Classic & Historical Cameras

Sort By: Post Date | Title | Publish Date
Roger W. Hicks Posted: Dec 09, 2011 Published: Nov 01, 2011 2 comments
It’s a dream specification. Top-flight construction; about the same weight and bulk as a professional D-SLR, though rather more convenient in shape; interchangeable lenses; camera movements; choice of ground-glass or viewfinder viewing; and a great big juicy 6x9cm format. It’s finished in beautiful Morocco-grain leather and the controls and fittings are in nickel and black-lacquered brass. It certainly sounds both desirable and usable.
John Wade Posted: 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?
Tim Verthein Posted: Mar 01, 2011 0 comments

If you’re a baby boomer (and even if you’re not) you might remember the ads in the comic books, science and handyman magazines that touted “Secret Spy Cameras. Fits in the palm of your hand…” And if you’re like me, you mailed off your allowance or lawn mowing money so you could take secret photos of your family and friends. The camera you received was barely...

Mukul Dube with Donald Goldberg Posted: Feb 01, 2011 0 comments

Those who read Popular Photography magazine in the years from 1972 to 1987 will be familiar with the name and with part of the work of Norman Goldberg, who was its technical director over that period. They and others may also know his book Camera Technology: The Dark Side of the Lens (Academic Press, 1992).

Goldberg is perhaps best known, in the Leica world, as the creator of the Camcraft...

Jon Sienkiewicz Posted: Jan 01, 2011 11 comments

Long before the Mind of Minolta popularized autofocus SLRs with the introduction of the Maxxum 7000 there was the XD.

The year was 1977 and Minolta Camera Company, Ltd. was riding high. Fueled by the success of the SR-T series and the inimitable XE-7, Minolta launched the XD family, beginning with the XD-11 (labeled simply XD in Japan and XD-7 in Europe). The XD-11 was the first...

John Wade Posted: Nov 01, 2010 0 comments

In the days before digital, most film cameras had built-in, battery-driven motor drives. But cameras with motor drives were around long before the electronic age, the only difference being that they ran by clockwork.

Say clockwork to collectors and Robot is the name that springs to mind. These cameras were the brainchild of Heinz Kilfitt, a German watchmaker and prolific...

Jason Schneider Posted: Aug 01, 2010 2 comments

A while back I had picked my top 20 cameras of all time, a topic that still draws comment on the Shutterbug Forums. While few Shutterbug readers venomously assailed my choices or impugned my historical accuracy, practically everyone posting on The Top 20 Cameras of All Time Forum was rooting for their favorite cameras, or complaining that their gems weren’t included.

This...

John Wade Posted: 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...

Jon Sienkiewicz Posted: Jan 01, 2010 2 comments

The inside joke at Minolta was that the “CL” in Leica CL stood for “Cheap Leica.” Surely owners of Leica M4s and M5s felt the same way—even though it wasn’t true.

S. "Fritz" Takeda Posted: 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.

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

It is very easy for collectors to get hung up on cameras and lenses, and to forget that photography is a lot more than this. Many small and not-so-small accessories are technically fascinating in their own right, and remind us how things used to be in an era less affluent but more diverse than our own. For the collector, or simply for those with an interest in the past, they have the twin...

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.

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...

Roger W. Hicks Posted: Feb 01, 2009 6 comments

The Germans notoriously have a word for the guilty pleasure of enjoying another’s misfortune or embarrassment: Schadenfreude.

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...

Pages

X
Enter your Shutterbug username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.
Loading