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McKeown's Price Guide To Antique & Classic Cameras 2005-2006 (Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras) Paperback – September 30, 2004
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If you are just interested in old camera equipment, this book will keep you going for hours at the time, but what's more, you will grab it over and over again in years to come. A normal book you read once, when it's a good one possibly more than once... but you'll never stop turning the approximately 1250 (!) pages the McKeown's price guide to Antique and Classic cameras offers you. I bought mine in 2005, so ten years later I can safely make that statement...
One thing I have to say though, it might not be 100% accurate on specifications, as in the 2005/2006 version, McKeowns still ensisted that the Contax RTS 1, a camera released in 1976, has a CDS lightmeter, while the RTS was actually the first camera where the revolutionary fast Silicon photo diode was used to measure the light! Then I guess the specs are not the main concern when creating a book about equipment value. I can recommend this book, with no hesitation!
As film photography passes from everyday life to a specialist hobby and film cameras move from being utilitarian tools to being collectors' items, this edition of this book may stand (as there's been no update for seven years) as the definitive work for collectors and historians. I'm not sure the prices are at all accurate, but, as a collector, I don't use this as a price guide but as a research tool.
I only hope the publishers will avoid the temptation of printing future releases in color, as the black and whites add to the antique "feel" of the book. Though a bit pricey, it's undeniable how much work goes into producing this comprehensive book, and for all the pleasures that this book delivers the price is well worth it!
Another value of this book resides in the short histories it provides of the most important photographic manufacturers, such as Zeiss Ikon, Ihagee, Leica, and Kodak. Byond this, it is simply a great pleasure to leaf through at leisure all of the pictures of the multiplicity of cameras that have been produced over the last 150 years.
I found the organization of the book a bit obscure at first (it is alphabetical by manufacturer and then within that roughly alphabetical by model, which can be tricky if you don't know the manufacturer).
Soon enough I was able to find most any camera I set out to identify and discovered in the process a number of other interesting cameras that I didn't know existed, and tons of trivia about cameras that I do know.
While it is difficult to produce a truly comprehensive guide about something as exhaustive as camera gear, this book does fairly well though it is at times really heavy on some areas (like Leica for example...) and conspicuously light in others (like Asahi Pentax...).
Notwithstanding all that, it is a terrific book to curl up next to the fire with and while away a few hours. That is of course if you have strong arms or a book stand!