Argus C3 [1940]

DSC01492tn.jpg The C3 has also been described as the Model-T of cameras (the Leica being the Mercedes). In its day, it brought quality optics and tank-like, solid mechanics to the masses where these features had previously only been available to the wealthy elite. It has been claimed to be the best selling 35mm camera ever. Also, like the Model-T, it was originally available in any color you wanted as long as it was chrome and black. It's most deserved nickname is "the brick" due to it's angular design and proportions.
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Canon A35F [1978]

DSC09922tn.jpg The Canon A35F is an all but forgotten 70's, consumer rangefinder. The A35F was Canon's first camera to feature a built-in flash. As such the A35F bridges the gap between the venerable Canonet series and the new auto-focus Sure Shots. For a cheap, true rangefinder experience the A35F is pretty hard to beat.
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Canon Canonet 28 [1971]

DSC07871tn.jpgAs I tentatively got back into the world of film cameras I wondered what cameras I could find that merged my love of film props with my camera obsession. I'd just bought the John Waters' movie Pecker on DVD and realized that the junk camera he carried might be within my price range. A little searching on the web and I found that Pecker's camera was a Canon Canonet 28.
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Canon Canonet G-III 17 [1972]

Minolta X31 A little camera with a big reputation among users of 70's, consumer rangefinders with fast fixed lenses. A very useful shutter priority exposure system with full manual override and a nice, bright viewfinder with built in parallax correction and a legendary f1.7 40mm lens.
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FED 2c [1955]

You'd think I'd have learned my lesson by now concerning Former Soviet Union (FSU) cameras but when my bargain hunter's eye alights upon a Craigslist post for a FED 2 I just can't help myself. May be this one will be different. Maybe this one will just work. In reality you know what you're getting into when you buy a Kiev, FED or Zorki. It might superficially look like a Leica, Hassleblad or Contax but it isn't built like one...
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MIR [1959]

DSC07830tn.jpgWidely laughed at and derided by Leica and equipment snobs everywhere and with a horrible reputation for quality control and reliability I wasn't expecting much except to hold something in my hands of similar dimensions to a Leica III when I picked up my MIR from eBay. No junk camera collection would be complete without at least one former Soviet Union Leica clone but I am surprised at how pleasant a "user" my MIR is.
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Olympus XA & XA2 [1979]

DSC04348tn.jpgThe Olympus XA and XA2 were revolutionary in their day with their plastic, cam-shell cases. The XA is a true rangefinder in a tiny package with an amazing f2.8 lens. The simpler XA2 is a zone focusing camera which can be had for much less money than a Lomo LCA while producing superior images. Either make a great pocket camera.
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Yashica GS Electro [1970]

DSC04346tn.jpg Let me come clean from the outset; the Yashica Electro GS is probably the favorite rangefinder I own. I would say, "it's not a Leica but ..." but what would I know having never used a Leica myself? I love it because it is fast, quiet, cheap, reliable, understated, has great image quality, is easy to use and is built like a tank.
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