Focus on Collectibles

10/31/2013 0 Comments A+ a-

We have a nice selection of collectible cameras on the KEH Camera website.  We've featured several items of interest below that are currently available in our inventory.  Click on the name of the item underneath the image to go straight to the listing.  Perfect for the vintage camera lover or collector!


Nikon S2 and Rare Aluminum Lens

10/30/2013 0 Comments A+ a-

The Nikon S2 is a 35mm rangefinder camera that was introduced in 1955.  The S2 was one of Nikon's best selling rangefinder cameras with a production run of approximately 56,000 units.  It was an improvement over the Nikon S, as users found the Nikon S2 to be a faster and more user friendly camera.  The S2 was one of Nikon's most popular rangefinder cameras, and it still enjoys a collectible status today. 

Earlier versions of the Nikon S2 are known as "Chrome Dial S2s" because they feature a chrome shutter speed dial.  The S2 was the first Nikon camera to use a standard 24x36mm format.  Previous models such as the Nikon S used a slightly smaller 24x34mm format.  Upgrades to the S2 also included an improved viewfinder, which was brighter with a 1x magnification.  The S2 adopted an aluminum alloy frame, so it was lighter than previous models without compromising durability.  It was also easier to change film with the S2 with a single bottom opening key.      

The Nikon S2 introduced a film advance lever and rewind lever, which was easier to use compared to the film advance and rewind knobs on previous models.  The S2 also featured a top shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second as compared to 1/500th on other Nikon rangefinders.  In addition to using the lens to focus, the toothed wheel on the top of the camera was used to focus.  The helical focusing is useful for one handed camera operation as the lens in rotated to focus via the camera body instead of requiring the lens elements to rotate in order to focus.     

The Nikon S2 also has a unique lens associated with it, which is the 50mm f1.4 Nikkor-S constructed of aluminum.  The aluminum 50mm lens was introduced in 1955, and it had a very small production run of about 300 units.  It is believed to have been an experimental design for Nikon, perhaps in an effort to produce a lighter weight lens.  The entire outer barrel including the filter ring is made of aluminum, as well as many of the internal components.  Another noteworthy issue to mention in regards to this experimental lens is that many of the serials numbers of the aluminum version are the same was the chrome version.

The aluminum 50mm lens is lighter than the chrome version with an approximate weight of 4.1 ounces.  All of the other specifications of the aluminum version are the same as the standard 50mm f1.4 lenses.  The chrome version is very similar to the aluminum lens, but upon closer inspection the finish of the aluminum has less sheen and a different texture.  An interesting thing to note about the aluminum lens is that it was sold without documentation of its special feature, so whomever purchased it at the time would have been unaware of its rare status.         

Click HERE to view the Nikon S2 with the rare 50mm f1.4 Nikkor-S aluminum lens on the KEH Camera Outlet on eBay.

Billingham Camera Bags

10/29/2013 0 Comments A+ a-

A good camera bag is an important accessory for a photographer and can be a vital component in protecting valuable gear.  One of the best names in the industry is the UK based camera bag manufacturer, Billingham.  Their camera bags are handcrafted from the highest quality materials available, and they are designed to meet the precise needs of photographers.  Click on the name of the product underneath the image to go straight to the listing.  

The Packington model features a robust khaki canvas construction, top grain tan leather trim and solid brass fittings.  Not only is the Packington a stylish and durable option for carrying camera equipment, it doubles as a spacious travel bag.  It can hold a laptop and an assortment of other items.  The bottom of the bag is fitted with four brass feet to protect the bag when placed on the ground, and the waterproof top flap offers added protection from inclement weather.  Every detail of the bag is designed in such a manner to provide the maximum amount of comfort, ease of use and protection.    

Similar to the Packington, the 225 model features a robust khaki canvas construction, top grain tan leather trim and solid brass fittings.  The camera bag has deep, soft compartments to keep valuable camera gear safe and dry.  The high quality materials used to create the bags are designed to mold to the body, working to ease the burden of carrying heavy camera equipment.  The double handles make the bag easy to grab and go no matter if it is open or closed.  The quick release buckles allow easy access to the bag contents, and securely holds the waterproof flap in place when not in use.

With their functional, durable and attractive design, Billingham camera bags are a great option for protecting expensive camera equipment.  While they may be on the pricey side, the quality materials, robust construction and excellent ergonomic design that goes into every handcrafted Billingham bag is quite impressive.  The Billingham designers work with the sturdiest, most comfortable and most waterproof materials available to make certain that a photographer's valuable photographic equipment will be safe and secure.    

Vintage Camera Finds

10/28/2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Featured below is a selection of the unique vintage offerings that we currently have available in our inventory. Our vintage cameras make great repair or restoration projects, and they are perfect for the vintage camera lover or collector.  Click on the name of the camera underneath the photo to go straight to the listing.

Kodak Medalist

10/25/2013 0 Comments A+ a-

The Kodak Medalist is a rangefinder camera that was manufactured by Kodak between 1941-1948.  The design of the Medalist was unique in that it allowed for the use of roll film, film packs or sheet film.  The camera features a removable back, and users could purchase an optional ground glass accessory back that offered the option of using film packs or sheet film.  Although originally designed to use 620 roll film, the discontinued 620 film is so similar to 120 film that users today can still enjoy shooting with a vintage Kodak Medalist camera.  620 film is the same length and width as 120 film, however the spool that holds the film is a different size.  This can be overcome by re-spooling 120 film onto a 620 spool (click HERE for a great tutorial courtesy of the Brownie Camera website).        

The Medalist features a Kodak Ektar 100mm f3.5 lens, a Kodak Supermatic No. 2 shutter and a split image rangefinder located directly below the viewfinder.  With a shift of the eye, the shooter can focus on the subject before framing the subject since both parts are in view when looking through the finder.  The Kodak Medalist was built to last as it features a sturdy, high quality and heavy build.  Many roll film cameras of the era featured a folding design, but the aluminum body of the Medalist was stronger and constructed to protect the internal mechanisms of the camera.  Focusing of the camera is achieved by turning the large ring located in the middle of the lens tube, and there is a fine focus knob located on the front of the camera next to the lens.  A great vintage camera find!     

Click HERE to view the Kodak Medalist on the KEH Camera Outlet on eBay.

Ken Lab Gyro Stabilizers

10/24/2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Many photographers shoot in diverse, harsh or even unpredictable environments, so it is important for them to have the proper tools available to allow them to focus on capturing images instead of hassling with unreliable surroundings.  The Gyro Stabilizer by Kenyon Labs is a great accessory for controlling excessive moment, so vibrations, bumps and camera shake won't ruin photo or video quality.  Gyro stabilizers are great for press and nature photographers, videographers or any type pf photography that requires a helping hand with stability.  Gyro stabilizers are perfect for aerial photography or cinematography as well.      

Gyro stabilizers are battery powered and mount to the tripod socket of a camera.  Inside the unit, two gyros spin to keep the camera steady.  The camera will remain level as the gyro stabilizer counteracts sudden movements such as vibrations.  With the gyro stabilizer attached to the camera, the shooter will be able to use lower shutter speeds, longer lenses and enjoy the freedom of movement.  The decreased vibration and increased stability will yield photo clarity that may otherwise be compromised by excessive movement.   

If photographic adventures or assignments require the shooter to work while in a vehicle, boat or aircraft, a gyro stabilizer may be a great accessory to consider.  Photographers will be able to capture sharp images even when dealing with conditions such as waves on a boat or air turbulence.  Securing the perfect shot while running or walking is also made possible by the use of a gyro stabilizer.  The use of a tripod or dolly is not required, so photographers or videographers can enjoy less hassle with a hand-held gyro stabilizer.  Gyro stabilizers are a great solution for photographers that require stability when their shooting conditions are less than steady. 

Click HERE to view our selection of Gyro Stabilizers on the KEH Camera website.

KEH's Most Wanted

10/23/2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Featured below is a selection of KEH Camera's "most wanted" items of the month.  We are currently seeking digital & film bodies, lenses, flashes and major accessories in all formats, but the featured items below are at the top of our "most wanted" list this month.

Canon EOS 6D Body w/ Battery & Charger

Canon EOS Rebel T5i Body w/ Battery & Charger

Canon EOS 85mm f1.8 USM Lens

Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite Flash

Nikon AF-S 85mm f1.8 G Lens

Contax Manual Focus Lenses (all focal lengths)

In addition to the photographic equipment featured above, we are actively seeking the following items:

* Angenieux 180mm f2.3 Lens (Canon FD, Leica R and Nikon F mounts)
* Angenieux 35-70mm f2.5-3.3 Lens (Canon FD, Leica R and Nikon F mounts)
* Angenieux 70-210mm f3.5 Lens (Canon FD, Leica R and Nikon F mounts)
* Widelux F8 Panoramic Camera
* Leica Screw Mount 50mm f1.1 Zunow Lens
* Contax G2 Body
* Contax 35mm f2 G Planar Lens
* Canon Rebel T4i Body w/ Battery & Charger
* Canon 100mm f2 USM Lens
* Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L USM Lens
* Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L USM II Lens
* Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f2.8 G Lens

To sell any of the above featured items (or if you have other gear you'd like to sell), please contact us via email at, or give us a call at (770) 333-4220 or (800) 342-5534.  If you are unsure about an item, just ask! Your used camera equipment may be worth more than you think.

Kodak Brownie No. 2 Model F

10/22/2013 0 Comments A+ a-

The Brownie No. 2 Model F is a box roll film camera that was manufactured by Eastman Kodak in Rochester, NY.  The Kodak Brownie No. 2 was made between 1901-1933, and the Model F was introduced in 1924.  The Brownie name was derived from a series of popular cartoons called "The Brownies" created by Palmer Cox.  Kodak marketed the cameras heavily towards children, but their ease of use and affordability allowed the Brownie to have mass market appeal.

Kodak's Brownie box camera is often credited with popularizing low cost photography and introducing the concept of a snapshot.  It's simple design allowed the shooter to hold the camera waist height, aim and turn a switch to take the photograph.  The cameras were also relatively small and lightweight (5.5x3x4'' and 13 oz.) making them portable and convenient.  With a price tag of approximately $2.00, photography was no longer reserved for professional photographers.  The Kodak Brownie No. 2 allowed photography to be accessible by almost everyone. 

The Kodak Brownie No. 2 features a simple box design with a Meniscus lens and rotary shutter.  The Model F is unique because it has a leatherette covered aluminum frame, replacing many versions made of cardboard.  As a result, the Model F was more durable than many previous models.  The Model F is also significant because it was the first to use 120 roll film, taking six 2.25x3.25'' exposures without reloading.  The camera also features dual finders that allow the shooter to take portrait or landscape photos by changing the orientation of the camera.  The Kodak Brownie No. 2 Model F is a neat part of photographic history and a nice collectible camera.  

Click HERE to view the Kodak Brownie No. 2 Model F on the KEH Camera Outlet on eBay.

Vintage Camera Finds

10/21/2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Featured below is a selection of the unique vintage offerings that we currently have available in our inventory. Our vintage cameras make great repair or restoration projects, and they are perfect for the vintage camera lover or collector.  Click on the name of the camera underneath the photo to go straight to the listing.

Essentials of Lighting

10/18/2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Today we welcome back photographer and guest contributor, Joseph Prezioso.  He has written many informative and inspirational articles including Inside a Photographer's Camera Bag, Why I Love the Pentax 645 System and Traveling and Film Photography.  His article today provides a photographer's input on the essentials of lighting.  (Please click on the images below to enjoy a larger version).

Without light there would be no photos.  Light is what creates our images, bouncing from the sun or artificial lights to our subjects.  From our subject, the light then bounces onto our lenses and finally onto our negative or sensor.  Sometimes the sun is not enough, and at other times there is no sunlight at all to work with.  Understanding light, the types of light and how to add or subtract light can greatly improve your photography.

Sources of Light and Color Temperature

Most films are daylight balanced, so they are meant for light at around 5000-6500K. This is why when you shoot indoors with incandescent lights your images look orange or red. It’s because of the lower color temperature. With digital you simply change your white balance, but with film you have to either shoot a tungsten-balanced film, such as Kodak’s Vision Three 500T or 200T, or use flash to correct for the color or correct in post-production.

© Joseph Prezioso

Generally speaking, shooting in the sun in full daylight is easy.  The biggest thing most photographers don’t know is how to properly measure light.  This is where a light meter comes in.  A light meter by manufacturers such as Sekonic or Minolta will let you take ambient light readings so that you can set your camera correctly for the look and exposure you want.  I always shoot with a light meter, even when I shoot with a digital camera.  Looking at your LCD is not the best way to judge your exposure, and with film there is no LCD, so it’s important to get your exposure right.  In-camera meters are great, but they can be easily tricked.  A light meter is much more accurate.

© Joseph Prezioso

When shooting outside in full daylight, the easiest way to get your exposure is to you the Sunny 16 rule.  This rule works for all cameras, film or digital.  It’s an easy rule to follow, and as long as sunlight is available it will work.  The rule goes like this; for whatever film ISO you’re shooting at, set that as your shutter speed.  For example, ISO 100 would be 1/125th, ISO 400 would be 1/500th and so on.  Then, set your aperture for the sunlight.  Full direct sunlight hitting your subject is f16 or f8 if the subject’s back is in the direct sun.  Partial shade would be f5.6, and darker shade would be f4 or f2.8.  An overcast bright day would be f11 or f 8, and a dark rainy day usually works at f4 or f2.8.

© Joseph Prezioso

So where does a light meter come into this?  Well, many times I am shooting inside with bounced light from windows or in an alley where we are in the shade of many tall buildings. There are many light sources mixing, and it’s hard to tell what the exposure would be.  I like to shoot slide film for my fashion work, so I need to get an exact meter reading for my model’s face.  To do this, I simply use my light meter and hold it up near the model’s face in the light that’s hitting them and measure it.  I don’t want a reading for the entire scene, just the face.

© Joseph Prezioso

When I shoot indoors, at a church, or in a function hall, I like to know what the light is like before I start shooting the event. To do this, I simply do a quick walk around the area with my light meter set for the ISO I will be shooting at and take readings for all the places my subjects will be.  Doing this before I start shooting lets me know the exact exposures I will need once I start shooting so that I don’t mess up a shot with the wrong exposure.

© Joseph Prezioso

In many locations it’s just too dark to shoot with the available light, or I need more light to evenly light a group of people at a higher f-stop.  At times like these I bring out my studio strobes or speed lights.  I set them up on light stands, set the power level I think I need, and then I walk out to where I will be shooting and use my light meter to measure the exposure.  If I am doing a large group shot and want to shoot f8, I will plus or minus the power on my strobes to get that f8 evenly across the area I will be shooting at.  Without the meter I would not be able to get accurate readings.  You could take test shots with a digital camera and look at the LCD, but I would rather have the lights all set and not have to waste my client’s time with test shots.  I want my lights and camera ready to go.

© Joseph Prezioso

For other times, like at weddings when I am bouncing a flash, it becomes a little bit trickier.  Let’s say I am shooting Portra 400 at an ISO of 1250 with my Nikon F5, and on top of my camera I have a Nikon SB-80DX flash with a Stofen attached to it.  Do I use TTL or do I put my flash in manual mode?  I go manual.  I know that if I set the power of my flash to 1/32 and have a shutter speed of 60th that my flash will bounce enough light a normal ceiling height to illuminate my subjects with an f-stop of about 1.4 to 1.8 at about 5 feet out.  If I want more of a depth of field I simply pump of the flash power.  If I am shooting in a high ceiling in a large function hall I will take off my Stofen and rotate my flash to go over my left shoulder and up to the ceiling at a power of 1/8th to 1/4th depending on how far away the ceiling and my subjects are.

© Joseph Prezioso

This is of course after I take an ambient reading with my light meter in the room.  So if the dance floor is a 30th at f1.4 and I want to be at a 60th at f2, then I know I need to add light.  I can measure this light before hand with the strobes as well.  I can have my assistant stand where I will be shooting and fire my flash while I stand with my light meter where my subjects will be and take the reading.  Once you get to know your flash and its power levels, you won’t have to meter all the time.  You will get to know how much light you need to bounce to get the proper exposure.

© Joseph Prezioso

This also works for LED lights and hot lights.  Simply set them up where you want them, stand where your subject will be and take a reading with your light meter.  When the action starts, you won’t have to worry about getting your exposure correct.  You will already have it locked in and ready to go.

© Joseph Prezioso

Depending on what type of film or digital you’re shooting will determine how you use your light meter to measure the light you will be shooting in.  Everyone has his or her own style and way they want their images to look, so experiment with your light meter.  Practice how you meter your subjects to see how the different techniques yield different exposures.  When I shoot color negative film, I meter for the darkest part of my subject.  I am not worried about the highlights because I know the negative can handle over exposure, and I want to get good shadow detail.  This means if I were holding my light meter in front of a model in normal light without a flash, I would hold it up to their face with the bulb pointed down.  If I were shooting black and white film or slide film, I would meter for the mid-tones and hold the meter straight at the lens.   For digital, I would meter for the highlights so they don’t get clipped.  With a flash, I meter for where the flash will be hitting the subject so it won’t it be too dark.

© Joseph Prezioso

A light meter is your key to getting accurate exposures in all light.    

Contributor BioJoseph Prezioso is a professional photographer who has been shooting for over twelve years.  He went from shooting film, to 100% digital, and then back to film again. He says, "By trade I am a wedding photographer, I shoot over 30 weddings a year and this year they were all on film. My career started as a newspaper photographer though. I was 16 and like Jimmy Olsen. I learned on the streets shooting next to veteran photographers for the AP and Boston Globe (I worked for some weeklies, but I got to cover a lot of cool events that the big news guys covered too!). Film is something I have fallen in love with, it's the medium I learned on. Film will always be something special to me. It feels more versatile and creative in my hands than when I am using digital."