Please recommend 50 Vintage Cameras I should Collect

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by johnfantastic, Dec 17, 2020.

  1. Minox 35 GT
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  2. Yesterday, I visited the guy selling the Nikon EL body. He was just 17 miles away. A mere 30 minute relax driving. I bought the EL for $60. Not really cheap but the camera was in very good condition and everything was working fine. He also showed me a Rollie 35 and after much bargaining he agreed to sell it for 110$ again not cheap but the camera was in mint condition and everything was working including the meter so I bought it.

    I am worried that I will get addicted to this. I hope that I don't feel victim to impulsive buying. :)

    loresA IMG_20201222_165528.jpg

    Here is the Rollei 35T. :)

    loresJ IMG_20201222_172603.jpg

    I also ordered 2 books from Amazon about Camera Collecting. Well I will have something to read during the new year.
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  3. Not a bad way to start down the slippery slope. Now, some lenses for that Nikon! I would go for a 50 mm 1.4, a 28 mm 3.5 and the outstanding 105 mm 2.5. YMMV.
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  4. You need to grade off into the unknown....

    Better than the Rollei according to many:


    Unlike the Rollei, controls where you would expect to find them, and a flash where you would want it. Also a good four element Tessar formula lens. And a Petri is almost always inexpensive!

    And then there is Ciro:


    Made right here in Delaware, Ohio, about the time I was. The twin lens Ciroflex is also a classic 120 camera, in several versions. Also inexpensive.

    Good hunting!
  5. Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
  6. Not cheap!? Those prices are bargains. Try to look up the going rate for a Yashica T4 plastic point and shoot!
    Even when you buy a nice lens for the Nikon, you'll probably only have spent half the price of a T4.
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  7. Seems like the beginning
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  8. Thank you Michael for the suggestions. :)
  9. Really Niels, Thats very nice to know. :)
  10. When my friend Chris learned that I have started a new hobby collecting cameras in the 60's, 70's and 80's, he gave me his Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 as a Christmas gift. Now I have 3 cameras in my collection. Time for me to CLA my old bronica. hmmmmm I wonder where I kept my Bronica ? its been so long more than 25 years since I used it. But it was a complete set of 3 lens and a polaroid back and other accessories. :)

    Here is my Yashica. It is also in mint condition. :)

    Chris Andres Donation.jpg
  11. Hey guys,

    I have a question, have you ever purchased a used camera online? I have seen some stuff that I am very interested at a reasonable cost but since It is online, I won't have a chance to inspect it before I pay for the item. I have no problem buying online if it is brand new but for second hand items, I have some reservations. I prefer all cameras in my collection to be in mint or at least in very good condition and of course a working unit, I am worried that If i buy online, I will be disappointed. :)

    Currently I am wiling to travel 100 miles just to check out a camera I am interested in buying. I think its part of the joys of collecting. :)
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  12. I have used KEH regularly for the last four years. Rarely a problem but if you have one they take care of it promptly.
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  13. I bought 2 cameras today. 1 is a nikon F with lense which I bought for US$300
    and the other 1 is a minolta SRT101 with lens for 125$
    Both cameras are in very good condition and fully functional .

    Lenses are both very clean

    I also ordered 2 books in Amazon about retro cameras as suggested by @JDMvW .
    1. Retro Cameras - The collectors Guide to vintage Film Camera
    2. Comprehensive Guide for Camera Collectors

    lores Nikon F - C.jpg

    lores Nikon F - B.jpg

    lores Minolta SRT101 - C.jpg

    lores Minolta SRT101 - B.jpg lores Minolta SRT101A.jpg

    Minolta SRT101 - C.jpg
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  14. That Nikon F with plain prism is a sweet camera..
  15. My almost complete set of Pentax 110 SLR arrived last weekend. :) I bought it in ebay for 145$+tax

    Pentax 110 SLR B.jpg
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  16. Hey guys,

    Can I ask if a Tessina 35 in almost mint condition a fair price for 250$? I don't need it to be a bargain, Just a fair price. Thank you very much. :)

    tessina1 35.jpg

    tessina3 35.jpg

    tessina4 25.jpg
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  17. Actually I think the Contax S was earlier of the real and actually existing cameras, although Exakta and Praktiflex had add-on prisms pretty early on.
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  18. Its a fair price if it works well, if not repairs would at least double the final cost. Of course, if you just want a display piece and don't care if it works, the value is whatever you place on it.

    Do careful inspections of the classics you are buying: a lot of wonderful cameras have Achilles Heels that can be disappointing and/or expensive to rectify. Its a good idea to research common problems before paying market rate or premium for what seems like a "mint" piece. Example being your lovely Nikon F: the plain prism is a notorious time bomb of disappointment waiting to explode, especially the older version with rectangular eyepiece. Examine the view meticulously with the camera aimed at an even bright white wall or paper, making sure there are no "floaters" (dark spots) or vertical lines forming near the center. For $300 you should have gotten pristine prism glass with no such signs of desilvering deterioration.

    The Minolta SRT, like many similar cameras of its era, is prone to corrosion and disconnection of the tiny wires between battery chamber and meter circuit. Doesn't matter if a camera is priced accordingly and you don't need the meter, but at market rate the thing should work as perfectly as it looks. I suppose it depends on your own particular collecting drive: some people just want the best-looking examples for display and play, while some require a camera to operate as well as it looks. There is room to fudge between these two attitudes, but don't overpay for examples with issues: if you change your mind later, its much harder to recoup the costs on resale of broken cameras even if they look mint (exceptions being crazy mega-collectibles rich people love to display, like Leica RF and Rolleiflex TLR).

    Here a couple thoughts on what you might add later if you pursue what you've shown so far. Your Nikon F is a beauty, but the lens on it doesn't quite match its era (excellent lens tho, and its got the genuine Nikon AI modification: hard to find in this condition). I'd keep the existing lens to use, or maybe sell later, but to make your F more "vintage-correct' consider adding a 5cm f/2 Nikkor-S lens (see mine pictured below). This was the original lens supplied with the F in its first few years, forgotten today and a completely different optical formula from the highly regarded, later, more common Nikkor-H that you have now.

    The older S has an additional element and makes pictures with a slightly different bokeh and focus falloff: definitely worth having. There are several versions of 5cm-S, very early ones should be left to wealthy collectors but the final run (like mine) can often be found for just $40. There was a faster companion to the 5cm-S, the 5.8cm f/1.4: very nifty lens but very hard to find now without separation damage. And of course, no Nikon F is complete without a silver-nose 105mm Nikkor-P: the lens that made Nikon a legend (also pictured below). Plenty of these available at reasonable prices, esp if they haven't been AI-modified.

    Going another direction, since you picked up the wonderful Pentax 110, you really need to add its predecessor the Minolta 110 Zoom SLR (below, the only other 110 SLR ever made). Very easy to find at low cost. More elegant and expensive was the Rollei A110, not an SLR but the smallest premium 110. In a similar vein, there were some very cool 126 cartridge cameras with German lenses like the Kodak Instamatic Reflex, Kodak Instamatic 500 (my favorite) and Rollei A26. 35mm zone focus (non-rangefinder) cameras made by Voigtlander are fun and mostly inexpensive to acquire (shown below is my Vito II folder and Vito B with XL viewfinder). If you've got the storage or display space, buy everything you like until you run out of money!

    Nikon F 50S 105PS.jpg Voigtlander & Minlta 110.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
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  19. Thank you very much Orsetto, I have learned more from your post than 4 weeks of reading in the internet. :)
    You have such a beautiful collection!!! Can I see more pictures? Please?
    The pictures of your collection make me drool like a little puppy. :)
  20. ph.



    You may find it equally enjoyable to ferret out why the manufacturers changed their designs.

    Your newly aquired Rollei 35 can provide one example of mutations over time (production in Germany and Singapore, different lenses, light meter or not plus some versions to lure well paying collectors,

    The Canons you started to take an interest in ,are equally interesting. The Leika\Contax-challenging rangefinders were supplemented with a mirror box rather like the German competitors,, followed by the Canonflex . There is even a special version of the F1 for phone companie, rasther liike the Leica -"Post". Later, canon met the autofocus challenge by producing some lensdes containing the distance measuring mechanism. A canon collection might encompass all these.

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