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 – This camera is a tank. It works without batteries and just keeps going. The Helios lens supplied is sharp. This camera with serve you well forever!
- 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 is purely based on looks. I made mine into a Spiderman camera and it is unique-ish as I then found a broken one and fixed it up to also be a Spidey camera. This position was previously held by the Canon A-1 but I use it a lot less now, though when I do I really like it.
- 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 has cheaper lenses so is more accessible.
- 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.
- Yashicaflex A2– I had previously put the Rolleicord III – K3B on this list as a medium format camera must be on this list. I put a new mirror in the Yashicaflex which made it easier to use, plus brought it back from the brink of a junk death. That made it overtake the Rollei. It won out over the Bronica ETR-C due to the fact it is much lighter and cooler. It won out over the Diana F+, because I just can’t bring myself to put in on the list, though I do quite like it….but I did end up selling it as the shutter started to stick a bit. I didn’t want to invest in getting it fixed as I do have the Rolleicord…plus I actually use the Kiev 88 more than any other medium format camera I have…plus I have the Mamiya. Basically I can’t decide on the last spot or medium format camera.
This list is subject to change as I try more cameras.