Kodak Retina I (Type 148)

The collection of Retinas continues to grow. This example was picked up at Central Camera in Chicago on my first trip to that photogenic city. As usual, the build quality is exceptional. The Type 148 feels very similar to the Type 126 in my hands but feels slightly heavier. More details will be forthcoming once…

Lomography Fisheye 1

The Lomography Fisheye 1 is a paragon of photographic engineering excellence. No, I can’t say that with a straight face. The tape I used to get a roll of UltraFine 100 film to adhere to the take-up spool (and subsequently fell off), laughable frame counter, and build quality of McDonald’s Happy Meal toy makes that…

Canon demi EE17

I love the way this camera looks, as I do most half-frame shooters, though my favorite by far is the Olympus Pen-F, also introduced in 1963. The viewfinder is bright and controls easy to use. Although, as with many Japanese cameras the focus throw is short, utilizing roughly 1/6 of available ring space. Film advance…

Olympus Pen-F

What can I say, I have lusted after an Olympus Pen-F for a while. I have a weakness for half-frame cameras and the Pen-F is the pinnacle. When one became available from Japan, at a price I could live with, I snapped it up. Everything works, and works well, on this Pen-F. The controls are precise…

Carl Zeiss Werramat

I didn’t know what to expect with the Carl Zeiss Werramat, originally purchased due to its clean design and unique lens cover. Equally interesting is the rapid-wind and cocking action initiated by twisting the ring at the base of the lens. Surprising to precisely no-one is that optics on the Tessar f2 50mm lens are…

Arsenal Kiev 4AM

No, 4AM is not the preferred time to use this camera, rather the model of this great Arsenal Kiev rangefinder, a camera that is a joy to use any time of day. Paired with the Jupiter-8M lens, some remarkable pictures can be captured. Despite initial issues with wayward fingers blocking the rangefinder window, the 4AM…

Beauty Canter 2.8

This is the Beauty Canter 2.8. It is a 35mm rangefinder camera manufactured in 1957 by Taiyodo Koki. Interestingly the Canter has a tinted viewfinder lens and a diamond-shaped rangefinder patch. Make Taiyodo Koki Model Beauty Canter Year c 1957 Format 35mm Shutter Copal-MXV Speed B,1,2,5,10,25,50,100,250,500 Lens FC Canter f2.8 45mm Focus 2.7ft – ∞ Aperture f2.8…

Pentax ME Super

I consider the Olympus OM-1n as one of my favorite recent acquisitions to shoot, but a friend recommended I try the Pentax ME Super. It has a similar form factor and feel to the Olympus. It also feels lighter in hand, a fact borne out by the specs. The ME Super is roughly two-tenths of a…

Ihagee Exakta Varex IIa

Since starting my collection, I have always liked the look of Ihagee cameras. In fact, I have nine of them, eight working. Oddly I have never shot with one until now. Which one did I pick? The Varex IIa. Despite some quirks, this camera is a joy to use and is perhaps the prettiest in…

Olympus OM-2n

Like the OM-1n, the Olympus OM-2n is a great camera in a compact package. With a body measuring 136x83x50mm, the OM-2n is smaller than many modern mirrorless cameras. It is very similar to the Om-2 with the addition of having auto exposire to 120 seconds as oppossed to 60 second for the OM-2. While very…

Ansco Memo Half-frame

Introduced in 1927, the Ansco Memo is a beautifully crafted 35mm half-frame camera that was one of the first America 35mm cameras to sell in any quantity. Despite its boxiness the Memo’s weight feels right in the hand the the action on the shutter release minimizes camera jitter. Make Ansco Model Memo Year c. 1927…

Olympus OM-1n

A lot has been written about the Olympus OM system cameras, particularly the OM-1. This camera arrived in the same box as an OM-2n and is sporting an Olympus F.Zuiko Auto-S f1.8 50mm lens that came originally attached to an OM-10. At the time it was introduced, the Olympus OM-1 set new standards in a…