Classic Camera Reviews

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John Wade  |  Jun 25, 2012  |  First Published: May 01, 2012  |  1 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.

Steve Meltzer  |  May 06, 2015  |  0 comments

Photographer Josef Sudek is called the Poet of Prague because in tens of thousands of luminous images he captured the timeless soul of this city that is known as “The Jewel of Europe.” Sudek ceaselessly photographed the city’s streets, its forests and its atmosphere. But unlike Eugene Atget’s photgraphs of Paris, Sudek’s images transcend place and time and are meditative visions of light itself.

Roger W. Hicks  |  Jul 01, 2003  |  0 comments

Mechanical precision has an almost sensual pleasure of its own. Think of the buttery wind-on of a 1950s Leica M3, or the way that the lens panel of an Alpa 12 glides into place, then fits solid as a rock. Recently...

Rick Shimonkevitz  |  Aug 01, 2007  |  0 comments

As we journey further into cyberspace, it is inevitable that the oldest of methods for forming an image has found resurgence. Pinhole photography can be both fun and a serious pursuit. Notice the introduction of make-your-own pinhole camera kits as well as manufactured cameras for small and large formats. There is a published journal devoted to the craft and several websites...

Robert E. Mayer  |  Feb 01, 2008  |  1 comments

There were two models of the versatile Mamiya Press medium format rangefinder cameras in the 1960s and '70s, the Universal Press and the Press Super 23. These cameras were designed to be more compact and in many respects more versatile than the bellows type 4x5 and 2x3 press cameras of that era, such as the Speed Graphic, Busch Pressman, and Linhof Technica. The main...

Dan Havlik  |  Apr 27, 2018  |  0 comments

Yes, there’s a ton of great new photography gear out there that can do just about every trick under the sun. But do you really need to spend all your hard-earned cash on a fresh new camera rig when something older might be good enough?

John Wade  |  Jan 23, 2015  |  0 comments

Mention Minolta to pre-digital photographers and thoughts turn to high quality, often revolutionary, 35mm Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras. It was Minolta, for example, that introduced the XD-11 (known as the XD-7 outside the US) in 1977, the first camera to feature both shutter- and aperture-priority modes. And it was Minolta that launched the Maxxum 5000 (Minolta 5000 outside the US) in 1985, the first SLR to feature body-integral autofocus.

 

Jason Schneider  |  Apr 24, 2019  |  0 comments

I confess to being a cantankerous old coot who cut his photographic eyeteeth deep in the analog era.

Cynthia Boylan  |  Aug 11, 2014  |  0 comments

A new show titled A Heritage of Cameras, which shows off some dazzling classic camera models, is currently on view in the Airport Meeting Place of the Lambert St. Louis International Airport until November 30th.

Mukul Dube with Donald Goldberg  |  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  |  Jul 20, 2017  |  0 comments

The announcer booms, “A new camera bursts onto the scene…” while the audience watches a Minolta SR-T 101 appear to explode and then—like magic—reassemble and become the revolutionary Minolta 110 Zoom SLR.  

Jason Schneider  |  Dec 10, 2015  |  7 comments

I’ve been collecting cameras for (ahem) well over half a century. But unlike many of my fellow film camera fanatics, I actually use these things to make pictures, which is a lot more fun. That’s why all the cameras on my 10 Favorites list below are prime, high-performance user-collectibles capable of outstanding image quality that can give those digital upstarts a run for the money. Yes, shooting film is a lot less convenient, and more expensive than shooting digital, but if you enjoy being a contrarian, iconoclast or outlier, being a Film Dinosaur is a great way to go.

Jason Schneider  |  Apr 26, 2018  |  0 comments

I’m a fanatic when it comes to classic 35mm rangefinder cameras. And based on 50+ years of hands-on experience, I’m confident that the very best analog rangefinder cameras do embody something special that’s mostly lacking in today’s digital marvels.

Jason Schneider  |  Mar 14, 2018  |  0 comments

The 10 classic cameras on this list are all beautiful objects capable of taking superb pictures. They’re also outstanding examples of brilliantly integrated camera design, and each in its own way is a technological masterpice.

Roger W. Hicks  |  Jan 01, 2006  |  0 comments

In accordance with my predictions that medium format will move increasingly toward the specialist or niche market, there are no fewer than eight new panoramic rollfilm cameras since last year: one of the most active sectors in traditional silver-halide photography. In reverse alphabetical order, they are Walker/Canham, Shenhao (two models), Noblex, Gilde, and Fotoman (three...

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