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Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by cliveh, Feb 15, 2013.
Was Oskar Barnack the best 35mm camera designer of all time?
Hard to say. Considering when the Barnack Leicas were designed, I'd say he's near the top. But what about the guy who designed the Nikon RF cameras? And the Nikon F? Or the Leica M series? There are so many good cameras.
Don't forget Maitani (Olympus OM, XA). Or Heinz Waaske (Rollei 35).
And whomever designed the Rolleiflex.
there were other 35mm cameras before the leica--there was an agfa tourist or something like that that gave 100 shots per roll, Richard made a stereo camera that used 35 -- barnack's design, however, was the first really practical one, his ergonomics were perfect, which is why the basics of his design are still used today.
You joke. I know you know the Rolleiflex is 120/ 6x6. Barnack was one of the first 35mm designers. The designer of the Ihagee Kine Prakitca is in the running too. Modern cameras are still based on his design.
I have a Leica IIIc (1942) and have been using it as my primary camera.
Kent in SD
Giorgetto Giugiaro. Easily.
Leave it to the Italians to know exactly how much red.
I really enjoy my Leica II and IIIc. I use them regularly. But IMHO the Contax II and IIa were easily as good as the Leica. And the Contax IIIa is certainly one of my all-time favorite rangefinders. Except for the misfortunes of war the results between these two companies could certainly have been different. Though I do not mind it, I do believe that Zeiss Ikon would eventually have had to resolve the dual lens mount issue but that could easily have been done.
But, I still think that the Japanese would have prevailed in the end.
Ha, yeah. But if anyone wants my opinion, the Nikon F3 is the most aesthetically pleasing 35mm SLR (this does not mean it's my favorite to use; far from it). And I've loved all of Giugiaro's camera designs except for the two most recent (I was surprised to learn he designed the D4 and D800).
Oh, he also designed the DeLorean. It's a crap vehicle to be sure, but it is one of the most beautiful cars ever made.
Wasn't it Reinhold Heidecke?
I'd add Porsche Design Group for the Contax RTS, and another vote for Maitani for Olympus plus Heidecke (and Franke) for the Rolleiflex. Just my opinion.
When I saw where/how the MD4 stored the motor drive connector cover cap I thought 'damn, these guys are firing on all cylinders with this one.'
I'd argue that Yusaka Kamekura and the design team behind the Nikon F were easily the most influential. If we are talking about how cameras look today, what about Luigi Colani who designed the T90- isn't every camera with the 'curved' look somewhat derivative?
Not many people know that the Wrayflex was the first camera designed by an all female team: it was a piece of crap, which is why not many people have heard of it
I too love Giorgetto design, especially Nikon F4. But I don't think he designed the camera's internal so is different than Barnack.
True. "Camera designer" is a broad term.
The original Contax RTS was Porsche designed like Jeff L said. I owned the 139 which was the most ergonomically designed camera of it's day in my opinion. A good friend of mine bought the new Nikon FE2 which felt clunky in my hands.
Seem to be forgetting that Rollei also sold the SL35 cameras and had the SL2000 and 3003 cameras which looked like miniature medium format SLR's...
Waaske also designed the Edixa Reflex, the first SLR that laid out what an SLR looks like. It was designed in part by one of the engineers responsible for the Exakta too.
Zeiss Ikon designed the Nikon RF cameras so nothing innovative there apart from slight modifications. The Nikon F is essentially a rangefinder with a mirror box, just as the Zenit C (S) was 4 years earlier. The irony is modern Bessa and similar rangefinders from the same factory are based on a Cosina SLR minus the mirror box and prism.
Innovative designs where the Prakitana and very early East German made Contax acemeras and then the Pentax S.
My own feeling is the Leicas didn't mature until the IIIf & g and the M series was already in the pipeline evolving fron the IV prototypes made before WWII.
Canon had two design teams assigned for what should become the T90: an in-house team and Colani.
The T90 is kind of compromise between the designs of both groups.
this thread is really really interesting, i'd love to read more from most experienced users.
In my great ignorance in the matter I'd put a vote for Mr Maitani 'cause i think XA is such a great piece of a masterwork in lens and general concept...
He designed one camera. I hardly call that much of a resume. Great camera but one item in your portfolio doesn't make you the greatest of all time.