- They are fun! Some are so simple to use… you just aim and shoot! Others, like my LeCoultre Compass, are so complicated to operate that I have to re-learn the controls every time I pick it up. Figuring them out is half the fun.
- Results may vary. Older, non-coated lenses give images a very different look than modern optics. Soft focus, lower contrast images can give you a look that is difficult to imitate with your EOS 5D. On the other hand, some older lenses are on par with today’s best. Sometimes newer isn’t always better!
- They are inexpensive. Except for rare collectible cameras, you don’t have to spend much to buy a precision made classic. Most of the hundreds of cameras in the Seawood Museum I purchased for under $20.00 at yard sales and flea markets. $200 will buy you a old camera that would have cost your grandfather four months salary when new. With so many people dumping their film cameras for digital, there have never been so many available, and that has resulted in record-low prices.
- They interface with modern technology. Why not scan your film and digitally manipulate images shot with classics? Just because the camera was made in 1938 doesn’t mean you have to have to set up your own darkroom. Unless you want to!
- Cameras are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get. It’s also fun to see how bad some of them were! I have a simple Agfa Billy Record 6×9 camera that takes incredible images. Probably cost $20 when new. By comparison, I also have a high-end Voightlander Bessa II that has a great reputation but produces mediocre results.
this is a nice summary by Graham Law, Seawood Photo
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