What is the rarest camera/lens you own?

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A very rare (as in there's no images of another - photos or in adverts) 110 camera made between 1898 and 1904 by the Alliance Roll Film Co Ltd.The camera takes 5x4vnegatives on 1110 roll film

alliance01sm.jpg


The Alliance Roll Film Camera Co Ltd was a joint venture between Houghtons and Holmes Bros (makers of Sanderson cameras), along with Spratt Bros and two other companies they all merged to become Houghtons Ltd in 1904, later Roll film cameras all carried the Ensign brand name.

The B&L pneumatic shutter still works perfectly and the Beck lens is in excellent condition, as are the bellows.

Ian

That is a thing of beauty!
 

David A. Goldfarb

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Not sure what I have that would count as a rarity of real collectible interest--Perhaps my 11.5" and 14" Veritos are particularly desirable, but those aren't so uncommon, and I'd say the same for the 36cm standard Heliar (not the soft-focus "Universal" version) in my avatar.

I have a 16.5" Dagor, which isn't too common. When I sell off a couple of other things, I'll have it mounted in a Betax 5 shutter I've been saving for the purpose.

My 5x7" Press Graflex, which I've used quite a bit until the spring snapped a couple of years ago and is awaiting repair, was a popular camera for newspaper work in its day, but I have both film and plate mags (with film inserts) for it (it's an unusual mount with 2 pins, not exactly Graflex-type), which might be something of a rarity, and I've got adapters to convert the 5x7" plate septums to 4x5".

I've got an original Canon FD-EOS adapter, which is something of a rarity, as Canon only made it available to users of Canon Professional Services.
 
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View attachment 169605 I've had a few rare items in my time.
Such as a komura super wide 47mm. I think there must have only been 100-200 of those made.
I think currently my Olympus Wide-S with 35mm f2 is the rarest I own. They only come up a few times a year. I'm not sure how many were made. I estimate less than 10000 but I'm not sure how less.

I find it interesting that really rare items don't necessarily fetch high prices. Maybe if there aren't many around, not many people talk about them.
not sure but my Carl Zeiss Distagon CF f/440mm is a rare gem to me.
 

Ian Grant

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The 2nd rare and again I mean exceedingly rare item I have is a Ross Ensar Anastigmat 107mm f3.8 lens in an Epsilon shutter SN 1007 almost certainly a prototype it's an uncoated version of the 105mm f3.8 Ross Xpres lens used on the Ensign 820.

Ian
 

dpurdy

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probably doesn't qualify as all that rare but I have the only 210 Gold Dot Dagor I have ever seen as well as the only Rollei 2.8FX I have ever seen in person.
 

Trask

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Nikon FM with 50/1.8 Nikkor.

Just kidding. For cameras, probably my Minox III (the IIIs is more common). For lenses, I have a 40/2.8 Kilfitt Makro-Kilar in M42 mount that'll let you get close enough to photograph an electron at 1:1.

I think I have a few rare 16mm and 8mm ciné cameras. Photos later.

Theo Sulphate -- I wanted to PM you with this question but it seems you don't allow conversations, so I'll ask here: what's your opinion of your Makro-Kilar? I was thinking of getting one with Exakta mount for use with Exakta or Topcon bodies. Thanks.
 

Dan Fromm

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PMFJI. I can understand a collector's reasons for wanting a Makro-Kilar but a user's puzzle me. Since the Makro Kilars were designed other better macro lenses for 35 mm SLRs have been designed and brought to market. If you must use an Exakta mount camera, why not look for Topcon macro lenses?

To give a little context, one of my friends, now dead, did superb closeup work, mainly of live fishes in aquaria, using a 55/2.8 Steinheil Auto Macro Quinon. He replaced a Contax RF with that rig and was delighted by the ease of working with an SLR and an auto-diaphragm lens. A Makro-Kilar wouldn't do for his application, for which an automatic diaphragm is essential. I've had a 135/2.8 Auto Macro Tele Quinar that I replaced with a 100/4 MicroNikkor, a much better lens.

The Exakta was far and away the best system camera of its day, but its day passed long ago. In their relatively short day, since passed, Makro-Kilars were the best thing going. But nowadays better gear is available. Why use less than more-or-less the best, especially at today's prices for used gear?
 

Theo Sulphate

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... so I'll ask here: what's your opinion of your Makro-Kilar? I was thinking of getting one with Exakta mount for use with Exakta or Topcon bodies. ...

Hi - I didn't realize PM's were off for me - they'd been enabled on the old site software.

Anyway, I had the good fortune of comparing both the M42 mount 40/2.8 Makro-Kilar and also an Exakta mount one at the same time. The Exakta version could not focus anywhere near as close as the M42 version -- it was hard to believe it was the same lens. I can't explain this. The M42 version gets amazingly close and you can focus to about an inch (25.4mm).

I use it on my Pentax - the only caveat being not to focus at distant objects, otherwise the rear element housing *will* contact the mirror. I've put an annotated note with tape on the focusing ring to physically prevent me from focusing on distant objects. This isn't a problem because I bought the lens for macro work only.

My results with it were very good - with nice bokeh, too. I'll see if I can find a photo here that I've made with it - I'll have to photograph it with my phone, as I have no scanner.
 
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darinwc

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IIRC There are two versions of the Exakta mount Makro-kilar. The the rarer of the two focus down much closer that the lesser version.
The Makro-Kilar I had was no where near as good as any of my more modern macro lenses. It is nothing special.
 

jwd722

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8x10 szabad 1 of 5 that were made
cyclone #3 probably isn't unique but i have seen 2 in 15+ years
darlot hemispherical ( i have never seen another )
morrison 6x8 ( never seen another )
6" iles seminat ( never seen another )
delmar plate box camera ( never seen another )
laverne ( never seen another )
and as ned says the handfuls of hand made, never seen another

i use everything i have, nothing is a shelf queen
A Seminat like this?
 

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removed account4

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hi jwd722
i have never seen one in a barrel before ... in the flesh, that's nice!

some complain its "like any other lens, but fast, and not even soft " ...
how do you like yours ?
 

jwd722

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Only used it a few times years ago. As I remember it was ok, average, nothing spectacular.
I think I will get out the 4x5 and try it out again and plan on testing it out with wet plate photography as soon as I acquire a few more items for that...mostly chemicals.
 

wiltw

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I have no idea about rarity, so I offer this for commentary about their rarity...

fotron_zps308b27c8.jpg


Voightlander.jpg
 

guangong

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Zeiss Ikon SL 706 with Carl Zeiss f1.8 50mm Ultron. A few made before Zeiss Ikon went under. And my Nikon f2.5 180mm lens. Not many were made. Not a collector but an accumulator, all my stuff is used.
 

stark raving

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These would be better called uncommon than really rare..... I have a 90mm f4 "fat" Elmar made in the early 1930's. Sources say only 2,400 of these were made. My father bought it to use on his iiic around 1970 from one of those New York discount dealers that used to advertise in the back of the camera magazines. Reasonably sharp but low contrast, it does nice things with subjects like large flowers (e.g. day lilies) in open shade.

And I have a Komura 105mm f2 from the 1960's, wearing a T mount M42 adapter. Parents bought that used for me as a Christmas present around 1972 when I was 16, to use on my Spotmatic.

Apparently I have a tendency to hold on to gear I like!
 

chip j

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Two enlarging lenses--ancient Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm 2.8 and a 48mm modern Angenieux G 10. Also an ancient Leitz Valoy enlarger w/2 condensers & a diffusing disc--never heard of another.
 

mrosenlof

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I have a KB Canham wood 5x7. Production counts are probably fairly low on this camera, but they don't seem terribly difficult to locate if you're looking for one.

Lens? Maybe an 85mm f1.5 Soligor, Pre-set, T-mount. Made sometime in the 60s. It's not that special, and partly for that reason I expect that few are still around and in use.
 

Fixcinater

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Canon FL 1200mm f/11 is probably the lowest production piece I have.
 

StoneNYC

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Canon FL 1200mm f/11 is probably the lowest production piece I have.

Darn that IS a rare beast! Sheesh! I would love to see that in person!!

I believe Canon offered to swap the manual out for the EF mount on those didn't they? Or was that 1600mm that they offered that?
 

Alan W

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image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg How about this one?A fully working,see through(except for the film chamber!) yashica samurai half frame camera.
 

Fixcinater

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Darn that IS a rare beast! Sheesh! I would love to see that in person!!

I believe Canon offered to swap the manual out for the EF mount on those didn't they? Or was that 1600mm that they offered that?

That was one of the later FD mount super teles that they recalled and had converted to EF and autofocus. I want to say it was the 1200/5.6.
 

flavio81

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My rarest camera is my Olympus Pen W.

Rarest lenses:
PC-Nikkor 35/3.5
Nikkor-S 58/1.4

Both are relatively rare.

And maybe this one as well:
Canon FL 85-300/5.0
 

Denverdad

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My pride and joy - a Canon FDn 150-600mm 5.6L lens:
150-600L.jpg


Sadly as you can see, I don't actually use it with film bodies anymore. But still, it's a heck of a birding/wildlife outfit.
 
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