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The worst camera (/body) ever made and designed?

Kevin Lui , Jun 10, 2007; 07:36 a.m.

It came up when someone asked me a simiular question. I don't know how to answer him because I think each camera has its own special properities or reasons. For example, the Kodak Retina IIIc has its winder need to be located at the base is due to the light meter is on the top.

What do you think? I am curious to know your answer. ;-)


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Michael Ging , Jun 10, 2007; 07:44 a.m.

I actually like the winder on the bottom of my Retina's,you do not need to take your eye from the viewfinder to wind the camera.I love my Rollei 35S , because of its size and the great lens, the flash being on the bottom of the camera is a design nightmare.

Mike Connealy , Jun 10, 2007; 10:16 a.m.

If you're headed for an ugly dog contest, taking along your Kodak 35RF is usually a good bet.

Kevin Bourque , Jun 10, 2007; 10:20 a.m.

The Kiev medium format SLRs may be designed well enough, but they're pretty awful as manufactured. Not classics though unless you count their Pentacon ancestors, which were somewhat better built but haven't aged well.

I'm sure some Canonphile will bark at me, but I always thought the Canon SLR breech mount was excessively fiddly. Changing lenses always took too long.

Charles Stobbs , Jun 10, 2007; 10:22 a.m.

Film counters that count up. Any camera with a mirror between you and the view. Cameras without optical viewfinders. Cameras with built in flash. cameras that allow ypu to click the shutter when the film is not engaged with the take up spool. (You supply the names)

Dan Fromm , Jun 10, 2007; 11:13 a.m.

Um, Kevin, the meterless Retina Ib and IIc have the winder underneath too. They're on much the same chassis as the metered IIIc. Are you sure that the IIIc's meter is the reason the wind lever migrated from top to bottom?

Now, about infernal designs, has anyone here tried to use an Exakta RTL 1000's meter prism? I did after I bought a 135/2.8 Steinheil macro lens in Exakta mount. At the time Cambridge Midtown (that's the 43d St Cambridge) was selling off RTL 1000 bodies with meter prism for around $50 and since I worked less than a block away the deal appealed. Until I tried out one of the bodies, that is.

If you're asking about unreliable, consider the Regula Reflex CTL 2000. Nice idea, lousy execution. Even worse, I gather, than Kiev 88s.

Bruce Cahn , Jun 10, 2007; 11:29 a.m.

Mamiya 1000DTL

Glenn Mabbutt , Jun 10, 2007; 11:49 a.m.

FSU rangefinders that are both heavy and have no strap lugs. One of the few things that keeps me from using my FED-5, and I'd love to get into the Kievs (eg, Contax on the cheap), but not if I have to lug them around all the time.

Colin Carron , Jun 10, 2007; 12:03 p.m.

My nomnation goes to the Pentax 110. I know some people loved them but given the effort that went into making the SLR body, lenses etc the results were not much better than the average 110 camera. Almost any cheap 35mm camera got better results.

Mark Fisher , Jun 10, 2007; 12:11 p.m.

I'd have to second the FED 5.......they started with a perfectly fine camera, the FED2, and "evolved" into a truely nasty camera. It is heavy, huge and, of course, unreliable. I suppose that this isn't the worst camera I've had, but it ceatainly shows de-evolution at its finest.

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