|MW's celebrity offering - taken from their website. No sure how long the link will be productive - depends on how quickly the cameras sell.|
Got a few bob burning a hole in your pocket? MW Classic Cameras have a little bit of celebrity on sale for what I reckon is a quite reasonable price.
They're offering two Fuji rangefinders used by Terence Donovan and the Queen's photog, Lord Lichfield, for just under £1200 - with provenance available. I wonder if it comes in the form of a written note beginning, "One can confirm that this camera did, indeed, belong to one's royal photographer, etc".
The fact that Lord Lichfield was the Queen's cousin must have helped him get the palace gig but he was a good photographer and, by all accounts, a decent bloke as well. He died nine years ago aged 66.
Terence Donovan was one of those photographers who played a big part in the Swinging '60s along with Bailey and the like. Sadly, he suffered badly from depression and took his own life at the age of 60 in 1996.
Their rangefinders are a GSW690 with a 65mm wide angle lens and the GW690 camera with a standard 90mm lens, both 6x9. Think big plastic Leicas. Actually, the 90mm lens is nearer the 40mm focal length on 35mm so if you're a fan of that angle of view, here's its big brother - a Leica CL on steroids. The 65mm is roughly equivalent to a 28mm in 35mm terms.
The lenses in these cameras are superb and the results from the big negatives are everything a non-large format photographer could wish for. If you want to do a McCullin and wander the landscape with just one camera and lens around your neck I can't think of a better bit of gear.
I'm not sure which photographer owned which camera but I'm guessing that Lord Lichfield picked up Terence's Fuji when he died.
MW's ad says, "Fujica GSW690, 65/5.6 Fujinon SW + Fujica GW690, 9/3.5 Fujinon 6x9 cameras in fitted case badged "Patrick Litchfield" (sic). Formerly Property of Terrence Donovan & Lord Litchfield - Provenance (sic) available."
I've no connection to MW other than having bought my Rollei SL66 outfit from them three years ago and can't say what these cameras would be like beyond MW's description. However, when you think what they fetch on Ebay, it doesn't seem like a lot to me to own a small piece of photographic history. Whether that sort of thing is of any interest to you is another matter.
You might also like:What Price George Harrison's Pentax?
George Harrison's Pentax Fails to Achieve Valuation