Camera Reviews

My first real camera
Contax IIA

You’ll hear that “it’s not the camera, it’s the photographer” or some variant.  For a beginner, it’s good advice to avoid preoccupation with purchased equipment.  For the competent photographer – and especially the “pro” – it’s an excuse for lack of intelligence and effort.  The photographer chooses his tool according to his intent and knowledge of craft – reflected in the choice of equipment and his ability to use it.  That can and should be judged.  A poor carpenter with a full workshop may not match a master with a claw hammer; now imagine that master with a full workshop.  A master is also marked by discipline – he does not need to be restricted to a claw hammer to elect to use nothing but a claw hammer, if that serves his intent.  Camera wonks and shooter hacks, begone.

N.B. Cameras are listed in order of increasing primary format by their marketed brand and model names. Manufacturer, if different and known, is in brackets.  Also, this is not a list of the cameras that I own – these are the ones in “the rotation” : I may use any of these any given day for a specific purpose.  Cameras that have fulfilled the “this is one of the things I carry with me every day” role within the last couple of years are in italics.  It does not mean they are the only camera I carry – e.g. for the last couple of weeks my daily compliment has been a Hasselblad, an Olympus Pen FV, my 5DII, and sometimes the Contax IIA as well.

35mm

  • Olympus Pen FT
  • Contax IIA
  • Leica M3
  • Leica CL [Minolta]
  • Voigtländer Bessa R [Cosina]
  • EOS 1
  • EOS 1N
  • EOS 3
  • Nikon S
  • Nikon F (FTn)
  • Nikon F2AS
  • Nikon F5
  • Nikon FM
  • Olympus OM-4T
Commonly used medium format film cameras for street and extemporaneous work.
(top) Voigtländer Bessa II (middle) Pentax 67II, Fuji GL690 (bottom) Mamiya Universal Press, Koni Omega Rapid M

Medium Format

  • Rolleiflex Automat X
  • Zenza Bronica S2 | S2A
  • Hasselblad 500C | 500C/M
  • Hasselblad 2000FCW
  • Hasselblad 500ELX
  • Kiev 60
  • Mamiya C300 Pro S
  • Koni Omega Rapid M [Mamiya]
  • Pentax 67II | 6×7
  • Bronica GS-1
  • Mamiya RZ67II
  • Mamiya RB67 Pro | Pro S | Pro SD
  • Fuji GL690
  • Graflex Mini Speed Graphic
  • Graflex R.B. 2×3
  • Graflex XLRF
  • Mamiya Universal Press | Super 23
  • Voigtländer Bessa II (1950)
  • Horseman 970

Large Format

  • Gowland Architectural 4×5 65mm
  • Graflex Super D 4×5
  • B&J Press 4×5 [needs RF fix.  Has a rotating back.]
  • Wista 45 RF
  • Graflex Press 5×7 [needs some tweaks]
  • Eastman 2D 8×10 [needs bellows]

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