Ilott Vintage's Beautiful Restored Wood Veneer Film Cameras

Ilott Vintage's Beautiful Restored Wood Veneer Film Cameras

Gregory Han
May 31, 2012

The Argus C3, aka "The Brick" or "The Harry Potter" camera, is a fairly easy to find vintage rangefinder model beloved for its rugged durability, chunky mechanical design, and storied history. I found the camera shown above a few months ago on the dusty shelves of an antique shop during a road trip up along Central California. I found it all too easy to part with $27 to bring it home, primarily for the C3's aesthetic quality rather than any strong intention to return to shooting film. But until now, I didn't realize people are were refurbishing them into beautiful, and expensive, working limited edition film shooters.

Ilott Vintage takes apart and rebuilds vintage rangefinder film cameras, giving them a beautifully restored wood veneer finish alongside repairing the innards to perfect working order. Alongside the Argus C3, Ilott also restores the Canon Canonet, Canon Canonet QL17, Minolta Hi-Matic 9, Konica Auto S2, Minolta Hi-Matic 7/7s. No arguing the result of all that fine care is beautiful, but it must be a tiny niche of film camera lovers willing to part with $1,850-$2,250 for these examples of photographic revivalism.

I think for now, I'll keep my Argus C3 with original black leather case, with no promises I'll ever load it with film, but forever loving it's brickish charms.

Images: Gregory Han/Ilott Vintage

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