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Roger Hicks -- Author of The Rangefinder Book

Roger Hicks is a well known photographic writer, author of The Rangefinder Book, over three dozen other photographic books, and a frequent contributor to Shutterbug and Amateur Photographer. Unusually in today's photographic world, most of his camera reviews are film cameras, especially rangefinders. See www.rogerandfrances.com for further background (Frances is his wife Frances Schultz, acknowledged darkroom addict and fellow Shutterbug contributor) .


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Old 10-28-2009   #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urban_alchemist View Post
Oooh... pretty AND interesting! A little history-lesson I believe is in order (as google doesn't seem to throw anything up)
All I can find is this.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrmonde...n/photostream/

He says only 300 were made, but I've seen much higher serial numbers than his. Photo-Arsenal has one (non working shutter)at their usual exhorbitant prices.
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Old 10-28-2009   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toyoca 35 View Post
John, I also think that the Diax is lovely, & I've just bid on a Ia (not quite as svelte as the IIb) to prove it!
Good luck, they are beautifully finished cameras, and surprisingly small.
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Old 05-06-2017   #123
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This is my current favourite.
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File Type: jpg IMG_0333.jpg (23.3 KB, 81 views)
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Old 08-05-2018   #124
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This is my current favourite.
I give up. What is it?
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Old 08-05-2018   #125
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A Univex Mercury II.
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Old 08-06-2018   #126
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The Wirgin Edixa Reflex is my prettiest SLR.



Rangefinder? Kodak Retina IIa



TLR is an easy choice.

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Old 08-06-2018   #127
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Lovely Rolleicord, never seen that one before. Not sure what the finish to the silver and black would have looked like when new, but likely not for owners suffering from the compulsion to put black tape over different bits in order to be stealthy.
Really lovely style here.
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Old 08-06-2018   #128
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I think the quite rare Voigtlander Vito III fits the description perfectly.
See my "avatar".
It is a classic German 1950's camera,superb build quality, wonderful 'Ultron' f2 six element lens in Synchro-Compur shutter, and
very pocketable. Its a beautiful and pretty camera in my opinion.
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Old 08-06-2018   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Cloetta View Post
Lovely Rolleicord, never seen that one before.
That's the original Rolleicord, often referred to as the "Art Deco" Rolleicord.

http://havefilmwilltravel.blogspot.c...-art-deco.html
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Old 08-06-2018   #130
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A trio of Plaubel Makiflexes by Nokton48, on Flickr
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Old 08-06-2018   #131
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001 by Nokton48, on Flickr


My 8x10" Sinar Norma with 165mm Schneider Norma Super Angulon and bag bellows and Foba Sinar Norma C40 tripod.
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Old 08-06-2018   #132
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The lists will be endless. Very much horses for courses. Never mind, here goes.

My Contax G1s (I have four) are surely the most elegant cameras I own and get the most attention. A superb ergonomic design. When they are working properly, they also (almost) always deliver the images I want. What my camera repair man in Singapore thinks of them, however, is unprintable. Steven says he would rather dismantle an old Graflex with tweezers and a jeweller's screwdriver than work on a Contax G. Huh.

My Rolleiflexes and Rolleicord aren't what I would call handsome, but also superb beasts, but the results they produce speak for themselves.If I could have only one camera to play with for the rest of my life, it would be one of my Rollei Ts with and a 16 exposure kit and a Rollei prism (which has been a salvation to my fading eyesight).

Nikons whether DSLRs or film SLRs look good, but are all of a 'unisex' (lovely old 1960s term, this) design. Modern camera designers seem to have adopted a one size fits all attitude and most DSLRs/SLRs all look the same, to the point that one has to look twice at them to spot the brand name. From a distance, they are all clones.

Indeed the only digital camera I've ever had comments about in the field, was a Canon G10. I tried and tried to work with it but I hated the thing and sold it to a friend who soon felt the same and also offloaded it, to a film school student who for all I know may still have it. A friend in Indonesia shoots with an older Canon G9 which has much the same design, but he gets superb results. Go figure. To me, a cute design, too bad about the technics.

Old 120 folding cameras are charmers in looks if at times frustrating in their limited functionality, but in most everyday situations, also produce okay results. My 1950 Zeiss Nettar with its albada finder attracts many glances and comments, but most people wonder more about the Gossen or Weston meters I have around my neck.

What most of us will surely agree on, however, is the classic of classics in the looks department has to be a Leica, whether a Barnack or M model. Again, I've had both (IIIg, M2, M3) and tried and tried, but they just didn't work for me.

My best shooter by far, and also not a bad looker (tho my earlier comment about Nikons in general, also applies here), is a Nikkormat FT2.

In so many words as usual, just sayin'...
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Old 08-06-2018   #133
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My 2 cents: an Agfa Ansco 6x6 medium format folder, with crimson bellows.


One of the jewels in my collection.


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Old 08-06-2018   #134
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Quote:
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My 2 cents: an Agfa Ansco 6x6 medium format folder, with crimson bellows.
a cardinal camera indeed.
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Old 08-07-2018   #135
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When I come across a thread like this I am driven, like a moth to a light, to mention the Konica Pop. It speaks for itself.

Having said that I agree with Toyoca regarding the Canonet and draw attention to Canon styling in the cine world.

I wonder...would it be true to say that much greater resources are spent on styling when the end product is high volume, low price?

In the motoring world it is the small cars that come over as being 'clever' and the big ones that are, well, just big.
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Old 08-07-2018   #136
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My vote (appropriate on Election Day - just dropped off my ballot here in WA)

The Olympus O-Product

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Old 08-08-2018   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
How about pretty lenses:

Mine is beautiful to me John but it certainly looks nothing like that!

Good thing too or I would probably be afraid to use it.
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Old 08-08-2018   #138
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Prettiest cameras? Subjectively, my all time favorites would be the Leica M3, Pentax Spotmatic and Rolleiflex TLR (all models). I've never owned any of them.
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Old 08-11-2018   #139
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Among the Werras, only the Werramat has been mentioned. For almost totally uncluttered design, the Werra 1 takes the prize. Choose green or black.

Among the Alpas, the Standard, the Prisma and the 9f may perhaps appeal more to those who regard the Alneas and the 10-11 series as lumpy.

p.
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Old 08-11-2018   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ph. View Post
Among the Werras, only the Werramat has been mentioned. For almost totally uncluttered design, the Werra 1 takes the prize. Choose green or black.

Among the Alpas, the Standard, the Prisma and the 9f may perhaps appeal more to those who regard the Alneas and the 10-11 series as lumpy.

p.
The 12-series have a sort of early-Range-Roverish charm to them too. Admittedly at Range-Roverish prices.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-12-2018   #141
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Well, my Land Rover is a Series 2, the current RangeRovers have too much bling.



I prefer totally mechanical cars (well maintained) instead of electronic wonders that conk out when wet , and impossible to repair once the bespoke integrated circuits go out of production. Early RRclassic may perhaps be an exception. In the camera world electronic wonders have an equally short life.



p.
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Old 08-12-2018   #142
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I love the beauty of the OM

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Old 08-12-2018   #143
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Quote:
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Well, my Land Rover is a Series 2, the current RangeRovers have too much bling.

I prefer totally mechanical cars (well maintained) instead of electronic wonders that conk out when wet , and impossible to repair once the bespoke integrated circuits go out of production. Early RRclassic may perhaps be an exception. In the camera world electronic wonders have an equally short life.

p.
That's why I said "early"! And my Series III has the bloody hydraulic clutch instead of the simple (but admittedly heavy) Series II version.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 08-12-2018   #144
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I love the beauty of the OM

I don't care how nice they look, the aperture ring still turns the wrong way. Can't use em.
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Old 08-13-2018   #145
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Never owned Alpa12, gave up on larger format 6x9 with the compact but unsuitable for hand held, mountains use TechnicaIV. In closed state it micht qualify as visually attractive. Open it had all adjustments one might wish for, but the old Rollex back had its problems and it did not fit in my anorak.

As for the Alpas, there was a time when used ones were unknown, deeply unfashionable and cheap but the optics that accompanied them remain excellent even today.

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Old 08-13-2018   #146
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Despite its reputation it still looks darn pretty. :P
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Old 08-13-2018   #147
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Wirgin Pre WWII folding camera
by andreas, on Flickr



early Pentax SLRs
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Old 08-13-2018   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ph. View Post
Among the Werras, only the Werramat has been mentioned. For almost totally uncluttered design, the Werra 1 takes the prize. Choose green or black.

Among the Alpas, the Standard, the Prisma and the 9f may perhaps appeal more to those who regard the Alneas and the 10-11 series as lumpy.

p.
I thought the ALPA Prisma I found a new home for last year was one of the most nicely finished cameras I'd ever held, it had beautiful chrome plating and was trimmed in real Moroccan leather. It's a historically interesting camera as well. It was one of the earlier SLRs to feature an integral pentaprism. Unlike other pioneers such as the Contax S it also has a mirror which, whilst not instant return in the modern sense, will nevertheless return for viewing when the photographer's finger is lifted from the release button, and not only when the film is advanced. It also has a mirror lift lever. This was undoubtedly fitted to permit the standard collapsible lenses supplied with the Prisma (and the previous Reflex model) to be retracted without damaging the reflex mirror by first lifting the mirror before stowing the lens. But it also serves as a mirror lock up, because the mirror can be fixed in the raised position, and the shutter and film advance safely actuated with the mirror lifted. I personally verified these functions with the example I had here for a few months.

Despite the visual and technical appeal of such a beautifully made camera, and a hybrid design, at that, the earliest ALPA models descended from the war time prototypes Bolsky conceived don't have the best reputation for reliability. And I'm not convinced many of the lenses available in the small bayonet mount fitted to the ALPA 1-3 were a great deal, if any better than those fitted to Eg Exakta or Contax SLRs, unlike some of those available for the later 35mm ALPAs, which I've found good enough to warrant perservering with the unusual ergonomics of the camera bodies they fit. Because I really, really wanted a hybrid ALPA I did consider making an offer on the Prisma, and would have loved to keep it, if only for display and very occasional use, however I opted for an Alnea 7 which, although not nearly as beautiful as the Prisma, will take a range of more desirable lenses plus various adapters for third party mounts if needed. Visually the Prisma is still the winner for me, though.
Cheers,
Brett

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Old 08-17-2018   #149
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I agree that the Prisma is reasonably proportioned, and the mirror is rapid-enough-return, but the 45 degree view needs getting used to.

I have kept my Prisma and the rest of the Alpas stowed away in a secure place for quite a while. Westlicht never replied to an offer to sell the lot. maybe they wanted to cherry-pick.

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Old 08-18-2018   #150
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To me, my black Nikon F2 with plain (DE-1) prism is a thing of beauty, though my M4 and Nikon S2 come close.
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Old 11-18-2018   #151
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(Minolta SR-7v.)
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Old 11-18-2018   #152
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Actually, I think the Fuji X-T20 is a very nice looking camera! The styling kinda reminds me of the Pentax MX (on the right, lower photo) but the Fuji is a bit smaller. It's a very nice carry-around shooter camera.



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Old 11-18-2018   #153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyscale View Post
The Wirgin Edixa Reflex is my prettiest SLR.



Rangefinder? Kodak Retina IIa



TLR is an easy choice.


I particularly like the Kodak Retina rangefinder pictured in you thread. But the one I absolutely adore is the Retina rangefinder with the 80mm add on component. I think it is both beautiful and impressive.

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Old 11-18-2018   #154
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Pretty cameras? Worn black paint. Leica M, Nikon F & F2 with plain pentaprism, pentax spotmatic. Rarely do we see very worn Pentax 67. Love the look of worn mahogany field cameras like the Deardorff. Maybe an Ebony in decades to come. Fatif & the black Toyo 810MII. Kodak Bantam Special. Rolleiflex Art Deco. ......just off the top of my head.
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Old 11-18-2018   #155
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Old 11-30-2018   #156
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I think this is my "prettiest" camera.


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Old 11-30-2018   #157
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Quote:
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Actually, I think the Fuji X-T20 is a very nice looking camera! The styling kinda reminds me of the Pentax MX (on the right, lower photo) but the Fuji is a bit smaller. It's a very nice carry-around shooter camera....
The Fujis with the pseudo prism hump have always reminded me of the Contax SLRs from the Kyocera/Yashica days. Very handsome designs. Damn fine picture-takers as well.
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Old 12-04-2018   #158
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Old 12-05-2018   #159
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Out to Lunch, on Flickr. Leica M7 a-la-carte with the CV 1.1/50. Chisinau, Moldova. 2009.
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Old 12-05-2018   #160
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Leica IIIc black paint.

Erik.

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