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A South African Photographer Turned Vintage Cameras Into Fine Art Subjects

A brief snapshot.

South African-based photographer Sarel Van Staden has a passion for creating images using artificial light sources. The visual practice allows him freedom to shoot anywhere and anytime to frame works of art. Here he takes us down memory lane showcasing three early lens-powerhouses in very cool form. 

Leica II

First introduced in 1932, the II was Leica's first shooter with a built-in rangefinder and we think it's fair enough to say it helped pave the way for the German optics enterprise empire. Fun fact: there are known to be four gold-plated II's out in the wild, one of them sold at a Hong Kong auction for $HK4 million. 

Nikon F1

The revolutionizing F1 from Nikon was quite the photographic achievement back in 1959. It was Nikon's first SLR camera and a crafted culmination of advanced components consolidated into one body–the first of its kind. 

Leica IIIF 

Released in 1950 in time for Christmas, the IIIF was the first Leica equipped with built in flash-synchronization. Hardcore collectors refer to them as the Red Dial, aka RD and put forth a pretty penny for them now. Could you imagine unwrapping one of these back in the '50s?