For the classic camera collector, picking a handful of favorites can not only be a huge challenge, but it can also be something that largely defies strict logical thought.
Consider one of my recent acquisitions that has quickly catapulted itself into "Top 10" camera status among my varied collection. This is a camera that lacks any focusing aids whatsoever, has a top shutter speed of a "whopping" 1/125 of a second, and uses a film format that is especially difficult to find.
So why would I be so enamored with a camera with such a limited feature set and usability? Because what I have is a camera compact enough to fit in a shirt pocket featuring a sharp, fast f/2.9 lens capable of focusing down to a mere 18", and giving an image size nearly 40% larger than the frame of 35mm film, all in an extremely well made housing indicative of a quality standard that has been abandoned for decades. This little favorite of mine is the Zeh Goldi.
The diminutive and delightful little Zeh Goldi.
Though marked as "Zeca," the brand of this little known camera is actually known as "Zeh." This German camera maker released the Goldi in 1930, primarily as a half frame shooter of 127 film, though some less common full frame examples are also known to exist. Zeh also made versions of this camera body for Rodenstock, which sold it as the Ysella. Thus, while many various lenses can be found on Goldi cameras, it seems that Rodenstock Trinars are among the more common variants. My particular version has a "Zecanar" branded lens, which may be of Rodenstock make, though it has a particular "hidden" talent that the Trinar variant lacks. More on that later.