Classic Camera Reviews

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Robert E. Mayer  |  Apr 01, 2007  |  0 comments

When the Canon F-1 SLR 35mm camera system was introduced the spring of 1971 it was a full-blown system containing a brand-new, truly professional camera plus every extra accessory that any photographer could need or desire. The entire system was dramatically introduced at the unique Photo Expo '71 held at McCormick Place in Chicago. In the early '70s Canon products...

John Wade  |  Jul 08, 2014  |  First 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.

S. "Fritz" Takeda  |  Apr 01, 2005  |  0 comments

The question posed above was the first reaction to the news about the new Zeiss Ikon rangefinder 35mm in Japan, and perhaps in the US and the rest of the world, when the new camera was unveiled at photokina 2004. But this was wrong, because it was a completely new camera proposed by Carl Zeiss AG.

 

At photokina 2002 in Cologne, Dr. Scherle, Vice...

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.

Jason Schneider  |  May 01, 2007  |  5 comments

Horseman is a name associated with high-quality, large format Japanese view and press cameras and lenses, but it's also noted for innovative designs. An excellent example is the Horseman 3D, the company's first 35mm stereo rangefinder camera. Basically it's a Hasselblad Xpan II that's been modified by installing a unit containing two 38mm f/2.8 Super...

Sandy Ritz and Dean Ritz  |  Jan 01, 2006  |  16 comments

The history of the Kardon camera is a story of forgotten American genius. The Kardon camera, manufactured in several variations from 1945-'54 represents an important American contribution to the then-state-of-the-art "miniature" camera. And it represents Peter Kardon's patriotic effort to answer to the US military's need for a high-quality 35mm camera...

John Wade  |  Jul 13, 2015  |  2 comments

Ninety years ago, at the 1925 Leipzig Spring Fair in Germany, a camera was launched that was destined to change the face of photography. This was a time when it was still common for glass plates to be used in cameras, and those that took roll film were thought of as miniatures. So imagine the culture shock when a still photography camera was produced to take 35mm movie film.

Roger W. Hicks  |  Dec 01, 2004  |  0 comments

All Photos © 2004, Roger W. Hicks, All Rights Reserved

 

The Leica MP is the greatest Leica for years--maybe decades. If you want a classic all-mechanical Leica, and you can afford a new one, this is the one to buy. That's all there is to it.

So much for the short review: how about a longer one? Well, it is best summed up in three words:...

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...

John Wade  |  Mar 22, 2012  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2012  |  2 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.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Jan 01, 2010  |  1 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.

John Wade  |  Aug 19, 2015  |  0 comments

You’ve seen it in films and on television: the spy breaks into the villain’s office, removes a tiny camera from his jacket pocket and begins shooting pictures of secret plans.

Roger W. Hicks & Frances E. Schultz  |  Apr 01, 2006  |  0 comments

The Zeiss Ikon--hereafter ZI--has all the features you might hope for, plus optional autoexposure. At $1617, the body lists between Leica and Voigtländer. In features, it goes head-to-head with the Leica M7. Because we received the camera and no fewer than six lenses--15mm f/2.8, 21mm f/2.8, 25mm f/2.8, 28mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2, and 50mm f/2--we have split...

Stan Trzoniec  |  Apr 01, 2005  |  0 comments

Photos © 2004, Stan Trzoniec, All Rights Reserved

 

In a world of increasing digital dominance, Nikon has again taken a bold step and introduced a camera that should keep film-based photographers happy for some time to come. Call it a move up for those who never had the privilege of owning a premium camera or a huge upgrade for photographers who now feel they've...

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...

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