Beautiful Studio Portraits of Vintage Gear


There’s a reason the retro movement has such staunch supporters, and it’s not just because there are a lot of people with ironic facial hair intent on buying a camera that looks as old as possible. The old cameras were at once functional and beautiful, or at the very least beautiful, and an industry that prides itself on appreciating beauty can’t help but appreciate the beauty of their tools.

Treasured Cameras is a short photo series by photographer Julian Calverley that celebrates this aesthetic beauty in an ironic way: by taking portraits of vintage cameras using an iPhone.

The portraits, according to Calverley, are part of a promo piece that he’s in the process of shooting, and feature all of the favorite cameras in his collection. From top to bottom, you’ll find an Ebony Ti SV45TE, an ALPA SWA, a Nikon F2A, a Contax 645, an ALPA STC and a Nikon F3:







To see more of Calverley’s photography — including a lot of gorgeous behind-the-scenes pictures like these — head over to his blog, website, Instagram or VSCO Grid.

(via Gizmodo Reframe)

Update: As several readers astutely pointed out, it seems the EXIF data on the photos indicates these images were taken with a Phase One IQ180 and NOT an iPhone, although all descriptions by Mr. Calverley run contrary to this. We’re getting in touch with him to clear up the matter.

Update 2: Mr. Calverley has responded to our email, explaining why these images were tagged as ‘iPhone Only’ when they were in fact shot with an IQ180, and answering the tripod question while he’s at it:

The images are personal non-commissioned images from a project that I’m working for a promo piece, destined for large format print, so large format originals are required.

The studio set up originals were indeed shot on a Contax with and IQ180 back, these images were shot as cut-outs.

The images which actually ended up on my site and on Behance (which ended up on Gizmodo too) were replicated, and processed on the iPhone using the Snapseed app. These were then output from the iPhone and resized using CS6 for web… So actually there are two similar sets of images, and yes these images would show the EXIF data would have shown the IQ180. One which was for Instagram, and one which was re processed and used for larger destinations.

I hope that goes someway to explaining my reasoning and apologizing if your readers feel mislead.

If your readers feel mislead over all my iPhone work then I’d urge them to check the EXIF data on my iPhoneonly web section, where they’ll see all other images originated from, and were processed on the iPhone.

I saw a question on the tripod so for anyone interested the tripod head is the Acratech Ball Head.

He also added in a later email:

These iPhone processed images were originally destined for Instagram, nowhere else, which is the home of my iPhone work, and are always hash tagged #iphoneonly

It was only when people took an interest in them as a set of photographs of classic or treasured cameras that I decided to work up the larger images and post to Behance.

For me the focus was on them being a set of beautiful cameras photographs, and not as a set of cameras shot or processed on an iPhone.

Image credits: Photographs by Julian Calverley

  • Edgars Drusts

    EXIF states that the photos were shot with a Phase One IQ180.

  • 4x5er

    “Retro” is also a little misleading here. The only truly “old” cameras here are the two NIkon units. The Contax is iffy-but still used with digital backs and not discontinued too long ago. Alpa is a current company, as is ebony.

  • Glen Berry

    As Edgars Drusts mentioned, the EXIF data says all these images were shot with a Phase One IQ180, and an 80 mm lens, set to f16. It’s funny, that you misused the concept of “irony” in your article, but now the EXIF data provides some real irony.

  • Antoine R.T.

    Thanks to everyone who thought to check the EXIFs, I was starting to feel really inadequate about my #cameraporn snapshots on Instagram (no apologies).

  • Antoni Rafalski

    My old 6×9 plate / film folding camera. Made by KW in Germany. Very small when folded. Tessar 4.5 / 120 mm. I took may pictures with it. Acquired in Poznan, Poland in late 60’s or early 70’s.

  • BillyBob

    How many pixels across are the PetaPixel posts? 500ish? Lucky this guy used an 80 megapixel back for these shots, 7000×10000 pixels(approx). He would have been better off using an iphone, then he could have saved over $50,000 and still ended up with exactly the same shots. Or better still used a D800/D610/d7100/5DmkIII/mkII/6D/70D/Fuji/Olympus/Panasonic/Pentax/Sony or any other normally priced camera to shoot these shots and end up with the exact same results.

    Medium Format Digital was only relevant when the other choice was a 6 or 8mpix Dslr. At that point 22mpix was epic, and occasionally, actually needed. Now it is only for show.

  • olafs_osh

    here’s a complete-ish:


    Image Width = 1500 pixels
    Image Length = 1500 pixels
    Bits Per Sample = 8,8,8
    Photometric Interpretation = RGB (2)
    Camera Make = Phase One
    Camera Model = IQ180
    Picture Orientation = normal (1)
    Samples Per Pixel = 3
    X-Resolution = 720000/10000 ===> 72
    Y-Resolution = 720000/10000 ===> 72
    X/Y-Resolution Unit = inch (2)
    Software / Firmware Version = Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Macintosh)
    Last Modified Date/Time = 2014:02:21 16:42:41
    Y/Cb/Cr Positioning (Subsampling) = centered / center of pixel array (1)

    EXIF Sub IFD

    Exposure Time (1 / Shutter Speed) = 5177/465929 second ===> 1/89.99981 second ===> 0.01111 second
    Lens F-Number / F-Stop = 16/1 ===> ƒ/16
    Exposure Program = n/a (0)
    ISO Speed Ratings = 35
    EXIF Version = 0220
    Original Date/Time = 2014:01:28 11:11:30
    Digitization Date/Time = 2014:01:28 11:11:30
    Components Configuration = 0x01,0x02,0x03,0x00 / YCbCr
    Shutter Speed Value (APEX) = 6771/1043
    Shutter Speed (Exposure Time) = 1/90 second
    Aperture Value (APEX) = 8/1
    Aperture = ƒ/16
    Exposure Bias (EV) = 0/1 ===> 0
    Light Source / White Balance = flash (4)
    Focal Length = 80/1 mm ===> 80 mm

  • Stan B.

    That tripod head is no slouch either- looks like something out of a Renaissance drawing room!

  • s

    tripod head is acratech. its less than 10 years old and still in production.
    same goes for tripod. although the successor replaced it last year

  • dwsdqwedqwed

    if they are so much into film.. why do they take images of old gear with a digital camera? that doesn´t puzzle you?
    nobody lieks to shoot film…. otherwise these images would be shoot on film.
    it´s only because these guys think, when they SAY they love film, that they are special.

  • Jochen

    he is a liar… exif says phase one.
    apple pays him i guess…..

  • Larissa

    That tripod and ball head are just as equally beautiful. Well chosen!

  • mary

    what a bunch of silly nonsensical assumptions.

  • wweqwe

    shut up moron.

  • Andy D

    Your comment is a bit misplaced but I suspect your last sentence is 80% true. A lot of people also just like vintage items and processes. It may feel nostalgic to them. I can empathize to a certain extent, but why live in the past when better technology shows up. Should we start appreciating Neanderthal hand paintings and cave art just cos it’s old school? (Answer: NO!)

  • Zos Xavius

    its beautiful. i want one. too bad I probably can’t afford it lol.

  • Guest

    i think the joke’s on you because he did in fact use an iphone. Also by that logic we should only be shooting with 2mp compacts. I mean its big enough to post on petapixel so surely good enough right?

  • Zos Xavius

    so are these iphone shots or not? why change the exif? and if not, why use and iphone hashtag?

  • Don McMahan

    I might re-read it or maybe I’ll just wait for another commenter to correct me, but I don’t think anyone said anything about loving film, I think the point is that the creator of these images loves old cameras as objects of beauty.

  • Glen Berry

    So, what is “ironic facial hair”, exactly? How does it differ from normal facial hair?

  • joshmolina2

    Yes, and I’m sure painters who prefer oil paints would never touch acrylics. and people who play the acoustic drums would never bother with a drum machine. This is asinine. Sure, there are some artist who find one medium they like and stick only to that medium, but others like to experiment and work with many different mediums. Thats kind of one of the wonderful things about art, the lack of arbitrary rules.

  • rose maryawn

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    workin part time on a home computer… go to this website F­i­s­c­a­l­P­o­s­t­.­ℂ­o­m

  • Ignatius

    You really think that the differences between cave paintings and modern art, both with regards to the tools and the cultural background of their creators are the same as the differences between film and digital? IMHO, most of the cameras pictured there could give you better results than many digital cameras on the market today, but at the end is like comparing apples and oranges.

  • Andy D

    The digital ecosystem offers significantly more precise and convenient controls in terms of image capture and post-processing. Other than the nostalgia that film provides (who am I to dictate what one enjoys) it seems like a constricted and pointless pursuit to me.

  • Becca Gulliver

    I liek to shoot film and I know of quite a few other people who liek to shoot film as well. So that blows your assumption that ‘nobody lieks to shoot film’ out of the water.

  • Jimmy Fartpants

    Yo Dawg! I heard you like to take photos with cameras, so here’s some photos of cameras that you can use to take some more photos of cameras.

  • Tiktian C

    Completely Agree,
    The Contax 645 is an autofocus medium format camera designed for digital use, and the ebony is a fairly modern make.

    I think it would have been overall more authentic with an Arca Swiss Monoball, Foba Super Ball, or Graf Studio Ball, the Acratech ball head is another very modern design.

    Beautiful pictures none the less.

  • 4×5 shooter

    as far as product shots go these are fairly unremarkable. Lighting could be much better, especially the Ebony shot. With that much gear you would think a side or back light would be out of the question ..

  • Eugenijus Barzdžius

    Hasselblad is missing :/

  • ajfudge

    I like the tripod he used. Looks sophisticated. :)