I think that the Nikon F2 was the best SLR camera until 1996 when Nikon produced the F5* 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.
Currently on consignment is a Sigma 150mm APO Macro EX lens.
I took it out to a balcony in North Sydney to test it out
Click on the pictures for bigger resolution.
The Kodak Retina IIc.
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.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.