Most of the vintage gear I seek are bargains advertised as broken and requiring repair. As a hobby, I enjoy opening them up to clean, fix, and restore them to as new as I can make them. I then sell the ones I don’t need and keep the ones I want as personal collections or investments. My oldest cameras include a Leica iiia from 1938 and a Contax ii (same series used to capture D-Day in WWII).
Below: Elle with the Mamiya Six Folder
Whilst I collect vintage cameras and lenses they don’t just sit in display cabinets. I am first and foremost a collector of moments and often use these cameras on professional photoshoots, on photowalks around my neighbourhood, and to capture family and friends.
Below: Sophie with the Minolta XG-M
I have an interest in collecting Zeiss lenses and my current collection includes:
Carl Zeiss Sonnar, 5cm 1.5 (Contax RF)
Carl Zeiss Flektogon, 35mm 2.4 (M42)
Carl Zeiss Pancolar, 50mm 1.8 (M42)
Carl Zeiss Biotar, 58mm 2.0, 17 blades (M42)
Carl Zeiss Sonnar, 135mm 3.5 Zebra (M42)
Carl Zeiss Biometar, 80mm 2.8 (Medium Format)
Carl Zeiss Distagon, 28mm 2.8 (C/Y)
Carl Zeiss Tessar, 45mm 2.8 (C/Y)
Carl Zeiss Planar, 50mm 1.4 (C/Y)
Carl Zeiss Sonnar, 85mm 2.8 (C/Y)
My favourite camera?
Having experienced multiple cameras from multiple systems, the one camera that I find myself coming back to time and again, is the Minolta XD. Made in 1977 by Minolta Co. who I consider to be one of the most underrated camera manufacturers of all time. It is the one camera which I have an emotional attachment to and is pure joy in user experience and consistent results.