Okaya Optical Lord IV B

The Okaya Optical Lord IV B is a solidly built heavy rangefinder camera made circa 1955. Though there is nothing radical about the design, the Lord IV B is a joy to shoot with. It has relatively long throw on the focus adjustment and uber precise feel to the aperture ring. It’s most interesting feature…

Rollei 35

Production of German-made 35’s started in 1966 with Singapore following in 1971 with additional German models produced after the Singapore plant closed in 1981. The Rollei 35 can rightfully be called a miniature viewfinder camera as there was no smaller 35mm prior to its introduction and precious few since. The fit and finish are superb…

Kodak Bantam (4.5)

The Kodak Bantam 4.5 is one of the first cameras I have run film through in 25+ years. It is an amazingly compact and capable 828 film camera that produces sharp images with good contrast. Build quality is exceptional, everything feels solid 77+ years after it left the factory. For such a small camera, the…

Montanus Montana

The ingeniously named Montanus Montana is a capable, if bulky 35mm viewfinder camera similar to the Tower 51. It’s most notable features are a rotary aperture and unusual frame counter in addition to a cluttered focus scale which may lead to a lot if guess-and-shoot photographic outcomes.   Make Montanus Model Montana Year 1956 Format 35mm…

Wirgin Edinex (II/v2)

This Wirgin Edinex, listed as v2 in some descriptions, just II in others was produced by Wirgin Weisbaden around 1951. It is a compact scale focus camera, with bottom load and handy door on the back to facilitate feeding film to the take up spool. The focus ring seems a bit fiddly and imprecise, otherwise it’s a…

Sears Tower 51 (1958a)

Manufactured for Sears by Kamerawerke Wilhelm Witt, this rangefinder was a great value (even compared to the Argus C-4) when it was introduced in 1958. The 51 has a two-piece wind lever on the top left, counter intuitive film loading and moderately helpful instructions on the bottom. Also sold as the Iloca Rapid B. Manual…

Kodak No. 1A Folding Pocket Special Model D

The No. 1A Folding Pocket Special Model D was produced between 1908 and 1912 by Eastman Kodak. The 1A used 116 film as opposed to the No 1 which used 120. The camera could take 8 exposures of 2 1/2 by 4 1/4. The “A” designation indicates that that camera had autographic function, though this…

Kodak Retina (type 126)

Manufactured from 1936 to 1937, the Kodak Retina I Type 126 was the first manufactured with a chrome top plate. Though functionally identical to the Type 119, all other control surfaces on the 126 are also chrome. The 126 also has an accessory shoe next to the rewind knob. This example is fitted with a…

Yashica 635

Introduced in 1958, the Yashica 635 TLR is special in that it can use either 120 format film or 35mm with an adapter kit. It is very similar to the Yashika D with the exception of additional controls for 35mm film usage. The viewing lens is almost as bright and clear as any I have seen….

FED 1d (type 8)

The FED 1 rangefinder camera is a Soviet copy of the 1932 Leica and as such, uses the same M39 screw mount. The FED 1 is a bottom load 35mm camera, with separate viewfinder and rangefinder windows. As with most early FED cameras the film must be advanced prior to shutter speed selection.  Make FED…

Univex Mercury II

The Univex Mercury II 35mm half-frame camera is the post WWII version of the Mercury I. Univex’s proprietary #200 film was ditched in favor of 35mm for this model. With its rotary shutter, capable of up 1/1000ths of a second shutter speed, to the flash synchronizing hot shoe that it’s ancestor pioneered, the Mercury II…

Graflex Graphic 35

The Graflex Graphic 35 is a fun 35mm rangefinder camera with a quirky design. The dual push buttons for focus is one of its more interesting design choices, though the short throw of the arrangement can make it difficult to focus at times. The Speedomatic color-coded exposure calculator is a great idea but rarely works in…