Classification Nut

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by christian_fox, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. All my life I have been obsessed with classification, not matter the subject matter. Classic cameras are not exception here.
    If any one is in the mood, it would be interesting to see you categories of your classic camera interests, whether or not you own these cameras. I enjoy asking individuals about their favorite representative cameras in each brand or category. I consider a classic camera as a manual focus film camera before the autofocus era, although my Nikon F4 gets tangled up with my classics.
    Here are some categories I envision:
    1. Collectables (rarities).
    2. Chrome and glass.
    3. The First to Establish . . .
    4. Best Mechanical of each brand.
    5. Best Electronic of each brand.
    6. Favorite ergonomic body.
    7. Favorite lens type or brand, and camera is secondary.
    8. A Technology of interest. . . like long AE.
    My own preference is to find the best fully operational ergonomic camera and lens for active use with film, but I am constantly in turmoil between fully mechanical vs electronic cameras. I am also willing to explore new lenses designed for manual focus classics.
  2. I have my own classification of the cameras that I own. Since I recently picked up a couple of real beauts, it might be a while before I even think of adding more, if ever. My three basic classifications go as such:
    1. Works (depends on the mood I'm in).
    2. Doesn't work but is fixable (these depend on how much free time I have).
    3. Doorstop (I have a few of these).
  3. SCL


    My system is even simpler...which one am I obsessed with at the moment. Get beyond that after a couple of weeks (and research and use) and move onto the next.
  4. All my life I've been scatter brained and any "collection" of cameras I have reflects that. The very antithesis of classification. If there is any direction at it would favor 'all mechanical', with absolutely no electronic control of any function. A built in meter is OK but if it is dead the camera still must have full control of all shutter speeds and aperture.
  5. I am not really interested in classification but instead look for connections and developments over time. This of course involves The First to establish... but then looks backwards in time for precursors and also forwards in time to where that innovation led. For example the idea of the Single Lens Reflex starting with the early press cameras such as the Graflex, through miniaturisation and increasing technological sophistication to the 35mm SLR such as the Nikon F. I am also interested in how technical developments influenced artists and photographers by presenting them with new possibilities.
  6. For starters, I'm only interested in cameras made before 1960, and prefer those older than WW2. I tend to put cameras into groups and have a mini collection of a couple of those. I now have a pretty nice box camera collection, a small but nice collection of pre-war folders, and two distinctly different 4x5 lens collections. One concentrates on 1910--1930, and the other concentrates on 1840--1860. I only buy things that work and look nice I get a kick out of pulling out a camera from the 1930s, having someone look it over, and ask, "is this a digital camera?" They can't imagine that (1) something looking that nice could be 80 years old (2) that someone would actually be using it!
    Kent in SD
  7. Christian, from my perspectives -- I have two -- your classifications make no sense.
    They're not mutually exclusive and exhaustive, so won't serve for sorting neatly into piles. And they don't reflect, um, phylogeny.
    They're arbitrary. They may well make sense given your interests, they make no sense at all with respect to mine.
    1. Those that belong to the emperor
    2. Embalmed ones
    3. Those that are trained
    4. Suckling pigs
    5. Mermaids (or Sirens)
    6. Fabulous ones
    7. Stray dogs
    8. Those that are included in this classification
    9. Those that tremble as if they were mad
    10. Innumerable ones
    11. Those drawn with a very fine camel hair brush
    12. Et cetera
    13. Those that have just broken the flower vase
    14. Those that, at a distance, resemble flies
  8. All my life I have been obsessed with classification, not matter the subject matter.​
    I don't classify because I can't stand having something that is not quite in any classification.
    I consider a classic camera as a manual focus film camera before the autofocus era, although my Nikon F4 gets tangled up with my classics.​
  9. Hi,
    1. Vilk just about sums it up
  10. There must be a few serious closet classification guys out there - I don't want to be alone.
  11. Let's start with:<br>- Those that are.<br>- Those that aren't.<br>Proven more than difficult enough on numerous occassions here. (Hence, perhaps, the answers you got.) ;-)
  12. Sorry,I don't classify much, but when I started collecting I was going to concentrate on just Voigtlander cameras...well that went to hell!
  13. I specialized in different designs through the ages:
    1. Pioneer SLR -- Graflex
    2. 35mm SLR -- Nikon
    3. TLR -- Mamiya
    4. Classic 35mm RF designs -- Leica, Kiev (Contax copy)
    5. MF folders -- Voigtlander, Moskva (Super Ikonta copy)
    6. Press camera -- Speed Graphic
    7. LF -- Ansco 8x10
    Now that I've got these my collecting days are over. They're all working, and I use each from time to time -- no shelf queens.
  14. I really like Vilk's list. Bravo.
    For my own "classifications", this is what I've worked on.
    My only "completionist" category was the Reiche Auswahl group.
    1. at least one of each generation (e.g, Praktica FX, L, etc) of East German SLRs - check
    2. every camera in Reiche Auswahl - a 1950s East German advertising pamphlet - check
    3. my personal "best looking SLRs" list (Contax S, Pentax, Nikon F, Olympus OM-1, etc.) - check
    4. each significant 'breakthrough" in the 'main' (not Rebels, etc) EOS film line - check
    5. a representative collection of early AF film cameras - check
    6. Contax rangefinders and their "look-alikes" - working on it
    7. early digital cameras - looks like I may have waited too long to get started on this one...
    With the exception of number 7, I've been posting here ( in general and CMC for most) on all of these.
  15. > I don't want to be alone.
    I never understood the anti-Garbo mindset, but heck, I'll play too -- even though Vilk has clearly set the unbeatable high score. Bravo (or Brava as the case may be) indeed.

    1. Things I planned to buy, for whatever reason (50-70% of expenditure, 70+% of use)
    2. Unplanned things that caught my eye, because they were pretty, shiny, neat or astoundingly hideous (20-30% expenditure, ~20% use)
    3. Useless crap that was "such a good deal" (10-20% expenditure, <10% use)
    Alternate classification scheme:
    * things that say "Nikon" on them
    * things that say "Canon" on them
    * things that say "Minolta" on them
    well, you get the idea.
  16. There must be a few serious closet classification guys out there - I don't want to be alone.​
    I am very serious and that's why I gave up on classification because I simply can't do it right.
    But seriously in your past few posts in this forum I got the feeling that you're not serious.
  17. My classification is a bit different from some. It is, roughly this:
    1: Too cheap to refuse.
    2: Too interesting to refuse if cheap enough
    3: Cheap camera that really needs to have some film in it.
    4: A Nikon F (but it still has to be pretty cheap).
  18. 1. Nikon F~
    2. Leica/Fed/Zorki screw
    3. Connected to Walter Dorwin Teague
    4. Tiny and cute (e.g. Minox Leica)
  19. I see myself in so may posts here.. I often deny I have a collection, but at 40 cameras.. it's hard to deny anymore.. and there is no fixed rhyme or reason. But I'm sure if another user here looked through the pile he'd recognize some themes.

    I consider it happenstance.. ie whatever comes my way = cheap!!
  20. Stuff I'm going to keep

    Stuff I'm going to sell,

    (to buy more stuff).

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