The Fugliest cameras put together? Which one do you vote for?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by ralf_j., Sep 18, 2020.

  1. My vote goes to Sears' Camflash 127 and Camflash II 127 (and their Mamiya clones). These were made by none other than United States Camera, hey now...:D

    I found one in fleamarket in crappy state for a buck. Battery contacts corroded of course, flashbulb contacts the same, dirt galore and ugly as sin :).

    Still could not leave it like this, figured I would bring the old girl back to some of its "glory" :);):p.

    Repairs: one screw in the back, removes outer shell (really secure). Two screws on the side that held the flash screen in place at some point. One screw under the "decorative" plate. Cleaned names plate with soap and water, viewing pieces held under pressure ring gears, the meniscus lens/plastic fantastic and cleaned contacts with vinegar and a dremel, some soldering required to restore contact conductivity. It is loaded with Rerapan 100.

    Original state below

    pnetcamflash 127together.jpg
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  2. Camflash 127 Apart

    pnetcamflash 127 apart.jpg
  3. Cleaned and Assembled Camflash 127

    pnetcamflash 127together_clean.jpg
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  4. Now, this must have been very successful because they actually made a second version of it, which of course I set to find on fleabay.

    It arrived in almost the same crappy state. The second version was quite the "upgrade" :rolleyes::D, you actually get a heavier outer shell (metal I think), and wait for it, a "focusing" two element plastic lens. The design is genius, there are no threads for the focusing front cell, just a one bump "helicoid" that puts pressure on the front cell which is supported by a spring ring. This spring ring also serves as the separator between the two elements; really genius...

    Disassemble almost the same as before, grease dried up long ago and color/b&w selector was frozen in place. Same clean up procedure and reset the focusing lens back, pics below. This camera has not been loaded yet... I am waiting for brighter days, it's been crap here in NorthEastern US lately...

    Dirty Camflash II:(

    flashcamII dirtypnet3.jpg
  5. Camflash II Apart

    flashcamII Apart pnet.jpg
  6. Camflash II together and clean...

    pnet flashcamII Clean 1.jpg
  7. What classic cameras you've owned do you vote for the ugliest prize?
  8. There are so, so many to choose from...

    The Zeiss Contarex 'Bullseye' gets a nod though, from the days when the german translation of ergonomics must have been 'the user shall conform to the machine, for it is perfect'

    In fact, the metered Contax rangefinders are rather ugly too, while the meterless variants are attractive.

    Maybe Zeiss just couldn't figure out where to put a selenium cell?

    Edit: missed the last post, I've not owned a Contarex, actually I tend to avoid ugly cameras.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
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  9. The Samoca Super 35 doesn't win any beauty contests, though it's a surprisingly capable little camera and quite pleasant to use.

    Samoca Super 35 Pnet (2).jpg
  10. Some how this reminds me of Animal House (my beau ideal was Dean Wormer)
    There is ugliness, but that can be only 'skin deep'-
    But, some cameras are ugly inside and out and always were.

    Popular Photography 1947-12

    New cameras were obviously to come by then.
  11. Spartus, oh My, that Spartus Press Flash looks like it escaped from a Sci-Fi movie in the 50s. Or better yet, something you would take with your with your scuba gear... sheesh...

    The full vue, I think I have it's more handsome cousin somewhere... the Spartaflex, matching flashpan and all...
  12. I've heard the Kodak 35 RF described as "the camera that only a mother would love".
  13. And here are the photos

    DSCN2354.JPG .

  14. Wow! It looks like an ergonomic nightmare as well.
  15. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

  16. Interesting thread. I would have a difficult time picking the ugliest camera, especially if cameras are in working order. Thankfully, none of the designers (AFAIK) ever designed automobiles.
  17. I wouldn't be so sure on that.

    Giorgetto Giugiaro designed cameras for Nikon, most notably the F3 and many, many cars, none of them were ugly though, quite the opposite.

    I reckon there are some other designers who have done double duty.
  18. For my money, the Nikon Z6 and Z7 take some beating.
  19. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    The Kiev-15 is certainly one of the more unusual-looking cameras in my collection. And who wouldn't like the Arsenal lens case in elegant mustard-yellow synthetic leather with tangerine corduroy lining?

    Last edited: Oct 3, 2020
  20. Don't be silly, Vincent.
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