Classic & Historical Cameras
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Jon Sienkiewicz 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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...

S. "Fritz" Takeda 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...

Jason Schneider Aug 01, 2008 Published: Jul 08, 2008 0 comments

This is the final installment of our Top 20 Cameras of All Time created by contributor Jason Schneider. To say the least this series has stirred controversy and compliments, the former from those who have decried the lack of their picks on the list and the latter from those who praise the scholarly and consummate effort of the task. You can read all the comments from fellow...

Jason Schneider Jul 01, 2008 1 comments

We took a break from the Top 20 Countdown last month to bring you all the great news from this year's PMA Show. In this issue we'll continue to count down the next five; be sure to pick up next month's issue for the Top Five and our completion of this amazing work by classic camera expert par excellence Jason Schneider. As we continue this series be sure to weigh...

Jason Schneider May 01, 2008 0 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. We began in our April 2008 issue with the first five in the list, and now bring you the next group as we work our way down to the Top Camera of All-Time. Please check our Classic Camera archive on the...