My Cameras

Photography by Joao Carvalho

My first camera was a small Agfamatic and I was taking pictures from young. Weren't we all !!! There was no digital, and it was so rewarding to get your pictures back days later. Eventually I used my dad's Zenit which was good and heavy. Finally I begged my dad for a second hand  Pentax K1000 which I have had since 95, and still love to bits. I have always had an attraction for old mechanical objects, and love tinkering.  I have fixed many cameras, and given cameras to friends, and when I buy an old camera although I'd love to keep it as a beautiful object on the shelve I buy it to get it working and eventually use it to take pictures. I do however have lots of cameras on the shelve, either because they are so beautiful I can’t get rid of them even though they are useless, or because they were given to me by my dear friends who are always on the look out for old cameras in second hand markets for me. Others are ongoing projects that I hope will be ready to use before film seases to exist in favour of digital. I have had many digital cameras that usually brake in my hands in less then a year and I currently own a Nikon D50. Although I use it regularly I still prefer to shoot with old cameras especially the FSU(Former Soviet Union) rangefinders although recently I started shooting more with the old medium format folders and my voigtlander bessa R.  




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The first SLR I used was a Zenit. But the first SLR I owned was the K1000, and I only have two 50mm lens for it. The thruth is the meter in this camera is flawless and the camera is a joy to use, I took many good pictures with this camera and it continues to take good pictures.



     A very nice entry level digital SLR, I get very good results with this camera. I preffer to use it for indoor, people, party, gigs etc. I get a bit disapointed outdoors sometimes, but it is a great way of practicing without spending too much money. It is big. The sensor is small and gets dirty if you change lenses a lot like me. Also the viewfinder is a bit useless for foccusing manually. I find the camera works best with the 18-55mm lens that came with it.  I love it and hate it, but love it really.




     Nice entry level SLR. I got it because it was cheap and I wanted full frame for my peleng fish eye. I almost got full frame, but it is very rewarding even though it is slightly cropped since I was used to the extremely cropped picture of the D50. I got very good results with slide film it was cheap and although it takes batteries and winds the film automatically(weird for me) the batteries actually last for ever.


Nikon Lens-


Nikon 50mm f1.8 manual focus

Nikon 18-55mm f3.5

Sigma 24-70mm f2.8

Sigma 10-20mm f4 

Peleng 8mm f3.5 


 FSU (former Soviet Union) Leica Clones 

Fed 2

        Silver Fed 2 with an 55mm f2.8 Industar 61, simplicity, beauty, no batteries needed, only a light meter and a selection of the best FSU leica & Zeiss clone (Leica  thread mount lenses). very portable and a pleasure to use, the rangefinder is very useful. One day I will have some Leica Glass who knows!


Fed 2 

       My first Fed 2 that is painted black with 35mm Jupiter 12


Fed 3a

   Fed 3 a with 50 mm f2 Jupiter 8, really beautiful and a very good camera too


Zorki 3M

         1954 Zorki 3M with 28mm F6 Orion 15 & Petri viewfinder - I fell in love with this one after using the Fed2 & 3a



Voigtlander Bessa R

People buy this camera because it is TTL (though the lens metering) and takes leica screw m39 mount lens, of which there are plenty mostly pre war uncoated leitz. I actually bought it to use my FSU lens which are all copies of Zeiss or Leica any way.  Here it is with Orion 15, a 28mm f6. Although it is a slow lens I really love the results of this lens.


This is a great camera, it really is a joy to use even though it is a plastic imitation of a leica, it works well. However I don’t yet own a single bit of Leitz glass aside from the copies… Who knows one day… For now I keep on using my poor mans Leica, the bessa R. 




F.S.U. Leica clone Lens

 I currently own the following lenses in Leica thread m39:

-Industar 26- 50mm f2.8

-Industar 61- 55mm f2.8

-Jupiter 3- 50mm f1.5

-Jupiter 8- 50mm f2

-Jupiter 12- 35mm f2.8

-Orion 15- 28mm f6.2


Super Ikonta Rangefinder

         Super Ikonta 531 1950 - 4.5x6  Very nice mechanics on this, you feel the quality as you handle it, and it is a rangefinder only I don't know if I am ever going to be able to clean the lens properly. I am hoping I can try this format one day. Beautiful camera and folds really small. Update, I cleaned it and I am using it, although I think the lens is uncoated it should produce some 15 shots on 120 film, fingers crossed, I will post the results.



       1950 6x6 Zeiss Ikon Nettar with Novar Lens Prontor shutter, I use it with a very useful accessory Medis rangefinder. Although the  Novar lens isn't very highly regarded I love the results and the lens is in very good condition.  


 Ensign Selfix 16/20

 June 2008 Guess what I got another one, five pounds. I didn't even see what it was. I was on my lunch break and got this feeling to go in a charity shop, just handed over a fiver, it made my day. I'd never seen any Ensign cameras! And to later find out that it is an English camera was a bit of a surprise! It feels and looks very well built indeed. It has all the speeds on epsilon shutter, only have to see how the rosstar 75mm f4.5 performs. I have bravely loaded this camera with slide positive velvia 100 so I should find out how good it is. Here it is with the medis rangefinder for focusing. This makes 6cm by 4.5cm negatives like the Zeiss super ikonta 531 that I got, and I am quickly getting addicted to this format. These cameras are so small, I wonder why they aren't made any more. On the other hand they are so quirky, and like the zeiss the shutter button is to be pressed with the left hand! Weird. This one has no double exposure prevention like the zeiss, and no rangefinder, and doesn't take cable release it does have coated lens however. 



       I love this 6x9  1927 Agfa. My friend Andrew McCay found this at a market and bought it for a couple of pounds in a sorry state,  have been fixing it for a while, it is finally ready to use so I will post the results soon.



       1960  6x6 Ricohflex with accessory winder so you don't use the window to wind the film. This camera doesn't have all the slow speeds, it only goes down to a 10th of a second, but the results are incredible! I absolutely love it and it is in very good condition.


Ricoh Diacord

Found this beauty for 18 pounds so I had to have it since I'd used the Ricohflex and loved it so much. I have read that the results of this Diacord are on Par with the Rollei. The condition isn't bad for using, it needs a bit of tinkering and is missing some leatherette, but you feel the quality and the focusing system is really amazing compared to the cheaper Ricohflex, can't wait to try it! - update, I put some film through this, just waiting to develop...

                                                                                       Kodak Retina IIIc


I bought this camera in mint condition at a charity shop near work, lucky no collectors saw it before me. This is 35mm with coupled rangefinder and uncoupled selenium light meter. Everything works and the lens is f2.0 schneider xenon. I can’t stop using it, it is quickly becoming my slow 35mm shooter of preference. 

 I also picked this up recently for the retina, it is a 35mm f5.6 curtar xenon by Shneider Kreuznach.  The 50 f2 is just so good I haven't bothered trying this one yet. I had to get it it was a bargain and so far, I love every single Schneider K lens I have tried. The retina has a coupled rangefinder but with this lens it is uncoupled, not a problem really just even slower shooting.


Trip 35

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This little Olympus trip 35 I bought for 1 pound. The results are amazing, it is AE but exposes really accurately! It is very portable.

                                 Yashica Electro GS

      Yashica electro GS. Very good results and very fast lens. You set the aperture and it  exposes automatically and  very accurately and is a joy to use too although it is a bit on the heavy side. The Rangefinder is very good.

Light Meters

     As you cas see I have lots of light meters, but I usually use the little gossen sixtino or the big Minolta.  I try to always use one....


Other Weird and wonderful things on the shelve

                                       Kodak brownie 620 flash

                                          Kodak brownie 127

                                            Kodak Duaflex VI

                                    Kodak 127 Model b vest pocket

                                             Yashica Minster

                                            Zeiss Ikonta 520

                                             Petri Rangefinder

                                       Kodak Brownie Model 1

I cleaned this really well, and currently have 120 film in it, it feels good to shoot with this-there is only one button and you really feel the negative size 6x9 is huge, soon will post the results.