A film photography blog is pretty pointless without camera reviews.
Things, however, were pretty quiet for a while in the camera reviews department on Kosmo Foto, primarily because I like to put at least a dozen rolls of film through a camera before I review it. There’s plenty of cameras getting near that mark, but I was starting to miss seeing reviews on the blog.
So in the summer I put the call out for Kosmo Foto readers who wanted to write their own guest reviews for the blog.
There was a huge amount of interest and the following reviews were submitted. It’s a great mix of cameras, from the toy camera folding Lomography Belair to the classic Contax III and the Zenit-19, one of the best SLRs produced in the Soviet Union.
If you want to submit your own, get in touch. I’m looking for guest reviews of any film camera – from the Kodak BoX Brownie to the Nikon F6 – and every published review earns you two free rolls of Kosmo Foto Mono.
In the meantime, have a look through these reviews which graced the blog in 2018. I’m not responsible for any sudden eBay bidding, however…
The Contax III is widely regarded as a classic, and still a very useable camera despite being produced in the 1930s. Nigel Haycock initially found this a difficult camera to love, but as you’ll see his results show its reputation is well-earned.
Lomo LC-A 120
The LC-A 120 is more than just a Lomo on steroids. This medium format version of the famous Soviet-era compact is a wide angle wonder, as Irene Stylianou, who runs Lomography Cyprus, finds out.
Voigtlander’s Brillant TLR served as the inspiration for a line of cameras that was still being produced well into the 21st Century – the Soviet Lubitel. The best of the line was the Lubitel 166U, produced from the 1980s til after the fall of the USSR. Here’s Kosmo Foto’s experience with the ‘Soviet Rolleiflex’.
Another of Lomography’s medium format cameras, but rather less of a success. The folding Belair hasn’t gone down well with most reviewers, and Conor Corkrum finds it a frustrating photographic tool.
Kodak Retinette 1B
Kodak didn’t just make film – for much of the 20th Century it was also one of the world’s leading camera makers. Steve Ford reviews one of the 50s classics, the Retinette 1B.
Konica Auto S3
The price of this 70s rangefinder has skyrocketed over the last few years – it’s one of the best-regarded cameras of the decade. Overhyped, or finally getting its due? Olli Thomson puts it under the microscope.
Minolta Dynax 9xi
Minolta’s pro-level 90s cameras have been overlooked compared to the high-end Canon EOS SLRs and the autofocus Nikon Fs, but the Dynax 9xi was one of the jewels in its range. Robert Smith takes a look.
Minolta SR-T 202
Minolta’s SR-T range were hugely popular in their day, spawning a huge range of camera bodies, lenses and accessories. Kevin lane reviews one of the best of the range, the SR-T 202.
The Praktiflex was the export version of the Praktica FX, one of the pioneering Praktica designs of the 1950s. Dan Marinelli takes this East German SLR for a spin.
Ricoh’s Pentax K-mount SLRs of the 1970s rarely get a look in when the decade’s best are reviewed and rated. Paul Friday looks at the XR-2, a camera he’s owned since 1980.
Yashica formed a partnership with West Germany’s Contax in the 1980s and the FX-D was one of the cameras that came from it. Finlay Dalziel believes it’s one of the best starter SLRs you can buy.
The Yashica T range of compact cameras have become hugely popular, with the T4 and the T5 now fetching hundreds of pounds. But what the earlier T compacts? Alonso Chaves Benavides reviews the chunky T2.
Zeiss Ikon Contina Matic II
Zeiss Ikon was a well-respected West German camera maker, and its Contina range of cameras was produced for two decades. Michel Epstein reviews the 50s-era Contina Matic II.
Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex
Think of a West German TLR and you’ll probably name a Voigtlander or a Rolleiflex. Zeiss Ikon too made TLRs – Daniel Michalos reviews this mid-century German stalwart.
KMZ was still making M42-mount SLRs in the 1970s, and the Zenit-19 was just about the best of them – a sturdy plastic-coated beast with an electronic shutter. Paul Farca reviews this Soviet curio.