Ica Ideal 225

The Ica Ideal 225 is a double-extension bellows 9×12 plate camera (roll film with optional back). Produced by one of the joint ventures of Carl Zeiss c1924 the Ideal 225 is a beast of a camera that is not pocketable by any definition. The Compur shutter fires nicely and the cocking mechanism feels solid. I…

Kodak Retina IIc (type 020)

The Kodak Retina line contains some of my favorite cameras, due in no small part to the second camera in my collection, my great-grandmother’s Type 126. I find Retinas to have some of the best hand-feel of any pocketable cameras. As with all folding Retinas I have had the pleasure of using, the IIc has…

Leitz Leica IIIa

I never intended to get a Leica. At the typically high prices they command, I was content knowing I could buy and enjoy many less expensive cameras for the same amount of money. During a late-night perusal of Ebay listings I came across a really inexpensive IIIa and lowball bid… surprise, I got it. After…

Yashica J

The Yashica J, manufactured in 1961 is a nice 35mm with styling cues similar to other Japanese rangefinder models. The lens is a relatively fast Yashinon f2.8 45mm and though the camera has limited settings, the ones it does have make it an enjoyable daily shooter. This particular camera is currently loaded with Rollei Retro…

Kodak Retina 1b type 018

The Kodak Retina 1b (type 018) is an interesting example of the generally amazing Retina lineup. Unlike several of its later brethren, the 018 does not have a rangefinder, nor exposure meter, rather a coupled settings dial keyed to EV numbers from an external meter. As with all pre war and most post war Retinas,…

Kodak Retinette type 022

The Kodak Retinette Type 022, produced between 1954 and 1958 was the less expensive option to their Retina line, though the Retina 1b Type 018 has similar features including lack of rangefinder. It is also the first non-folding Retinette. Though not as hefty as a Retina, the Retinette is a well-built and fairly pocketable camera….

Graflex Ciro 35

After being purchased by Graflex in late 1949 early 1950, the former Ciro 35 (formerly Cee-Ay 35 by Candid Camera Corporation) was re-introduced as the, wait for it, Graflex Ciro 35 which itself was used as the basis for the Graflex Graphic 35. It has a split image coupled rangefinder and Alphax Synchro-Matic shutter. The focusing…

Argus C-four

The C4 is a 35mm coupled-rangefinder camera built by Argus from 1951 to 1958 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Less handsome than the C-3 and more advanced than the Argus A, the C4 is a solidly built piece of equipment that feels like it will stand up to moderate use on a daily basis. The viewfinder with superimposed…

Olympus Pen EE

The Olympus Pen EE half-frame, fixed lens, viewfinder camera was first introduced in 1961. It has automatic exposure and can be considered an early point and shoot. It’s compact size and copious shot taking ability make it a great camera to toss in a bag and go.   Make Olympus Model Pen EE Year 1961…

Minolta 16 Subminiature 

Featured in many spy movies as the document copier of choice, the Minolta 16 subminiature camera is a well crafted piece of photographic history. This is the Model 1, the first version to allow for slip-on filters and other lens accessories. There is a satisfying “ka-chunk” as the housing is pulled to advance the film,…

Graflex Stereo Graphic

Manufactured between 1955 and 1960, the Graflex Stereo Graphic 35mm camera is a rather basic, though effective, stereo camera. It takes a pair of pictures with each exposure allowing for, I believe, 18 stereoscopic prints. The exposure settings are as follows: f4(cloudy), f5.6(hazy), f8(bright), f11(brilliant) and f16 (no description, but I vote for supernova).   Make…

Great Wall Plastic Company Diana 151

Aside from the miniature HIT camera, the Diana is the lightest camera in my collection. Manufactured by the Great Wall Plastic Company on the 1960’s as a very inexpensive novelty camera (and copied extensively). This is the original “No. 151 Made in Hong Kong” model which, as I understand, produces interesting results from its plastic…