Classic Camera Reviews

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S. "Fritz" Takeda  |  Jul 01, 2006  |  0 comments

Tokyo, Japan--Ginza is Tokyo's Fifth Avenue. Cartier, Chaumet, Dior, Hermes, Tiffany, Harry Winston, and all the other flamboyant luxury stores are there. Department stores are there as well, but unlike their counterparts in the Western world, they are quality shops with many chauffeur-driven limousines in the parking lot. One of the most fashionable department stores...

Jason Schneider  |  Jul 01, 2006  |  0 comments

Before launching into paeans of praise for the Nikon F, which, in my arrogant opinion, may well be the most important 35mm SLR of the 20th century, I must confess to being a tiny bit biased. When I acquired my first F as a teen-ager back in 1961 (alas after trading in a mint Leica IIIg with a 50mm f/2.8 collapsible Elmar) I knew I had finally arrived. I strutted around lower...

Jason Schneider  |  May 01, 2006  |  0 comments

While I am hardly a charter member of the anti-digitist (I shoot about 70 percent digital these days, mostly with a Canon EOS 20D, and I'm currently nursing a bad case of 5D lust) I will confess to being a long-time Nikon nut. When I acquired my first Nikon F in the early 1960s, I thought I had died and gone to heaven, and there are at least half a dozen Nikon cameras on my...

Roger W. Hicks & Frances E. Schultz  |  Apr 01, 2006  |  1 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...

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

Just when you thought the R2 was the pinnacle of Voigtländer Bessa design, along came the R2A and R3A. They differ from the R2 in several ways, most notably the adoption of an electronic shutter allowing Aperture Priority automation; this is combined with a new meter. Other significant differences are a revised (and easier-to-use) rewind crank; the addition of a back lock...

Jason Schneider  |  Apr 01, 2006  |  0 comments

Renowned "camera collector" Jason Schneider is out there scouring camera stores, Internet sites, and camera shows to bring you the best bargains in user collectibles, recent gems, and vintage gear.
--Editor

Presuming you haven't been meditating in a cave in Tibet for the past few years, you know that the prices of medium format...

Jason Schneider  |  Mar 01, 2006  |  0 comments

This month we begin a new column with renowned "camera collector" Jason Schneider. Jason will be out there scouring camera stores, Internet sites, and camera shows to bring you the best bargains in user collectibles, recent gems, and vintage gear.
--Editor

 

Is there a camera enthusiast on the planet who hasn't pored over the...

Robert E. Mayer  |  Mar 01, 2006  |  3 comments

This look at the history and a few of the better-known early products of Argus Cameras was gleaned primarily from the new book "Argomania: A Look At Argus Cameras And The Company That Made Them" by Henry J. Gambino. As Gambino says, "How many other companies have a museum devoted solely to its history and can also boast of a large, thriving, worldwide collectors...

Peter Dechert  |  Feb 01, 2006  |  0 comments

1950 was an important year for Canon. As they continued to make the Model IIB, incorporating some changes that resulted in an improved camera, they also produced several trial versions, between serial 50000 and serial 50200, of the models that later became the Canon IV and Canon III.

 

Most, if not all, of the concepts first reflected in these new 200...

Frances E. Schultz  |  Jan 01, 2006  |  0 comments

If a picture is really brilliant, you don't have to worry about grain or sharpness or anything else: to quote Mike Gristwood, late of Ilford, "How much good would it do you to know the technical details of any one of Henri Cartier-Bresson's pictures?"

By the same token, if a picture is really bad, no amount of technical brilliance is going...

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...

Sandy Ritz and Dean Ritz  |  Jan 01, 2006  |  29 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...

Roger W. Hicks  |  Nov 01, 2005  |  0 comments

There's an old saying: If something appears to be too good to be true, it probably is. But sometimes you get lucky.

I couldn't resist the Pentacon sixTL that I saw in FotoSkoda in Prague. I won't say that FotoSkoda is the best camera store in the world, because there are too many other contenders, including many Shutterbug advertisers. It is...

Heiner Henninges Shutterbug European Correspondent  |  Aug 01, 2005  |  0 comments

Germany is a good place for photographic camera enthusiasts to go. This is true for people who are looking for used cameras that they can buy at reasonable prices as well as for classic collectibles. Top models of the most famous brands dominate the market for used and classic cameras, with Leica in highest demand. But other high-value and professional products made by Canon...

Roger W. Hicks  |  Jun 01, 2005  |  0 comments

Here's an accessory from the 1930s which is probably easier to use today, in the digital era, than when it was new. It's quite simply a click-stopped panoramic head (Panoramkopf), Leitz telegraphic code name FARUX, with--this is the good bit--interchangeable rings for different focal lengths. FARUX came with a 5cm ring but you could also buy the accessory...

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