John Wade

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John Wade Posted: Feb 07, 2014 Published: Jan 01, 2014 0 comments
America did not invent photography—that honor must go to the French—but US camera manufacturers can take credit for introducing simple ways of taking pictures and bringing photography to the masses. Along the way, many also came up with often strange and sometimes ugly designs.
John Wade Posted: 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...

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...

John Wade Posted: Jun 25, 2012 Published: May 01, 2012 5 comments
Polaroid was not the first company to try instant photography. Back in the daguerreotype and wet plate days, patents were granted for cameras in which the plate could be developed inside the body. But it wasn’t until 1864 that the first commercially successful instant picture camera came to the market.
John Wade Posted: Sep 05, 2014 1 comments
In the days before digital it wasn’t uncommon for photographers to go out shooting with two or more types of film at the same time. For some, it was to give a choice between color or black and white. For others, it was the need for different film speeds. Short of rewinding a film midway through a roll, removing it and reloading, there were two options: carry more than one camera; or, if your camera took interchangeable lenses, carry a single range of lenses with two or more compatible bodies.
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.
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.
John Wade Posted: Mar 07, 2013 Published: Feb 01, 2013 24 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 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?

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