Someone asked me to make a list of my favourite cameras. That is a tricky question and depends on a number of factors.
- The camera I am using right now. The one I used last is often high on my list.
- The cameras I have tried in the past. It can’t be in the top ten if I haven’t tried it.
- The condition of the example I have tried. Of course, if I have only tried a crap example it will be low on my list no matter what other people might think of it.
So all that aside, here is my current top ten.
- Zenit 11 or Fujica ST650 – I can’t decided between these two cameras. Both are tanks. Both work without batteries. Both accept M42 lenses. Maybe the Zenit wins slightly over the ST650 as the light meter works without batteries, either way both will serve you well.
- Canon IV SB2 – This was the first camera that I had CLAd. I had to sacrifice a number of other cameras to pay for it, but it was worth it.
- Chinon CE-4 (or CE-5)- This choice is based on looks and value. I made mine into a Spiderman camera and it is unique-ish. The Chinons accept Pentax K-Mount lenses, but are relatively very cheap.
- Contax 137 MA – I love this camera, my stamp version especially. It looks great, handles well, is quite light, and has great lenses. It has dropped a place under the CE-4 as that is better value for money.
- Nikon FM10 – This has replaced the Pentax ME Super as I prefer it much more. It is small, light, and takes multiple exposures. That places it above the Pentax in my view.
- Leica M3 – This should be number one, but as I don’t actually own it and can’t try it again I was reluctant to place it in the top spot.
- Fed 2 – This was one of the first cameras I tried after returning to film. It made me realize that film has a quality and look that digital just can’t capture. Plus, the photos I took using it are very meaningful to me. This choice is due to emotions rather than functionality.
- Nikon F2 – I used this camera during my trip to Taiwan and every shot came out. It is sharp and reliable though to be fair I rarely use it now so its days are numbered on this list.
- Olympus OM4 – None of the other SLRs I have tried has the spot metering function like this camera.
- Kiev 88 – I have found myself using this camera more and more. It is my go to camera for medium format, despite the weight. As I get more familiar with it my love for it grows.
This list is subject to change as I try more cameras.