Pentax K1000, the Rock of Ages (1976)

The Pentax K1000 (and similar models like KM and KX) has been the cornerstone of many a photographer’s education. These cameras are versatile, sturdy, easy to use for beginners and pros alike.  The full manual control is a key factor to understanding how your choices when shooting relate to the results you get. The only ‘automation’ in those cameras is the exposure meter.

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The Olympus 35RC, a sweet little rangefinder (1970)

The Olympus 35RC is deceptively similar to other cameras of the early 1970s, at first glance. It has a 40mm 2.8 lens and as such is similar to a Ricoh 500G, several Konica and Minolta models (those were two separate companies back then), and a plethora of zone focus cameras. But, the 35RC has full manual override of all settings and that quickly made it a beloved photographers camera. A position it has kept for decades.

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The Ricoh Caddy half frame camera is quite a handful

The Ricoh Caddy was Ricoh’s most accomplished half frame camera ever. Not that they built so many, but they got it right pretty quick. It has full manual settings, a Tomioka lens and the ergonomics are truly excellent. And to boot, it fits in your jeans pocket. Although it should be treated with a bit more respect because of what it is and what it delivers!

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Priceless fun with cheap gear: the Zenit 3M

While I truly enjoy my screw mount Leicas, it took me a long time to find their SLR counterpart. While essentially it really shouldn’t have been that hard, once you think about it.

I know Leica built some truly terrific early Leicaflexes, but they are more related to the M series rangefinders than to the earlier screw mount cameras.

Same time,  the Russians copied the early Leica II and went on from there to produce a Single Lens Reflex camera. Enter the Zenit line of SLR cameras from the early 1960s! Incredible fun for petty cash!

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