Classic & Historical Cameras
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Jason Schneider Apr 01, 2008 1 comments

Contributor Jason Schneider is a world-recognized expert on Classic Cameras, so when he approached us with the idea to present a Top 20 Cameras of All-Time list we readily agreed. Rather than give you the entire list in one issue--which would probably have taken the lion's share of our editorial pages--we decided to present the list in countdown form, starting...

John Wade Apr 01, 2008 1 comments

In 1961, when the Canon 7 was introduced, its revolutionary new standard lens was advertised as being four times brighter than the human eye. How such a thing could be measured is somewhat questionable, but what is undoubtedly true is that the lens was a lot bigger, and with a much wider aperture, than had hitherto been seen on a 35mm camera.

This was the now...

Roger W. Hicks Mar 01, 2008 0 comments

This is, by any standards, an unusual camera: a special edition of a special edition. It's the rare (and otherwise discontinued) Nikon S-mount version of the all-mechanical Bessa R2, with minor cosmetic changes to reflect its Nikon Historical Society status, and it comes with the highly desirable and extremely retro-looking 50mm f/3.5 S-Heliar. At $999 it's not cheap...

Jason Schneider Feb 01, 2008 0 comments

Adventurous souls and early adopters were shooting with 35mm SLRs (namely the Kine Exakta) as far back as 1936, but it wasn't until the late '50s and early '60s that 35mm SLRs really began to dominate the serious amateur and professional camera market. No other camera type offered the SLR's supreme optical flexibility and a penta-prism finder with...

Robert E. Mayer Feb 01, 2008 1 comments

There were two models of the versatile Mamiya Press medium format rangefinder cameras in the 1960s and '70s, the Universal Press and the Press Super 23. These cameras were designed to be more compact and in many respects more versatile than the bellows type 4x5 and 2x3 press cameras of that era, such as the Speed Graphic, Busch Pressman, and Linhof Technica. The main...

S. "Fritz" Takeda Oct 01, 2007 1 comments

Some 15,000 visitors attended the 29th Used Camera Show sponsored by ICS (Import Camera Society) at Matsuya department store's convention hall, in which 19 leading used camera shops in Tokyo participated earlier this year. According to the show's organizers, the show generated some 15 percent more traffic compared with last year, despite a predicted decline in the...

Rick Shimonkevitz Aug 01, 2007 0 comments

As we journey further into cyberspace, it is inevitable that the oldest of methods for forming an image has found resurgence. Pinhole photography can be both fun and a serious pursuit. Notice the introduction of make-your-own pinhole camera kits as well as manufactured cameras for small and large formats. There is a published journal devoted to the craft and several websites...

Roger W. Hicks Jun 01, 2007 0 comments

It's made to use with your classic Leica; it's a long-established accessory, first introduced in 1931; it's in gorgeous black wrinkle paint, exquisitely engraved with the E. LEITZ WETZLAR logo; there's a beautiful red safelight glass built into the back; it's in mint condition; it's boxed, with instructions; when it was new, probably 50 years...

Jason Schneider Jun 01, 2007 0 comments

If I have any guiding principle that informs my desultory scribblings it is simply this: "Don't write about things you haven't actually tried yourself." It's a great way to avoid "foot in mouth" disease, and as the sages are wont to say, experience is the greatest teacher. So, before holding forth (as I did in my last column) on the...

Rick Shimonkevitz May 01, 2007 3 comments

Graphic cameras were made in 21/4x31/4, 31/4x41/4, 4x5, and 5x7" film sizes, either with (Speed) or without a rear focal plane shutter (Century, Crown, and Super). The 4x5 is often recommended as a starter large format camera and many are still in use today. The 3x4s and 5x7s are somewhat rare and collectible, but what about the 2x3s? The 2x3 Crown (leather-covered mahogany)...

Jason Schneider May 01, 2007 0 comments

With prices of all film cameras at historic lows, now is as good a time as any to glom onto that classic screwmount Leica you've always wanted!

When it comes to embodying the classic Bauhaus dictum "form follows function," nothing can beat a vintage screwmount Leica. From the late version of the Leica I or C of 1930/31 (the first model with...

Robert E. Mayer Apr 01, 2007 0 comments

When the Canon F-1 SLR 35mm camera system was introduced the spring of 1971 it was a full-blown system containing a brand-new, truly professional camera plus every extra accessory that any photographer could need or desire. The entire system was dramatically introduced at the unique Photo Expo '71 held at McCormick Place in Chicago. In the early '70s Canon products...

Jason Schneider Apr 01, 2007 0 comments

The redoubtable Nikon F3 was scorned by traditionalists in 1980, but variants of this modern classic remained in production for over 21 years--longer than any other pro 35mm SLR.

When the sleek, ergonomically contoured, ruggedly reliable Nikon F3 debuted back in '80, it was greeted with cheers and jeers. Some long-time Nikon fans were gratified to have an...

Jon Sienkiewicz Mar 01, 2007 1 comments

Sooner or later, you're going to be tempted to buy a product that's labeled "refurbished." It will probably be the lower price that attracts you--after all, there is one and only one reason to even consider "refurb" and that is to save money. Depending on where you shop, you may be led to believe that the refurbished item is as good as...

Roger W. Hicks Mar 01, 2007 0 comments

One reason why digital camera users may hesitate to make the switch to film--better quality, proven archival keeping, and lower cost--is that the cameras aren't complicated enough. For example, my Nikon D70 has around 24 buttons, levers, knobs, dials, trap doors, and switches, many of them multifunctional, plus an LCD read-out and a screen on the back. For...