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Saturday, 10 August 2019


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The oldest one I shoot with regularly is my 645Z, which I got just over 5 years ago.

Regularly? I shoot a 1Ds Mark II and a 5D Mark II a lot.

Although I don't shoot with it a *lot*, I bust out an old Nikon D1x a few times a year, just because I like it.

Weirdest camera would be a "Hasselblad" Lunar that I bought in EXC condition from KEH for only ten percent of the original asking price.

Since I use full-frame Sony bodies for work, it tags along in the bag sometimes as a crop-sensor backup body.

My main camera is an Olympus EM5, but I regularly shoot with a Pentax K10D (released in 2008) and a Super Takumar 50mm 1,4.
Two years ago my cousin gave me his old Olympus E510 (eich he bought new in 2007. I immediately fell in love with it. It is, by far, the most comfortable camera I’ve hold, I wish I’ve known that when it was still on the market.

Oldest and oddest (and no longer with me) was a Conley 5x7 camera. The Conley was manufactured in Rochester...Minnesota and sold through Sears and Roebuck. The camera was of uncertain age and unknown pedigree and it served me well for the few years it was part of my photographic life.

Well it's still the Olympus E-1 for me. It doesn't get used as much as it did, but I do still take it out. I love the images from that old Kodak sensor and the whole experience of using the camera itself. The lovely Zuiko lenses help, and a more recently purchased Leica 14-150 IS zoom picked up for a fraction of its original price has added a new lease of life to the camera.

And to prove I still use it, here's one from earlier this year:

The oldest digital camera I shoot with fairly regularly is the Leica M9 released in September 2009. I purchased it last year (with new sensor). It certainly falls under the heading of "classic digital" with its now unique CCD sensor. It's my first Leica. Extrapolating, I think I'll be able to afford an M10 in about 5 or 6 years. The most offbeat is my Crown Graphic which, when I take it out of the house, always draws bemused attention.

The oldest digital camera I regularly use is a Nikon D7000, which was introduced in 2010. (I received mine as a gift in late 2011.) The most unusual camera I sometimes use (rarely use is more accurate) is a Mamiya C330f with a late model (multicoated) 80mm f/2.8 lens. The last rolls of film used with it were B&W films from Fuji and Kodak. What I would really like to do some time is use a 4x5 wooden camera that I designed and built around 1990/91. Some day!

Oldest digital camera I use would be a Pentax K-5, which came out in 2010. I use it when the weight of the K-1 would be a bother.

Not my oldest digital camera, which is an Olympus D-100 from 2001. 1.3 megapixels (VGA) with so-so color, and almost no compatibility with any reasonable batteries. One review noted peak current draw was 1.2 amps! Used SmartMedia cards (so obsolete).

For a while the oldest "quality" digital camera was a Canon G6. But our iPhone 7's make that pretty much obsolete.

Most odd-ball film camera I've used would be a Foth-Derby. 127 film, half-frame (30x40mm), and a focal plane shutter that kicks like a mule.

Although I suppose that Kodak Pamoram No. 1 and No. 3A also count as odd-ball. Have used both several times.

I did just test-drive an Ica Atom #51, having finally accumulated four plate holders for it. Used 0.040 styrene as a "plate" behind the film, since the plate holders are for glass plates. Took three sheets of 4x5 film until I cut one into rectangular (not trapezoidal) sheets of film that fit in the plate holders. Film is washing now. Looks like it came out well. But it's not that "odd", other than being about the smallest size (4.5 x 6 cm) of plate camera ever made.

I didn't do digital until much later, but in 2007 I bought an Olympus E-1 for my wife. That was when Olympus had just introduced the follow-up model E-3, and the E-1 could be had for a couple of hundred pounds new. We still have the camera, and out of respect I take it out for a fun drive every once in a while. A beautifully crafted camera, and if you stay with base ISO, then the 5MP files from the CCD are very good. The camera was introduced in 2003, now we have 2019, that's 16 years of active service, not bad at all for digital. My own main camera now is the Fuji XPro2, which was introduced in 2016. I won't force the issue just to win records, but I wouldn't mind keeping the Xpro2 for at least ten to twelve years.

Film? Back in the early 2000s I had a phase where I was going all classic and worked with Barnack Leicas. I still have a small set of these elegant early Leicas: a Leica II (1932) with the Elmar f/3.5, a finderless Leica If (1952) with the Summaron 28mm f/5.6 and the external 28mm viewfinder, and the last of the screw-mounts, a Leica IIIg (1956) with the wonderful Elmar f/2.8. I loved the simplicity and functionality of these cameras. I don't really use them any more, but Barnack's dual-window design that uses separate finders for viewfinder and rangefinder has prepared me well for my current XPro2, where I use the lower-righthand corner of the OVF for the tiny focus-peaking LCD, in much the same way as my eye was switching between the two finders of the IIIg.

My oldest is the Panasonic GF1 with the 20mm lens I bought from you.

The oddest is the Welta Welty with a Schneider 5cm f2.0 for $15 picked up this year at the Pasadena Flea Market.

Oldest in regular use: Ricoh GRII, from 2015. Bought mine in 2016. Still cuts the rug very finely IMO.

Weirdest: Pentax K-01, 2012, Bumble Bee edition. Bought in 2013 when they were being sold off cheaply for lack of sales. It was/is a great performer but the styling was too much for most people. If Pentax would have gone with a more conventional styling route like Fuji did, they could have had a winner. I think they made two other constraints that boxed them in: (1) using the flange distance for the K-mount lenses. Makes sense on paper but they could have started a new lens line and offered an adapter for the K-mount. (2) Constrained themselves into using their standard battery. Again, makes sense on paper, but a smaller battery and smaller flange depth would have made for a much slimmer body.

Leica M8. It’s a good form factor but batteries are becoming and issue.

Oldest digicam I use regularly: 2010 Canon S95. It's my primary camera.

Oddest film camera I use: 1914 Kodak No. 2 Brownie, Model D. It's just a blast.

Wait! I forgot my Pentax K10D is even older, 2006. Just shot it all weekend.

My oldest digital cameras are a Nikon D700 from about 2009 and a Canon G12 in a plastic underwater housing from 2010. The G12 still gets used regularly when I need lots of battery and don’t have access to power for charging. The most shots I’ve got from the single huge battery was over 1200.

Oddball camera is a Nikonos III underwater camera bought about 1975. It still works and takes great underwater macro shots using an extension tube with framing prongs. It is so easy to get good pictures that are in focus with that setup.

Canon 20D from 2004 or 2005. Paid a friend $35 for it. Took a photo of an owl in low light at a whopping 800 ISO. A whole stop below max ISO. It was a little noisy, but I was pleasantly surprised at the quality.

My oldest digital camera used regularly is my Canon 1DS Mark II purchased brand new in 2004. Still beautifully noise free images up to iso 640.
My oldest film camera I use regularly is a Nikon Fe2.

The oldest digital camera I have is an Olympus E1, a 4/3 camera, but the oldest I'm using now is the Olympus OMD EM5.

Digital - Nikon D700, introduced July 2008. Bought the first one (refurbished) in February 2011, and have used a pair of them as my main event cameras since 2013. Still tempted by little used ones that come up for sale. Some can now be had for under £350.

Film - Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta IV, that my parents bought around about 1955. A medium format (6x6) folder that'll fit in a big pocket. It's five years older than me, and can take lovely photos. Attracts attention, and smiles of surprise when in use. Mostly used for B&W, but I like this colour shot: https://www.blipfoto.com/entry/2032487129640077863

Sony RX100 III, 2014, still an excellent camera used nearly every day.

Oldest Digital: Nikon D750, purchased shortly after it came out in 2014. It replaced a D700 which had taken a dunk in a river and didn't live to tell the tale.

Weirdest: the Texas Leica, er Fuji GW690 II. Costs $2/shot, but those big negatives are just wild to look at.

I'm hoping your well above average, expert in strange fields commenters could please discuss this (From John Krill - above)
"I don't use old electronic cameras. The oler they are the greater the chance of failure. Don't fool yourself ALL electronics fail.
That is why camera companies don't use the word electronics at all. They fail. They call them digital for that very reason.
After three years you're pushing your luck."

I have a bunch of old electronic cameras, some from the nineties and none have failed so far but I haven't used any one for more than maybe 25,000 exposures. I'd love to learn the truth or not behind this.


A colleague with a weakness for surplus optics sales had a monster aerial camera lens (10" focal length, f/1.34!)

and challenged me to use it to get a picture of one of the great comets. Lacking the original tracking film holder, I improvised a clamp for a 4x5" polaroid film holder and obtained some Type 57 instant film (3000 ASA). I also put together a crude tracking platform to keep it roughly centered on the comet. We got one decent image of Comet Hale-Bopp with a 15 second exposure (much sharper than it appears here):

We expected that the main problem in getting a sharp image would be the razor-thin plane of focus, but a more severe problem turned out to be film flatness since the film faced down and tended to sag a bit.

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