Classic & Historical Cameras

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Roger W. Hicks Posted: Mar 01, 2009 0 comments

Sixty years is a long time, and it is easy to forget how different life was in those days. In particular, the normal format for snapshots was a black and white contact print just 21⁄4x31⁄4” (6x9cm nominal, 8-on-120 or 620). Enlargements (except “en-prints”) were rare and expensive, and in any case, many of the films of the day were grainy and unsharp when enlarged...

Jon Sienkiewicz Posted: 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...

Jason Schneider Posted: 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...

Jason Schneider Posted: 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...

Jason Schneider Posted: 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 Posted: 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)...

S. "Fritz" Takeda Posted: Sep 01, 2008 0 comments

At the 30th Used Camera Show 2008, held at the Matsuya department store, Ginza, Tokyo, sponsored by the Imported Camera Society (ICS), the traffic of visitors increased by about 10 percent over the last year, and one exhibitor said their sales grew some 15 percent compared to 2007. The increase of younger visitors, both men and women, was welcomed by most of the exhibitors because...

Fritz Takeda Posted: Nov 13, 2012 Published: Oct 01, 2012 3 comments
Once upon a time a camera wasn’t just a consumer electronic mediocrity but a gem in a show window reflecting brilliant illumination from its matte chromium skin. Such were the products on display at the 34th annual Tokyo Used Camera Show, which ran in the exhibition hall of Matsuya department store late this winter. Unlike many department stores in the US, Japanese department stores are premium boutiques of selected goods, usually with a big exhibition space as a traffic generator.
Fritz Takeda Posted: Jan 28, 2014 Published: Dec 01, 2013 0 comments
The 35th Tokyo Used Camera Show was held from February 20-25, 2013, in the Matsuya Department Store in Tokyo. Nearly 100 camera fans began a queue at 6pm the night before the opening at 10am, and it was a chilly evening indeed. Upon opening, these were the first people who ran up the escalators or jammed elevators to the 8th floor, the large exhibition hall where the show was held. Their quest? Perhaps to be the lucky man who would grab a rarity like the Leica KE-7A Civilian with an Elcan 50mm f/2, priced at $12,000.
Robert E. Mayer Posted: 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...

John Wade Posted: Jul 08, 2014 Published: Jun 01, 2014 0 comments
In the days before the 35mm Single Lens Reflex (SLR) rose to prominence, the 35mm viewfinder camera reigned supreme. Unlike the reflex viewing system of the SLR, this camera type used a separate optical viewfinder with a slightly different view to that of the lens. Some featured built-in coupled rangefinders to aid accurate focusing, and many stood at the center of versatile systems of lenses and accessories.
Roger W. Hicks Posted: Apr 01, 2009 0 comments

Never before have I bought a camera on the strength of its lens cap, but I could not resist the magnificently moustachio’d Gaul on the lens cap of the Gallus Derby Lux.

Sandy Ritz and Dean Ritz Posted: Jan 01, 2006 35 comments

The history of the Kardon camera is a story of forgotten American genius. The Kardon camera, manufactured in several variations from 1945-'54 represents an important American contribution to the then-state-of-the-art "miniature" camera. And it represents Peter Kardon's patriotic effort to answer to the US military's need for a high-quality 35mm camera...

John Wade Posted: Oct 01, 2008 0 comments

The Mecaflex was one of the smallest 35mm single lens reflexes ever made. It was designed by Heinz Kilfitt, who, in 1947, opened an optical company in Leichtenstein that subsequently relocated to Munich. It was here that he made a name for himself producing high-precision lenses that included the 40mm f/2.8 Kilar--the world's first 35mm macro lens--and the Zoomar...

John Wade Posted: Mar 22, 2012 Published: Feb 01, 2012 3 comments
When Leitz launched the Leica in 1925, they did more than start the 35mm revolution. They also influenced the way some rollfilm manufacturers began to consider smaller formats. One result was small rollfilm cameras that took their own unique sizes of extra-small film. The Ensign Midget was one of the best.

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