James's Camera Collection: Wish List

Wish List

I mentioned in various spots that I had lists of cameras I always wanted. They were always in my head, but I finally thought I'd put them here just for fun. I've left off the pie-in-the-sky stuff, the Deardorffs and Hasselblads and Leicas that I'll never reasonably be able to afford. These are the cameras that I could actually see myself buying in the next decade (at the right price). So here they are, in order as they occur to me:

Nikon F

A historically significant camera on a number of levels. As far as I know it wasn't the first anything, but it was massively successful, and it put Nikon on top of the professional camera world for decades. The original F (shown here with the Photomic prism option) is still pricey, running around $100 or more depending on options or condition. Not bad for a camera introduced in 1959.

These things are surprisingly expensive considering their age. Even the basic (non-photomic) models with a low-end lens start around $100.

Nikon F Photomic
Canon New F-1

Canon New F1

This was the camera on my radar when I was in college, but could never afford it. By modern standards it's barely more capable than a Brownie box, but still. The base model was the high quality F-1 manual camera. If you added an optional prism it had Aperture Priority automatic. Add the motor drive and it got shutter priority and full-auto. Plus I thought it was just plain beautiful. Still do.

I'm not sure what the current pricing is. Brand new they were around $600 (depending on the configuration. And this doesn't count the end of the run when Canon jacked the price up to $1,500 to kill it in favor of the EOS-1). I'm afraid to look.

Kodak Stereo Brownie

This is one of Kodak's stereo cameras from the Holmes era, the classic stereo-viewer and cards. Even though it's a Brownie, Kodak's low end, it's hideously expensive today (over $200) and hard to find. I doubt I'd ever use it, but damn, it's cute.

Kodak Stereo Brownie
TDC Stereo Colorist

TDC Stereo Colorist / Vivid

Another of my stereo-camera wants. I have a TDC projector and thought it would be nice to have a camera to match the set. Actually, TDC is one of the very few companies of the period to make more than one model of stereo camera. Kodak, White, Revere (the Wollensak was the same camera), Graflex—they only made one model. Sawyers made two versions of the View-Master Personal. But TDC had three: the Colorist, the Colorist II and the Vivid. Actually I'd take any of the three, but I'd prefer a Vivid, which had rangefinder focusing and a few more little niceties to play with.

Current pricing is typically around $100.

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