cheaper than getting the one above fixed. This one belonged to the seller's uncle who had passed away.

[Kodak Retina IIIc]
Kodak Retina IIIc (Large Image, Kit) German coupled rangefinder sold from 1954 to 1958 with an original list price of $185 according to Kodak History. $185 in 1954 is equal to $1,490 in 2008 dollars. The price in the 1956 Sears Camera Catalog was $190. The list price in my 1957 brochure fell to $175. The Retina IIIc was similar to the prior IIc but the IIIc added a non-coupled Selinium light meter. The Kodak IIIC (Capital C) was added in 1959 which showed the frame-lines in the built in viewfinder for the accessory lenses. (See cameraquest.com.) The naming of this successor with the only name difference being a capital or lower case "c" is, of course, a bit confusing. The title in the 1957 brochure refers to the IIC and "IIIC" (not yet in existence) although inside the brochure is about, and refers to, the "IIIc." The IIIc accepted a 35mm wide angle lens element and a 80mm telephoto lens element. You would remove the 50mm element and replace it with either the 35mm or 80mm element. The fixed base of the lens and the shutter were the same for all three focal lengths. The 50mm lens is a Schneider Xenon f2. The 35mm lens is a 35mm Curtar f5.6 priced at $62.50 in the 1956 Sears Camera Catalog. The 80mm lens is a 80mm Longar f4 priced at $82.50 in the 1956 Sears Camera Catalog. A $17.50 optical viewfinder fit on the accessory shoe and switched between the viewing angle of the 35mm and 80mm lenses. The leather "Eveready" case was $13.50 in the 1956 Sears Camera Catalog. Total price for the camera, three lenses, accessory viewfinder and case was hence $366 in the 1956 Sears Camera Catalog or over $2,900 in 2008 dollars.
Mine comes with all those pieces. I also have a stereo adapter that fits on the 50mm lens. The stereo adapter on a camera is shown at the German site www.stereoskopie.com along with a brochure in German. From the illustrations it looks like you would have two slightly different images on one frame. If taken with slide film, the single slide with the two images could be viewed through a Kodak stereo viewer that sort of looks like a GAF Viewmaster Viewer. I also have the manual but the front and back covers are missing. I also have a Retina IIa manual and a 1957 brochure for the Retina IIc and the Retina IIIc. Finally, I have a "Befestigungsbugel zum 'Kodablitz'" which is a bracket to attach a Kodak flash. (Great name!) I purchased my setup on June 28, 2008 for $100 from a physician in the University City area of San Diego from an ad on Craigslist. The camera and lenses are in working condition. The camera is in decent cosmetic condition but shows significant wear on the top I believe from taking the accessory viewfinder on and off. The 50mm and 35mm lenses look clear with perhaps a slight coating problem on the edge of the 35mm lens which I do not think would affect photos. The 80mm lens has a hazy and wispy appearance in the middle element and the internal side of the back element indicating the presence of mold. The stereo attachment also looks slightly hazy.
[Kodak Retina IIIs]
Kodak Retina IIIS (1958-1960) (Large Image The first of a series of non-folding Retina cameras. (See Kodak Retina - Wikipedia.) Like the Retina IIIc above, the Retina IIIS could be outfitted with interchangeable lenses. The Retina IIIS went a step further, however. Its lenses could also be used on the Kodak's 35mm single lens reflex cameras, called Retina Reflex (Models S, III and IV, but not the original Retina Reflex), and the Kodak 126 film format Instamatic Reflex camera. While Leica, Nikon and Canon also had interchangeable lens rangefinder cameras, with the exception of two Leica lenses, their lenses could not be used on their single lens reflex cameras. For the rangefinder to work the Kodak lenses must be the type with two cam slots on the back. Some of the lenses made for the reflex cameras only have one cam slot. They will mount to the IIIS, but the rangefinder will not work. You can still estimate the distance, however. (See the excellent article at Retina IIIS - Cameraquest.) As noted at Retina IIIS - Cameraquest, the IIIS while a fine camera, has a rather convoluted film counter system. The camera is also noted as being difficult to service. It has a great viewfinder, however, and automatically brings up the proper framelines when a new lens is mounted. While other Retina rangefinders followed the Retina IIIS, the Retina IIIS was the last Retina rangefinder with interchangeable lenses.
[Kodak Retina
My Retina IIIS was appropriately sold as part of a "Retina trio" - the seller's words on the Craigslist listing. Along with the IIIs, I received a Retina Reflex IV and a Kodak Instamatic Reflex. While the Instamatic Reflex is not technically labeled a Retina, it is a German Kodak camera similar to the Retina Reflex cameras. All three cameas are in fantastic cosmetic and working condition. The IIIs and the Instamatic Reflex come with full cases. The Retina Reflex IV comes with the bottom case. The cameras were purchased in the Pt. Loma area of San Diego on October 18, 2009 for the very reasonable price of $100. I had purchased a Mamiya 23 medium format rangefinder camera from the seller several months earlier. The two reflex cameras have 45mm f2.8 Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar lenses. The IIIS has a 50mm f2.8 Schneider-Kreuznach Retina Xenar lens. In addition, I received two other lenses - a 35mm f2.8 Schneider-Kreuznach Retina-Curtagon lens and a 135mm f4 Schneider-Kreuznach Retina-Tele-Xenar lens. Both come in their original bubble cases. The 135 lens also has its original box. All lenses are in excellent condition. These cameras and lenses are truly fine additions to my Retina collection.
[Kodak Retinette I Type 30]
Kodak Retinette I (Type 30) (1958-1959) (Large Image) Made in Germany by Kodak A.G., the Retinette cameras were the budget version of the Kodak Retina cameras lacking a rangefinder. While identified simply as a Retinette on the camera itself, there were several versions. Looking at the photos and list on Kodak Retinette, Camerapedia mine appears to be a Kodak Retinette I, Type 30. It has a Schneider-Kreuznach Reomar 45mm f3.5 lens with a Compur-Rapid shutter with shutter speeds of 1 second to 1/500 second. There is no light meter. The shutter speeds and apertures are coupled so that shutter speed ring and aperture ring will move together. Therefore, for example, if 1/125, f16 is a correct exposure combination, turning the shutter speed ring will bring up the equivalent exposure combinations of 1/250, f11 or 1/500, f8. You can press the aperture ring inward by pressing down on the little tab on the aperture ring. You can then independently set the shutter speed and aperture. The film advance is on the bottom. To open the camera you turn the knob on the bottom in the direction of the arrow and hold down the little button under the arrow. Focusing is done by estimation. The camera has a very nice depth of field scale to aid in focusing. The smallest aperture is f22. I bought my Retinette at an El Cajon, CA estate sale on June 30, 2012 for $5 together with several other cameras for $5 each. It is in good cosmetic and working condition and comes with a leather case. A slightly later Retinette IA was $39.95 in the 1962 Montgomery Ward Camera Catalog. The case was $7.94. $39.95 in 1962 has the same buying power as $304 in 2012.

Kodak Cameras Made in the United States

[Kodak Signet 35]
Kodak Signet 35, U.S. rangefinder manufactured from 1951 to 1958. 44mm f3.5 lens, adjustable apertures and shutter speeds. In good condition except the rangefinder does not seem to work anymore. This camera belonged to my grandfather. Kodak History states the list price was $95. The 1953-1954 Sears Camera Catalog lists the price as $92.50. $92.50 in 1953 has the same buying power as about $750 in 2009. The case was an additional $6.50 (over $50 in 2009 dollars!). The camera was sold from 1951 to 1958. There is an excellent discussion of it at David Photographic.
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Konica

[Konica I]
Konica I (Large Image) (1951-52) Dates from Konica Collector for Konica with 50mm Konishiroku Hexar f2.8 lens like mine. There were several early variations and the camera is simply labeled Konica. That site lists the original list price as $69.75, equal to over $580 in 2008 dollars. An interesting feature is a collapsible lens - sort of compromise between a folding camera like an early Retina and a fixed lens like later Retinas. Konirapide-S shutter with speeds from 1/500 to 1 second plus Bulb. Excellent discussion about use and history at photo.net although they did not have any current sources for the manual. Mediajoy.com, however, has detailed instructions for use. Be sure to click next to go through the various pages. Camerapedia.org also has an excellent discussion. Butkus.org has the manual for the later Konica III rangefinder. Rangefinderforum.com has a discussion with a photo of one in fantastic condition with the original box.
Cosmetically mine looks terrible because it is missing the leatherette covering. Since it is missing entirely (except for the small portion around the tripod mount) I assume someone took it off. Many of the coverings said "Made in Occupied Japan" and some had the Konsishiroku name written on the back. I have ordered some plain, self-stick leatherette from www.miro-tools.com. Otherwise it is in pretty good cosmetic condition. The viewfinder is exceptionally clean and the rangefinder works perfectly. The shutter speeds appear to work correctly. The aperture is stuck on a single setting unfortunately. This, of course, is not surprising for a camera approaching 60 years old. I took off the front lens element and squirted some Rosonal lighter fluid on the aperture blades without any success in freeing up the blades. (Of course, do this at your own risk and observe all precautions when using lighter fluid or other solvents which are flammable and poisonous.) This is similar to the problem with the aperture blades with the Wards AM 550 below. The camera comes with a well worn eveready case. Purchased at a Fletcher Hills (El Cajon, CA) yard sale on 7-12-08 for $10 with some other photo accessories. Unfortunately, the seller had just sold several other cameras - mainly Minolta SLRs. Bummer! I should not have slept in! Still, a very nice find on a vintage Konica I. Mine came with a Navy "Camera Pass and Possession Permit" issued "27 February 1954" and expiring "3 March 1954" allowing the camera to be used at the U.S. Naval Receiving Station at Pearl Harbor. The licensee is probably the original owner with the camera being two or three years old at the time. This was right after the Korean War.
[Wards AM 550 aka Konica 35 Auto S]
Large Image
Wards AM 550 aka Konica 35 Auto S (1962-1965) Wards branded Konica 35 Auto S, the first CdS automatic exposure 35mm camera. See Photoethnography. Shutter preferred automatic exposure. Light meter with high/low switch is the small circle on the front of the camera below the film advance lever. 47mm f1.9 lens. Shutter speeds from 1 second to 1/500 second. Uses 1.35 volt PX 625 mercury battery which is not longer available. The meter worked for me with a 1.5 volt PX625AB silver battery. I did not test the exposure with precision. The camera is in excellent cosmetic and working condition except the aperture becomes stuck. If set at a smaller aperture (e.g. f16), it will not change to a larger aperture (e.g. f2.8). If you remove the front lens element by twisting the round area of the lens with the name with a latex glove, you can see the shutter. Setting the camera to B you can leave the shutter open to reveal the aperture blades. If you lightly touch the blades, the blades will open up to a larger aperture setting. I cleaned the blades from the front with solvent as discussed at several sites. See photo-net and Favorite Classics. It worked somewhat when I had the solvent on, but after letting it dry overnight it still had the original problem. Of course, do this at your own risk and observe all precautions when using lighter fluid or other solvents which are flammable and poisonous. Another photo-net message refers to replacing the spring which opens up the aperture blades. Mick Feuerbacher Photography shows in detail the overhaul of the Auto S including complete removal of the rear lens group to clean the aperture blades from the front and the back. I purchased my camera on eBay on 8-5-06 for $9.99 with $7.60 shipping and $1.35 shipping insurance. It came with an ever-ready case, manual and original box.
[Konica C35 EF]
Konica C35 EF (circa 1974) (large image) the first 35mm camera with a built-in electronic flash according to a 1976 advertisement in Popular Science for sale on eBay. Date is from Konica C35 in Japanese. Mine is the first model. A later model with a self-timer switch on front is referred to as the new Konica C35 EF. 38mm f2.8 lens with shutter speeds of 1/60 and 1/125. See C35 EF (in Japanese). Zone focusing instead of rangefinder found on C35 A. Price in 1976-77 Sears Camera Catalog was $119, actually $5 more than a C35 A rangefinder with external electronic flash. $119 in 1976 is approximately equal to $425 in 2006 dollars. Disassembly is shown at Konica C35 EF (in Japanese). Mine was purchased on eBay on 8-4-06 for $5.99 plus $7.20 shipping and $1.35 shipping insurance. In good cosmetic condition. Shutter worked. Takes two AA batteries for flash. The batteries were left in and were badly corroded. It had a note on it saying batteries new 5-96. Apparently ten years is too long to leave them in! I scrapped away the corrosion and was eventually able to free the two AA batteries. Also, the button battery (originally a 1.3 volt mercury battery) for the meter was corroded. I cleaned that battery compartment up and put in a 1.5 volt LH-44 battery. Now meter and flash both work with the meter appearing to be reasonably accurate.
[Konica C35 AF]
Konica C35 AF, introduced in November 1977, this was the first production model autofocus camera as detailed in several sites. George Eastman House, David Photographic, Digicam History. It has a 38mm, f2.8 autofocus lens, elctronic flash and automatic exposure. This camera was a donation from an OLG alumnus who spoted this historically significant camera at a garage sale. Good eye!! While I have not shot film with it yet, with the addition of two new AA batteries, it appears to operate well and is in good cosmetic condition. It was expensive new; $189.50 in the 1978-79 Sears Camera Catalog, over $580 in 2006 dollars as measured from 1978.
[Konica MG]
Konica MG, (1984) followed the release of the Konica MG/D in 1983 which was identical except it had a date imprint function. Auto loading, auto focusing, autorewinding and auto exposure. ISO set above the lens with a range of ISO 50 to 1000. Konica Hexanon 35mm f3.5 lens made in Japan. Uses two 1.5 volt AA batteries. Purchased at the annual Rolando area, south of University, neighborhood garage sale in San Diego on 8-4-07 for $2. The seller had purchased it aboard ship when he was overseas in the Navy. I have not gotten it fully working. It comes on, but the shutter and flash do not fire. There were corroded batteries in the battery compartment and I will work more on the terminials to see if I can get it working. It opens similar to the Olympus XA2 but is larger than that camera. The following Japanese site has further information: Konica MG and Konica MG/D.
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Leica

Leica started the 35mm film format for still cameras in 1925. (See us.leica-camera.com - history, Leica Camera - Wikipedia.) Leica is one of the most historic and respected names in cameras and optics. Leica cameras are known for their impeccable engineering and fine German craftmanship. Leica 35mm rangefinder cameras with interchangeable screw mount lenses became a standard in the 1930s through 1950s. By the early 1960s, however, 35mm single lens reflex cameras began to predominate.

Japanese manufacturers like Nikon and Canon had similar 35mm rangefinder models patterned after the Leica. These Japanese cameras are also highly respected and collectable. Russian manufacturers also made similar models which were functional, although generally less highly regarded. As indicated below, besides other manufacturers producing similar cameras, there are also counterfeit cameras. These are cameras with the Leica name, but which are not made by Leica or true Leica cameras. For example, some counterfeit cameras are Russian models modified to include the Leica name.

Leica cameras were very pricey when new. They remain very collectible and pricey today. Common models typically go for hundreds, rarer models can approach and exceed a thousand, and the rarest can go for thousands. They are usually not in my league, but I saw the one below on Craigslist and decided to get it. I figured the Camera Museum had reached the point that it should have one Leica. Don't expect many more, however. Donations are, of course, accepted!

[Leica IIIc]
Leica IIIc (1950) Date and model from the serial no. 496829 and the extensive table at cameraquest.com. Includes strap, Summitar 50mm (5cm) f2 lens, Summitar barn door shade, lens cap, 135mm f4.5 Hektor lens with metal shade and rear cap, Nooky accessory viewfinder with box, Leica 35-135 accessory viewfinder, and Gossen Scout 2 light meter. Purchased on 8-6-09 for $300 from an ad on Craigslist.

Genuine. There are many fake Leica cameras so I have compared it extensively with photos of other Leica IIIc cameras on the Internet. (See How to Identify a Fake Leica, Fake Russian Leicas - Cameraquest.) It appears to be genuine. Mine looks identical to several other IIIc samples on the Internet from around the same time including Leica IIIc manual at www.cameramanuals.org, flickr.com - Leica IIIc (from the same year according to the serial no. in the photo), Camerapedia - Leica IIIc, 35mm-compact.com - Leica IIIc (in French), and La collection d'appareils photo anciens par Sylvain Halgand (in French), eBay Listing ( ten very detailed photos all of which are like my camera). The "Optishes Naheinstellgerat Nooky/Nookyhesum" accessory viewfinder, including box, also looks identical to those at Leica Assessories and Photo Bucket. Similarly, the Leitz Shade for Summicron, Barn Door Type, looks identical to that at Pacific Rim Camera. It sells used for $45 at Pacific Rim Camera. The "Leica 35-135 Imarect/VIOOH accessory viewfinder" at Photoethnography also looks like mine. Finally, the seller is the son of the original owner who indicates he bought it new in Germany in the early 1950s. It has therefore only had one owner.

Value. While my camera and accessories appear to be geniune, the IIIc also appears to be one of the more common Leicas. In my year of production alone, 25,000 were produced according to the table at cameraquest.com. This makes them relatively inexpensive on eBay. For example, when I purchased it there was a buy it now for $348 for a body in very good condition, $299 for a body in good condition, and $188 for a body in fair condition. One very similar to mine with the Summitar 5cm 1:2 lens and a case was sold the same day I bought mine for $250 plus $8 shipping. Another one in good condition with Leitz Elmar 5cm 3,5 Lens went for $349.99. A body only in okay condition went for only $124.72. Another with a normal lens like mine went for $224.72 plus $18 shipping. Mine was originally advertised as IIIg which is much more rare and goes for hundreds more. Mine appears to be for a decent price, however, given the extra lens and accessories.

Lenses. The normal lens the camera generally came with was the 50mm f3.5 Leitz Elmar (1931-1959) made for almost thirty years (1931-1959) which cameraquest calls "the lens that initially made Leica famous." Mine instead comes with the upgraded Ernst Leitz Wetzlar "Summitar" 5cm (50mm) f2 (1:2) No. 738934 lens with Leica lens cap. Cameraquest states: "50/2 Leitz Summitar (1939-1955) Much improved sharpness over the Summar, chrome collapsible lenses only, post war lenses coated. Watch out for fogging and cleaning scratches." The extra lens is a 13.5cm (135mm) Ernst Leitz Wetzlar Hektor f4.5 (1:4.5) No. 715358. It comes with a metal hood. One sold recently on eBay with the finder for $89.65 plus $10.35 shipping. There was no comment on its condition, however. Cameraquest.com states: "135/4.5 Leitz Hektor (1933-1960): Leica's best LTM 135. Uncoated Black pre-war or Coated post-war chrome. Lens head removable for Visoflex reflex housing. Watch out for fogging and cleaning scratches." Mine is mostly black with distance ring being chrome. It appears to have a coated lens, however. When I look at the glass, for example, there is a definite blue/purple tint to the reflection of my ceiling light on the lens glass. Was mine pre-war? In discussing another lens, the 50/2 Leitz Summar (1933-1940), cameraquest indicates while all left the factory uncoated, some were sent back to the factory after the war for coating.

Price When New. I don't have information on the price of a IIIc when new. The 1956 Montgomery Ward Photographic Catalog, p. 5 gives the price of a IIIf (and IIf) with Summicron 50mm f2.0 lens as $336. $336 in 1956 is equal to $2,664.44 in 2009 dollars! The "Imarect" 35-135mm finder was $39 or $309.27 in 2009 dollars. A 90mm Elmar f4 lens was $90. The Leica IIIf body only was $177. The body with the 50mm f3.5 Elmar lens was $237. By 1956 Leica had was also selling the bayonet lens mount Leica M# which as $447 with a Summicron f2 lens. The IIIf was followed by the IIIg in 1957 which was the last model of the Leica screw mount cameras.

Condition. Cosmetically the camera has some areas of brassing and small pitting. Covering is very good. Glass in lenses looks good with some dust in the 135mm lens. Shutter fires and shutter speeds vary appropriately. Aperture works. Viewfinder and rangefinder reasonably clean. Rangefinder works but is very faint. Accessories in good condition. As I look at it in the enlarged photo above, I can tell I also need to take a Q-tip to it to clean many of the nooks and crannies.

Operation.
This is a brief summary of how to operate the camera. Before actually using a Leica, review carefully the owner's manual which is available at www.cameramanuals.org.
Film Loading. Set reversing lever to A (advance). There is not door as on most 35mm cameras. Rather, there is a baseplate on bottom of camera. Remove basepate by unlocking on bottom. Remove take-up spool. Insert film into take-up spool. Pull out film from cassette until two sprocket holes show on trimmed edge. Insert take-up spool and cassette into camera with pointed ends towards baseplate. Put baseplate back on. Advance film and trip shutter release twice. Make sure film counter set to zero.
Taking a photo. Lens is collapsable. Pull out and turn to left until it stops. Turn film advance knob in direction of arrow until it stops. Set shutter speed. Speeds from 1/30 to 1/1000 second on top dial. To set, left up slightly and turn to allign desired setting with arrow on accessory shoe. To set speeds from 1 second to 1/30 second, turn top dial to 1/30. Set front dial to desired speed. For 1/30 second, both dials should be at 1/30. Adjust aperture ring on front part of lens to desired setting. Twin eyepiece on back, top, left of camera. Compose picture using right viewfinder window. Focus using left rangefinder window. Focus ring and lever are towards back of lens. Turn until the images in the rangefinder window merge together. Press shutter release.
Unloading film. Turn reversing lever to R. Pull up rewind knob and turn in the direction of arrow until fully rewound.

[Leica Standard Model E]
Leica Standard Model E (1936) (Large Image) This is the fourth version of the original Leica 35mm camera. The Standard was introduced in 1932. It followed the Leica 1 Model C with the only difference being the E's smaller extendable rewind knob. (Wikipedia - Leica Standard.) The Standard Model E has the standardized Leica lens mount to allow for different lenses. That feature was first added in later Leica 1 Model C cameras. (Wikipedia - Leica Standard.) Like the earliest Leica 35mm cameras the Standard Model E does not have rangefinder focusing. Rather, you estimate the distance and adjust the focus distance ring accordingly. The Standard Model E could be fitted with a rangefinder. Also, the Model II and III cameras with a coupled rangefinder were sold at the same time as the Leica Standard Model E. My Standard Model E has serial no. 205514 and is from 1936. (Leica Wiki - Leica Standard (model E)). Mine is a chrome model. Early models were all black. Mine has a Leitz Elmar 5cm f3.5 collapsible lens. There is a nice discussion of the Leica Standard Model E at leicaphotography.org. (See also Leica Purity: The Leica Standard 1934, photo.net.) The focusing mechanism on mine appears to be frozen. The aperture works. The camera appears to wind and fire correctly. It hard to see whether the shutter is opening, however, since the back is not designed to open up. I do not know how to take the lens off yet and have ordered some books from the library. My cost? $5 at a La Mesa, CA garage sale on Sunday May 18, 2014. I was coming back from Costco and followed the signs. I stopped. They said they just closed. I asked if they had any cameras. They had a couple of Kodak digital cameras. I asked if they had any older cameras. Out came the Leica for $5. I've always dreamed of finding a $5 Leica at a garage sale! The current value for a Leica Standard Model E camera with lens on CollectibBlend in average condition is about $480 to $500. Mine may not fully function, however, and has some corrosion. Mine comes with the case with the top missing.
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Mamiya

[Tower 21]
Tower 41, circa 1962, sold by Sears, made by Mamiya. Similar to Mamiya Automatic 35 ELF and prior Tower 39 except faster lens and rangefinder focusing on the Tower 41. Mamiya-Tower Kominar 43mm, f2.8 lens. Rangefinder focusing. Unique flash bulb with clear plastic door next to lens. Lever on bottom to eject bulb. Also has accessory clip and flash plug. Apertures set by sliding scale on horizontal shelf below viewfinder. Range from f2.8 to 22 and auto. Aperture also visible in viewfinder. Next to the sliding aperture scale is a sliding scale to set ASA with a range of 10 to 200. Shutter set under lens, with setting visible in window on top of lens. Only 4 shutter settings: 250, B.L. (this does not appear to be a bulb setting), 60 and flash. Takes two AA batteries which fit into a large compartment on the left of the camera back. Film compartment opens by lifting up on the viewfinder frame with the door coming down. Solid, boxy, all-metal construction. Very cool! Large with dimensions of approximately 14cm x 8.5cm x 7cm (including lens projecting out). Has a light meter window but I can't seem to get the light meter working. Perhaps I am doing something wrong. While initially dusty, it is in excellent cosmetic and working condition except for the meter. Information on it at: Ron Herron's Collecting Mamiya 35mm.
[Sears 10B]
Sears 10B (circa 1963) appears to be identical to the Mamiya 4B which Collecting Mamiya 35mm states was released in 1963. 40mm f2.8-22 Mamiya-Sekor lens. Shutter speeds from 1/4 second to 1/250 second. Rangefinder focusing. Non-coupled Selenium meter on top of the camera which reads in exposure value ("ev"). Between the shutter ring and the aperture ring on the lens is an exposure value ring. To find the correct exposure you adjust shutter speed and/or aperture until the number on the exposure value ring equals the exposure value shown on the meter. ASA (ISO) is set by lining up the button on the bottom of ev ring with correct ASA on bottom of shutter ring. Tripod socket. Accessory or flash shoe (not "hot") on top. Earlier and more sophisticated Tower 10A, which appears to be a 1959 Mamiya Ruby discussed at Collecting Mamiya 35mm, sold for $54.50 in the 1961 Sears Camera Catalog. I purchased my Sears 10B on eBay in June 2006 for $3.50 with a large plastic case, partial manual and a working Voigtlander 2800 flash. I picked it up in San Diego so there was no shipping charge. It is in good cosmetic and working condition including meter.
[Sears 18B]
Sears 18B (early 1960s) appears to be very similar to the f1.9 version of Mamiya Ruby which Collecting Mamiya 35mm states was released in May 1960. The f1.9 Ruby appears to be identical to a Tower 18A. Unlike the f1.9 Ruby (Tower 18A), the Tower 18B has a f2.0 lens and a slightly different film counter. (The Mamiya M3 also has an f2.0 lens, but the Tower 18B looks like a Ruby and not the M3). The Tower 18b has a 48mm Mamiya-Kominar lens. Shutter speeds are from 1 second to 1/500 second. Rangefinder focusing. Coupled Selenium meter. ASA from about 10 to 800. Tripod socket. Accessory or flash shoe (not "hot") on top. Similar Tower 18A sold in 1961 Sears Camera Catalog for $74.50, over $500 today adjusted for inflation. Good cosmetic conditon. Lens is scratch and mold free. The shutter, aperture and focus rings are all loose and do not work. I suspect someone took it apart. I purchased my Sears 18B on eBay on July 28, 2006 in a lot of 4 cameras and one meter for $10 plus about $20 shipping. This camera was described as not working.
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Minolta

[Minolta 35]
Other images: Large, Front, Top, Open, Door, Lens, Front Detail
Minolta 35 (1947) Minolta's first 35mm camera model. It has an interchangeable Leica mount lens. Leica rangefinder cameras are highly prized by collectors, as are the Japanese imitations made by Canon and Nikon including some sold under the Sears Tower brand. Minolta is less known for its Leica mount rangefinders, but produced several fine models of Minolta 35 Leica mount cameras designated as models A through F and models II and IIB, as delineated at Camerapedia, Minolta 35. I am fairly confident that this is a Model A. On the top it states "Minolta-35, Chiyoda-Kogaku, Osaka, No. 0614" and looks identical to the Model A at Minolta Interchangable Lens Rangefinder Cameras, www.huffman.tk. This designation was only used on the model A in the A through F series. In the Models B through F, the abbreviation C.K.S. was used and Osaka was omitted. Chiyoda-Kogaku was used in the Model 35II and IIB, but not the city name of Osaka. Those cameras also have a film plane mark on the top plate which the Model 35A does not. The serial no. of 0614 is also consistent with only about 1,000 Model A cameras being made. In other words, mine is the 614th camera. It has slow shutter speeds of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 as the first 800 or so of the Minolta 35A cameras had according to Camerapedia, Minolta 35. The lens is a Chiyoko Super Rokkor 45mm f2.8 with a little window for the aperture indicating it is an early lens. (See Minolta Rokkor Rangefinder Lenses at www.www.huffman.tk.)

The only discrepancy is the frame size. Model A had a frame size of 24mm x 32mm instead of what later became the standard frame size of 24mm x 36mm. The only Leica mount Minolta with a 24mm x 36mm frame size was the last one - the Model II B. That model was clearly labeled II B on the front, however. Curiously, however, when I measure the film gate on my camera, it is 24mm x 36mm. I'm wondering if mine might have been modified or have a replacement film gate.

My camera has been obviously worked on. It appears to be largely complete with several exceptions. It is missing a piece that screws on at the base of the shutter release. The hinge pin on the camera back is missing. The screws on the bottom plate are missing. The screws that hold in the film gate (for lack of a better phrase) are missing and the entire film gate area can be lifted out. There is piece of tape over the pressure plate. A small piece of the covering is removed on the bottom front near the self timer, revealing a threaded hole. The depth of field guide ring on the lens is loose. Finally, The base of the lens has three sections carved out. That obviously took someone some time, although I have no idea what the purpose is. The lens aperture works. The focus is frozen. It is serial no. 8087. The camera will wind and the shutter release clicks. The shutter controls will not move, however, and the shutter is not working at all. I can't fully test the rangefinder since the focus is frozen, but it does show the typical rangefinder double image. All of this sounds pretty bad, but actually it looks pretty good and many of the things like missing screws might be remedied fairly easily.

The camera with a leather every-ready case in decent condition was purchased at an estate/garage sale in the San Carlos area of San Diego (Spruce Lake Street) on 1-17-09 for $5. (I also purchased an Argus C3 in great condition for $15, an old movie projector for $15, an old picture viewer for $15, a box of old camera "stuff" for $15 and a slide rule for $2.) I consider the Minolta 35A a very cool camera being the first Minolta 35mm camera model and a Leica clone - my first. I also have the first Minolta 35mm single lens reflex camera, the Minolta SR2, released in 1958 the same year the last Minolta Leica copy rangefinder, the Model II B, was released. The SR2 marked the change in direction from rangefinders to single lens reflex cameras. I purchased the SR-2 also at a neighborhood (San Carlos - Budlong Lake) garage sale about a year prior to the Minolta 35 rangefinder.

I would welcome any comments about my Minolta 35. In particular, I'm interested confirmation that it is the original Model A, why the film gate seems to be 24mm x 36mm, what the modifications to the base of the lens might have been for, ideas as to its rarity and value, and any thoughts as to whether it would be worth getting repaired, and if so recommendations for a repair person.

[Minolta Hi-Matic 7s]
Minolta Hi-Matic 7s, Japanese rangefinder. Purchased on eBay on 10-23-05 for $8.45 plus $7.55 shipping. In good cosmetic condition, but unfortunately it has problems and hence not the best deal! The film advance works and the shutter button can be depressed. The shutter does not open, however. Also, it appears the screws to the focusing ring have been removed along with the distance scale. The focus works if you press the ring down very hard so that you can turn the barrel. Two screws are also missing on the top cover and the film advance knob was loose. All this suggests that someone has taken this camera apart before. The camera uses a mercury PX625 battery which is not longer made for environmental reasons. Mercury Battery Replacement suggests alternatives. The meter was active when I tried an S76 battery. I did not have to make any holder for it. The exposure suggested also seemed relatively accurate testing only one scene. First manufactured in 1966. (See Minolta viewfinder Cameras.) Automatic and manual exposure with f1.8 lens and shutter speeds from 1/4 to 1/500sec. Automatic exposure may be both shutter preferred and aperture preferred since it has A settings on both the aperture ring and shutter speed ring. Has hot shoe.
[Minolta AL-F]
Minolta AL-F (1967). (Large Image) Rangefinder with 38mm f2.7 lens. Shutter preferred automatic exposure. F-stop selected by meter shown on right side of viewfinder. Shutter speeds of 1/30 to 1/500 second. Close focus of 2.6 feet. Automatic flash exposure by setting shutter to flash setting, setting guide number on the second lens ring, and then focusing. Camera sets aperture based on the focus distance. Hot shoe, flash cable socket and tripod socket. Sturdy metal construction. Originally took 1.3 volt mercury battery. Has in it a 1.5 volt PX625A Alkaline cell. Includes owner's manual and a Kako 818 working electronic flash. The AL-F is not in 1967 Leedar Catalog. A Minolta A5 with 45mm, f2.8 lens cost $55.95 in 1967, which equates to about $345 in 2007 dollars. Received as a birthday gift from my sister who purchased it on eBay around January 2007. Thanks!:) Also included three auxillary lenses which screw onto the filter ring. They fit this camera but I don't know if they were used with this camera. The camera is in very good cosmetic and working condition. Serial no. 796653. Made in Japan. I am in the process of trying it out with film. Several sites discuss: Manual Minolta, Eric Fiss Photography, Rainbow Hat - PDF Owner's Manual, Rangefinder (French), Alon Halutzy.
[Minolta Hi-Matic E]
Minolta Hi-Matic E (1971) Other photos: large, front, back open, top. Japanese rangefinder with fully automatic exposure. 40mm f1.7 to f11 lens. Shutter speeds from 1/1000 second to 2 seconds. ISO range from 25 to 500 manually set on ring on camera lens. Hot shoe for flash with automatic and manual flash settings. Relatively small, but hefty, with dimensions of about 12cm x 8.3cm x 3cm with the lens projecting out another 3cm. Manual at Mode d'emploi du Minolta HI-MATIC E. Several sites discuss it: Minolta Hi-Matic Range Finder Cameras - 1962-1978, Wikipedia - Minolta Hi-Matic, Manual Minolta. Purchased on eBay on July 23, 2006 with 7 other cameras for $4 with $7.86 shipping. In excellent cosmetic and working condition. It takes two 1.4 volt 635 mercury batteries which are no longer made. I substituted two 1.5 volt LR44 batteries. These are considerably smaller than the 635 batteries so I wedged them in place with wads of aluminum foil as shown in this photo of the bottom. One site (which unfortunately I can't find again) recommended lowering the ISO by half when doing this. I therefore shot 200 ISO film with the camera set at 100. (See generally Replacement Batteries for Minolta Hi-Matic.) I changed the ISO to 200 on some. The commercial prints came out properly exposed at either setting indicating either is within the exposure latitude for prints. The focus was very sharp although you do have to take the time to focus carefully. A very solid, well made, camera capable of high quality images and a great deal to boot!
[Minolta Hi-Matic FP]
Minolta Hi-Matic FP (1972) similar to the Hi-Matic E but with a slower lens of f2.7. The Hi-Matic F is the chrome version. The Hi-Matic FP is identical but is all black. Takes two RM-640 mercury 1.4 volt mercury batteries or equilavent. I have orderd some similar 1.5 volt Alkaline batteries to try out. In good cosmetic condition. Comes with a Minolta Electroflash S which takes 4 AA batteries. Unfortunately I can't get it to work. There was some corrosion in the battery compartment of the flash. Also came with a leather gadget bag to hold everything. Purchased for $10 at a Rolando area (south of University) of San Diego garage sale on 8-4-07 during the neighborhood's annual sale.
[Minolta Hi-Matic f]
Minolta Hi-Matic F (1972) (Large Image) Chrome version of the Hi-Matic FP above. This one is in very good cosmetic and working condition. I purchased it on eBay on 7-7-09 as part of a package which also included a Canon T50 with 50mm f1.8 lens, a small Acme electronic flash, and a Minolta Maxuum Autofocus 24mm lens with shade, front cap and UV filter. The total was $63.99 plus $9 shipping. By far the most valuable part of the the package is the 24mm lens which can be used on my Sony Alpha 350 DSLR with an angle of view the same as a 36mm lens on a 35mm camera. The Hi-Matic F and Canon T50 were both nice bonuses. The Hi-Matic F with a flash sold for $94.50 in the 1977-1978 Sears Camera and Photographic Supplies Catalog. They list the "specs" as 38mm f2.7 lens with minimum focus of 2.6 feet, shutter speeds from 4 seconds to 1/724 second, and fully automatic exposure using a CdS cell. $94.50 in 1978 has the same buying power as $312.62 in 2009.
[Minolta Freedom Dual]
Minolta Freedom Dual (circa 1987) purchased at a yard sale for $1 or $2 in early 2006. Autofocus. Dual normal and telephoto lenses. In appears to be in very good working and cosmetic condtion although I have not run film through it. Takes four AAA batteries. Battery compartment is clean. Came with strap and generic case. Made in Japan. Serial no. 35237285. Similar in design to the Weathermatic Dual 35 below without the waterproofing of the Weathermatic.
[Minolta Weathermatic Dual 35]
Minolta Weathermatic Dual 35, an autofocus, waterproof (to 15 feet) camera with dual normal and telephoto lenses. Rugged and simple to use, I purchased this camera new in 1989 for snorkeling in Hawaii. It is in good working condition. Photoxels desribes this model as "the world's first water and dust resistant dual focal point compact camera." Made in Japan.
[Minolta Freedom Zoom 115 Date]
Minolta Freedom Zoom 115 Date, introduced 2001, this camera can still be found new in a few places as of December 2005. Prices were listed from $300 (base), $149 (list) and $38 (refurbished). Konica Minolta has extensive information about it. 3.1X zoom, 37.5 to 115mm, f5.4 to 10.9, 6 element lens. Multi-beam autofocus with over 1,200 focusing steps. Close focus about .6m. Shutter speeds 10 seconds to 1/390 second. Uses one 3 volt lithium battery. Manual from Konica Minolta. New product press release was on 2-9-01. Mine is in excellent cosmetic and working condition. Remarkably I purchased it for only $5 together with a case, three tripods, a 110 instamatic, a Minolta 16P subminiture, three boxes of 16mm slides and some other "stuff" at a garage/estate sale in the Fall of 2005. This camera is typical of compact 35mm zoom cameras sold in the 1990s to present. This market has been largely taken over by compact digital cameras, however. Konica and Minolta were both long time Japanese camera and office machine manufactures with a long history of quality cameras. They merged in January 2003. (See dpreview, Wikipedia.) Remarkably, according to Wikipedia Konica Minolta announced in January 2006 that they are getting out of the camera business! Sony will develop digital SLR cameras using the Minolta lens mount.
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Nikon

Nikon has made numerous 35mm viewfinder and rangefinder cameras from simple fixed focus point and shoot cameras to sophisticated rangefinder cameras dating back to the late 1940s and which rival the legendary Leica rangefinder cameras. In addition, Nikon was unique among mainline camera companies in producing a very successful line of 35mm underwater cameras called Nikonos. Since the Nikonos cameras are quite unique, I have grouped them together and will discuss them first.

Nikonos

According to Wikipedia, the first camera was based on a prototype developed by the famous French oceanographer, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and a Belgium engineer and inventor, Jean de Wouters. Their "Calypso-Phot" was subsequently licensed to Nikon. Cousteau also co-developed the "Aqua-Lung," the first SCUBA (self contained underwater breathing apparatus) diving system, in 1943. When I was a kid in the 1960s Cousteau had a series of underwater television specials on the ABC network. He was noted for his commitment to protecting the ocean environment. All of the Nikonos cameras were rugged, compact, and submersible to 50m or about 165 feet, well within the limits of most recreational SCUBA divers. Introduction dates were Calypso (1961), Nikonos I (1963), Nikonos II (1968), Nikonos III (1975), Nikonos IV-A (1980) and Nikonos V (1984). In 1992 Nikon also introduced the Nikonos RS AF, the world's first underwater autofocus single lens reflex camera. While a technological marvel, it was very expensive and was discontinued in 1996. Excellent resources on the Nikonos include the Nikon site and Cameras Underwater (detailed practical information).

Nikonos I Shell, Camera Mechanism and Lens

The Calypso through Nikonos III were all of a similar design. There are three parts: the camera mechanism, the housing or outer shell, and the lens. The camera mechanism had the focal plane shutter, the film advance, the pressure plate, the film spool and the rewind. All of this was inserted into the housing or outer shell. The lens is then inserted in front. To load the film you have to take the lens off (see lenses below) and then pry the camera mechanism out of the shell using the little levers that also hold the camera strap. This is extremely clever. When I first saw an early Nikonos at a garage sale I had no idea how to open it. As a result, unfortunately I did not buy it! The shutter speeds on all of these models are B, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250 and 1/500. The film advance and shutter release are one lever. When not advanced, the lever sticks out toward the front of the camera. You press it in to wind and cock it. The lever is then flush with the body. You press it again to release the shutter and the lever pops out again to the open position. Very ingenious! The Nikonos II added a retractable rewind crank, a hinged pressure plate (on the Nikonos I you slid the film under the plate), and added the II logo. The Nikonos I did not have a "I" logo, but with the introduction of the Nikonos II, the Nikonos I name stuck. The Nikonos III added a sprocket for film wind-up, improved viewfinder brightness, and changed the the film counter to the top of the camera (on the Nikonos I and II it was on the bottom observed through a glass window in the bottom of the housing). To accomplish these changes the Nikonos III shell became somewhat bigger and boxier. Some other minor changes were made also. All of the Nikonos cameras through the Nikonos III were entirely mechanical. There was no internal exposure meter. Nikon did sell an external, underwater meter. My Nikonos I was purchased for $30 from an ad on Craigslist in Valley Center, CA around August 2011. It is in good working condition and decent cosmetic condition. It came with the original Nikonos case in fair condition.

The Nikonos IV-A and Nikonos V had a different design. There was no longer an outer shell and inner camera mechanism. The back of the camera was hinged and opened fully for film loading. There was a separate film advance and shutter release. Both cameras also had internal exposure meters and had aperture preferred automatic exposure. Shutter speeds were electronically controlled and stepless from 1/30 to 1/1000 second. There were also mechanical 1/90 second and Bulb shutter speeds which could be used if the batteries failed. Flash synch was at the mechanical 1/90 second speed. The cameras require two 1.5 volt S-76 silver oxide batteries which are still readily available. With the Nikonos IV-A (A for automatic exposure) you could not manually select the shutter speed except to choose the 1/90 setting. Also, there was no indication in the viewfinder or elsewhere what the shutter speed was. The Nikonos V in addition to the aperture preferred automatic exposure had metered manual exposure where you could select the shutter speed (1/30, 1/60, 1/90, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000 and Bulb). Additionally, the shutter speed under either automatic or manual mode was displayed in the viewfinder. These were very significant improvements. Additionally, the Nikonos V had through the lens, off the film plane flash metering discussed more below. The Nikonos V was indeed the pinnacle of the non-reflex Nikonos cameras. It continued to be sold until October 2001 and is still prevalent in the used market. There remains a following for the Nikonos I through III, however. Being all mechanical they are very rugged and more likely to be repairable if flooded.
[Nikonos IV-A Underwater Camera]
[Nikonos V Underwater Camera]
Nikonos IV-A Underwater Camera (Large Image) I purchased my Nikonos IV-A for $41 (that's what I had in my wallet) at a La Mesa, CA garage sale on 9-24-11. It appears to be in good cosmetic and working condition with the following exceptions. The lens has a dent on the filter ring which likely prevents the direct use of filters. It had a plastic ring on it. The plastic ring is flexible enough to mount onto the filter ring. You can then mount filters onto the plastic ring. Otherwise the lens looks great and operates perfectly. The OC (open - close) lock on the camera back could not be turned initially. I put a drop of oil on it and turned it with pliers. It works fine now. There is a slight bit of scratching on the latch. Under the latch there is one screw with rust. To get the electronics working, I had to add a small piece of aluminum foil before adding the two S-76 batteries to the battery holder. Sufficient contact was not being made without this. The meter and shutter work fine. I have no way to verify shutter speeds, but I can hear a difference in shutter speed when pointing the camera to a bright area (faster speed) versus a dim area (slower speed). I was excited about the purchase since it had the 28mm f3.5 underwater lens instead of the standard 35mm f2.5 lens. Nikonos V Underwater Camera (Large Image) Price in the Summer of 2007 for the body only is $299.95 at B & H Photo. Mine has the 80mm f4 lens which is described at photo.net as the least used of the several lenses made for the camera. I purchased my Nikonos V at a garage sale advertised on Craig's List on 7-8-07 for roughly $90. (I bought it, 4 Canon FD lenses, 3 vintage Honeywell electronic studio strobes, 4 studio umbrellas, a flash meter and various other things for a total of $225. The seller and her late father were photographers. Most of the equipment had belonged to the dad.) The camera and lens look to be in near new condition. The shutter works but I have not yet tested the camera fully. I purchased another Nikonos V camera with 35mm f2.5 lens and a Nikonos 103 strobe both in an attache style case on 9-6-08 for $50 (as I recall) at a San Carlos area of San Diego garage sale. It is in good working and cosmetic condition.

Lenses. What remained consistent from the Nikonos I through V were the simple, yet innovative lenses. To take off a lens, pull out slightly and turn clockwise a quarter turn. Remarkably simple. You have to take off the lens in the Nikonos I through III in order to load the film. The lenses always remained entirely mechanical. There are no electronic connections between the lens and the camera. You have to focus by measuring or estimation. (Obviously, most of the time you will use estimation.) The top of the lens has the distance with a silver background. The bottom of the lens has the aperture with a black background. On my newer lenses the black (left while facing the lens) knob sets the aperture and the silver (right while facing the lens) knob sets the distance. (The lenses can be mounted rotated 180 degrees in which case the left-right directions above would need to be reversed. Also, the lens on my Nikonos I has the color of the knobs reversed.) The newer lenses actually have curved lines going from the knob to the setting to make things clear. What is wonderful about the lenses is the very clear depth of field scale. On the distance scale there are two red marks. Looking at the lens with the distance scale on top, the left red mark shows the distance of the closest things that will be in focus. The right red mark shows the distance of the furthest things that will be in focus. At the smallest aperture (largest f number) these two marks will be furthest apart indicating the greatest depth of field. At the largest aperture (smallest f number), the two marks will be closest indicating the shallowest depth of field. As a practical matter, you zone focus underwater. Let's say you want to use f8 with the 28mm f3.5 lens. You move the aperture knob until the arrow is f8 in the aperture scale. If I set the focus to about 4 feet, the depth of field scale shows that everything from about 3 feet to 7 feet will be in reasonable focus. If I am taking a photo of a fish, I wait until it looks like the fish is with 3 to 7 feet of the camera and press the shutter button. If I am taking a picture of coral, I swim about 3 to 7 feet in front of the coral and press the shutter button. The smaller the aperture (larger f number), the more leeway I have. Of course, I also need a sufficiently fast shutter speed to stop the action. I can of course modify the settings under water, but its hard to do that too much with gloves on, a mask that may be fogging up, and air and depth gauges that need to be monitored.

Lenses Offered. The standard lens that generally came with the Nikonos cameras was a 35mm f2.5. It was designed for use underwater or on land. There was also an 80mm lens also designed for use underwater or on land. There were also a 28mm f3.5 lens, a 20mm lens an a 15mm lens. All of these lenses were specifically designed only for underwater use and corrected to avoid any distortions under water. They have the designation UW-Nikkor. Additionally, there is a distinct preference for wide angle lenses underwater. Even in clear water there is significant particulate matter. Also, the water itself absorbs light. You generally want to be as close as possible to the subject to decrease the amount of water between you and your subject. A 28mm lens is better than a 35mm lens usually. The 15mm and 20mm lenses are highly prized but expensive. Finally, there was another 28mm lens for above water use only. It was only water resistant and could not be submerged. The viewfinder of the Nikonos is designed to give the field of view for the 35mm lens. The viewfinder is also large so that you can hold it up to 40cm away from your mask underwater. There are optical viewfinders available that mount to the accessory shoe on top of the camera for the 15mm, 20mm and 28mm lenses. There is also a plastic frame finder available for the 28mm and 35mm lenses. Other manufacturers such as Sea & Sea also made lenses and finders for the Nikonos.

Flash. The Nikonos instruction manual indicates that deeper than 16 feet a flash should usually be used. Not only does the water absorb light requiring more exposure, it absorbs some colors of the spectum faster than others starting with red. Therefore, as you go deeper, the colors tend to be bluer. As you add flash, the other colors reflected from your subject once again show up. There are three basic flash metering systems for film cameras. In all three the shutter speed usually remains the same. With the Nikonos IV-A and V, the fastest shutter speed for flash is 1/90 second. For the earlier Nikonos cameras the fastest shutter speed for flash was 1/60 second. The first method is manual flash. A flash unit has a guide number. To determine the proper exposure, you divide the guide number by the distance from the flash to the subject. This gives you the aperture number to set. Often, the flash unit will have a table or circular dial indicating the correct aperture depending on the flash to subject distance so you don't have to do the math. The second method is automatic flash. With most automatic flashes, you can set the flash to one of two or three aperture settings. You then select that aperture on the camera. Automatic flashes have a sensor on the flash. You fire the shutter. The flash goes off. The light bounces off the subject and returns to the camera as well as the sensor on the flash. The sensor calculates the flash output to produce the correct exposure. You do not need to know the distance. I had a manual flash with my first camera and remember how happy I was when I got an automatic flash. The third method is through the lens (TTL) - off the film flash (OTF) metering which came out in the 1980s. It is similar to an automatic flash, except the camera and not the flash has the sensor. The light bounces off the subject, enters the lens and hits the film. Some of the light is reflected from the film onto a sensor in the camera. The camera's computer calculates the amount of light based on the data from the sensor. A fourth method is used with digital cameras. The camera can't measure the light reflected from the sensor since, unlike film, the sensor does not reflect enough light. A brief flash is therefore set off before the actual flash used to illuminate the scene. The reflected light from this initial flash is measured by the light meter in the camera and the camera appropriately adjusts the output of the final flash. All of this can only happen because light travels really fast and the microprocessors used today in flashes and cameras are really sophisticated. While third parties also made underwater strobes, Nikon offered the Nikonos 101 automatic strobe for the Nikonos IV-A. The sensor was attached to the flash but was mounted on top of the camera. The Nikonos 103 and 105 strobes were designed for the Nikonos V camera. They were through the lens (TTL) - off the film plane (OTF) flashes. The 105 replaced the 103 because the 103 could malfunction. Nikon had a trade in program. I have a 103 flash. Unfortunately, since neither is being made today, I assume I am out of luck in getting it replaced.

Other Nikon Non-SLR Cameras

[Nikon Action-Touch]
Nikon Action-Touch. According to the Underwater Photography Primer, the Action-Touch sold for about $150 in the late 1980s. Described in the manual, which is available at cameramanuals.org, as "35mm water resistant compact camera (durable in the depth of 3m/approx. 9.9 ft) with autofocus, auto exposure, auto shutter lock, auto film loading, auto film speed setting, auto film advance, auto film rewind and auto film rewind stop." I.e., it's automatic! "Nikon lens 35mm f/2.8; four elements in three groups plus one waterproof glass." "Exposure metering: Using CdS programmed automatic exposure control from EV6 (f/2.8 at 1/8 sec.) [to EV] 17 (f/17.5 at 1/430 sec.) with ISO 100 film." This implies shutter speeds from 1/8 second to 1/430 second and a smallest aperture of f/17.5. "Active infrared autofocus system (0.7m (2.3 ft.)~infinity) and manual focusing of 0.7, 1.1, 1.6, 3.5m (1.3, 3.6, 5.3, 12ft) (under water or in situations where autofocus is not available). In other words, underwater you use the zone focusing knob on top instead of autofocus. Powered by two 1.5 volt alkaline batteries. Mine came with the optional "wide strap with float pad AN-9." Weighs 485 grams or about 17 oz. Mine was purchased for $15 at a garage sale in the Mt. Helix area of La Mesa, CA on 1-10-09. It is in good cosmetic and working condition. I purchased a second one on 7-23-11 for $2 at a garage sale on Lemon Avenue in La Mesa, CA. It is also in good cosmetic and working condition. Construction appears to be very solid likely owing to its Nikonos heritage. It's a good alternative even today to buying an underwater digital camera or a housing for a compact digital camera if you are just going to use it for a single snorkeling trip, for example. Another alternative, however, is to use a compact digital camera with a flexible vinyl housing such as those made by Ewa Marine. I did this on my last trip to Hawaii with pretty good results.
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Olympus

[Olympus 35-S]
Olympus 35-S (f2.8) (1957) There were multiple Olympus 35-S models. This model with an f2.8 lens was released in 1957 according to Olympus History. My camera has a Tower designation on the top indicating it was made for Sears. The focal length is 48mm (acutally designated as 4.8cm). Shutter speeds on lens ring range from 1/500 second to 1 second with bulb. Apertures from f2.8 to f22. Close focus is 2.7 feet. Rangefinder focusing. In between the aperture ring and shutter speed ring is an exposure value (EV) ring showing the EV for the selected shutter speed and aperture. There is no light meter but there is a dial on the back with different scenes and sunny, cloudy, etc. icons to select an appropriate EV or "light value." Mine was purchased on eBay on 6-25-06 for $10.50 with $5.65 shipping and $1.35 shipping insurance. It is in good cosmetic and operating condition except the shutter is quite slow to close. Excellent information at several sites: Olypedia (in German), Olympus Site - History, Daniel Mitchell - Disassembly, Olympus History, photo.net (includes discussion of using solvent to free slow shutter or stuck aperture).
[Olympus 35-S f1.8]
Olympus 35-S (f1.8), (Large Image) same as model to the left, but this one has a 42mm (4.2cm) focal length lens with a fast maximum aperture of f1.8. Everything seems to work well. Rangefinder is bright. No problems with leaking batteries or a broken exposure meter since there are none! I like this one a lot. Simple, no nonsense, great quality, and timeless. Just like me it is still capable of taking great photos at 50 years old! Purchased at a Fletcher Hills (El Cajon, CA) garage sale on 11-17-07 for $10 with case. (Bottom edge of top part of case where it connects to bottom broke off. I have the piece.)
[Olympus XA 2]
Olympus XA 2, classic camera sold from 1980 to 1986, 35mm f3.5 lens, 3 zone focusing, ASA 25-800, electronic shutter 10 seconds to 1/750 second. Fully automatic exposure. It follows the more sophisticated XA with rangefinder focusing and an f2.8 lens. It has a large following and is discussed at several sites. E.g. XA2 and Photoethnography. My XA 2 was purchased at a garage sale in Kihei on the island of Maui in Hawaii on August 7, 2005 for $5. It's a little dirty but with the addition of two new LH44 batteries the shutter fires and it appears to work. The lens appears clear. The seals need to be replaced.

I purchased a second working XA2 for $5 at an estate sale in the Mt. Helix area of San Diego on 6-28-08. The cosmetic condition is good except for a large spot on the camera back below the rewind knob with no paint. The spot looks to be caused by resting one's thumb there while taking a photo and an indication of a well used, although well cared for, camera. It comes with an A11 flash in good cosmetic and working condition. The flash, which takes a 1.5 volt AA battery, turns on using a switch on the camera just below the ASA setting under the lens.

[Olympus XA]
Olympus XA, (Large Image) the first of the XA series, this little rangefinder sold from 1975 to 1985. 35mm f2.8 lens, ASA 25-800, electronic shutter 10 seconds to 1/500 second. Excellent discussion at Photoethnography. I have two, both with issues. The first I purchased for $30 in Encinitas, CA on 9-23-07 from an ad on Craiglist. The shutter fires and the aperture works. The meter operates but is significantly off, beyond the ability to compensate for the inaccuracies by adjusting the ISO. That's a problem since it's a totally automatic exposure camera. It came with two flashes, the A11 and the "Quick Flash A1L," which curiously has no battery chamber. (With flash and closed "clamshell" lens cover.)The second was purchased at a garage sale in the Mission Hills area of San Diego in early October 2007 for $2. It powers on and the meter works accurately, although the shutter doesn't fire. It is also missing the take up spool in the film chamber. It came with another A11 Electronic Flash. While a cool camera and very collectible, I prefer a more traditional rangefinder design and a manual override.
[Olympus 35 RC]
Olympus 35 RC, (Large Image) 42mm, f2.8 rangefinder with automatic shutter perferred exposure. Shutter speeds from 1/15 to 1/500. Apertures and shutter speeds shown in viewfinder. Shutter speed dial on top with aperture ring around base of lens. ISO from 25 to 800 set with small ring surrounding front of lens. Originally used 1.3 volt PX-13 mercury battery. I replaced it with a 1.5 volt PX625A alkaline battery. Price in 1976-77 Sears Catalog was $124, dropping to $119.50 in the 1977-78 catalog. Purchased at a Fletcher Hills (El Cajon, CA) garage sale on 3-31-07 for $6. In good cosmetic and working condition except the rangefinder focusing is difficult to see although in the right light it still works. Serial no. 353678. Made in Japan. Sears Catalog gives meaurements as 4.5" x 2.75" x 2.25" and weight as 18 oz. CameraQuest gushes over it describing it as perhaps the "Smallest 35 Rangefinder ever with AE Exposure and Manual Override ?" It gives it a date of 1970. It was therefore sold throughout at least most of the 1970s. Andrew Yue, a Research Scientist Associate at the University of Texas at Austin Physics Department, has a very detailed page about it calling it "the essence of 35mm photography in a small package." D. Scott Young also has an extensive discussion.
[Olympus Infinity Jr]


Olympus Infinity Jr, (circa 1987) compact 35mm autofocus camera with 35mm, f3.5 lens. Built in flash with settings on slide switch below lens of auto, off and fill in. Has clamshell lens cover design like the XA and XA 2. Takes two 1.5 volt AAA batteries or one CR or DL 123A battery. Auto film advance and self timer. Date from Captain Kodak at Flicker.com. Called Infinity Jr in USA, but called AF-10 elsewhere in the world. (Olympus Camera History.) Focus range .7m to infinity and flash range 4.5m with 100-ASA film and 9m with 400-ASA film according to Jesse's Hunting and Outdoors which also explains how to modify the Infinity Jr to capture animal images with the shutter being automatically tripped when the animal passes. (See also Assorted Circuits for Home-Made Trail Cameras.) I could not find information on the shutter speeds. Mine was purchased at a garage sale in La Mesa, CA on 5-12-07 for 10 cents! It is in good cosmetic and operating condition.
[Olympus Stylus Epic]
Olympus Stylus Epic, a very compact camera with a 35mm f2.8 lens, multizone autofocus, purchased new for about $100 with date function and leather case in 1999. See Popular Photography April 2003 Review for detailed information on the Stylus Epic. Olympus Camera History states the Stylus Epic, known outside the U.S. as the Mju II, was first produced in 1996, replacing the Mju I introduced in 1991. The 35mm autofocus point and shoot cameras eventually took over the market for 126, 110 and disc cameras. This shows the versatility of 35mm cameras from simple point and shoot cameras to professional qualitiy single lens reflex cameras.
[Olympus Stylus 105]
Olympus Stylus 105 still sold at Amazon.com for $89.95. Amazon also has a link to the manual. All weather design. Lens: 38-105mm, f5.6 to 11.9, 8 elements in 7 groups. Shutter programed electronic - specifications do not give speeds. Autofocus. Close focus 2 feet. Uses one 3 volt lithium battery, CR123A. In good working condition. Cosmetic condition is satisfactory with many small scrapes on body. Lens and viewfinder are clean and scratch free. Viewfinder has diopter adjustment. Purchased at a La Mesa, CA garage sale in July 2006 for about $1. Wide range zoom lens 35mm compact cameras like this were very popular prior to digital cameras predominating. A major drawback of these cameras, however, is the relatively small maximum lens opening of f5.6. While I am not sure, I think the f11.9 specification is the maximum opening at 105mm. This makes bright light or high ISO film necessary. In constrast the single focal length f2.8 Stylus Epic has a maximum aperture two stops greater than the Stylus 105. Other views: large, top, back, lens extended.
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Pentax

[Pentax EZY-R]
Pentax EZY-R, (1999) Description and reviews still available at epinions.com. 38-70 mm zoom lens with f4.8-8.5 aperture. Purchased at a garage sale on 4-22-06 for about $2.50 with case and manual. Unfortunately, I can't get it to work. When I insert a CR123 battery the lens cover starts to open, but then the motor for the rewind just spins. This happens even if I put a roll of film in. In good cosmetic condition. Made in China.
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Petri

[Petri 7s]
Petri 7s, Japanese rangefinder. Photoethnography has a good discussion. Manufactured from 1963 to 1977. Original price $59.50. Selenium meter encircles lens with the read-out on the top. Shutter speeds from 1/500 to 1 second and bulb. 52mm skylight filter is stuck on. 45mm f1.8 lens. Completely manual. Accessory clip on top. Purchased on 10-6-05 on ebay for $7.53 with $4.55 shipping. In very good working and cosmetic condition although I have not tried it with film. Comes with black leather like Petri case in good condition.
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Ricoh

[Ricoh Five One Nine]
Ricoh Five One Nine (519) (1958) Date from Camerapedia - Ricoh 519. See also La collection d'appareils photo par Sylvain Halgand. A 1958 magazine ad lists the price as $99.95. That apparently included a detachable light meter which fits on the accessory shoe on top of the camera. $99.95 in 1958 has the same buying power as $748.17 in 2009. It has a 45mm f1.9 lens. Seikosha-MXL shutter with speeds from 1/500 to 1 second plus bulb. The film advance is on the bottom and is designed to allow quick advancement. The back and bottom come off for film loading. Mine is in very good cosmetic condition with the exception that the covering on front is coming off. A little glue would fix that. The shutter and aperture appear to work. The focusing has issues. The rangefinder will not come into focus. The front lens element also seems to be loose. The flash selector for M F or X also seems to be loose as is the ring where that is located. Perhaps if everything were tightened up the focus might work. My camera came with a Ricoh Aux. Telephoto Lens for 1:1.9 4.5cm. It screws on the front of the lens. It has no supplemental finder, however, so I don't know how you frame accurately. The auxiliary lens is shown attached to the main lens in the photo. I purchased my Ricoh Five One Nine for $39.44 plus $11.95 shipping on eBay on 12-14-09. I probably paid too much with the focus problem. It was being sold for parts or to fix.
[Ricoh AF-2]
Ricoh AF-2, (1981) date from Amateur Photographer test report date. This is consistent with manual that came with the camera that has a code of 1181-2 which I presume is for 1981. Manual is also available on-line at butkus.org. AF-2 at Japanese sites Ricoh, Plastic Camera Paradise and Rangefinder. Similar AF-2D at Japanese site minolook. Autofocus 38mm, f2.8, 4 element lens. Accepts 46mm filters. Close focus 1m. ISO manually set from ISO 25 to 800. Self timer. Pop up flash. Shutter automatically set from 1/8 to 1/500 second. Tripod socket. Auto film loading and auto winding. Uses two AA batteries. Approximately 13.5 cm x 8cm x 5.5 cm. Made in Japan. Purchased at a garage sale on 4-22-06 for about $2.50 with case, manual, lens cap and brochure. In excellent operating and cosmetic condition. Serial No. 65332929.
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Voigtlander

[Voigtlander Vitessa A (Version 4)]
Voigtlander Vitessa A (Version 4) (Large Image) (1950-1954) German 35mm rangefinder with Voigtlander Ultron 50mm f2 lens and Compur Rapid shutter with speeds from 1 to 1/500 seconds. There is no light meter. Voigtlander Vitessa goes through the four different models and 18 model versions of the Vitessa in the ten years they were made from 1950 to 1960. The first model, Model A, was made from 1950-1954. My is version 4 of Model A, with a removable accessory shoe that slides over the top where the rangefinder window is. The name is under that accessory shoe. Voigtlander Vitessa calls it "an extraordinary rangefinder." Camera Quest calls the Vitessa L model with light meter "the most beautifully made, most elegant, and most innovative 1950's 35mm folder. The fit and finish is exquisite, approaching Leica M3 standards." The manual is available at www.butkus.org. I needed to look at it to close the camera. (There are two red pressure points on the shutter cover which you press down simultaneously.) Price in a 1952 ad on eBay was $159.50, over $1,250 in 2007 dollars! Rangefinder repair/adjustment is difficult according to photo.net and links there. It is a unique camera in several ways. Press the large plunger on top and the film is advanced. The back, bottom and part of the front are one piece that comes off by lifting and turing the lever on the bottom to reveal the film chamber. The focus is a rotating knob on the top of the back of the camera. The distance indicator and depth of field scale is on the top just above the focus knob. Shutter speed and aperture controls are rings on the lens. Purchased at a garage sale in the San Carlos area of San Diego three blocks from my house for $10 on 11-17-07. In good working and cosmetic condition. Some left over adhesive from a label on the top. A very cool camera!
[Voigtlander Prominent 35mm Rangefinder]
Voigtlander Prominent 35mm Rangefinder (Large Image) (1950-1958) German 35mm rangefinder with Voigtlander Ultron 50mm f2 lens and Compur Rapid shutter with speeds from 1 to 1/500 seconds. There is no light meter. It was an expensive camera designed to compete with Leica and Contax. Camerapedia. Many criticize it as having very poor ergonomics. See, e.g., cameraquest.com, Classic Cameras. Extensive information at www.novacon.com.br including information about a single lens reflex housing that could be attached. Used interchangeable Voightlander lenses. Originally had winding knob to advance film. In 1956 a film advance lever was added. In 1958 an improved Prominent II was introduced. It lasted until 1960. The Prominent name had previously been used for a 1932 Voigtlander 6x9cm rangefinder. Mine is in rough shape. It is pretty dirty and has some corrosion on the metal. The glass of the lens looks good and the rangefinder works. The camera is missing the film advance lever or knob. I have not been able to test the shutter. Purchased in Vista, CA from an ad on Craigslist on 7-30-08 with about a dozen other cameras and assorted lenses and accessories for $125. The equipment had belonged to seller's grandfather and other family members from Michigan.
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Yashica

[Yashica Lynx 1000]
Yashica Lynx 1000 (Large Image) (Introduced 1960) I purchased this camera at a La Mesa, California garage sale on December 2, 2012 for about $10. It appears to be in good working condition including an active meter. As a likely rare addition, this camera came with its original box and Styrofoam packing in excellent condition. It also comes with the leather case although the part of the top half of the case that hooks onto the camera is missing. This is the first camera in the Lynx series. This camera is similar to the Lynx 5000e below except this camera has a Selenium meter with no battery while the 5000e has a Cds meter that requires batteries. The Lynx 1000 a great rangefinder capable of high quality photos. It has a top shutter speed of 1/1000 second. It has a 45mm f1.8 lens. Excellent information is at www.yashica-guy.com. The owner's manual is at www.butkus.org. This YouTube video describes its operation. There is also a discussion of it at apug.org.
[Yashica Minimatic C]
Yashica Minimatic C (Large Image) (Circa 1961-66) Rangefinder with 45mm f2.8 Yashinon lens surrounded by Selenium meter. Dates are from Photo.net which says it was manufactured from 1961-1963 and neighborhoodvalues.com which says from March 1961 to March 1966 and shows one that was purchased new on 1/17/1966. It had automatic exposure. You place the aperture ring to auto. I couldn't find specifications, but I think the camera may have a fixed shutter speed in automatic mode and selects the aperture based on the meter. I can see the aperture is wider in dim light and more narrow in bright light. My Selenium meter therefore seems to be functioning, although I have no idea if it is accurate. There is suppose to be a needle on top of the viewfinder to tell whether there is sufficient light. I don't see the needle in my camera, however. You can also select the aperture manually with a fixed shutter speed of 1/30 second. This is basically for the use of a flash. There is also a B setting with the aperture set at f2.8. Other than the B, Auto and 1/30 second shutter setting when the aperture is manually set, there is no other way to control the shutter speed. The lack of a range of manual shutter speeds is a disappointment in this camera since old Selenium meters can easily stop working or be inaccurate. My camera appears to work since the shutter fires, the aperture varies in automatic mode, and the aperture changes appropriately in manual mode. The rangefinder on mine also works well. The focusing spot is still bright and distinct. I purchased mine at a La Mesa, CA garage sale on July 14, 2012 with several other photographic items as described further under the entry for the Yashica Lynx 5000E below.
[Yashica IC Lynx 14E]
Yashica IC Lynx 14E (Large Image) (1968) Date from cdegroot.com and averyandphotography.blogspot.com. It followed the Yashica Lynx that was introduced in 1965. (See www.photoethnography.com.) The two cameras are similar with the Lynx 14E IC having an LED meter instead of a match needle meter. The E stands for electronic and the IC stands for integrated circuit. Despite the "electronic" "integrated circuit," happily this camera has a fully manual aperture and shutter speed. Therefore, if the battery dies out or the meter kicks the bucket, you are still in great shape. By contrast, the Yashica Electro 35 cameras are fully automatic with an electronic shutter. The really big deal about the Lynx 14E, however, is the huge aperture 45mm f1.4 lens, the largest or one of the largest apertures on a fixed lens 35mm rangefinder camera. The 7element lens in 5 groups gets high marks. (See, e.g., www.rangefinderforum.com and photo.net.) Shutter speeds are from 1 to 1/500 second. Apertures are from f1.4 to f16 with no click stops. The meter is not through the lens. I purchased mine at a La Mesa, CA garage sale on 4-24-10 for about $17.50 (this and a Pentax ME Super with 2x teleconverter for $35). The shutter fires and the speeds seem to be reasonably accurate. Lens is clear. Aperture works fine. I have not put batteries in it yet so I don't know if the meter works. It takes two PX640 batteries. It comes with the leather case.
Yashica IC Lynx 5000E (Large Image) (1966-71) Dates are from Camerapedia - Yashica Lynx 5000E. The Yashica IC Lynx 5000E is basically the same as the Lynx 14E above except it has a slower f1.8 lens instead of the 14's f1.4 lens. The focal length of both lenses is 45mm. The Lynx 5000E has a faster top shutter speed of 1/1000 second, however, compared to the 14E's 1/500 second. The meter is operated by the switch on front. I purchased mine at a La Mesa, CA garage sale on 7-14-12 less than .5 miles from my house. I paid $40 for it, a new looking Quantary 28-200mm f3.5-5.6 lens with Minolta (Sony) AF mount, a Yashica Minimatic C, a Soligor 135mm f2.8 lens with Minolta manual focus mount, a Sekonic CdS meter (needs battery), a 2X teleconverter for Pentax manual mount, a broken Canon 35-70mm f3.5-4.5 lens (won't focus and aperture doesn't change), a Sekonic Selinium meter (does not appear to function correctly), a 49mm skylight filter and a Minolta AF rear lens cap and body cap. The primary value was in Quantary lens and this camera, and to a lesser extent the Yashica Minimatic C. The shutter and aperture seem to work well. The two 640 1.3 volt mercury batteries were heavily corroded. I cleaned the compartment. Some of the residue got into the upper part of the camera so I removed the top to the camera. To do this you remove the two screws on the sides. Then remove the film advance lever by rotating the part with two small holes in it. I used a paperclip. Two other pieces come out when you remove the film advance. Then pull out the film rewind knob and the film spool cylinder. The cylinder pulls all the way out. When I took the top off two other small pieces fell out - a small plastic cylinder and a washer. I concluded these go back into the bottom of the shutter release when I was reassembling things. I cleaned further corrosion from around the wires. A wire had broken off the contact with the battery compartment. I soldered it back on. While I had the top off I also cleaned all of the glass surfaces of the rangefinder with isopropyl alcohol. I then reassembled everything. The viewfinder was much clearer, although I cleaned too much removing most of the blue tint on one of the surfaces that helps you see the rangefinder double image. Bummer! I should have read the advice in Camera Collecting and Restoration not to clean that portion or perhaps used Windex to clean as suggested in Yashica Lynx 5000 - Matt's Classic Cameras. The rangefinder still works, but it is dim. I put in two 1.5 volt A640 batteries to replace the original mercury batteries. I have not been able to get the meter working. That's not surprising since things were so heavily corroded. The camera functions without the meter or batteries, however, and both the shutter and aperture can be adjusted. You just have to use a hand-held meter, the sunny 16 rule or the table that comes with film.
[Yashica Electro 35G]
Yashica Electro 35 G (Large Image), (With Tele-Wide Adapters) (1968-1970) Second generation Yashica Electro G. Mostly cosmetic changes from the original Yashica Electro 35 released in 1966. The G model introduced a recessed area on the bottom plate to ease opening of the rear door. The information relating to the GSN below also generally applies to the G model. Excellent information on the series is at Yashica Guy. I bought the tele-wide adapters. These screw onto the front. They also require a focus adjustment which is stated on the adapters. They are missing the viewfinder adapter which is really necessary to use them as Yashica Guy points out (near end of page). Others criticize that the tele-wide adapters are a hassle to use and do not change the field of view significantly. They were relatively expensive with the Yashica Guy showing a receipt from 1983 for about $60. That's nearly $130 in 2009 dollars. Further, the camera itself in a Sears Camera Catalog from the late 1970s was only $116.50. I purchased my Yashica Electro 35G for $0.99 on eBay on June 3, 2009. I paid another $0.99 for the supplementary lenses. Total shipping was $9.60. The camera is in good cosmetic condition and comes with the leather case and a lens cap. The viewfinder is clean and the rangefinder focusing works. The glass looks good. Unfortunately, the shutter is stuck open. You can see where a shutter or aperture blade is stuck. (The shutter should fire at 1/500 without a battery.) The supplementary lenses look to be in good condition.
[Yashica Electro 35 GSN]
Yashica Electro 35 GSN (Large Image) (1973-1980) 35mm rangefinder with Color-Yashinon DX 45mm f1.7 lens. Camera made in Hong Kong. Lens made in Japan. Aperture preferred automatic exposure with stepless shutter speeds from 1/500 to 30 seconds. Originally used a 5.6 volt PX 32 mercury battery. I substituted a 6 volt PX28A (4LH44) as recommended in photoethnography.com and Matt Denton Photo. That battery is smaller so I filled the gap with aluminum foil. Meter works and appears to be right on using the Sunny 16 rule. Matt Denton shows the internal construction of the camera also. Yashica-guy also has great information including internal photos. Generally, people say the lens is very high quality. It seems to work well. I'm looking forward to trying it out with film. Purchased at a garage sale in the San Carlos area (on Golfcrest) of San Diego on 9-8-07 for about $25. (Purchased this and a Pentax ME Super for $55).
[Yashica AF-J]


Yashica AF-J (circa 1987) autofocus, fixed focal length of 32mm, f3.5. Serial No. 5032199. Assembled in Hong Kong. In good cosmetic and working condition. Purchased at an estate sale on 5-20-06 in the Fletcher Hills area of El Cajon, CA for about $5. Initially it was not working but I rubbed contacts in battery compartment with an eraser and then it worked. Perhaps some slight corrosion on one of the battery contacts.
[Yashica T4 Super]


Yashica T4 Super (circa 2000?) (Large Image) A popular and highly sought after compact Japanese autofocus 35mm camera due it its sharp Carl Zeiss Tessar T* f3.5/35mm single focal length lens and compact, rugged weather-proof design. Backpacker Magazine in August 2001 stated: "This slender camera lets you take professional-quality pictures without lugging heavy photo gear." Photo.net indicates that thousands of pros carried a T4 Super (or prior T4 without super scope and weather proofing) as a compact backup camera. Photo.net also indicates the T4 was top rated by Consumer Reports with quality meeting or exceeding cameras costing hundreds of dollars more. Film speed from ISO 50 to 3200. Shutter speeds from 1 to 1/700 second. Price when new was about $160. Has a unique "super scope" viewfinder on top of the camera for framing looking down. Great for low or quick shots when you can't put the regular viewfinder up to your eye. The super scope basically gives you mini twin lens reflex viewing. My T4 Super is in good cosmetic and working condition. Purchased at garage sale on my street on 5-19-07 for about $1 - a super deal! Takes one 3 volt CR123A Lithium battery. Serial No. 293298.
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Zeiss Ikon

[Zeiss Ikon Contessa 35]
Large, Top, Closed, Case, 1953 Sears Catalog Page
Zeiss Ikon Contessa 35 (circa 1953-1955) According to cameraquest this folding 35mm rangefinder was made from 1950 to 1955, with two versions - the first from 1950 to 1953 with a Compur Rapid shutter and the second (mine) from 1953 to 1955 with a Compur Synchro shutter. Made in Stuttgart, Germany. Zeiss -Opton Tessar 45mm f2.8-22 lens. Compur Synchro shutter 1/500 to 1 second and bulb. Coupled rangefinder focusing. Close focus less than 3 feet. Flash contact with settings for flash bulb and electronic flash. Selenium, non-coupled, metering system. The metering door stays shut for bright light. You open it for dim light. There are two scales and a match needle on the top. Price in Fall 1953 Sears Camera Catalog was $214, equal to an astonishing $1,736 in 2008 dollars! The case was an additional $12. A similar Retina IIa with a faster f2 lens was only $164.10 and a Tower 35 Type 3 Japanese rangefinder, similar to a Leica, with 50mm, f2 Nikkor lens was only $175. Purchased on June 15, 2008 at an estate sale in the Rancho Bernardo area of San Diego for $45. (Listed at $120, although the tag looked like $20. It was the last day of a three day sale so everything was half price. I thought I could get it for $10. We finally negotiated to $45.) The same day one sold on eBay for $165 (14 day return policy) and another for $57.50 (meter not working correctly).
Excellent working and cosmetic condition. There is some tiny corrosion between the light meter and flash shoe. (The red coloring above the viewing window I believe is from the red felt of the inside of the case. It came right off.) Everything seems to work well including the meter. I am testing it with film now. The case is in good condition except some stitching is coming apart and the strap is broke near where it attaches to the camera. While it has a socket for a cable shutter release, it curiously does not have a tripod socket. The lens cover folds down, however, providing a stable platform to set the camera on a table or other flat surface. The manual is available in jpg format at R & R Photo and in pdf format at butkus.org. It is a relatively complicated process to use the camera compared to a modern camera. You must advance the film with the winder knob at the bottom. You must also cock the shutter. The shutter will not release until you do these two steps. The shutter release is locked unless there is film in the camera. (You can force the shutter to release without film, however, by pressing a small lever on the bottom of the lens.) The light meter dial, with very small print, shows applicable aperture and shutter speed combinations. You set the aperture using the innermost ring on the lens and the shutter speed using the next ring on the lens. You focus using the outermost ring and the rangefinder image in the viewfinder. All of the rings and the numbers seem quite small compared with a 35mm single lens reflex camera or a rangefinder from the 60s or 70s. When loading film, you must reset the film counter by rotating a button on the bottom. It is all pretty straight forward, but definately slows you down - which can be a good thing! All in all, a beautiful camera capable of taking beautiful photos. A wonderful find!
[Zeiss Ikon Contina II]
Zeiss Ikon Contina II (circa 1956), made in Stuttgart, Germany, Novicar-Anastigmat 45mm f2.8-22 lens, Prontor-SVS shutter 1/300 top shutter speed, focusing by estimation 3 feet to infinity. Flash contact with settings for flash bulb and electronic flash (self timer on same button). It has a unique selenium metering system. A door opens on front to activate it, with a match needle on top to find the exposure value (EV). You push a button on the f stop ring to set the EV. When that button is released, combinations of f stops and shutter speeds for that EV are fixed. For example, you can change the aperture and the shutter speed will still be correct for the set exposure value. Price in 1957 Sears Camera Catalog was $75 ($520 in 2005 dollars) with $9 for the case. Purchased on August 13, 2005 at a La Mesa, CA garage sale for $20 with case, instruction booklet (see sample pages), Honeywell flash, and shutter release cable. It is in very good working and cosmetic condition with film still in it. The seller, a retired middle school math teacher, was the original owner who received it as a gift in the 1950s. I also bought math books from him. Additional views: Large, Front, Top, Back. Several sites discuss this camera generally finding it to have a sharp lens capable of excellent results. See, e.g., photoethnography.com, Camera Works, and Zeiss Contina. I purchased a second one around 2007 from an ad on Craigslist with several other cameras. It is in very nice cosmetic condition with a working light meter. The shutter neither cocks nor fires, however. It comes with the bottom half of the case.
Agfa | Argus | Canon | Canter | Kodak | Konica | Leica | Mamiya | Minolta | Nikon | Olympus | Pentax | Petri | Ricoh | Voigtlander | Yashica | Zeiss Ikon | Other

Other

[Bolsey B2 Rangefinder]
Bolsey B2, (1949-1956) U.S. rangefinder with viewing window and separate rangefinder window. Wollensak 44mm f3.2 to 22 lens. Bosley syncromatic shutter with speeds of 1/10 to 1/200 seconds. Double image prevention by lifting slightly on wind knob. Purchased at a Fletcher Hills (El Cajon, CA) garage sale on 3-24-07 for $3 with leather ever-ready case, flash, several bulbs, instruction booklet and vinyl case. Serial no. 302391. In very good working and cosmetic condition with some chrome loss. Price in 1953-54 Sears Camera Catalog was $73.50, or $560 in 2007 dollars, about the price of a 6.1 megapixel digital SLR in 2007. The B22 pictured in the catalog is the same as the B2 except for a flash exposure system automatically setting the aperture based on the rangefinder distance. Notice from the catalog the unique Bolsey C 35mm twin lens reflex. Twin Lens reflex focusing was typically only used with medium format cameras. A similar Bolsey B2 sold on eBay on 3-25-07 for $51 without manual or flash. Excellent information at several sites including: Photoethonography, butkus.org (full manual), pbase.com, The Living Image, camerapedia, photo.net, Boley Model B2, shutter repair. There was a US Air Force model which this might be since the owner who died 20 years ago or so was in the US Air Force. There was also a US Army model with green in place of the black covering and black paint instead of the chrome. Photos: Large, Top, Back, Back Open, Case, Flash, Manual Photo.
[Ikelite Auto35 Camera and Housing]
Ikelite Auto35 Camera and Housing, a very simple, fixed focus, fixed exposure, camera with a 28mm glass lens inside a waterproof housing. The system is designed to be used for scuba diving. It comes with a electronic strobe which mounts on the arm shown in the photo. The electronic flash on the camera sets off the strobe so that cords are not needed. It is in good working condition and is capable of excellent results. Purchased new in 2000.
[Samsung 130 GLM]
Samsung Maxima Zoom 130 GLM, autofocus 35mm with 38-130mm, f4.2 to f11.7 Samsung Aspherical Lens. (With Lens Extended.) Quartz Date Back. Made in China by Korean Company. Serial no. 90604451. Except for silver instead of gold color, it appears to be largely identical to the Maxima Zoom 130GLQD Date advertised at amazon.com. That camera as of March 2007 sells for $129 and had an original list price of $189.99. Shutter speeds from 1/3 to 1/400 second. 40 zone active infrared autofocus with focus lock. 5.29 x 2.95 x 2.2 inches. 11.5 ounces. Uses 1 CR123A 3 volt battery which fits in the right (as viewed from the back) side. Includes portrait and continuous shooting modes. Automatic flash with red eye reduction. Diopter adjustment on eyepiece. First available at Amazon on 9-4-99. Typical of long zoom compact cameras of the 1990s it has a very small aperture at the maximum zoom. I purchased mine at a Fletcher Hills (El Cajon, CA) garage sale on 3-11-07 for $1. It appears to be in very good cosmetic and working condition with a fresh battery included. Shutterbug has a pdf article and chart on compact autofocus cameras from 2003. As can be seen this was a popular category of camera. I assume few are sold today, however, with the digital camera revolution.
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