all other cameras


When I started collecting cameras I did not really have a focus, or a special interest in a certain kind. I was always interested in the technology itself and with that of course in cameras which provided innovation and changed the path of the entire industry. These cameras I call milestone cameras and together with those cameras, which had a tremendous success on the market, they shaped the face of the industry, which I like to understand and describe with my collection.

Over time two categories became more comprehensive than others and I now call them the center categories of my collection. These are SLR cameras for the 135 film, which have an own page on this web site. The other are small cameras and small format cameras, which sometimes goes hand in hand, but not neccessarily. Of course all the other cameras deserve a place to be presented as well. This is their index page, please click on them to reach out to the respective more detailed description. Have fun!

Box cameras

Box cameras are the simplest sort of cameras you can think of, and do not neccessarily come in the shape of a box. They all were built with the intention to offer cheap and affordable cameras for everybody. That meant a restriction to a minimal  feature set. Many of these cameras have been produced by the film manufactureres themselves, simply to boost film revenues. They are characterized by just one or two shutter settings, maybe a few aperture settings and very simple (roll-)film handling. Mostly, the lenses were single elements or even made from plastic. Thus, the image quality was mostly poor. However, these cameras sold in millions and shaped a significant part of the photo market. For many, they also created the desire to invest into more sophisticated camera technology, kind of an gateway drug. Also my first camera as a kid was one of them...

Brownie No. 2
Agfabox Gevabox
Kodak Brownie No.2 (USA, 1907). Made from cardbord and wood, sold for $US 2. First camera for the popular roll film 120. Agfabox (Germany, 1949-1951). Made from sheet metal, priced DM 9,90 and sold 599,000 times in just a few years. Gevabox (Germany, 1951). Made and bought in Wuppertal-Elberfeld. Solid sheet metal construction.
Agfa Clack
Agfa Click-I

Agfa Clack (Germany, 1954-1965). Made frome Bakelite.  Curved backdoor to compensate for optical weaknesses of the fixed focus single meniscus lens. Agfa Click I (Germany, 1958-1970). Fixed focus lens Bakelite camera, designwise more like a compact point and shoot. Agfa Click II (Germany, 1958-1970). Same as Click I, but equipped with a more sophisticated and better lens.
Instamatic 100
Agfa Isoflash Rapid
Agfamatic 200
Kodak Instamatic 100 (USA, 1963). First camera for the new cartridge film type 126. Still with a flash bulb refelctor. Agfa Isoflash-Rapid (Germany, 1965-1966). Agfa's answer to Kodak's Instamatic was a reborn Karat cartridge from the 30ies. Agfamatic 200 Sensor (Germany, 1972). Agfa ceased their Rapid format already in 1968 and jumped on the Instamatic train. The very solid Agfamatic series became a huge success. My first camera!
Instamatic 104
Kodak Brownie Starflex
Dacora digna 6x6 Achromat
Kodak Instamatic 104 (USA, 1965). Same as Instamatic 100, but to be used with the new simple to use flash cubes. Kodak Brownie Starflex (USA, 1957-1963). Simple plastic box camera for 127 film. TLR feeling and simple flash approach. Last Brownie generation before Instamatic. Dacora digna 6x6 (Germany, 1954-1959). Simple box camera features in the design of a finder camera.
Bilora Boy
Ferrania Tanit
Simplex Snapper
Bilora Boy (Germany, 1950). Early and simple bakelite body for 127 film. Cheap but solid. Sold for only DM 9,90. Ferrania Tanit (Italy, 195x). Another 127 film box camera, quite compact in the design of a finder camera. Simplex Snapper (USA, 197x). Simple snap-on camera for the 126 Instamatic cartridge. Shutter and finder are box like. 

Folding cameras

Folding cameras don't normally belong to my favourite items. However, these three made it into my collection for different reasons. Folding cameras used to be a very important class of cameras during the first half of the 20ies century. Made for different types of roll film, they all were quite similar in their basic mode of operation. The folding bellows allowed a quite compact even pocketable size, and the basic features (besides the film handling) were all assembled around the fixed lens and included aperture and leaf shutter. Most cameras were available with different lens and shutter combinations, which determined quality and price.

No.1A (Autographic) Kodak Junior

Vollenda 620
Agfa Isolette II Compur Rapid
No. 1A Kodak Junior (USA, 1914). Very nice piece for 116 type roll film, including the Autographic feature to take notes between the negative images. Kodak Vollenda 620 (Germany, 1934-1939). Type 620 roll film camera for 6x9 cm images. Rare early version. Otherwise a very average folding camera from the 1930ies. Agfa Isolette II (Germany, 1958). Type 120 roll film for 6x6 cm images. Same principle like the slightly larger pre-war folders, but in a slightly more modern shape.

Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) cameras

Twin Lens Reflex cameras existed since the late 19th century. These plate cameras already used an extra lens and a respective mirror as a finder and focussing aid. However, it was the German manufactuerer Franke&Heidecke who adapted the principle to a roll film camera and created a very homogenious class of cameras.

Rolleiflex Original (Deutschland, 1930)
Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex II (Deutschland,
Seagul 4B-1
Rolleiflex Original (Germany, 1929-1932). THE first TLR for roll fim, which actually created this camera class. Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex II (Germany, 1936). Nice pre-war TLR. Probably one of the most important competitor of the Rolleiflex. Seagull 4B-1 (China, 1986). Chinese Rolleicord clone, sold in millions both in China and for cheap export.
Yashica 44
Agfa Optima Reflex

Yashica 44 (Japan, 1958). TLR for 4x4 cm images on 127 type roll film. A "Baby-Rollei" clone. Quite successful. Agfa Optima Reflex (Germany, 1961-1963). One of the view TLRs for 135 film. Shares an early AE mode with Agfa's Optima

Compact cameras with simple finders

Except of a few milestone cameras in this section, which I really sought after, I got most of the following cameras very cheap on flea markets or even as a free gift from friends. The reason is, that these cameras existed in millions and could be found in almost every home. They all were aimed for the non-educated layman, symbols helped to guess the distance (until AF arrived in 1977) or to set the right exposure. The more expensive also had auto-exposure modes and the late models form the 1990 had built-in motorized film transport and flash and almost nothing could be set manually anymore.

Agfa Optima I
Kodak Retinette 1A
Agfa Silette SLE
Agfa Optima (Germany, 1959-1961). First camera with full "program" mode auto-exposure (AE). Very successful. Kodak Retinette 1A (Germany, 1961-1963). Easy to use consumer camera. Without a meter, though. Agfa Silette SLE (Germany, 1958). Higher end comsumer camera with coupled Selenium meter.
Balda Hapo-24 Zeiss Ikon Contessa
Automatica (Italy, 1960)
Balda Hapo-24 (Germany, 1957). OEM version built for Photo Porst. Zeiss Ikon Contessa (Germany, 1960-1961). Nice camera with built-in uncoupled meter. Durst Automatica (Italy, 1960). First 35 mm camera with aperture prio automation and an unusual pneumatic shutter control. Not very successful and thought through...
Yashica EZ-matic 4
Konica C35

Zeiss Ikon Contessa S310 (Germany, 1971). One of the last German cameras of this kind. High end with aperture prio AE. Yashica EZ-matic 4 (Japan, 1967). High end automatic camera for 126 Instamatic film. Widest aperture 1.9 available for any Instamatic camera. Konica C35V (Japan, 1971-1976). Very compact automatic camera. Her 3 year older, similar sister C35 set new standards for this camera class.

King Regula Sprinty C300
Foto Quelle Revue 100 C
King Regula Sprinty C300 (Germany, 1971). Successful consumer camera built of plastic. Very practicable shutter/aperture approach. Revue 100 C (Germany, 197x). OEM version for Foto Quelle (original: King Regula Picca C). Simple point-and-shoot camera. Nikonos I (Japan, 1963-1969). Special under-water camera, a class of its own, basically without competitors.
Konica C35 AF
Nikon RF2
Jenoptik JC23
Konica C35AF (Japan, 1977). First commercially available Auto-Focus camera. Uses Honeywells Visitronic System. Set a new standard for later consumer cameras. Nikon RF2 (Japan, 1988). Easy to use, full auto camera with 35mm lens. Our family camera in the 90ies. Jenoptik JC23 (China?, 1999). Camera bought at the discounter.

Rangefinder cameras

Rangefinder cameras, especially those with exchangable lenses, used to be the high end of the camera spectrum. They got eventually replaced by SLR cameras, which sometimes were based on original rangefinder designs. Two producers fought for excellence and highest reputation in the field. After the Leica founded the class and always played a significant roll, it was the Contax and its excellent lenses which set highest standards. Beside the two and some excellent copies of them there are also some other important independent designs, e.g. the Argus C3 or Voigtländer's Vitessa, just to name two. Also Japan produced some late but very nice and usable rangefinder cameras.

Leica III
Contax II
Argus C3
Leica III (Germany, 1933-1939). Central model of the pre-war Leica screw mount camera series.
Zeiss Ikon Contax II (Germany, 1936-194x). A technical milestone, regarded one of the best cameras for the best lenses of its time. Argus C3 (USA, 1938-1966). "The Brick", ugliest and most impractical rangefinder camera. However, a best seller!
Kiev-4 (UDSSR, 1957-1980)
Nikon S
Vitessa T
Kiev 4 (USSR, 1957-1980). A more or less exact Contax III copy, produced decades later and for decades. Nikon S (Japan, 1951-1954). Very important Japanese rangefinder. Copied the best from both, Leica and Contax. Voigtländer Vitessa T (Germany, 1956-1960). Leaf shutter camera with interesting design elements. Built-in meter.
Petri Automate
Aires 35-V
Braun Super Colorette IIL
Petri Automate (Japan, 1956-1959). Very nice Japanese rangefinder camera, inspired by Leica's M3, but fixed lens and leaf shutter. Aires 35-V (Japan, 1958-1961). Late Japanese newcomer with exchangable lenses. Leaf shutter and uncoupled meter. Went bankrupt, therefore rare. Braun Colorette Super II L (Germany, 1958). Rare German Leaf shutter camera with DKL mount.
Yashica Lynx-5000

Electro 35 (Japan, 1966)

Olympus 35 SP
Yashica Lynx-5000 (Japan, 1962). Fixed lens rangefinder with built-in CdS meter and very fast leaf shutter (1/1000 s). Yashica Electro 35 (Japan, 1966-1977). First commercially successful camera with an electronic shutter and aperture priority automation. Milestone! Olympus-35 SP (Japan, 1969-1972). High end, fixed lens rangefinder with optional spot metering and auto-exposure option. One of my favorite cameras.
Olympus XA

Olympus XA (Japan, 1979-1985). Smallest rangefinder camera for 135 film ever. A real pocket camera and a design jewel.

Instant cameras

Edwin Land's invention of instant photography need a certain representation in every serious camera collection. The ingenious technology is in the film. However, it is still the camera which will be remembered. Although there were other producers making instant cameras, it is Edwin Land's Polaroid company which always drove innovation in this field. Except of the iconic SX-70, which I bought on a camera flea market on purpose, all other models somehow appeared in possession...

Polaroid Highlander
Polaroid SX-70
Polaroid Autofocus 660
Polaroid Model 80 "Highlander" (USA, 1954-1957). Very successful early instant camera for roll film. Polaroid SX-70 Sonar OneStep (USA, 1978). SLR Instant for Pack-Film. Milestone! First AF-SLR on the market. Polaroid Autofocus 660 (USA, 1981). Easy to use and successful model for 600 type pack film. Entirely automatic!
Polaroid J33

Polaroid J33 Electric Eye (USA, 1961-1963). Automatic exposure with type 37 roll film, 3000 ASA! world record in 1959!

Digital cameras

I'm not really collecting digital cameras. However, I bought some for myself and the family and eventually got some from friends as a gift for the collection.

Kodak DC290 Coolpix 4300 Finepix A345
Kodak DC290 (USA/Japan, 2000).
Nikon Coolpix 4300 (Japan, 2002-2004).  4MP Fujifilm Finepix A345 (Japan, 2005-2006).
4.2 MP
Lumix DMC-FX07 Luxmedia 8403 Jenoptik JD-C350
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07 (Japan, 2007). 7.1MP Praktica Luxmedia 8403 (Taiwan, 2009). 8MP Jenoptic JD-C350 (China 2002). Very simple early plastic model based on a web-cam sensor. 0.3MP
Hp Photosmart 433
Kodak Easyshare Sport C123
Canon PowerShot S400
HP Photosmart 433 (2003-2005). 3.1MP Kodak Easyshare Sport C123 (2011). 12 MP, water proof sports camera. Canon Powershot S400 (Japan, 2003). 4MP
Lytro PEN E-PL1
Lytro (USA, 2012). Lightfield camera, interesting technology. Was supposed to revolutionize photography. Failed...! Olympus PEN E-PL1 (Japan/China, 2010). Very nice mirrorless compact system camera for the mFT-Sensor. 12MP. Olympus OM-D E-M5II (Japan, 2014). My actual day-to-day system camera.
Nokia 6500-Slide Lumix G3
Nokia 6500 slide (Finnland/China, 2006). Not actually a camera, but cell phones started to have decent lenses and are more and more replacing cameras. Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 (Japan, 2011). 16MP sensor, famous for its video capabilities.