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!

Brownie No. 2
  Box cameras
Vollenda 620
 Folding cameras
Rolleiflex Original (Deutschland, 1930)
TLR cameras

Leica IA
(Germany, 1925-1931)

Viewfinder cameras
Nikon S
Rangefinder cameras
Polaroid SX-70
  Instant cameras
Kodak DC290
Digital cameras

Spotmatic SP
  SLR cameras
small & small format
cameras page

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.
SIDA (Germany,
Baby Minolta
(Japan, 1935)

SIDA (Germany, 1936). Simple miniature box-camera for special 32mm Sida roll film. With some interesting history behind... Baby Minolta (Japan, 1935). Early Japanese bakelite camera for 127 film and two formats. Simple shutter and lens.

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.

Isolar 408 (Germany, 1927-1930)

No.1A (Autographic) Kodak Junior

Pocket Kodak (USA, 1912-1926)
Folding plate cameras like this Agfa Isolar 408 (Germany, 1928) were THE dominant camera class of the early 20ies century. Just this one example in my collection. 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. Vest Pocket Kodak (USA, 1912-1926). Very succesful (>1.8 mio units) camera. One of the first, that really fit into a vest pocket. Introduced 127 roll film.
CP Goerz Roll-Tenax (Germany, 1914) Contessa-Nettel Piccolette (Germany, 1919-1926)
Krauss Rollette (Germany, 1924-1931)
C.P.Goerz Roll-Tenax 4x6.5 (Germany, 1914). An early German VP Kodak competitor with Compound shutter.
Contessa-Nettel Piccolette (Germany, 1919-1926), with Zeiss Ikon label until 1930. A VP Kodak clone with some neat extra features. G.A. Krauss Rollette (Germany, 1924-1931). First German camera using the 129 film and a very compact design concidering 40% more image area than the VP film 127.

Vollenda 620
Dolly VP (Germany, 1932)
Beyer Precisa (Germany, 1937-1941 and
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. Certo Dolly VP (Germany, 1932-1935). A quite compact and pocketable camera for type 127 roll film (both 4x6.5 and 3x4).
Beier Precisa (Germany, 1937-1940 and 1950-1956). 6x6 was a quite rare folder format in 1937, but became popular after WW2. This one from DDR production in 1955.
Agfa Isolette II Compur Rapid
Golf 63 (Germany, 1952-1954)
Korelle 4.5x6
(Germany, 1933)
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. Adox Golf (Germany, 1952-1954). Competitor of the Isolette, also build by a film producer to foster film consumption with cheap cameras.
Korelle 4.5x6 (Germany, 1933). Quite successful strut-folding design for 4.5x6 on 120 film.

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,
KW Pilot
(Germany, 1931)
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.
KW Pilot (Germany, 1931). The one and only 3x4 camera among the TLRs. High end features and high price. Quite rare.
Rolleicord V (Germany, 1954-1957)
Seagul 4B-1
Rolleicord V (Germany, 1954-1957). Post-war TLR with some nice features 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

35 mm Film cameras from the 1930'ies

This class of cameras was founded by the Leica in 1925. It took some time to spread the word and also some technical improvements of the film, but by the end of the 1920 decade it took off. The first attempts to counter the Leica were the class of 3x4 cameras on 127 roll film, but eventually in the early 1930ies other manufacturers manage to handle the cine film as well. This is an almost quite complete collection of German pre-war cameras. After WW2, many models were continued again and this became the most importand class of analog cameras ever.

Leica IA
(Germany, 1925-1931)
Krauss Peggy
(Germany, 1931)
Leica IA (Germany, 1925-1931). The first commercially successful camera for 24x36 on 35 mm cine film. Together with her successors created the Leica myth and hype.
Beira (Germany, 1931). One of the first attempts to counter the Leica with another 35mm film camera in the market. Krauss Peggy (Germany, 1931). A very solid and innovative attempt to counter Leica, despite being cheaper not successful.
Leica III

Contax II
Leica III (Germany, 1933-1939). Central model of the pre-war Leica screw mount camera series.
Zeiss Ikon Contax I (Germany, 1932). Zeiss Ikon's somewhat premature attempt to counter Leica. Still missing in my collection ;-)
Zeiss Ikon Contax II (Germany, 1936-194x). A technical milestone, regarded one of the best cameras for the best lenses of its time.
Retina 117 (Germany 1934)
Zeiss Ikon Super Nettel (Germany,
Kodak Retina (117, Germany 1934). Very compact foldable design, very affordable, introduced standard 135 cartridge to the market. Certo Dollina (Germany, 1935). Besides the more compact Retina one of the early affordable cameras for 135 film. Zeiss Ikon Super Nettel (Germany, 1935-1938). Lower key sister of the Contax with a fixed lens on bellows, but the same focal plane shutter.
Korelle K
Kodak Retina 118
Kodak Retina I (126)
Kochmann Korelle K (Germany, 1932). Early half format 35mm film camera in modern shape. First Bakelite camera produced in Europe. Quite innovative and rare. Kodak Retina (118, Germany 1935). Very compact foldable design. First camera on Mount Everest, introduced standard 135 cartridge to the market. Kodak Retina I (126, Germany 1938). Another pre-war Retina from my collection.
Welta Welti (Germany, 1935-1939 and 1948-1953)
Jubilette (Germany, 1938)
Agfa Karat
Welta Welti (Germany, 1935-1939 and 1948-1953). Another competitor of the Retina in very similar style. Balda Jubilette (Germany, 1938). Aniversary modell of the Baldina, Retina's strongest direct competitor. Agfa Karat 6.3 Art Deco (Germany, 1937). Agfa's answer to Kodak's Retina and the new 135 cartridge. Uses Karat cartridges.
Ikon Tenax (Germany 1938)
Zeiss Ikon Tenax I (570/27, Germany 1939-1941)
Robot Junior
Zeiss Ikon Tenax (II) (580/27, Germany 1938-1941). First camera with a fast advance lever, exchangeable lenses, high end quality and price. Hubert Nerwin's masterpiece and highly collectible today. Zeiss Ikon Tenax I (570/27, Germany 1939-1941). 24x24 square format. Affordable and pocketable camera. Like its older sister with a fast advance lever. Robot Junior (Germany, 1954). Special rotary shutter, based on a design from 1934. 24x24 mm square format, spring motor. Quite heavy despite small size.
Welta Weltini II (Germany, 1938).
Argus C3

Welta Weltini II (Germany, 1938). A turned upsite-down Welti for adding the rangefinder. Design already points to post-war cameras to come. Argus C3 (USA, 1938-1966). "The Brick", ugliest and most impractical rangefinder camera. However, a best seller!

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.

Mimosa II
(DDR, 1948-1951)
WERRA (DDR, 1954)
Adox 300
(Germany, 1956-1962)
Mimosa II (DDR, 1948-1951). Unusual early post-war design. Produced by the film and paper maker Mimosa under cover for Zeiss Ikon. Werra (DDR, 1954). Quite successful compact camera series with innovative design elements. Adox 300 (Germany, 1956). One of the few cameras with interchangeable film magazine. Otherwise quite standard.
Balda Hapo-24 Agfa Silette SLE
Kodak Retinette 1A
Balda Hapo-24 (Germany, 1957). OEM version built for Photo Porst. Agfa Silette SLE (Germany, 1958). Higher end comsumer camera with coupled Selenium meter. Kodak Retinette 1A (Germany, 1961-1963). Easy to use consumer camera. Without a meter, though.

Zeiss Ikon Contessa
Smena 8M
(UDSSR, 1970-1995)
Zeiss Ikon Contessa (Germany, 1960-1961). Nice camera with built-in uncoupled meter. Zeiss Ikon Contessa S310 (Germany, 1971). One of the last German cameras of this kind. High end with aperture prio AE. Smena 8M (UdSSR, 1970-1995). Exceeding 21 mio units, most produced analogue camera of all times.
Yashica EZ-matic 4
Konica C35
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. Nikonos I (Japan, 1963-1969). Special under-water camera, a class of its own, basically without competitors.
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.

Nikon RF2
Jenoptik JC23

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.

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.

Electric (Germany, 1959)
Selecta-m (Germany, 1962)
Braun Super Colorette IIL
Iloca Electric (Germany, 1959). First 35mm camera with a build in motor drive. Quite innovative, DKL mount. Agfa Selecta-m (Germany, 1962). Developed as the Iloca auto-electric and launched after Iloca's bankruptcy. Electric motor drive and shutter-prio auto-exposure. Braun Colorette Super II L (Germany, 1958). Rare German Leaf shutter camera with DKL mount.
Petri Automate
Aires 35-V
Braun Paxette Automatic Super III
(Germany, 1958)
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 Paxette Automatic Super III (Germany, 1958). One of the very few SKL mount cameras, a DKL competitor.
Yashica Lynx-5000
Olympus 35 SP
Olympus XA
Yashica Lynx-5000 (Japan, 1962). Fixed lens rangefinder with built-in CdS meter and very fast leaf shutter (1/1000 s). 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 (Japan, 1979-1985). Smallest rangefinder camera for 135 film ever. A real pocket camera and a design jewel.

Automatic cameras

Eventually, almost all cameras offered one or the other kind of automation, may it be exposure, focus, a built-in flash or motor advance. However, this section is for those cameras which had one or multiple of those automatic features first or significantly contributed to their development. Other of these technical milestone cameras can also be found on my SLR index page

Agfa Optima I
Automatica (Italy, 1960)
Electro 35 (Japan, 1966)
Agfa Optima (Germany, 1959-1961). First camera with full "program" mode auto-exposure (AE). Very successful. 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 Electro 35 (Japan, 1966-1977). First commercially successful camera with an electronic shutter and aperture priority automation. Milestone!
Braun Paxette electromatic
(Germany, 1959-1962)
Braun Paxette electromatic II
(Germany, 1960-1964)
Voigtländer Vitrona (Germany, 1964)
Braun Paxette electromatic (Germany, 1959-1962). Braun's answer to the Optima, advertised as the world's first TRUELY fully automatic camera. Fixed focus and only one shutter speed, though. Re-introduced the hot shoe! Braun Paxette electromatic II (Germany, 1960-1964). Braun lost the case against Agfa, both on the court as on the market. 2. version eventually met the Optima specs in a more compact and nicer body, though. Voigtländer Vitrona (Germany, 1964-1967). First camera with a built-in electronic flash. Needed a bulky hand-grip for the batteries, etc., though. Otherwise standard.
Electra (DDR, 1967)
Electric (Germany, 1959)
Konica C35 AF
Pentacon Electra (DDR, 1967). Electronically controlled shutter and aperture prio auto exposure in a modern plastic body. Iloca Electric (Germany, 1959). First 35mm camera with a build in motor drive. Quite innovative, DKL mount. Konica C35AF (Japan, 1977). First commercially available Auto-Focus camera. Uses Honeywells Visitronic System. Set a new standard for later consumer cameras.


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. I bought some for myself and the family and eventually got some from friends as a gift for the collection. However, I recently (2021) started to show interest in early milestones and bought the Mavica...

Sony Digital Mavica FD-7 (Japan, 1997)
Kodak DC290 Coolpix 4300
Sony Digital Mavica MVC-FD7 (Japan, 1997). One of the first successful consumer cameras. Floppy Disk, VGA 0.3 MP
Kodak DC290 (USA/Japan, 2000).
Nikon Coolpix 4300 (Japan, 2002-2004).  4MP
Jenoptik JD-C350 Hp Photosmart 433 Canon PowerShot S400
Jenoptic JD-C350 (China 2002). Very simple early plastic model based on a web-cam sensor. 0.3MP HP Photosmart 433 (2003-2005). 3.1MP Canon Powershot S400 (Japan, 2003). 4MP
Finepix A345 Lumix DMC-FX07 Luxmedia 8403
Fujifilm Finepix A345 (Japan, 2005-2006).
4.2 MP
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07 (Japan, 2007). 7.1MP Praktica Luxmedia 8403 (Taiwan, 2009). 8MP
Kodak Easyshare Sport C123

Lytro (USA, 2012). Lightfield camera, interesting technology. Was supposed to revolutionize photography. Failed...! Kodak Easyshare Sport C123 (2011). 12 MP, water proof sports camera.

PEN E-PL1 Lumix G3
Olympus PEN E-PL1 (Japan/China, 2010). Very nice mirrorless compact system camera for the mFT-Sensor. 12MP. Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 (Japan, 2011). 16MP sensor, famous for its video capabilities. Olympus OM-D E-M5II (Japan, 2014). My actual day-to-day system camera.
Nokia 6500-Slide

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.
IPhone 6 (USA/China, 2014). The most produced camera of all time is a smartphone. Over 220 million units sold over a period of 4 years