What is the most beautiful camera ever made?

Started Jul 10, 2013 | Discussions
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TrapperJohn Forum Pro • Posts: 15,378
Zeiss TLR, Nikon F

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.

Phil Bishop Regular Member • Posts: 225
Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?

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 Senior Member • Posts: 2,958
Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?

Minolta XD7/11 by a million miles.

-- hide signature --

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
bosjohn21 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,487
Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?

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

-- 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/

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

-- hide signature --

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.

-- hide signature --

John aka bosjohn21

santamonica812 Contributing Member • Posts: 855
Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?

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.

Eddaweaver Senior Member • Posts: 2,231
Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?

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

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

panamforeman
panamforeman Senior Member • Posts: 1,020
Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?

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

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Braxton7
Braxton7 Contributing Member • Posts: 882
Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?

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/

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
Paul Farace Contributing Member • Posts: 793
Leica IIIF, Nikon S-2, Pentax K1000, Fuji X100, Hasselblad 500C, Leica M4

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
Tim McClanahan Regular Member • Posts: 170
Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?

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 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,942
Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?

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

dantheman92 Forum Member • Posts: 93
Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?

Mamiya 7 ?

Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 16,368
Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?
1

bosjohn21 wrote:

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

Absolutely beautiful!

Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 16,368
Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?

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)

Tom2572
Tom2572 Senior Member • Posts: 1,128
Olympus Pen F

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.

wfektar Contributing Member • Posts: 700
Ow
1

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.

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,860
"Beautiful cameras". Whats next?

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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"Hey, don't blame me."

timo Veteran Member • Posts: 4,835
Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?

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

-- hide signature --

Tim

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Olymore
Olymore Senior Member • Posts: 1,659
Re: What is the most beautiful camera ever made?

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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Olympus E-M1
LouMeluso
LouMeluso Contributing Member • Posts: 507
Re: "Beautiful cameras". Whats next?
7

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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