Equipment: Cameras I desire...

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My partner is constantly baffled at my simultaneous ability to say that I have way too many cameras and my desire for even more. Here's the short list of cameras that I'd still love to acquire.
  1. Ducati -- a tiny post-war Leica lookalike rangefinder made by the motorcycle company in Italy. Very, very cute.
  2. Mamiya 7 -- contemporary medium format rangefinder, stellar optics
  3. Hasselblad 905SWC - was talked into lusting after one of these. One of the best wide-angle medium format cameras on the market

No digital? I haven't found a digital camera yet that inspires me. They're great tools, but just tools. I'll most likely continue to upgrade my digital cameras, but they fail to inspire me the same way that mechanical film cameras do. Have any cameras that you desire after? Post a comment below.


I find the small half frame Ducati interesting also. There is some nice information about this rare camera available here:

I believe there is only one "t" in Ducati.


I'm lusting around a Mamiya 6 more than the 7. Optics are about the same in quality for my taste after having seen the MTF for the 7II lenses... but the 6 is more compact with its retractable body.

On the other hand I dont find the 6x7 a great advantage over the 6x6 once Im comfortable with the square.

forgot to mention... already have the nikonos? :)

Bob - Thanks for catching my spelling mistake and adding the link.

Luis - I wanted a Mamiya 6 too, but one of my friends is a Mamiya 6 True Believer™ and has two of them -- and both of them have broken flash sync sockets. He says it's a design flaw, although that hasn't taken away from his praise of the camera.

No Nikonos yet, I want one, but I'm not sure if I lust after it yet. :-)

Wow, a half-frame mini-Leica! As a half frame fan myself (Olympus D2) I've got to say that that one looks the bomb.

What I'm lusting after these days is a fairly portable 4x5 camera with a Polaroid back.

I've been playing about with a Holga with a Polaroid back and type 85 film (contact printing the negs), and I'm pretty happy with the way I can take portraits with it, but the quality sucks, and the camera has a bad tendency to fall to pieces. (I've used it on only one big shoot, and done a total of less than 30 frames, and yet it's already held together more with camera tape than any original parts.)

Maybe I can find a speed graphic or something somewhere. Any suggestions? I would even go for something using 665 or 85 film, if it were reasonably inexpensive and less dumb than the Holga. I do need flash, though.

I can't remember a single RF frame where I've used flash... so it does not seems an issue for me (I found that I only use the flash with autowonder cameras and controlled light lately), BTW that's a good reason to ask for a price reduction to the seller :)

About the Nikonos, I got last mine for about $150, so certainly there is no reason to lust after it :)

i've been lusting after a mamiya 7 for a few years. i WILL acquire one this year--i'm selling off a camera system i've owned and hated for a while now. it's funny how you just "don't get along" with certain systems, but keep them anyway, living with them like a bad relationship.

for my part, i like how light the mamiya 7's are, and the ease of use. and that they are only good for certain kinds of photos, making me have to be a certain kind of photographer, one that learns to stretch with her tools.

i like squares too, but not as much as that big, fat, 6x7 neg that, whenever i see it, i go ooooo!. for square when i'm in the mood for square, my yashica-mat g is perfectly adequate.

Stacy - Yeah, the Mamiya 7s are to die for although I love Luis' comment about using the flakey flash sync on the 6 to get a discount. :-) I used to shoot on a Mamiya RB67 before I sold the system off to get a 'blad. I do love square, but the huge 6x7 negatives are mouthwatering.

Luis - I'll have to keep my eyes on a Nikonos. I think I could afford $150 and now that I'm on the east coast again, my scuba diving gear is coming out of the closet.

Curt - You can get a 4x5 Polaroid back for view cameras. I have one, I forgot what the model number is (445?) and it's in the middle of a wormhole between St. Paul and New Haven (we don't move the remainder of my stuff until 8/10). I bought it to use on my Seneca but left the States before testing it out. It was only about $80 on ebay.

if it's all in praise of the big negatives why not a Fuji 6x9 RF?

Yeah, the 4x5 Polaroid backs for view cameras are quite cheap, used. The issue is the cost of the view camera itself. :-) Not to mention the lack of hand-hold-ability, though I might be able to deal with that, somehow.

I'm not exactly sure why you want to handhold a view camera, the ergonomics are terrible (focusing, framing, removing the ground glass, putting on the film back, pulling out the darkslide etc.).

Even if you got a SpeedGraphic (which is what it sounds like you need), you'd use it as a rangefinder or with the sports finder, not with the view feature. And to be blunt, if you're handholding a 4x5, you're losing as much resolution from hand motion that you might as well use a 6x7 or 6x9 medium format.

I've been lusting after a Hasselblad SWC as well, and am finally getting the 30mm lens for my Hasselblad XPan. Should be here in a few days. I can't wait!

Ooohhh.... Xpan II........ that along with the Hassie H1/HD are also on my drool list....... :-)

Karen, one of my best friends has a full Mamiya 7 system. I'll see if he wants to part with it.

I agree with you about digital being a tool, I use my D70 for work as a Graphic Designer, but when I want to be inspired, I take out my Nikon FE. I have to confess though, I could be inspired by an old sckool 'Blad with a digital back. My dream camera would be a Nikon FM3A that's digital, but remaining completely manuel like the Epson Rangefinder, I guess that would make it a FD3A.

Hey Karen, yes, I can identify... there is an old Hassel Series V in a local shop, in mint condition, revised by the shop owner, I would rescue if I had the money.

I can't really explain, but I feel like I'm loosing something moving digital, and I like the Medium Format. The shop owner, a really sweet old man from a shop that only sells films and film cameras, and you can see that shop won't be there much longer, after some 40 years on the same traditional place... allowed me to test the camera for a while. The feeling of using that camera was really more rewarding than my Canon 300D.

I guess I will just have a cabinet with tons of mechanical cameras here at home, even if I seldomly use them to work with. My wishlist now for cameras is a medium format Hassel and a Leica MP... when I have the money :P



Btw, being a photography student, I really feel torn between the practicity of digital photography ( as a learning tool ) and film photography as feeling more authentic and less promiscuous. There is something about how easilly a file can be copied and how fast a format can be outdated, and the bound of a photographer to getting things right with film, that draws me in.

Cartier-Bresson couldn't just come back and review and delete bad photos. He needed to commit himself to getting things right on that precise definitive moment. I like to think I will be able to perfect myself in bringing artistic view, technical skills, attention and experise together to create, without being laid-back by the fact I have photoshop and a delete button.

By the way, today I got from my dad my first camera ever... his old Olympus Pen EE2 :) Disapointed me a bit, he didn't go for the rangefinder Pens or the Pen F back then. I could really use a less bulky camera with access to the whole manual controls. But at least I have my stealth camera ( after it's back from restauration ).

I mean, he finally mailed me that camera after some months of me asking for it, for sentimental reasons :P It was the first camera I ever used, back when I was some 8 years old :D I am 30 in some weeks, and it was a really nice birthday gift :D

Now I need to get a Leica M and a Hassel 500 :D

A friend sent me this site! Anyone interested in a 1902 or so 5 x 7 SLR auto graphlex, 2 sheet holder & a 12 sheet holder. And, it works. I would like to sell it.

The new panasonic (LX1 I think its called) is the first digital camera that has tempted me. Im still saving for that a la carta Leica MP though...

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Karen Nakamura published on July 18, 2005 10:24 AM.

Link: Sebastiao Salgado's Genesis project was the previous entry in this blog.

Equipment: Sony and Konica-Minolta to collaborate on DSLRs is the next entry in this blog.

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