What is the most beautiful camera ever made?

Started Jul 10, 2013 | Discussions
TrapperJohn
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Zeiss TLR, Nikon F
In reply to Glen Barrington, Jul 10, 2013

Loved the look of the old Zeiss TLR. They're still pricey on the used market.

And the Nikon F, with it's enormous silver finder. Don't know that it qualifies as 'beautiful', more like 'iconic', but I dreamed of having one of these when I was a child. The old F's have a feel to them that has been lost in modern cams, like they were carved from one piece of metal.

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Phil Bishop
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
In reply to Draek, Jul 10, 2013

Too many to choose, but field cameras like these are lovely

http://www.gandolficameras.com/--

Phil Bishop
http://philbishopsbirdingblog.blogspot.com/

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Richard the picture man
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
In reply to Phil Bishop, Jul 10, 2013

Minolta XD7/11 by a million miles.

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Regards - Richard
Happy guy with a K5
N.B. All my Images, even the bad ones, are Protected by Copyright

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bosjohn21
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
In reply to Sir Carrington, Jul 10, 2013

Sir Carrington wrote:

bosjohn21 wrote:

Glen Barrington wrote:

I'm not talking about functionality, just aesthetic beauty.

I wonder if there should be categories since function controls basic form in many cases.

In the SLR category, I don't think ANY DSLR can stand up in terms of beauty to the old Canon FT-QL or the Olympus OM-1.

Ugliest GOOD camera (for its time)? Argus C3

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I still like soup. . .
Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos. . .
http://www.flickr.com/photos/7267302@N03/

the kodak art deco bantam special http://members.tripod.com/nigel_richards/kodak/kodak_bantam_special.htm

and the ubiquitous Leica M2 which I feel is better looking than the M3

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John aka bosjohn21

I read that as Batman special several times and I couldn't figure out what it had to do with Batman, lol.

dang for a minute you had me thinking I mis spelled it.

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John aka bosjohn21

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santamonica812
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
In reply to bosjohn21, Jul 10, 2013

One of my field 4x5 cameras is wood, with brass fittings.  Unfortunately, no one has been able to ID who made it (I took it to several camera shows, and the best guess is that it is Japanese.).  But when I've set that camera up--at the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Angkor Wat, etc.--other pro photographers come over to look at it and to ask where I got it.  (Answer:  at a thrift shop in Cape Town, S. Africa, years ago).  Honestly, I rarely work with it anymore . . . the more modern field 4x5 are easier to use and set up. . . but I have to admit that it's a thing of beauty.

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Eddaweaver
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
In reply to Glen Barrington, Jul 11, 2013

Digital cameras from the early years before they were popular can have quite interesting styling

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50414997

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panamforeman
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
In reply to Eddaweaver, Jul 11, 2013

My Argus C44R and I still have it. Can't remember when I last used it though.

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Braxton7
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
In reply to Glen Barrington, Jul 11, 2013

Glen Barrington wrote:

I'm not talking about functionality, just aesthetic beauty.

I wonder if there should be categories since function controls basic form in many cases.

In the SLR category, I don't think ANY DSLR can stand up in terms of beauty to the old Canon FT-QL or the Olympus OM-1.

Ugliest GOOD camera (for its time)? Argus C3

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I still like soup. . .
Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos. . .
http://www.flickr.com/photos/7267302@N03/

LOL My mom had an Argus C3 and it was the first camera I actually took a picture with. I thought it was pretty cool really but kind of complicated for me. I got a Kodak P&S until I got older.

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Paul Farace
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Leica IIIF, Nikon S-2, Pentax K1000, Fuji X100, Hasselblad 500C, Leica M4
In reply to Braxton7, Jul 11, 2013

hell, and just about every other good camera... although the point and shoot box cameras made in the 1960s to today all suck big time IMHO... especially the Kodak Disc and Polaroid One-steps...

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Holding a camera, any camera, reduces my blood pressure, calms my nerves, and gives me a sense of opportunity!

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Tim McClanahan
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
In reply to Glen Barrington, Jul 11, 2013

I'm calling it a tie between the Olympus OM-4 Ti (black) and the Nikon FM3a (black). Simply gorgeous.

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Skipper494
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
In reply to Cerumen, Jul 11, 2013

I agree and I still have my FE and FE-2. Digitally, the Panasonic DMC LC70 that I bought for my late wife in 2004 is quite a little gem, still works perfectly, has a 'Leica' lens and even has a viewfinder.

Panasonic DMC LC70

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dantheman92
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
In reply to Glen Barrington, Jul 11, 2013

Mamiya 7 ?

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Midwest
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
In reply to bosjohn21, Jul 11, 2013

bosjohn21 wrote:

the kodak art deco bantam special http://members.tripod.com/nigel_richards/kodak/kodak_bantam_special.htm

Absolutely beautiful!

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Midwest
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
In reply to Glen Barrington, Jul 11, 2013

Black Nikon SP. This is a very scarce collectors' reissue model from 2005.

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It's nice to say that nice pictures are nice. (sarcasm)

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Tom2572
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Olympus Pen F
In reply to Glen Barrington, Jul 11, 2013

Glen Barrington wrote:

I'm not talking about functionality, just aesthetic beauty.

I wonder if there should be categories since function controls basic form in many cases.

In the SLR category, I don't think ANY DSLR can stand up in terms of beauty to the old Canon FT-QL or the Olympus OM-1.

Ugliest GOOD camera (for its time)? Argus C3

-- hide signature --

I still like soup. . .
Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos. . .
http://www.flickr.com/photos/7267302@N03/

Olympus Pen F by a mile.

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wfektar
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Ow
In reply to Richard, Jul 11, 2013

Richard wrote:

Glen Barrington wrote:

I'm not talking about functionality, just aesthetic beauty.

And I thought the Hasselblad Lunar took the biscuit for ugly.

For me, the best looking would be the Leica III series, original Nikon F, OM1, SL66, early Bronicas (Z, D, S), and any Ebony.

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Ubilam
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"Beautiful cameras". Whats next?
In reply to Glen Barrington, Jul 11, 2013

Beautiful cameras?! They're for taking pics, not taking pics of them. You mention some obscure Canon model that maybe 27 folks owned. Better DSLRs are very functional and customizable which makes them beautiful to me. How customizable were the old Canon film SLRs??? - they weren't! I owned a few of them. Times are great now compared to the dinosaur days of SLR film hell, though theres a lot of useless fluff appearing on digi-cams too.

Its like an artist that admires his new brushes versus actually using them.

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timo
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
In reply to Glen Barrington, Jul 11, 2013

How about the Kodak 'Brownie' 127?

Perfect match of form with function. (The film plane was curved.)

Prime lens, optical viewfinder ...

Mine produced surprisingly good results in daylight.

Pic acknowledgement: www.syclops.co.uk

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Olymore
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
In reply to Glen Barrington, Jul 11, 2013

Olympus OM-2/3/4, Pentax MX, Rolleiflex 2.8F, Hasselblad 500CM (utilitarian beauty),

Canon QL series, Contax T2, Contax RTS....

To be honest it probably depends on what cameras you coveted  as a teenager

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LouMeluso
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Re: "Beautiful cameras". Whats next?
In reply to Ubilam, Jul 11, 2013

The Canon P rangefinder. One of the simplest yet elegant designs ever made with precision hand assembly and superb lenses. I still use mine. Check out my write up here:

http://photo.net/classic-cameras-forum/00ZjJv

"Its like an artist that admires his new brushes versus actually using them."

No, it's not. It's called industrial design. It's a form of functional art similar to automobiles, teapots, guitars, computers and thousands of other functional items we use everyday. An appreciation of functional design does not mean you cannot utilize it's function.

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