Classic and Vintage Camera Collection
This collection started with me buying an Argus C3 on a whim because it looked cool and only cost $20. After it arrived and I saw the poor condition, I decided to take the camera and lens apart to remove the grime and dust that had accumulated over the years. I ended up cleaning it and also coating some rusted metal parts with WD-40 to protect them from further rust and provide slight lubrication. While I was at it, I also replaced the fake leather covering. I found that activity enjoyable and the perfect mental distraction from the MBA I was in the middle of completing at the time, so proceeded to start researching, bidding on, and winning a variety of vintage cameras on eBay in my time outside work and the MBA. Below are photos of the portion of my collection on display in my office which I have completely disassembled, repaired, adjusted, cleaned, and lubricated. I also have two brown Kodak folding cameras built 1930-1933 cleaned up and on display in guest bedrooms which I didn't photograph for this page; a Rainbow Hawkeye No 2A Model B, and a Rainbow Hawkeye No 2 Model B. Additionally, I have a pile of Argus C3s, a "spare" Univex Mercury II, a couple other cheap vintage cameras, and a blue 1930s Kodak Beau Brownie box camera (http://www.artdecocameras.com/cameras/kodak/beau-brownie-2/) sitting in a pile in the corner of my office which I still need to go through. The Beau Brownie looks amazing and sells for $100 and up so is my priority for a CLAR (clean, lubricate, adjust, and repair) session. 24 December 2019 Update: I made time to clean up the Beau Brownie and it is now at the bottom of this blog entry.
I am only including basic information to accompany the photos of each camera. I don't want to plagiarize the research and words of others so include a link in each section to more information on the cameras. You can also do an Internet search on the names and find out more, like I did, although you'll likely end up struggling with Kodaks. For some unknown reason, Kodak chose names that are nearly identical among multiple models, especially between box and folding cameras. It reminds me of the more recent Canon film SLR days in which Canon would sell the same camera under 2-3 different model numbers depending on the region.
Alphabetical list of cameras and types on this page
Argus C3 rangefinder (two customized; one aqua/black and one red/black)
Argus C3 Golden Shield rangefinder (black/silver)
Canon IIS2 rangefinder (black/silver)
Canon IVSB rangefinder (black/silver)
Conley Model XI folding (red/brown)
Imperial Savoy rangefinder (aqua)
Kodak Beau Brownie Number 2 box (blue) - added 24 December 2019
Kodak Number 1 Pocket Junior folding (brown)
Kodak Petite folding (green & photographed with Vest Pocket)
Kodak Rainbow Hawkeye Number 2 Model C box (red)
Kodak Rainbow Hawkeye Number 2 Model C folding (blue)
Kodak Rainbow Hawkeye Number 2A folding (forest green)
Kodak Rainbow Hawkeye Vest Pocket folding (blue & photographed with Petite folding)
Kodak Six-16 Brownie Junior box (black/gold)
Leica 3A/IIIA rangefinder (black/silver)
Leica 3C/IIIC rangefinder (black/silver)
Rolleicord 1 (Art Deco/Tapeten) TLR (black/silver)
Rolleicord K3B TLR (black/silver)
Univex Mercury II rangefinder (aqua/silver)
Argus C3 rangefinder built 1939-1957 (aqua one likely 1947; red one likely 1955). The custom leather covers were created by and attached by me. Making the templates and carefully cutting them out took some time! Uses 35mm film. For more info on the Argus C3, see http://www.arguscg.org/reference/c.shtml.
Canon IVSB rangefinder built 1952-1955 with Canon 50mm f/1.8 III lens built 1958-? Uses 35mm film. This camera arrived missing the ring from the front rangefinder window but I was able to find a replacement from a Japan-based eBay seller. For more info, see https://www.pacificrimcamera.com/pp/canrfidiv.htm.
Kodak Petite folding built 1929-1934. Missing stylus for autograph back used for notes on the image. The Petite is the green camera on the right in the photos. It is accompanied by a blue Kodak Rainbow Hawkeye Vest Pocket folding camera on the left. In the photo of the camera backs you can see the slide-down window on the Petite which was used to add a short note to the frame edge. Uses 127 film. See http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Kodak_Petite.
Kodak Rainbow Hawkeye Number 2 Folding Model C blue built 1930-1934. This camera has a confusing name since I have the same model camera in red just without "folding" in its name due to it being a box camera. Uses 120 film. https://collectiblend.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3286
Kodak Rainbow Hawkeye Number 2 Model C box red built 1930-1933. Not to be confused with the blue Rainbow Hawkeye Number 2 Folding Model C also on this page. Uses 120 film. https://www.pacificrimcamera.com/pp/kodakrainhawkbx.htm
Kodak Rainbow Hawkeye Vest Pocket folding built 1931-1933. Uses 127 film. The Vest Pocket is the blue camera on the left in each photo. To its right is a green Kodak Petite. http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Rainbow_Hawk-Eye_Vest_Pocket
Leica 3A/IIIA rangefinder built 1938 with Leica Elmar 50mm f/3.5 lens built 1942. The historical significance of this body and lens are what fascinate me. The camera was built in Germany while the Nazis were in power shortly before their invasion of Poland starting WWII, and the lens was built in the middle of the war when they were at their peak. Uses 35mm film. https://camerapedia.fandom.com/wiki/Leica_IIIa http://vintage-camera-lenses.com/leitz-leica-elmar-50mm-5cm-f3-5/
Leica 3C/IIIC rangefinder built 1946 with Leica Elmar 50mm f/3.5 lens built 1953. Factory upgraded with flash synch. Uses 35mm film. http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Leica_IIIc http://vintage-camera-lenses.com/leitz-leica-elmar-50mm-5cm-f3-5/
Rolleicord 1 AKA Tapeten TLR built 1933-1936 (likely 1934). Uses 120 film. Of all my vintage cameras this one is my favorite because of the cool Art Deco design. http://www.rolleiclub.com/cameras/tlr/info/rolleicord.shtml
Rolleicord K3B TLR built 1950-1953. This camera was covered with mold when I bought it, which allowed me to win the auction at a steal of a price. I suspect it had sat in its case unused for 30-40 years in a humid environment. After it arrived I scrubbed the exterior multiple times using an old toothbrush and soapy water to clear that off. I of course disassembled the viewfinder and lenses as well so I could clean them. One of the dials was missing a cover but I was able to order a replacement for it from the fantastic http://www.cameraleather.com/. If you need to replace or simply want to update the cover of one of your cameras, I recommend checking there.
Back to the Rolleicord K3B, it actually arrived with the original purchase paperwork and manual from Frankfurt, Germany along with a collection of filters I cleaned and have in their original box, the lens shade pictured, the remote shutter release pictured, and the flash mount pictured. I suspect it was purchased by a military member in Germany shortly after WWII and brought back to the US. Uses 120 film. http://www.rolleiclub.com/cameras/tlr/info/rolleicord.shtml
Univex Mercury II rangefinder built 1946-1952. Custom leather cover created and attached by me similar to the ones I put on the Argus C3s. I used my Dremel polishing tool to bring back the luster of the metal of this camera just as I did for the Leica and Canon rangefinders. Getting this camera apart to clean the insides was the most difficult of all, since you have to pound out a metal pin/rivet to get the shutter speed dial off the front so you can separate the front and back pieces of the camera and get access to the inside. Uses 35mm film at half frames. https://www.mikeeckman.com/2014/12/universal-mercury-ii-1945-52/
Kodak Beau Brownie No. 2 (December 24, 2019) Uses 120 film. I made time over the past month to finally take apart and clean the Beau Brownie. These attractive art deco cameras were built in 1930-1933. Not surprisingly, after ~90 years the lenses and mirrors of this camera were filthy. The mirrors had also come loose similar to what I encountered with my other box cameras and some of the rangefinders. I cleaned all glass surfaces, including the taking lens, and glued the mirrors back down so you can once again see out the two composition aids. I also had to repair the handle since the leather had separated from the cardboard backing. Fortunately I caught and fixed it before the handle was lost which is a problem since I sometimes see these for sale on eBay without one. Even though the optics had become dirty over time, these Kodak box cameras are amazingly durable when it comes to their mechanics. The sliding apertures and spring shutters still function fine on the three I own and they are all 80+ years old. You can read more about Beau Brownies at http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Kodak_Beau_Brownie.