Let me share the cameras I still own so far. Most of them I bought used, second hand, either from some specialized shop or online. When buying a camera I am using it quite extensively for some weeks, but in the end turn back to my preferred ones.
Whatever pictures you see on this site are taken with one of the following cameras. I do not publish tests – because I do “test” them like a lot of people on the internet would do. I just try them out, check the handling, the look of the pictures…based on my taste. I owned many more cameras, but most of them I sold at some point in time.
This is the group to stay with me, and possibly one day with my children (at least the analog mechanical ones… not so sure of the digital cams will survive this long).
Here is the black beauty, my jewel of analog photography. Fun to use, and much simpler than the M3 due to the built in meter.
The only Fuji that I still have. Small, good pictures, a lot of advanced features for the time, things that are now slowly mainstream with all vendors. This was the camera that I always had in my pocket. I used it longer and more than the X20, X-T20, X-T2. Some things have changed meanwhile… despite the excellent optics available from Fuji, I sold most lenses and am using the Fuji mainly with the adapter for Leica Lenses.
Pentacon Six TL
My third medium format film camera, and one to stay. A former East German workhorse, that you can still buy quite cheap. A plus, you can get nice Zeiss lenses for it. A lot of people are reporting about film transport issues or film plane issues but so far I’ve never had an issue. If you want to start with 6×6 analog photography on a smaller budget, go for the Pentacon Six
My 2nd medium format camera, and the only TLR that I own at the moment. There was a time when I spent every evening hours on lomography.com reading tests, reports, etc. It’s there that I found the Lubitel, and was immediately curious. A nice camera… if you have some affinity to the Lomography look. I enjoyed the camera but haven’t used it in a while…
Loved this one, and my first rangefinder. It’s just a nice Japanese design camera of the 70ies. Nothing fancy although it has a metering system.
I think it needed back then the 1.35V mercury batteries that you can’t purchase any more – unfortunately a common problem for the people using old cameras. However, there are adapters on Ebay. As a side note, the camera seems to me quite big, even bigger than SLRs of the 70ies.
This is my main analog camera, used any time I go out to take pictures. It’s a nice workhorse form 1960, good in shape, and perfectly functioning. There are plenty of absolutely excellent lenses for the camera. The M3 is obviously purely mechanic, a marvel of mechanical & camera engineering. By some people it is considered as the “mother of all analog cameras”. Wouldn’t go this far, but it’s major fun to use it. This old 1960 camera was the reason I completely switched to Leica. For me it was not the image quality, the lens quality (it”s subjective anyhow, and you get it with a lot of other cameras as well). It was the handling/usability and to a certain degree the look and feel of the resulting pictures.
The Exakta convolute
Got as well a bigger number of Exakta cameras and Lenses. Unfortunately I can”t tell much about, as I have not used them until now. It’s still on my list of things to do…
Leica M (240)
This is the main digital camera I am using. Compared to a lot of other brands an cameras that I had in the past, it lacks many functions… a lot of them. It is purely manual (well, it has auto-ISO selection). After mainly using the Leica for analog photography, and having invested in lenses, I decided to buy as well a digital Leica. The only choice for me was a second hand one, so I had to search a while to get the M240. Went for this one instead of the M9 because of the live view capability of the M240. Not that I use this a lot, but it comes handy if you use some very wide angle glas or Leica R lenses without coupling to the viewfinder focusing system.
For me, this is the perfect imperfect digital camera. The X-T20 was amazing, but the M240 is a true love, despite missing 75% of the features.
Could not say no when I’ve seen this one. A pretty much standard camera, with exposure meter, and a very nice lens. Speaking about it, there are plenty of excellent lenses for the Yashica/Contax system. It is ceratinly one of the analog SLRs that I’d want to keep in my small collection (the other ones being a Nikon F2/3/…, and a Russian Zenit)
If you need a camera for an 80ies spy movie, and you don’t have a Minox at hand… use the Rollei 35. Excellent images, fits in the palm of a hand, and with a metering system (in mine changed to 1.5v battery). You have though to be able to use zone focus… this can be a little bit of a handicap.