What is the most beautiful camera ever made?

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
jeffcpix
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Leica R8
In reply to jeffcpix, 9 months ago

The sleek-est Leica of them all.

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b0k3h
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Re: I really like the look of the Fuji X100
In reply to Marty4650, 9 months ago

Marty4650 wrote:

agreed.  perversely, i think the derivative cameras than the original.

this means the X100 body and the Contax G2

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René Schuster
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Re: The Clack
In reply to happypoppeye, 9 months ago

happypoppeye wrote:

In Germany this ugly thing was the Agfa "Clack" and it's sister the Agfa "Click":

Must have been in the early/mid sixties when I first saw these (and knew I would NEVER want one!).

What I had in those days, my very first camera, was a Zeiss Ikon Box Tengor; it looked like a "beauty" to me, compared to this Click-Clack stuff:

My upgrade from that Zeiss Box was a Voigtländer Vitoret DR:

Most beautiful camera, I don't know, but I always thought my uncle's FTb QL and then his M3 I could use in the early seventies were looking rather good.

My first digital one, an Oly C-2100 UZ, was not a beauty at all, actually it looked fascinatingly weird to me (coming from a Canon AE-1), but it was a very good camera!

RS

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cgarrard
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Contax G2 or Leica S2
In reply to Glen Barrington, 9 months ago

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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The beauty is form following function:

And here beauty, simply beauty.

Can't decide which I like more.

Carl
http://www.photographic-central.blogspot.com (Gear reviews)
http://www.carlgarrard.blogspot.com/ (Best work compilation)
Also formerly AlphaMountWorld.com (Now off the web)

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marike6
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Nikon SP, Leica M3, Rolleiflex 2.8f, Nikon F2 and X100
In reply to Glen Barrington, 9 months ago

It's very difficult to pick just one, but these are some of my selections.

Nikon SP

Leica M3

Rolleiflex 2.8f Zeiss Planar

I have the disagree with the OP about the Olympus OM-1. It's not a bad looking camera,

but it always looked like a bit of a toy compared to the Nikon F2.

Nikon F2

Digital camera? The Fujifilm X100 has to be high up on the list of nicest looking camera.

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Wilfried HKG
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Re: Leica R8 - the Hunchback of Notre Dame (n/t)
In reply to jeffcpix, 9 months ago

n/t

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Wilfried HKG
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made? FE-2
In reply to Cerumen, 9 months ago

yes, the Nikon FE2 in chrome, especially with the honeycomb shutter

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hjr13
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Re: Leica IIIc
In reply to DigitalIIIc, 9 months ago

One of my favorites.

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hjr13
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Re: Contax G2 or Leica S2
In reply to cgarrard, 9 months ago

I think the Leica III style is the best looking, but the contax is my 2nd favorite. I have a G2 and not only is it nice looking, it is a great camera system.

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Glen Barrington
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Almost a 'Steampunk' aesthetic going on with the Leicas from the 1930's
In reply to DigitalIIIc, 9 months ago

DigitalIIIc wrote:

For me it's a Leica IIIC. In general I prefer the design of older vintage items over the newer stuff. Not only for camera's, also for cars, airplanes, yachts and interior design ... like a Castiglioni arco flos lamp for example.

I don't know if my tastes are changing, or if modern cameras starve humans of the need to flip switches, twist knobs, and push buttons, but I find this much more attractive than I used to.

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Dr JLW
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Re: Nikon SP, Leica M3, Rolleiflex 2.8f, Nikon F2 and X100
In reply to marike6, 9 months ago

Nice choices. As a work of art I still like the LeCoultre Compass but for cutting edge design for function I think the original Voightlander Vitessa has to be one of the best.

It had "barn doors that unfolded at teh press of the shutter button and larong plunger to wind the film. This looked a bit ungainly but I was abot to fire 8 shots in five seconds with this camera and tunlike the more common rapid wind the plunger action did not move the ccaemra much as the forces were counter balanced.

It had a compur rapid shutter and its f/2 Ultron lens was one of the best 50mm f/2's of the 50's. These cameras sometimes went out of alignment but a well lined up Vitessa or Promonent or Vito III with a 50mm Ultron at f/2 was a a match for any Leica with the new Summicron or any of the Nikkors of that era. I had access to special lens testind devoice and the F/2 ultron was the best at f/2 of the various lenses I tried which included Sumicrons, Sonnars Nikkors and Switars. This test was not always predictive of what slides wourl look like but my Ultron slides looked very good even at F/2.

The camera folded to fit in an inner jacket pocket although it was fairly heavy. VItesse means speediest and its rapid unfolding at the touch f a button and plunger film advance and shutter cocking made it very fast to operate. It focused via a thumb wheel on the back so you could prefocus before opening the camera. It had no accessory shoe although they offered an optional one that clipped on. It debuted in 1950 so it was way ahead of its time.

These are quite affordable so if you want a really neat very functional film camera take a lok at the original Vitessa. The Vitessa L's are also very nice and corrected a design flaw. For reasnons I never understood the original Vitessa scratched the film with roll of more than 20 shots. The "L" model fixed that and added a nice but now usually dead built in selenium exposure meter.

Steve Gandy slightly disagree favoring the L model and I think that is very reasonable. Here is his take and pictures

http://www.cameraquest.com/voitvitl.htm

The Voightlander Prominent I and II were also very neat designs but you have to know a bit about optics to appreciate them and they lack the overall elegance and functional beauty of the original Vitessa.

Fair disclosure, I used to covet the Vitessa L in camera shop windows as I walked home from middle school. I used a Vitessa in high school. I lost it in a suitcase that was stolen. I have since bought a replacement for my collection.

This thread shows beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder but if you have not seen a Vitessa, and love 35mm cameras take a look. If you get to a camera show look for one and handle it if you can. It has a great look and feel if in decent shape.

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gene thomson
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
In reply to Glen Barrington, 9 months ago

Maybe not the most beautiful, but a nice looking early digital camera.

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geeno

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fotolopithecus
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
In reply to gene thomson, 9 months ago

For slr beauty the Contax RTS quarts 2 something or other, is hard to beat. For functional beauty the Pentax LX hands down. Most dslr's are Warthogs due to being covered with buttons, and wheels.

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Vlad S
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
In reply to Dr JLW, 9 months ago

Dr JLW wrote:

IN terms of gem like quality I nominate the LeCoultre Compass camera

http://www.jaeger-lecoultre.com/US/en/content/the-compass-camera.html

Not at all practical, even it its time, but what a beautiful device it is.

I don't find it beautiful at all. Amazing or fascinating - yes, but beautiful - no. It looks like an incomprehensible jumble of gears to me.

Vlad

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Vlad S
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The history of industrial design disagrees with you
In reply to Midwest, 9 months ago

Midwest wrote:

I would only buy a beautiful camera to display in my curio cabinet. I do not really care what my regular camera looks like. Nobody ever looked at any of my photos and said 'but what does your camera look like?'

People who buy cameras because they think that they're beautiful, and then excuse and ignore problems with the camera because they like the appearance so much, those are the people who need a reality check.

You only consider extremes, while the appeal of our tools definitely makes using them more enjoyable or less so. If there are two tools that work similarly well, but one is pleasant to use and another is not - isn't there additional value in the more attractive one?

Vlad

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Clint009
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
In reply to Glen Barrington, 9 months ago

All the Leica M Series. Since two years many companies are copying the Leica Design (Sony DSC RX100, Fujiifilm X100s, Fujifilm M X1

Also the Hasselblad Lunar

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Clint009
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Re: No, HERE is a lesson for you in butt ugly.
In reply to Midwest, 9 months ago

In the ugliest thing? You are right.

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Clint009
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Re: Almost a 'Steampunk' aesthetic going on with the Leicas from the 1930's
In reply to Glen Barrington, 9 months ago

It look very solid. Not imitation of metal.

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Clint009
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Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
In reply to Glen Barrington, 9 months ago

I see on many post many are confusing antiques vs beauty!

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Clint009
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Re: I really like the look of the Fuji X100
In reply to b0k3h, 9 months ago

b0k3h wrote:

Marty4650 wrote:

agreed. perversely, i think the derivative cameras than the original.

this means the X100 body and the Contax G2

Simply a Leica looking copy.

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