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What is the oldest working piece of photographic equipment you have?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Gray Fox, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. Gray Fox

    Gray Fox

    Jan 12, 2007
    London Ontario
    There is always something new.

    What is the oldest working piece of photographic equipment you have?

    I have a General Electric light meter, Model 80W58Y4 that is a reflective meter that is powered by selenium, if memory serves me. No batteries required. An internet search provided some information on the model W68, but nothing so far on the W58. I have no idea how old this model is.

    I used the meter, when necessary, to determine proper exposure when using 8 x 10 sheet film with bellows cameras, including field and studio models. Both my Father and my Grandfather used these meters before me, under the same circumstances.

    Cameras have had built in meters for decades now, and these meters are not of much use. Selenium meters degrade over time and accuracy would need to be tested, if it were to be put back in active duty.

    So I ask, what is the oldest working piece of photographic equipment you have?
  2. Lurker


    Jul 21, 2007
    My sensor uses Mk I electrons that are an estimated 30 billion years old.

    I also have a Zeiss Contaflex III that is about 50 years old and still in working condition. Cleaning the German marvel is a female doggy though.
    My Zenit-E is rapidly approaching 30 years (if not past it) and also seems to be made for eternity (ignoring the selenium light meter that is). Cleaning the pinnacle of Communist Commerce is a lot easier though. Comparing the Zeiss with the Zenit almost reminds me of the Tiger tank vs the T80 - German complexity (it's still a marvel after all those years) vs Russian simplicity ("throw it in the mud and it will still work") - I still don't know which of the two I like more.
  3. I have an old Pentax 300mm f/5.6 screw mount lens.
  4. Well, my brain is about 38 years old....

    Other than that everything I own is failr modern. I have but do not use a Canon Ftb that I used as a kid when I first got into photography.
  5. My index finger is a bit older than that ....
  6. Julien


    Jul 28, 2006
    Paris, France
    It has to be the body of my Hasselblad kit that's now 38 years old, 11 years older than me :biggrin:
  7. My right index !


    EDIT: Oooooops ! I haven't read Desmond's post when i put my answer !
  8. A Kodak 620 folding camera. It does work I just don't have any 620 spools for it.

  9. MikeCaine


    Feb 15, 2008
    Isle of Man
    I collect good examples of old Canon cameras (see link in sig) and still try to use them occasionaly so the oldest I have is a Canon IVSB from about 1952 or 1953

    Edit - After checking my own link in sig I see I forgot the Canon III that came in a big box with a load of lenses and accessories from that era. I think this is from about 1951 or 1952
  10. I used to collect old cameras back in the late '70s of which I either sold, traded or just gave away. Now my oldest camera is a Minolta X-700 which I bought new back in '83.

  11. Zachs


    Feb 25, 2006
    My Ciroflex TLR and my Yashikamat TLR are both pretty damn old. The Ciroflex had a work reciept in it from 1957 (last time used) and it worked pretty well the first time I put a roll through it.
  12. My Canon AE1....or Weston Spotmeter..Probaly the Spot Meter
  13. sonuj2


    May 11, 2006
    Naperville, IL
    My Pentax MX from 1980, with a cloth horizontal plane shutter .... still works very well.
  14. I have a Brownie Starflex from the late 50's that still *works* although the quality of it's work isn't so great. It's and old fixed focus *point and shoot* that I use for TtV shooting.
  15. rsprouse


    Jan 25, 2006
    Encinitas CA
    I unloaded my old Rolli TLR and other "semi-collectable" junk, so the oldest I have left is my first Nikon - a 1964 F body with 50mm f/2 lens. Back then the first two digits of the S/N was year of mfg.

    -- Russ
  16. No.1 Autographic Jr. - KODAK [120 format] ca. 1928. It was my mother's and after closing a few holes in the bellows last year, I put a roll of film through it. Despite the fact that it has only one lens element, the result was wickedly sharp.

    My second experiment with a Voigtlander Prominent [?][620 format] of the same time period, which had belonged to my father, was a dismal failure. The 120 film spooled on to a 620 spool could not be held flat despite the cardboard strips I had put in the camera to guide the film. In principle though, the camera is in working condition. Doing the math, that makes them some 80 yrs old!

    When 620 became unavailable in the early 1950s, the "old" Voigtlander was replaced by my father with a Vitessa L. w/Ultron f2/50.

    By the way, yesterday I received a really neat looking Vitessa L bought at KEH. I had been searching for such a camera for several years.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2008
  17. Canon AT-1

    Canon AT-1 with a Canon 50/1.8 lens on it ... The one I used when I was a kid :biggrin:
  18. kays


    Aug 9, 2008
    I have my original owner Leica M4 w/50mm Sumicron I purchased in 1970 - Let's see - that makes it 38 years old?
  19. Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  20. Polaroid...but not what you think!

    PDC 800 has two position lens (wide/normal), LCD monitor option (yes an option), VGA resolution (wow true 640x480), audio clip recording, and a half way decent built in flash.

    Think this is a Ricoh RDC 2 rebadged and sold to real estate agents for taking pictures of properties. This was my first digital and although very low resolution have some pictures from it that are real treasures. Unfortunately, it is a proprietary JPEG format which was common on early digital cameras.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
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