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Galleries Medium format  |  35mm cameras  |  Miscellaneous fun stuff
Medium format

Afga Super Isolette
A recent addition to my collection, the Agfa Super Isolette was first introduced in 1954. At the time, it was considered the best of the Agfa 6 x 6 folders, and it is easy to see why. It boasts a unique, precision film advance mechanism and a coupled rangefinder, making film loading and focusing a breeze. The Super Isolette came with 3 choices of lenses and various shutters. My particular model boasts the best of the lineup: a four-element 3.5 75mm Solinar lens, and a whisper-quiet Synchro Compur shutter. As with most of my cameras that boast between thirty and fifty-plus years of age, this one required a good CLA (cleaning, lubrication and adjustment) to restore it to its original glory. As a folder, it is medium format photography at its simplest level – but the superb lens quality and beautiful workmanship belie the simplicity of its appearance.

Mamiya Super 23 press camera
Introduced in 1967. One of the most fun cameras I have: a classic press camera. Mamiya Super 23s seem to command loyalty. Several lenses are available for this system, and I plan on the fun of exploring them all. Film advance is manual, making it infrared ‘friendly'. I employ two different film backs: the 6X7 and also 6X9 cm (shown here). The camera is shown with its 100mm f 3.5 lens, which was the more common than the superior 2.8. However, when stopped down to f11 or better the Mamiya 3.5/100 provides a sharp, contrasty negative which enables the photographer to take full advantage of the 6x7/6X9 film format.

Mamyia 645 1000S
This model was introduced in the latter part of the '70's.    I am smitten with the simplicity of this fully manual camera.    Mine came with the excellent 80 mm 1.9 lens, and I have added several more lenses.   Mamiya glass is hard to fault.   I usually leave the metered prism viewfinder on, as it is more versatile for me than the waist level viewfinder, though I can switch them out with ease.   A favorite!

Holga 120S
Okay, so maybe it's a bit of stretch to refer to this plastic toy as a real “medium format” camera. It may indeed have its humble beginnings as a toy, but these days they can hardly be manufactured quickly enough to satisfy the demand of photographers who are enchanted with its quirkiness. I'm one of those photographers, and the little camera is always included when I go off on a shoot. Also included in the camera bag is the black cloth tape, to make sure the camera back doesn't happen to fall off at a crucial moment! Once the tape is covering the camera back, and the lens cap removed for the duration of the shoot (the eyepiece gives the photographer no hint if the lens happens to be covered while shooting), lots of fun can be had with this little camera and some 120 film.

35mm cameras

Pentax ME
My current go-to camera for shooting infrared film.  The beauty of the camera is in its simplicity. While not fully manual, like its cousin the Pentax K-1000, the ME is an aperture-priority camera which still boasts a manual film advance, making it perfect for infrared film.   The real delight for me is the ability to use the modern lenses that I bought for use with the MZ-S, which take gorgeous, sharp pictures.

Pentax MZ-S
A little workhorse of a camera, it was impossible to resist the beautiful styling and exceptional functionality of this camera. It's easy to remain loyal to a company that manufactures quality lenses whose mounts still fit the 35 mm built 30 years ago (read: the ME). I use only prime lenses, as displayed here, appreciating their speed and versatility. This is the most modern of all my cameras, and a joy to work with.

Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super BC
This beautiful, German-made SLR camera came to us in near-mint condition, though certainly well used and loved to the point of being re-covered in classy dark red leather. Produced from 1967 to 1970, this is a shutter-priority camera that can switch to non-metered manual mode with the press of a button. It also boasts a battery operated TTL light meter and interchangeable lenses. Pictured here is the standard Zeiss-Tessar f/2.8 50mm lens and the 115mm f/ 4.5 Pro-Tessar. There is also a 35mm f/3.2 Pro Tessar lens that will be part of the lineup someday. This little camera was built to last, with a solid body that handles beautifully and, mechanically, is a thrill to use.

Miscellaneous fun stuff

SX-70 Land camera
It's hard to accept that Polaroid Corp. discontinued its famous Time Zero film that this camera used.    I spent many happy hours shooting this camera and creating SX-70 manipulations with this film.   Although it is possible to modify other square format films to work in this camera, I am currently resigned to giving mine an honorary place of distinction on the display shelf, and remembering what once was.   It's not a stretch to say that inventor Edwin Land, who created this camera for Polaroid, revolutionized instant photography with this humble looking folder.   Ansel Adams called the SX-70 "an absolute miracle." It deserved a better fate.

various box cameras
Here is a sample from a much larger collection of box cameras. Most are in a state of disrepair, in one form or another. Among those, some will actually be repaired and used again, and some are just for display. However, the ones here do actually work and, when in good repair, the simple box camera is fun to shoot and can produce a nice negative from 120 film.

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