pocket camera?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by eli_chartkoff|1, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. I think this is more or less the right forum for this, as I'd like to limit this
    to film (rather than digital) cameras for the time being.

    I've used pretty much nothing else but my Autocord for the past 6 years or so.
    I love it dearly but it's not the kind of thing you can just stick in your
    pocket and wander around with all day (unless you have really big pants).

    What do you all use as your carry-around pocket camera that you take everywhere?
    I do have a little purple Kodak Vanity folding camera for 127 film that would
    almost qualify, except that it doesn't really have many adjustable controls and
    wants to chew up film as it's being wound.

    Just curious...
  2. Nice: Olympus Pen EE

    Even nicer: Kodak Instamatic 500

    For no film problems: Olympus Trip 35
  3. The Minox 35ML has some automatic/program features, but I use it as a fully manual camera by using the exposure-lock feature. Doesn't look like a camera. Or pick up a used Stylus f/2.8, which would be fully automatic.
  4. I've never used one, but I always wanted a Rollei for this purpose. I also carry around a Zeiss Ikon Contessa 35mm folder all the time. I love the look of the images it gives me. I also have some Voightlander folders that would work too.
  5. Some of the pocketable cameras I have used. Foth Derby (16 on 127), Retina I, Retina II (Folding 35mm), Olympus Trip (Original), Olympus 35 RC, Zeiss Ikonta (16 on 120).

    Favourite was probably the Foth Derby but these days I would take the compact folding Retina I (or Retina II if I fancied using the rangefinder).
  6. gib


    you might want to consider a folding 6x7 or 6x9 camera

    they are amazingly compact......something like an Agfa Record III Billy
  7. Retina Ia, Agfa Solinette (Ansco Regent), Olympus Trip 35, Olympus Pen D (except difficulty getting half frame procesed now).
  8. Oh yes, Retina 1 is tiny! And Rollei 35 is nice. But the weirdest on the list is Colin's Foth Derby. What an eccentric choice. Oh, how I approve.
  9. Yesss, Foth Derby! I live near Freestyle Photo so 127 film is available. That appeals to me, perversely.

    Actually all of these are good suggestions...
  10. A while back I used the Kodak Bantam Special on 828 as my carry around. Unfortunately, 828 is about as difficult to find as you can get these days.
  11. Mark, the Foth Derby is a nostalgia thing. It was my first 'proper' camera given to me by a family friend when I was about 12. But is also has a decent frame size, a focal plane shutter to 1/500, a nice amastigmat lens and folds away to a handy compact size.
  12. My "everyday carry" camera is a 1930's Zeiss-Ikon Nettar 515, the 6x4.5 member of the Nettar line. It's perhaps fifteen percent larger than a Retina, but still fits easily into a jacket or coat pocket. The Klio shutter does 1-1/175 second; the Nettar Anastigmat 7.5cm lens is f/4.5, excellent in B&W, and good enough for snapshots in color (both of mine exhibit some very minor chromatic aberration - hey, they're Anastigmats, not Apochromats).

    With 100-speed B&W film, it serves it's intended purpose admirably; add a yellow filter and a lens hood, and you're set. :)
  13. In the winter months I carry a Zeiss Ikon Contessa 35 around in my jacket pocket, it fits w/half the case attached and a Domke gripper strap pretty nicely.
  14. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    Voitlander Bessa 66. Zeiss Ikonta 6x9. Zenobia 645. Kodak Retina (any of em).
  15. Not quite in the classic category by date, but a classic of a sort, would be an Olympus XA or one of its variants. My pocket camera of choice is an XA2.

    I also just got my injured Rollei 35 back from the repair place (a worn cocking cam needed replacing). That's my second-choice pocket camera. With the retractable lens, quirky meter, and manual controls it's no point and shoot, but it is certainly pocketable.

    I should also add that before they were vastly expensive and rare, back in the 60's I carried a Leica with a collapsible Summar lens, wrapped in an old sock. Also quite pocketable!
  16. I'd second the recommendations of the Olympus XA (a wonderful little fixed-focal-length rangefinder) or the more modern Olympus Stylus Epic, it's obvious 90s successor.

    Both are extremely compact, rugged little cameras. If I time to spend in a darkroom, one of the two would probably still be in my bag more or less at all times, loaded with Ilford. I've owned both in the past, and they're still available from eBay for about $50.

    Unfortunately, my only "darkroom" these days is on my laptop, so I have to drop $300 every year or two on a much less rugged "toy" P&S camera to keep around for candid and street shots.
  17. Lately, my small camera of choice has been either a Retina IIc or IIIc, an Agfa Karat 36, GIII-QL17, or most recently a Canon 110 ED20. I've yet to get the film from the ED20 developed, but the others all produce beautiful pictures and help to preserve my love of film alongside my use of my digital gear.

  18. The Olympus XA is sure a practical choice. Mine has a beat up case, so I don't care about further pocket damage. Just avoid shooting wide open with slide film -- it vignettes noticeably.

    The original Vest Pocket Kodak Autographic (scissors bellows) are quite compact, and if you get a better "focusing" model, you get a good lens and wide range of f-stops. Still only 1/25 and 1/50 shutter speeds. There's a much rarer model with Compur shutter with a full range of speeds. They are very dense however, surprisingly heavy. I've toted it in the belt loop case, but you know it's there all the time. You can load your own rolls of 46mm Portra 160NC into old 127 paper/spools, if you have a friendly lab to process it. Very large negatives.

    I'm currently playing with a Canon 110ED as my backpack camera, but it's not a very practical choice, probably. Heavier than the Olympus XA anyways!
  19. I am always in search of that elusive great good pocket camera. It used to be the Minolta 16. but the film issues shelved it. Now if I am just grabbing a camera as I run out the door, it is the Minox B, Rollei 35, Instamatic 500, or Pentax Auto 110. The Pentax does not have a locking shutter, though, and goes off in my pocket quite a bit. The Agfa Isolette is another one you might look into.
  20. Hello. I am in the same position as you. I used to have a Flexaret, very nice camera but bulky and heavy. Now I use a nettar 515/16. Tiny for the negative size, and more than adequate novar lens. I also own an iskra, super-sharp lens, quite shutter, but very heavy. I am looking now for a retina or karat or perhaps a 6x4.5 folder.
  21. Olympus XA2. Not a classic by the definition of this forum but I don't worry about such things when it comes to camera choice. It's a cheapened version of the XA but still has a good Olympus lens and, to my mind, handier 3-position zone focus. Exposure is auto but you can trick it by changing the ASA lever.
  22. Hi, Eli Interesting post, mate. Bearing in mind the limited availability of film formats today, unless you still happen to have a couple of hundred reels of 127 or 620 hidden in the back of your fridge, I guess we're realistically looking at either 35mm or 120.

    Your other prerequisite of "pocketability" means not only compact but reasonably light. My definition of "light" means you could accelerate from walking to jogging, without endangering bodily appendages.

    AGFA made some very nice and compact folders in the 50s that would fit your bill. So, for 120 in 6 X 6 I'd go for a late-model AGFA Isolette 111 with f3.5 Solinar and Synchro-Compur, rather than the heavier and pricier Super Isolette or ANSCO version thereof. OK, so the RF isn't coupled .....

    One of the other guys has mentioned the Record 111 for 6 X 9 format, but the trouble here is these are relatively rare - and therefore expensive - when fitted with the better f4.5 Solinar and Synchro-Compur. I had to fork out quite a lot of dosh just to get the lesser configured f4.5 Apotar with Prontor version.

    For 35mm, I don't think you can go past the Super Solinette. It's amazingly light and compact, plus packs some really nice features like CRF, f3.5 Solinar and that Synchro-Compur shutter again. If you're in the US of A, you might prefer to go for the identical ANSCO Super Regent, which came off the same Munich production line but got a different badge. For reasons presumably of snobbery, the ANSCO-labelled versions usually sell for less.

    As with all post-war AGFA folders, be very careful of pin-holes in the bellows. Their Stuck or Sticky Green Grease is another problem, but not so difficult to sort out with a bit of patience. ~~PN~~
  23. Thanks for the replies everyone.

    Yeah, actually 127 is not totally out of the question as I live a few minutes' drive from a retailer who stocks the Maco stuff. In fact I think I'm going there after work today to pick up some more 120...
  24. Olympus XA in my jeans' pocket, a spare Ilford XP2 in the other pocket. No camera bag, nobody throw me as much as a glance because I look like (and sounds like) a typical tourist snapping pictures with a plastic disposable. Perfect street-photography arsenal.

    Now if only I can find someone who can fix my Olympus Pen D2, that little darling will be a serious contender to my trusty XA :)
  25. Voigtlander Perkeo, it's not much bigger than a retina and is 6x6 on 120. a very nice
    pocket camera.
  26. Hello folks, About pocketability, I have a Chinon 35EE, which is about the size of an Olympus Trip,but has the advantage of a really sharp rangefinder also delayed action. The cds meter is in the lens mount, so to put filter on is OK.The battery is a silver oxide SG13. There's a bright line viewfinder. The camera goes under different names. I bought mine from a car boot sale for ᆪ8 recently and was pleasantly surprised with the photos I took on the first film. There's also a hot shoe and the lens is 38mm 1:2.7 .Cyril Lowe

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