Your worst camera ever

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by ruslan, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. A sad topic, I know. What is the most disappointing camera you used or rented and why?
    Mine was Yashica 109 MP: this is what I could afford in 1997, was bought new. Very noisy motor and film transportation mechanism, it broke after 5 rolls (I remember that moment: I was on the beach near nude girls to capture them, on the Volga). The 35-70/3.5-4.5 was soft so soft and the zooming mechanism was awfully tight, the body was always sqeaking. At f11 the lens was totally unusable. Got rid of it in 2003.
  2. It was probably the most beautiful camera I've owned -- the Contarex Bullseye. Stunning engineering, good quality lenses, and absolutely gorgeous. But the selenium meter was off by about a stop and a half and the ergonomics of the camera were the worst, though the Voigtlander Prominent could give it some competition. And it was massive and quite heavy and so were the lenses. I expect this was a great lab camera or studio camera in the old days. In use though it was very disappointing. Plus ironically I felt it compared unfavorably to the ergnomics of the Contax/Yashica SLRs and their lenses too. Great engineering, but murder to carry around and use.

    I felt the named Prominent was similar in this respect with superb optics (maybe better than the lenses I had with the bullseye) but the controls were very weird and hard to use.

    Now I suppose I should think again as at least two of my Contax/Yashica bodies have become unusable due to bad (and now unrepairable) electronics while I bet that Bullseye is still working!
    ian_gordon_bilson and ruslan like this.
  3. Fuji XT10. The camera and the grip literally started falling apart a few month out of warranty.
  4. No sadder than the dream camera or the film camera you always meant to try thread. A gear thread by any other name ...
  5. Minolta Maxxum 7, stopped working in the middle of a back country shoot, cost $250 to repair.
    ruslan likes this.
  6. Many people here know of my frustration with a Kodak Signet 35 that I was made to use in the field in 1962

    It was ugly (morbidly obese art deco), hard to load, hard to focus. The only camera I ever hated.

    I will stipulate that the lens wasn't too bad, once you got past the awfulness of the gestalt.
  7. Over the years I have bought two used Canonet G(III) 1.7's . Both turned out to be dogs. I did have a Canonet 28 which was a very good camera.
    ruslan likes this.
  8. Canon PowerShot A1300 point and shoot.
    Bought it for a cheap documentation camera.
    Cheap is not good, at least in this case.
    Held together with tape for two years just to get the $100.00 out of it.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  9. A cheap Android phone. I always knew that phone cameras were mediocre, but this one was just dreadful.
    m42dave likes this.
  10. I have tried out a lot of cameras, especially back in the film days. I don't think I was ever really disappointed by one, but quite a few were not a good fit for me.

    1. Minolta Autocord - against better advice, I bought the one with the CdS meter. The meter is so awkward to use that you might as well use a hand held meter. That would have saved me a lot of money! Also, I like to take a lot of photos to get one right. Having twelve frames on an expensive roll of Velvia was just not my thing. I never went back to 120 film.

    2. Minolta X-700. I had an extensive Minolta manual focus system - XD, XE, SRT, SR. I loved them all, but the X-700 just couldn't hold a candle to the older models, especially my beloved XD-11. I later bought a X-500 for the TTL flash metering capability, but I always preferred the XD series.

    3. Minolta 600si. Beautiful camera, great ergonomics, but I felt AF in those days wasn't quite there yet. I was always quicker and more accurate to focus with my XD series cameras. It didn't help the 600si that it came with a 24-85mm that was shockingly unsharp. I never worked out if it was a problem with that lens in general, or just with the one I got. I bought it second hand, so maybe something was wrong with it.

    Oh, scrap all that, I just remembered that I bought a little Lumix under water camera a few years back. Great underwater photos and video, even though I only held it about a meter under water with my arm. Absolutely loved the results, but it never powered back up after that very first use. That was a disappointment!
    ruslan likes this.
  11. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    My worst cameras were my 2 Leicaflex SL2's. They had meter problems, and one had a battery compartment that wouldn't stop tarnishing over, making the light meter inoperable. I remember sending one SL2 back for repairs and waiting 5 weeks to the day to get back an unrepaired camera. I sent it off again and waited another 5 weeks to the day before they finally fixed it. Needless to say I was not impressed with Leica quality and soon switched to Canon.
    ruslan likes this.
  12. It was on my wish list in 1997 (it was carried by stores then and magazine ads called it iconic :mad:) .
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
  13. I remember it, the reviews called it plasticky. I did not trust nor like that camera just looked at it on paper and I bought the hyped pre owned Nikon F90. The camera was better than Yashica 109, but the rear back coverings started to exfoliate!
    After F90 I got Olympus E-420 which was excellent and worked for 10 years seamlessly and was sold, (one drawback was thick AA filter but ok, I used it in tropical heat and siberian cold).
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
  14. As for Yahica 109 MP, I wish I had not sold my dad's Zenit - B (made in 1973) in 1996 before I got Yashica. Even without exposure meter with 50/3.5 industar and genuine leather case it was better than Yashica.
  15. The 600si was one of my favorite cameras. Yes it was "plasticky" but that meant light and the control layout was the best. As a landscape shooter, the AF speed wasn't an issue for me, but the control layout was. Never had an X700 in my Minolta days but I still have 2 600si's. Granted they're in a drawer somewhere.;)
    PaulCoen and ruslan like this.
  16. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    a 6x6 lubitel with a metal focal plane shutter that had so many holes, it could be used to strain spagetti.
  17. Canon AE-1. It wasn't necessarily a bad camera, just over-rated. I know they AE-1 heralded in some manufacturing innovations, but it also introduced a host of superfluos features that other manufacturers soon followed.

    The camera sucked 6volt batteries like they were jolly ranchers. It only had shutter priority mode, which is the most useless exposure mode for enthusiasts unlike AE priority where you can dynamically turn the aperture ring while looking through the view finder and present yourself options. It wasn't very durable. Sucky 60/sec flash. Terrible shutter / mirror recoil that compared to my later purchased FE-2 felt like an AK-47 and made the camera impossible to handhold while the FE-2 could go down to rangefinder shutter speeds and deliver clear shots.
    ruslan likes this.
  18. The Canon A1 was one of my all time favorites.
  19. jakenan

    jakenan Guest

    Some sort of Italian / European folding-job sold as " WORKS GREAT! SHUTTER EXCELLENT! GREAT USER!"
    Came to me in a box reeking pee and cigars and a seized shutter and lens cemented on so it couldn't removed to get a CLA.
    Thankfully it came with right of return with free passage home, so I returned it to the marketing agent who sold it to me.
    Little did I know he was a Dr Jeckel Mr Hyde type, and not running on full compression. Then, I got a free gift: a barrage of insults
    from this guy swearing like a stevadore. And I thought Canadians were polite and ez going !
    ruslan, carbon_dragon and paul ron like this.
  20. My worst camera was a Kodak Pony II, a late-1950s 35mm model. The 44mm f/3.9 lens wasn't bad, but the camera's fixed shutter speed was only about 1/25 second. Rarely could I hold it steady enough to get a sharp picture. Positioning the shutter release next to the lens instead of atop the camera didn't help. Also, the lens was marked in AV stops, not f/stops. This was my first "good" camera and I didn't know the difference in those days. The camera had no meter, so I relied on the instructions that came with film. When the Plus-X instructions told me to set f/11, I used AV-11. As a result, all my photos were drastically overexposed, and it took me a while to understand why. Also, the flash attachment remained "live" unless the shutter was cocked. This feature wasted flash bulbs and blinded me a few times when I snapped a new bulb into the socket before winding the film from the previous exposure. Finally I quit and gave the camera to my sister, who shot one roll of film and got a Polaroid instead.

    F. Mueller, I'm surprised you didn't like the Minolta X-700. We had one at a magazine where I worked, and it was great. We ran hundreds of rolls through that camera every year and it never gave up. Also, the film advance was the smoothest I've ever experienced with an SLR, surpassed only by a Leica M4-2 that I once owned.
    ruslan likes this.

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