Nikon F2 Feature

I think that the Nikon F2 was the best SLR camera until 1996 when Nikon produced the F5*Stout The F2 is the successor to the Nikon F, their first SLR camera, released in 1970. The F2 featured many revisions of the inner and outer workings of their SLR template. The black one above is a Photomic F2 which means it came with a light meter built into the removable viewfinder. The Nikon F system was a modular design system catering to professional photographers. You can remove or swap out the back cover, viewfinder, eye piece, focussing screen and the lens of course. Each of the removable parts had a wide range of replacements which were designed for specific applications such as high volume film backs and photometric grid focus screens. Its really weird seeing your camera stripped down to just a mirror and a shutter.

Continue reading “Nikon F2 Feature”

Profile: Kodak Retina IIc 020

The Kodak Retina IIc.

Folding camera!

Produced between 1954 and 1957 (depending on who you ask…) the IIc listed for $135 which was a lot of money at the time.

But for your buck, the camera boasts a bunch of quite sophisticated features.

1:2.8/50 lens (seriously sharp Schneider optics)

1s – 1/500th shutter speed range

F 2.8 – F 22

Focus scale + rangefinder focusing

36 exposure counter

Manual advance and rewind, obviously.

The IIc even features a couple of clever fail safe stops e.g. the lens won’t fold back in unless you set it to infinity (a feature which the famous Bessa III lacks sorely. I’ve seen one too many IIIs with a ruined lens from it not being at infinity when stored back in the body of the camera).

All real metal and tough leatherette. The IIc on my desk has been churning out photos for almost 60 years and is showing no sign of breaking down. The leatherette is pretty much as it would have been on the day it left the factory, albeit a bit dustier. I’ll bet you can drop this from 3 meters onto concrete pavement and still have a working camera for your sunset photographs this afternoon.

Brilliant. They don’t make them like this anymore.

Mainline Camera Museum Continues to Grow

We recently received a generous gift for our growing camera museum. A Mainline customer acquired for us a rare Nikkorex outfit:

The Nikkorex Auto 35 with optional Tele Attachment:

Nikkorex Auto 35 with super rare Telephoto lens attatchment. Cool!
Nikkorex Auto 35 with super rare Telephoto lens attachment. Cool!

If you have an old camera lying around and gathering dust, why don’t you donate it to our ever growing camera museum? Your camera may be featured on our blog and will be on display in our Crows Nest showroom. Contact us at (02) 9437-5800 or email us at

Restoration & Repair

Leica M3 1 C

As a part of my apprenticeship here at Mainline, I am learning about restoring and repairing old M series cameras.  To further my education in this black art, I have acquired a Double Stroke Leica M3 from one of our customers.

When I first picked up the camera, the slow shutter speeds (1sec, 1/2 sec etc) were double to three times the marked duration on the dial, parts of the leatherette were missing and the viewfinder was less than perfect. These are pretty normal signs of wear that you will see on many M3s (especially the older Double Stroke models).

Continue reading “Restoration & Repair”

The Outstanding Olympus XA2

Taken with an OMD + 35mm f1.4 Voigtlander Nokton
XA2 with optional A11 flash accessory

I first saw this camera sitting on the shelf in our “dead camera” section of the showroom. I couldn’t have taken it seriously as at a glance, it is a consumer grade point-and-shoot camera with no real manual controls.

Little did I know how capable (and fun) this camera would turn out to be in the real world.

Continue reading “The Outstanding Olympus XA2”

Airline strikes are not new. 50 years of historical photographs.

TWA planes stand idle during the 1961 Strike in the US

Photography has the amazing ability to freeze moments in time, as we are a reminded in this stunning collection of images. Scrolling through these 50 images from 1961 is like taking a walk through history – from the inauguration of John F. Kennedy as the 35th president of the United States to the construction of the Berlin Wall.