This Camera, a Lord 5D, is identical to
my first "real" camera
My first "real" camera was a Lord 5D range-finder type that I purchased used during the winter of 1963-64. I paid $24 for it. To get a little perspective of how much that would be in current U.S. dollars (after 50 years of inflation) consider this: At the time I bought this camera, it cost 5 cents to buy a first-class U.S. postage stamp. $24 would buy 480 stamps. Today (November 2014), a first-class postage stamp costs 49 cents. 480 stamps today therefore costs $235.20. It is, therefore, fair to say that I paid approximately $235 (in today's money) to buy my version of a used "poor man's Leica."
When I was a young boy, I had a point and shoot, Kodak Brownie type of camera that had one fixed shutter speed and one fixed aperture. To use it you had to be in bright sunlight and "put the sun behind you", then point and shoot. My parents had a Kodak folding camera that allowed setting different f/stops and shutter speeds. When I was a teenager, I was fascinated by these adjustments and taught myself how to use them. There was no rangefinder, however, and you had to measure or guess the camera to subject distance and set the distance on the lens scale. I started reading photography magazines and drooling over the camera advertisements. I used my parents folding camera until I went off to college. (I even tried to make an enlarger out of it, but that's another story.)
At the time I purchased this Lord 5D camera, the leading professional 35mm cameras were the Nikon F and the Leica M3. Using my postage stamp inflation logic, either one of these cameras would have cost close to $4000 in today's equivalent dollars. Either one of these cameras was totally out of the question with my budget (I was in college at the time), but my used Lord 5D (my "poor man's Leica") served me very well for over 10 years.
This camera was built like a tank, and had a fixed 40mm, f/1.8 lens of very high quality. Focusing was very accurate with the built-in rangefinder. Its leaf shutter had speeds from 1 second to 1/500 second, plus B (Bulb). Back then there were no built in light meters. I shot a lot of rolls of 35mm Tri-X pan film with this camera, and I was able to make some very high quality 16 X 20 inch prints from the negatives. Occasionally, I shot some Kodachrome II and Kodachrome 25 color slides with it, but that was quite expensive compared to the black and white Tri-X. I loaded my own 35mm cassettes with Tri-X film from 100 foot long rolls, using a bulk loader.
In the mid-1970's, I bought my first SLR camera, a Nikon Ft2. Shortly after that, I gave the Lord 5D camera away. Not long afterwards, I regretted giving it away. The Nikon SLR was a very good camera, but so was the Lord 5D. There were numerous times that the extremely quiet shutter and the ability to sync with electronic flash all the way up to 1/500 second would have come in handy. Plus not having the old camera was like having lost an old friend.
Not long ago, I found another, identical Lord 5D on eBay, and I bought it, just for sentimental reasons.