Five Cameras That are Discontinued But Not Forgotten

Share

Do you ever dream about your old cameras? Perhaps you've upgraded to a more modern camera but still have feelings for your old ones. Here is an ode to the cameras that you probably can't breathe life into. 



Leica CL

Though it saw a very short production life, the Leica CL was an affordable way to do nearly everything that the company's costlier M bodies could. Rangefinder aficionados will know that the camera's focusing was just like that of the other M bodies, and that it could use all of the M-mount lenses. The built-in lightmeter really helped to push sales as well.

They appear every now and again in our used department. However, do note that they never stay there for long. It was also made by Minolta as the Minolta CL—which also pops up in stores.

Canon 40D

With 10.1MP, 6fps, and with what was, at that time, low noise at high ISO settings, the Canon 40D saw widespread use. My father still has his, and wedding photographers swore by it. Indeed, when Canon's 50D came out, many 40D owners could not yet justify upgrading.

Though it has been discontinued, it's still an excellent choice for students, and for those looking for a more affordable bang-for-your-buck camera option. 

Olympus OM-1

The Olympus OM-1 took the idea of an SLR, and made it smaller. Created by the same team that created the original Olympus Pen, it was as small as some rangefinders, and quickly caught on with many photographers. Though small, the OM-1 incorporated a very large viewfinder for the time.

It was also originally called the M-1. However, the company needed to change the name, due to conflict with Leica's flagship rangefinders being coined the M series. Because of this, the models with the original M-1 logo are rare collectors' items.

Contax G2

The Contax G-Series rangefinders were autofocusing mavericks of their time. They were accused of not being true rangefinders. What made the G2 so special was the titanium build and improved autofocus performance over its predecessor, along with higher top shutter speeds of 1/4000 sec in manual mode, and 1/6000 sec in aperture-priority mode (Av).

The Carl Zeiss lenses, combined with their autofocusing capabilities and compact size, made this camera extremely popular with many users.

Nikon F

Evolving from a rangefinder, the Nikon F was an SLR that saw lots of use during the Vietnam War. What made this camera very popular were the features, wide range of lenses and accessories, and more affordable price. The camera used Nikon F-mount lenses, and offered a depth of field preview button, in-camera metering and a mirror lock-up feature.

Photojournalists, who needed a well-built body to keep up with the nature of war photography, fell for this. To this day, people still say that you could bang nails with this camera.

Bonus: Olympus E-510

The last digital camera on this list, the Olympus E-510, is more of a personal choice. Years ago when the stores and reviewers were touting the Canon XTi as king of the entry-level DSLRs, I cut my teeth on the E-510 with two lenses, a bag, filters and software.

This was my first DSLR, and I used it at my internships with PCMag.com, Geek.com, and others. The above photo of Aerosmith is perhaps one of my favorite images to come from that camera.

The camera was one of the first to have Live View, which helped me to compose my images much easier in tricky situations.

What camera do you miss so dearly? Was it the camera you cut your teeth on? Do you still have dreams about it? Let us know in the comments below. Also, If you're interested, share your thoughts with us about your first lens.

Add new comment

Great idea for a story. The Nikon shown, I believe, is a Nikon Photomic FTn, with built-in light meter. The plain old F didn't have that big chunk of chrome sitting on top.

Hey Chris!,

you reminded me of my Leica CL that got stolen many moons ago!!!

what a sweet camera--The Nikon F was my workhorse when I was not going to Vietnam instead I was going to the Woodstock festival, that Photomic meter was so extra bulky, even though I could connect it to my F body I learned to "Meter In MY Head" instead--

Thanks for the MEMORIES

Lenny eisenberg wrote:

Hey Chris!,

you reminded me of my Leica CL that got stolen many moons ago!!!

what a sweet camera--The Nikon F was my workhorse when I was not going to Vietnam instead I was going to the Woodstock festival, that Photomic meter was so extra bulky, even though I could connect it to my F body I learned to "Meter In MY Head" instead--

Thanks for the MEMORIES

Hi Lenny,

I appreciate the comment. What lens did you have with the CL?

Also, I'd love to see your images from Woodstock. I shoot concerts but nothing I'm sure could ever compare to photographing the talent on stage during those times.

You've got a Nikon F and a Canon 40D on the same list?  I'm one of the biggest Canon Biggots on earth... but come on, a 40D? Really?

Canon F-1.  Can't believe the 40d made the list over it.

Cool story.

I agree that the 40D seems an odd choice: It's so recent. In fact, it's the camera I shoot with to great success.

Other choices are spot on. OM-1? For sure! How about the Nikon FE-2? Or the Minolta X-700? Or the Nikon N8008? Thanks for the trip down memory lane. . . .

My Canon A1 will always be my first and favorite SLR.  I grew up using my father's and when I took my first photography class in high school my parents bought me my own.  Its older than I am and its been a lot of places, seen a lot of things and still works wonderfully.  While it may not get used much anymore, I won't get rid of it.

 I had a Leica CL and it was a great little camera and lots of fun to take on business trips as it was compact and lightweight with the 40mm lens.  

Another camera I miss is the Nikon F2 and F3, they both were great workhorses and I made many excellent pictures with both.  I also loved the Nikon FA, which brought program mode to the Nikon range and was an excellent camera.  I had used them especially for portraiture with wide short telephoto lenses, 85mm 1:1.4, 105mm 1:1.8 and 135mm 1:2.0.  

 I STILL MISS USING MY CANON AE1. I STILL HAVE IT, BUT  3 OF THE LAST 5 TIMES I'VE USED IT, I'VE COME UP WITH BLANK ROLLS OF FILM. DON'T KNOW IF IT'S THE WINDING SPOOL OR WHAT. USING A LITTLE POLAROID, WHICH ISN'T BAD. I JUST NEED MORE ZOOM CAPABILITY. I WILL HAVE TO ADMIT PREFERING NOT HAVING TO WAIT FOR DEVELOPING, AND I DON'T MISS HAVING MY NEGATIVES CHOPPED IN HALF "BECAUSE THE MACHINE CAN'T READ IT." DUH...

 what about the yashica? 

Nice to see two of the cameras in my collection on the list. :-) The Nikon F and Olympus OM-1. 

I agree with your point on people not upgrading from the 40D to the 50D as I was considering buying the 40D to save a few dollars (at the time it retailed for about $150 less than the 50D).

I went with the 50D in the end hoping to not have to upgrade for a while and I'm happy with that decision. I had the same debate when the 7D came out but decided to stick with the 50D and wait until I'm ready to demote the 50D to the "backup body" status. 

Oh, wow... so many cameras over the years, starting with a Brownie 110, I even had one of the disc cameras! LOL 

I would have to say I probably miss my first "real" camera, the Pentax K1000.  Sure, it was all manual, but back in 1981 I loved that little camera.

Speaking of Yashica, I miss my 124G twin lens reflex with built in meter. Also miss my Mamiya C330F, Canon F1n, AE1 Program and Ftb. I also miss my first real camera, the Konica Auto S-2. Man, am I dating myself.

-Steve Schwartz

B&H Photo Video

Another vote for Canon F-1.  I still use that workhorse of a camera to this day. Purchased in 1976 and only one CLA in all those years! Never had anything else done to it. Now THAT'S a legendary camera.

 this makes me want a leica more that anything, also want all the others (:

I am an ultra fan of collecting cameras, although I only want the ones that work.

aspiring photographers <3

first lense? well I had a praktica 100, which had a broken shutter but still worked somehow. I took a few photos with that but It didn't last long, I followed up with a digital SLR, which is pretty awesome to take photos with. But I'll always have a weakness for SLR's and film toy cameras (:

live long! camera awesomeness!

 There are two cameras that I miss. First would be the Kodak Brownie Hawkeye that I received as a youth. The other is my old Minolta XG7 whose metering died. 

I have to add another vote for the trusty old K1000 (I have 2 SE models sitting around). First camera I think about when I see a thread like this.   The Canon AE-1 surely would also be considered in the same light. CL & F1 were great choices.   I am still kind of in shock over the 40D, many of us probably shot our 10D/20D or D70 longer.    With the wedding shooting I would say that more people made the jump to the original 5D or D80s/D90s from the older models.   I even still own my 20D as a backup to my 5Dmk2.  

Seriously? The 40D? What about the 5D classic? Hands down the best discontinued Canon body. It still sells used for what the XXD series was brand new.

theague wrote:

Seriously? The 40D? What about the 5D classic? Hands down the best discontinued Canon body. It still sells used for what the XXD series was brand new.

I <3 my 5D Mk II.

Two cameras that come to mind for me are a Mamiya Sekor 1000DTL SLR and a Petri 35mm rangefinder.  I carried both through Vietnam and they served me well. 

I still own 2 on your list :)

I have a CL with 40mm f/2, but I think the old mercury cell batteries are impossible to get now...

and I still use my 40D - but why on earth is it on this list? it's not THAT old. have you not heard of the many other great old Canon 35mm bodies?? (F-1, EF, A-1, EOS-3...)

I didn't know that the OM-1 was so widely appreciated.  I carried mine for over 20 years; it never failed me.  Now it sits on a shelf next to my father's 1930's Kodak.  It was the great "backpackers camera" of the seventies.

An honorable mention could be given to the first generation entry level DSLRs (I still have my Canon 300D)

My favorite oldies but goodies some I still have and use

Pentax K100, Yashicamat 124G, Fuji 2900, Fuji 602, Canon 20D,  Canon A1 Digital Hi8 and Jvc and Canon separate vhs cameras and recorders, some I would rather forget but at the time were so great.

Canon F1, Canon F1n, Canon T90, Olympus XA, Fuji 645 come to mind.  These are all cameras that I still use on a regular basis.

Actually, that's a Nikon F with the Photomic finder-it did NOT read through the lens, but used an external lens (to the left of the F on the finder). The later Photomic T, Tn, and FTn finders did meter through the lens.

What was so great about the Nikon F, besides it's ruggedness, was it's inter-changable parts. Bought one with no meter, but now you want a meter? No problem, buy the finder, and click it on. Want a different finder screen? Buy it and drop it in. Want a motor drive? Buy the motor system and attach it to the camera. I still have lenses that I bought in the 1960's that function with my Nikon Digital camera I bought in 2007, and vise versa. No other camera, except Leica M series (which has only a limited range of focal lengths), can even come close to that money-saving feature. Canon has had at least 3 or maybe 4 non-interchangable sets of lenses in the same time period. Almost every Nikkor lens from 8mm to 2,000mm fit and work on almost every NIkon camera ever made.

Olympus OM-1 was a great idea, but poorly executed-they were too light weight, and broke all the time. National Geographic traded in their Nikon's to save weight, but then had to include extra bodies to ensure they had working ones. They eventually switched back to NIkon's. 

My list of cameras gone but not forgotten would include the Nikon F, Nikon F3, Canon F-1, Mamiya C22/C220/C33/C330 series, and MInolta SRT-101.

My only guess as to why the 40d is on the list is probably a 'new and exciting' tactic to make current 40d users to feel obsolete and dated.

My Nikon FG10 total manual, still have it and it's like new! Still use it!

Then theres was a Vivitar point and shoot that was given to me! That camera took great pictures but the electronics went out in it!

I still love my Olympus OM-4 Ti black but I have been spoiled by digital. It was a camera of great desire and functionality.

I still love to take pictures with my E-1. The camera feels really good in my hand and sound  solid when taking pictures. 

These are my two Gone but  not forgotten shout outs!

Thanks

UltraOffie

I guess I am showing my age if I mention the Voightlander Vito B.

Very compact, beautifully made a pleasure to hold and to use.