Christopher
Stoll

Camera Collection

After having exclusively used digital cameras for a very long time, I recently switched back to using real film after restoring an old twin lens reflex camera camera. Since I work on largely intangible digital products for a living, I have found repairing old cameras, especially Ikoflex TLRs, to be somewhat satisfying. And, as happens with many things, since I recognized that vintage cameras exist, I have noticed them in more places. So, I have been picking up the cheap ones - ones that are clearly defective in some way. In most cases I have found that it only takes a little bit of work to make them operational again. Though it can definitely take more work to make them reliable and fun to use. Below are the cameras which I have worked on so far, plus a few that have I owned but did not work on.

Year Make Model Film Lens
1937 Rollei Rolleiflex Automat
(twin lens reflex)
120 75mm
ƒ/3.5 – ƒ/22
1/500 – 1s, B
1953 Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex Ia
(twin lens reflex)
120 75mm
ƒ/3.5 – ƒ/22
1/300 – 1s, B
1954 Voigtländer Vito B
(scale focus)
135 50mm
ƒ/3.5 – ƒ/16
1/300 – 1s, B
1958 Fujica 35 Automagic
(scale focus)
135
Speeds:
10 – 200
38mm
ƒ/3.4 – ƒ/16
1/200 & 1/40
1958 Minolta Auto Wide
(scale focus)
135
Speeds:
10 – 1600
35mm
ƒ/2.8 – ƒ/22
1/500 – 1s, B
1960 Yashica Lynx 1000
(rangefinder)
135
Speeds:
10 – 800
45mm
ƒ/1.8 – ƒ/22
1/1000 – ?, B
1965 Minolta 24 Rapid
(rangefinder)
135 (rapid)
Speeds:
25 – 400
32mm
ƒ/2.8 – ƒ/22
1/250 – 1/30, B
1965 Minolta Autopak 700
(rangefinder)
126
Speeds:
64 – 400
38mm
ƒ/2.8 – ƒ/22
1/250 – 1/30, B
1966 Minolta Hi-Matic 7s
(rangefinder)
135
Speeds:
25 – 800
45mm
ƒ/1.8 – ƒ/22
1/500 – 1/4, B
1966 Minolta Hi-Matic 9
(rangefinder)
135
Speeds:
25 – 800
45mm
ƒ/1.7 – ƒ/22
1/500 – 1s, B
1966 Yashica Electro 35
(rangefinder)
135
Speeds:
25 – 1000
45mm
ƒ/1.7 – ƒ/16
1/500 – 3s, B
1966 Yashica EZ-matic
(scale focus)
126
Speeds:
64 – 400
37mm
ƒ/2.7 – ƒ/16
fixed, B
1968 Kodak Instamatic 134
(point and shoot)
126
Speeds:
fixed / unknown
43mm
ƒ/11
1/50
1970 Yashica Electro 35 GS
(rangefinder)
135
Speeds:
25 – 1000
45mm
ƒ/1.7 – ƒ/16
1/500 – 3s, B
2001 Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS
(through the lens)
CCD
Speeds:
50 – 400
37 – 370mm
ƒ/2.8:3.5 – ƒ/8
1/1000 – 8s
2003 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P72
(through the lens)
CCD
Speeds:
100 – 400
39 – 117mm
ƒ/2.8:5.6 – ƒ/10
1/1000 – 2s
2005 Canon PowerShot S2 IS
(through the lens)
CCD
Speeds:
50 – 400
36 – 432mm
ƒ/2.7:3.5 – ƒ/8
1/3200 – 15s
2011 Canon EOS Rebel T3i
(single-lens reflex)
CMOS
Speeds:
100 – 6400
Canon EF-S lens mount
1/4000 – 30s, B

Light Meters

If you have old cameras then you’re also going to have old light meters. It’s technically possible to use light meter apps, but I’ve had mixed results with them. So, I stick with physical meters, though there is one caveat. I have tested the meters I have against my dSLR and when used properly they would all underexpose by at least a stop. So, I cut the ISO (ASA actually) I use on the meter in half. For example, when I have ISO 100 film in the camera I set the meter to ASA 50. This makes sense to me since according to the Wikipedia article on ASA film speeds, “an Ilford HP3 that had been rated at 200 ASA before 1960 was labeled 400 ASA afterwards without any change to the emulsion.” Conversely a modern 400 rated film would have been rated 200 prior to 1960. So the meter needs to use the old, halved number. I will further guess that even though ASA PH2.5-1960 was introduced in 1960, it probably took a while to take effect. Even if it were possible to determine the exact manufacture date of a particular light meter, it probably wouldn’t be clear exactly when a manufacturer may have implemented the new standard.

Year Model Type EV ISO ƒ-stops seconds
c1950 GE PR-1 selenium 7 – 17.5 0.2 – 1600 1 – 128 1/3000 – 120
c1962 Bewi Quick selenium 5 – 16 10 – 3200 1.4 – 22 1/1000 – 30
c1966 Sekonic Micro-leader CdS 3 – 18 6 – 12800 1 – 32 1/2000 – 8