My Camera Fetish

Nov 6, 2007 6:04 PM

Today I'm going to share a little something most people don't know about me, that I have a fetish for vintage cameras. It all started with a couple of film cameras in the past that I've since regretted letting go.

First was my Olympus XA2 with separate screw on flash unit. The tiny-tiniest camera ever but took just the best pictures. I can't remember exactly where this went. I owned it from about 1983 until 1994 (it was passed on to me by my aunt). I think I gave it to my stepdaughter when I received a new Nikon film P&S camera for Christmas (it should be noted that said new camera broke after just a couple of years). I would dearly love another one of these XA2's, it is the ultimate in pocket/purse cameras.

Then I had a lovely Canon AE1 SLR complete with autowinder, 50mm lens and 80-200 zoom from about 1990-1994 (college years). When I split from my boyfriend in 1994 he got to keep the camera. I definitely lost out in that deal, as I expect the camera still works today and is probably still worth $200, oh well...

So after being digital for quite a few years, I decided that I wanted a film camera as a back up and specifically for some black and white film shooting (digital has a hard time replicating the look and feel of true B&W film).

My first foray into vintage was a 1965 Canonet QL19 with original leather case. This is a rangefinder camera which manually focuses using a ghost image where you line up the two images to be in focus. The lens is fixed 40mm but is a whopping F/1.9. This is a fabulous lens for low light and the 45mm field of view is great for street photography. My copy has a slight ding in the top corner near the advancing lever, but it was cheap (eBay).

My second vintage camera was a 1971-76 Canonet 28 with a Canonlite D flash unit. Again this is a rangefinder but with a slightly wider fixed 40mm lens, this time F/2.8. This was a really great deal for $15 bought locally although it would have been nicer if I had a case for it.

I am still hoping to add to my collection and am on the lookout for a super cheap Canonet GIII QL17 as well as a Minolta Hi-Matic/7S/7S2. So if you have an old camera hanging around, and you'd like to let it go to a loving home, then let me know.

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