What was the best decade for 35mm cameras?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by drumminor2nd, Jun 6, 2011.

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  1. drumminor2nd

    drumminor2nd Member

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    So, I was thinking about my favorite cameras, and I realized most of them came from the 1970s. The Canon F1 premiered in 1971. The Nikon F2 and Olympus OM-1 came out in 1972. Pentax ditched the M42 mount in the mid '70s. The Multimode Minolta XD-11 came out in '77.

    What do you guys think was the best (most important/biggest leap) decade for 35mm camera development?
     
  2. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Yep, 1970s with the OMs.
     
  3. ArtTwisted

    ArtTwisted Member

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    1988, autofocus, the Nikon F4.
     
  4. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Member

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    The 70's !

    I started learning about photography in 1976 with an SRT-101.

    And then Minolta XE-7 !!!
    I have two that only function at X, and B.
    And they are still being used, and abused. But my three X-700's,
    and the X-570 are kaput, for the moment ...


    Ron
    .
     
  5. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    I would say the late 80's to early 90's, with the introduction of auto focus, followed by innovations such as multi segment metering.
     
  6. Zathras

    Zathras Subscriber

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    For me it would be the years 1965 through 1975. Lots of nice cameras being made then. I guess a 10 year period qualifies as a decade:confused:
     
  7. tribalista000

    tribalista000 Member

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    I can't say since I was born in 1987, but I have a love affair with metal bodied SLR cameras and that's usually pre-1980 :smile:
     
  8. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I'll vote for 1970's!

    Jeff
     
  9. tribalista000

    tribalista000 Member

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    I love em bell bottoms and platform shoes :smile: on the other hand, I'm grateful that Olympus came up with the TTL and OTF metering.
     
  10. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    '70's
     
  11. blockend

    blockend Member

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    1930s.
     
  12. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Another vote for the 1970's, though some of my favorites are from the '60's or even from 1959 (1954 - M3!).

    I suppose that classic-metal-camera fans and the AF-and-the more-technology-the-better crowd will never really understand each other...
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    1970's, the dumbing down began with the Canon's and multi mode cameras wth Program, Av, Tv etc followed by autofocus. This also coincided with a drop in manufacturing quality (except for a very few high end cameras), so most 70's cameras will outlast later models.

    Ian
     
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  15. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Easy question for me to answer, since the question is about 35mm cameras only. If I had to have one 35mm camera system of one decade, it would be the Nikon system of the 1960's, and a Sekonic incident meter. It's all I need in a camera for most of what I love to shoot.

    If the question related to all formats, I'd have a very hard time choosing between '50's, '60's, or '70's. But I'd probably choose '70's in the end, as that decade would provide the most versatility in equipment of all formats, but especially medium format.
     
  16. thegman

    thegman Member

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    I think all decades have some real classics in there, even into the 2000s, with the Leica MP, Fujfilm GF670, and Zeiss Ikon.

    If I had to choose, I'd go 80s or 90s though, and have a good range of Leica, Rollei and Hasselblad gear.
     
  17. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Late '70, early '80.

    That is:
    when proper multicoating and computer-designed lenses were available;
    when it was still possible to buy proper mechanical cameras;
    when light meters were already SBD or GASP, fast and reliable (knowing how to use them);
    when if you needed one you could still buy cameras with an interchangeable viewfinder, and there was also one with interchangeable backs.
    when the choice was still quite ample;

    But:
    before autofocus (more fragile, energy hungry);
    before motorised film advance and rewind (possibly fragile, energy hungry, noisy);
    before matrix metering (never understood how can one possibly desire to bet on the "right" decision made by the camera in a difficult situation).
    before cameras with a plethora of minuscule push-buttons and a thick user manual.

    Slowly but surely, autofocus was all over (the change in focusing screens made focusing by hand difficult and AF become the only real way to operate), manual rewind became expensive, lenses become having plastic bayonets and possibly an excess of plastic parts, all the motors everywhere made the cameras more fragile.

    When you need AF it is certainly a progress. But for normal operation I greatly prefer a good old manual focusing camera, easier to focus and more reliable (or less unreliable) in evaluating DoF.
     
  18. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    It's the 70s for me too, I used to understand cameras and photography in those days before it became a handmaiden of the computer industry.
     
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  19. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Without a doubt, the 70's. Innovations in design and function, along with durability, made that the "renaissance" decade of camera design.
     
  20. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    ~1910 advent of commercial still camera for 35mm film
     
  21. fmajor

    fmajor Member

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    I've gotta agree w/the '70's. It seems there were many great technological advances, but the quality of materials and high-standards of manufacturing were still present. I also prefer the more advanced materials of the light meters with the full-analogue match-needle metering such as present on my Minolta SRT102/202 cameras.
     
  22. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    Culturally, the 1930's when art, vernacular, and journalistic 35mm photography became affordably entrenched as a medium. Thanks Leica and successors. Capa, Bresson, etc.

    Technically, the 1970's for reasons others have already spoken to.
     
  23. CGW

    CGW Member

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  24. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    but years even made a big difference.


    When the economy goes well , music goes well , politics goes well , art flourished. Vietnam War , Politicical unrest is the part of 70s. I think last art spark lived at these years because goverments wanted to students back to their homes. At 80s Goverments wanted to bring the women back to jobs and media started to write womens sex rights.
    Now goverments wants to third developing countries want to earn and spend and art prices of China , thousands times folded.
    I think follow the money , follow the art concept works and you have to have a broad view on earth matters to qualify the art matters.
     
  25. Alan Johnson

    Alan Johnson Subscriber

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    From my small collection:
    In the 50's the most popular camera with interchangeable lenses was the rangefinder, they were slow to use.
    In the 60's SLRs with auto diaphragms and viewfinder needle metering were introduced.
    In the 70's SLRs with zooms became available, lenses had bayonet fitting.
    In the 80's AF SLRs with zooms became the camera of choice.
    In the 90's AF SLRs were perfected.
    IMO the engineering and finish of some popular 70's and 80's cameras was very nice.
    When pushed to get good pictures I use a camera from the 90's.
     
  26. blockend

    blockend Member

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    Looking at a press maul of the period, the 1960s offered the most diversity in cameras. Various SLRs, plenty of rangefinders, TLRs still mainstream, the occasional field camera like MPP and folding 120s all in the mix with flashbulbs and electronic guns.

    I still say the 30s was when quality small cameras such as Leica and Retina made inroads commercially and artistically.
     
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