Remembering Your Never Ever Camera

We recently talked about finding our “Forever Camera”, the one we could settle on for the rest of our photography days.

But what about your “Never Ever Camera”, the most awkward, clunky, frustrating and disappointing camera you’ve ever used?

The one you couldn’t wait to see the back of and would never ever touch again even if you were paid?

For me, surprisingly, given the hundreds of cameras I’ve used, there haven’t been many I’ve never wanted to use again.

Here are a fated few though.

Olympus Mju II

I found this for £1 in a charity shop about six years ago, when they were probably around £15 on eBay, not the insane amounts (£350+) they go for now.

Despite my minimal investment, I wasn’t very impressed with the little Olympus.


The handling was very slippery, and even with the wrist strap on I still came close to dropping it three times in my first roll of film.

The viewfinder was very pokey and difficult to use, and it flashed at the drop of a hat even in decent light.

If the images had been stunning I might have tried another roll or two, but they were no better than many other 35mm film compacts.

Later I tried the Mju 1 and its posh sibling the LT-1, and both were little crackers, and amongst my favourite film cameras I’ve ever used.

But the Mju II? I wouldn’t shoot another roll even if I found one for £1 again.

Minolta Dynax 5

A tiny SLR with all kinds of electronic wizardry, and from the same stable as the Dynax 7000i and 700Si, both of which I greatly enjoyed using, on paper this sounded very promising.

Plus it’s compatible with some incredible Minolta AF lenses, like the Macro 50mm f/2.8 and “Baby Beercan” 35-70mm f/4, as I’d found out previously with the aforementioned film bodies, and later with them attached to Sony Alpha DSLRs.


But from the moment I touched the Dynax 5 it felt so cheap and flimsy, with probably the worst VF I’ve seen in a 35mm SLR (especially coming from the company that created the spectacular VF in the X-700), I just didn’t even want to pick it up again.

Minolta did make some cracking AF SLRs. But this is not one of them.

Mamiya/Sekor 1000DTL

I bought this old Mamiya/Sekor for the lens on it, a super clean 55mm f/1.8 I’d read very good things about.

The lens turned out to be lovely, and well worth the fraction under £20 I paid for the package.


But the camera itself was heavy, clunky, and was never going to compete (either then or now) with other M42 bodies like the best Fujicas, or of course the majestic Asahi Spotmatics.

I think I got the focus spot on with this photo, the only one I have of the 1000 DTL. It wasn’t even worth looking at.


How about you? What stands out in your memory as your “Never Ever Camera”? 

Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

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7 thoughts on “Remembering Your Never Ever Camera”

  1. I bought a canon Autoboy mk I once – for a £10 at a local charity shop. I thought it was a pretty clunky beast to use and never really liked it from the start. When it packed up a few months later I wasn’t heart-broken!

    1. I’ve had a few like that, as you can see above!

      With Canon film cameras, they always performed very well for me, but somehow I could never get excited about them. They’re sort of anonymous.

      I would say my favourite Canon I’ve used so far was the little IXUS 870 in January.

      1. I’ve had a few EOS SLRS over the years that I’ve loved, and some newer Sureshots – they’ve all been good. However people pay a lot of money for those Autoboys, especially with the f/1.9 lens and I have to say I don’t understand it.
        Their digicams are excellent.

      2. Oh did you have the one with the f/1.9 lens? I had one for a while but never put any film through it. They go for silly money fully working yes.

        What people don’t realise is it’s the same 40/1.9 lens as in the old Canonets, which are plentiful and much cheaper, and give you more control anyway.

        I don’t think I’ve bought my last old Canon IXUS or Powershot, very impressed with the IXUS 870.

  2. For me the Rollei B35 would be top of the list of never ever cameras. I know many people think they’re an underrated gem but I really disliked it, even though I have owned two. After selling the first I allowed myself to be convinced that maybe I hadn’t given it enough of a chance and bought another, soon sold that one too.

    The collapsible lens was fiddly to extend and retract but never felt like it was securely in place and all the controls just felt slightly out of place and uncomfortable to use. All of which I could have put up with if the pictures were great but they came out pretty average.

    1. Thanks CT. My only experience with one of those Rolleis was at a camera show about five years ago. Tiny yes, but as you say they seemed very fiddly. The guy selling it struggled to show me the operations – including extending the collapsible lens – which put me off further.

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