We recently had a visit from one of our oldest and dearest friends. She’s being posted to the UK (London) and went to New York City with her husband and two children. On the way back to Ottawa they stopped by and spent the night. It was great to see them again.

As they prepared for their move they came across a number of old cameras as well as other assorted photographic and video stuff. Knowing that I’m interested in old cameras they brought it all down – better that I take it off their hands than it being thrown out or going into storage.

From left to right:

Minolta Riva Zoom 70w (not something I would have sought, but it seems to work so I’ll give it a try).

Canon Elan IIe with 28-80mm Zoom Lens. This camera has either been very carefully used, or not used at all. It’s about the only one of my cameras that I’d truly call mint. Also seems to work. I ran a roll through it and I’m now awaiting the results.

Kodak Tourist. This is the low end of the Kodak Tourist line. It belonged to my friend’s father who I spoke to (via Skype) during their visit. It’s a very simple camera: meniscus lens, single shutter speed (reputed to be 1/50 second); aperture range 12.5, 16, 22, 32. Even worse it takes 620 film, which is I thought is no longer available. However after doing some research I discovered that 620 and 120 film are the same size film on different sized spools. Some enterprising types are re-spooling 120 film onto old 620 spindles. So it is available all be it at a premium price. My regular film processing lab will also process 620 film, again at a slightly higher cost. It’s a very attractive camera though, particularly when it’s open. As far as I can tell it works. I can see the aperture change. The single shutter speed operates and, after shining a flashlight into the bellows in a darkened room I don’t see any leaks. I may give it a shot even though I’m sure the results will not be stellar.

Minolta XD as it was known in Japan. Also known as the XD7 in Europe and the XD11 in the US. It’s equipped with a Minolta 50mm f1.4 MD lens. I’m sure that my eyes lit up when I saw this. To quote one web site specializing in information on older Minolta cameras: “The XD11 was highly praised by critics of the time, and is still regarded by many to be the best manual focus body made by Minolta.” Again it looked to be in very nearly mint condition. I discovered that I had the batteries required in another camera. Out they came and into the XD. I turned it on and …nothing. After overcoming my initial disappointment I took the batteries out again and in doing so noticed some corrosion in the battery compartment. Someone had left batteries in there for too long and they had leaked. I spend some time cleaning it out and then put the batteries back. To my delight it started first time. I can’t wait to try it. I’ve already tried the lens on my Sony Nex 5n with excellent results.

Olympus Mju 1 or Infinity Stylus as it’s know in the US. Excellent and well regarded point and shoot camera although without the “cult” status of its faster and more expensive sibling the Mju II or Infinity Stylus Epic.

Can’t wait to try them all. Thank you Brigitte and Brett.

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