Sunday, December 14, 2008

What's new this week - December 14th

We've got a few interesting cameras to feature this week. I'll start with my favourite:

The Optina Ic is a compact, fixed-lens rangefinder camera with a streamlined design that seems inspired by mid-century science fiction movies.

The body is satin chrome with bright chrome accents and black leatherette. With its bottom-mounted wind lever and top-mounted (but retractable) rewind knob, the Optina sports a very clean and distinctive silhouette.

The lens is a 50mm f2.8 Isco-Gottingen Isconar. Shutter speeds are accurate and the rangefinder is clear: this is a fully usable camera that only coincidentally happens to look like a robot from the moon. The price is $69 +tx.

This Rolleiflex T is a very nice classic TLR. Its 75mm f3.5 Zeiss Tessar is clean and sharp, and its shutter works well from 1/4s and up (though the 1/2s and 1 second settings are a touch slow.) The body is in very nice condition, and the controls operate smoothly.

The Rolleiflex cameras are some of the finest medium-format twin-lens reflex cameras available, taking big 6x6cm exposures on 120 rollfilm. Their quiet, steady shutters are excellent for discreet or low-light photography, and their workmanship is top-notch. If you've wanted to see what medium-format photography is about, here's your chance.

This camera is ready and able to shoot great pictures, but its minor low-speed shutter issue means that it's bargain-priced at $169 +tx.

If the Rolleiflex sounds a bit too complicated, you might enjoy this Spartaflex. It's a stripped-down, box-style camera with a few notable differences: for one, it uses common 120 rollfilm instead of the discontinued box-camera standby, 620. For another, it features adjustable apertures to control your exposure and depth of field. And it even has a true focusable lens in the twin-lens style. It's kind of like a Rolleiflex, but maybe a bit more fun.

The Spartaflex includes a flash and one flashbulb, which I'd recommend saving for a special occasion. Still, it makes for a good-looking package, and it can be yours for only $89 +tx.

Finally, we have this beautiful, nearly like-new Olympus OM-2. If there's a single thing you need to know about the OM series, it's that they have a phenomenally large viewfinder- probably the biggest, brightest image you'll see in an SLR. But of course, there's more to it than that.

The OM-2 is a surprisingly compact, solid-feeling camera backed by a system of exceptional (and, in my opinion, underrated) lenses. The camera's shutter speed settings are unconventionally located around the base on the lens, on the front of the camera- not on the top like most cameras. It may take some getting used to, but you'll see why it's a good idea as soon as you hold the camera to take a picture: the focus, aperture, and shutter speed controls are at your fingers.

The OM-2 is a great choice if you're looking for a manual camera, and there aren't too many examples in such clean condition. Our price, including a nice Zuiko 50mm lens, is $249 +tx.

If you're interested in any of these cameras, or if you have any questions, be sure to contact us by phone or e-mail as soon as possible: we only have one of each of these cameras, and once they're gone, it may be a while before we find another.

This is only a tiny sample of our inventory. We get dozens of new items a week, and you can see a frequently-updated list at

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