Classic & Historical Cameras
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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...

John Wade Mar 07, 2013 Published: Feb 01, 2013 6 comments
The Voigtländer Prominent was one of the most sophisticated cameras of the 1950s—also among the most complicated, and just a bit eccentric. It was launched in 1951, a time when 35mm rangefinder cameras were at their peak. Yet it anticipated the approaching popularity of single lens reflexes by offering devices that converted it from rangefinder to reflex use and surrounding itself with interchangeable lenses, viewfinders, close-up attachments, filters, and other accessories that made it a true system camera.
John Wade Jul 08, 2011 Published: Jun 01, 2011 4 comments
When it was launched in 1956, advertisements of the time claimed the Rittreck to be the world’s most versatile Single Lens Reflex (SLR). It’s a statement that would be difficult to argue with. How many other SLRs can you name that offered interchangeable lenses, interchangeable backs, close-up facilities, a choice of four different formats, and the option of shooting on roll film or cut film?
Jason Schneider Apr 01, 2006 0 comments

Renowned "camera collector" Jason Schneider is out there scouring camera stores, Internet sites, and camera shows to bring you the best bargains in user collectibles, recent gems, and vintage gear.
--Editor

Presuming you haven't been meditating in a cave in Tibet for the past few years, you know that the prices of medium format...

Jason Schneider May 01, 2006 0 comments

While I am hardly a charter member of the anti-digitist (I shoot about 70 percent digital these days, mostly with a Canon EOS 20D, and I'm currently nursing a bad case of 5D lust) I will confess to being a long-time Nikon nut. When I acquired my first Nikon F in the early 1960s, I thought I had died and gone to heaven, and there are at least half a dozen Nikon cameras on my...

Jason Schneider Jul 01, 2006 0 comments

Before launching into paeans of praise for the Nikon F, which, in my arrogant opinion, may well be the most important 35mm SLR of the 20th century, I must confess to being a tiny bit biased. When I acquired my first F as a teen-ager back in 1961 (alas after trading in a mint Leica IIIg with a 50mm f/2.8 collapsible Elmar) I knew I had finally arrived. I strutted around lower...

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...

Rick Shimonkevitz Mar 01, 2005 0 comments

Imagine a hand holdable single lens reflex camera that has front movements similar to a view camera to allow control of plane of focus. If you think that's a pretty modern concept, you are only about 100 years too late. The Soho Reflex camera, made from 1905 up to the 1940s, was just such an item. Manufactured by Kershaw of Leeds, England, and marketed under several...

John Wade Aug 27, 2013 Published: Jul 01, 2013 1 comments
The Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) design involved two lenses, one to record its image on film, the other to reflect its image to a focusing screen. The style dates back to the days of plate cameras, but came to the fore with the launch of the Rolleiflex in 1928.
John Wade Mar 01, 2010 0 comments

In 1947, the English Wray Optical Company took out a patent on an amazing and innovative 35mm Single Lens Reflex (SLR). It had an eye-level penta-prism viewfinder, instant return mirror, Through The Lens (TTL) metering, and a built-in clockwork motor drive—four features never before seen on this type of camera.

The design was acquired from an...

Roger W. Hicks Nov 08, 2012 Published: Oct 01, 2012 2 comments
Limited production, exquisite fit and finish, and usability, too: how much more does it take to qualify a camera as a classic, or a collectible? Maybe a good dash of eccentricity; and the NPC 195 qualifies on all counts.

The fortunes of NPC (Newton Plastics Corporation) rose and fell with those of Polaroid. They were probably best known to most photographers for their Polaroid proofing backs using the late Marty Forscher’s patents for optical-fiber transfer of the image, though they also made a superb tripod head of unique design (the Pro-Head), a microscope camera, and more. They did a lot of government work, including for NASA, but a few years ago, after decades of success, they closed their doors.

S. "Fritz" Takeda Sep 01, 2009 0 comments

The 31st Used Camera Show 2009 took place for six days earlier this year at the Exhibition Floor of the Matsuya department store, Ginza, Tokyo.

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...

S. "Fritz" Takeda Jul 01, 2006 0 comments

Tokyo, Japan--Ginza is Tokyo's Fifth Avenue. Cartier, Chaumet, Dior, Hermes, Tiffany, Harry Winston, and all the other flamboyant luxury stores are there. Department stores are there as well, but unlike their counterparts in the Western world, they are quality shops with many chauffeur-driven limousines in the parking lot. One of the most fashionable department stores...

John Wade Nov 15, 2013 Published: Oct 01, 2013 0 comments
Cameras with built-in meters were not rare in the 1960s, but the problem with camera meters before the Topcon RE Super was that the cell took in a different view than that of the lens. Using a standard lens that was mostly okay, but if a wide-angle or telephoto lens were fitted, changing the field of view and the part of the subject needing to be accurately metered, it was a different matter.