Lens Crafter

Just a Ton of Old-School Cameras

None Photography: noble art form.

Capturing that tiny beauty mark. The slight curve of a back. The precise moment your opponent realizes he can’t handle your backhand at the ping-pong table.

To do it right, you need something strong. With experience. Something battle-tested... in World War II...

So let us bring your attention to Ilott Vintage, a handsome line of refurbished vintage cameras, available for purchase beginning this Saturday.

Meet Andrew. He’s a Brit expat with a thing for refurbished, mid-century 35mm cameras. And he’d like to share them with you. Our advice: let him.

This is how it works: he takes a camera (say, a 1965 Canon Canonet QL17) and replaces the worn-out leather with wood veneers (say, mahogany). Then, he tinkers with the engineering and puts the camera through rigorous testing to make sure you’re getting a machine that shoots good and true.

Now, these stately apparatuses are fully mechanical—meaning they function with clockwork mechanisms, tension springs and tiny cogs. Translation: no batteries required. So when you’re in the midst of a fast-moving crisis (say, a spontaneous swimsuit dance-off at the Raleigh), you’ll be ready to capture all of the action without worrying about something pesky like power.

Which reminds us, these things have been to war—well, not literally, but photojournalists used the Konica Auto S2 during Vietnam and the Argus C3 in World War II.

You thought you noticed it in Saving Private Ryan.

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