This weekend I got to test out to of the most beautiful cameras I have ever seen, the Fed-1 and the Exa 1.1. Both come from about the same time period (1950's) and both are from the other side of the Cold War. The build of these cameras is wonderful but they each have little tricks that one must get used to. Both have limitations one must overcome. In short, both require the photographer to think and understand photography!
They were a great deal of fun to shoot and learn about. Seeing how the engineers overcame challenges, what took priority and what was seen as an acceptable limitation, gives you insight into their thinking.
These are cameras I bought for my collection because I love the way they look. But no camera stays in my collection long without seeing a bit of film and some daylight. I believe cameras are works of art that must be used in order to be really enjoyed. Every camera in my collection is used, even if film is no longer available for it, I still find a way to shoot it.
I have a few other cameras that are in pretty sad shape that still need to be tested out. These use the old 127 film, which while it can be found is too expensive to play with for me. I will adjust a 135mm film to see how I can get it to work in these little ones. The only challenge is that the lenses have more scratched surface than good. So the pictures will be very soft indeed if at all useable.
Plenty more to come!
Patrick...confirmed film & digital photography addict.