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  1. #11

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    I still have my Retina III C, had it for 42 years, but it is not a SLR. The Retina is quite, for rangefinder a leaf shutter is doable, but if the shutter needs to be tuned or repaired I dont even know who can work on it. As I recall Kowa also made a leaf shutter SLR in the 70, never used one, but at one time Kowas were real cheap in the Air Force BX, but folks who bought them quickly moved on to a focal plane shutter SLR.

  2. #12

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    Apologize for the poor editing of my post. I was rushing off a reply before work. I was excited to be able to post on something I still have in my hot little hands.
    Interesting to read your post Roger. Actually I had the distinct feel of medium or large format photography as I read it. And I think that that is very accurate. These are definitely 1960's cameras, distinctly vintage. But then so are hasselblad's and large format.
    I believe that Topcon had the first shutter priority system for consumer cameras and had a solid pro camera in the DM lineup( you could switch into it with an adaptor), with a huge lineup of accesories. Topcon was ?is big in opthamalogic equipment. They just got smushed in the nikon / canon accendancy.
    I used this system for 15 years until I got into Contax.( Everytime I buy into a system it goes belly up. I am waiting for Hasselblad and Linhof to go bankrupt now.) I had 35 f4, 50 f2.8, 55 f1.8, 100 f4, 135 f4 and a 200 f4 and a 2X tele adaptor.
    As far as I know and have read, the GLASS is the same as their high end products and was highly thought of at the time. At the time glass was not the limiting factor relative to film.
    There are undoubtably newer designs of lenses, but you could still make some pretty nice pictures and have a complete set of lenses for a couple of hundred dollars (Canadian at that!)
    My 55mm lens was a 1.8 and the 200mm lens was an f4. I thought that was pretty fast in those days.
    I would have imagined that a lens repair tech for large format would be able to handle a leaf lens. Certainly we have a great such person here in Hamilton (Camtech Photographic services, shameless plug for great people). But I have not had to use them for these lenses.
    And my second body was the Unirex which was a focal plane shutter camera that mounted the leaf shuttered lenses but lost the synch at all speeds.
    To force you learn photography from the basics, these were a great cheap choice.
    But they sure aren't modern.
    Just be real sure the battery issue can be solved.
    Regards
    Bill

  3. #13

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    Bill, without thinking about commercial issues -- competition on the high end from Nikon, on the low end from everyone else -- what Topcon could deliver was constrained by the Exakta mount. That mount's narrow throat was a major constraint on fast long lenses and on short lenses. That said, Topcon was a very strong competitor to Nikon for quite a while.

  4. #14

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    [.
    I believe that Topcon had the first shutter priority system for consumer cameras .


    I think the Konica A or T was the first consumer with shutter priority.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Howell View Post
    [.
    I believe that Topcon had the first shutter priority system for consumer cameras .


    I think the Konica A or T was the first consumer with shutter priority.
    First auto exposure: Durst Automatica and Optima 1 (1959/60), Ricoh Auto 35, then Canonet, Savoyflex Automatique, Focaflex (all 1960), Contaflex Super B (1963), Contaflex Super BC/Voigtlander Ultramatic CS (1965), Konica Autoreflex (1967 -- first with FP shutter), Konica Autoreflex T (though-lens) announced 1967, on sale 1968.

    Topcon (Super D/RE Super) brought the first through-lens meter to market in 1963, though the Pentax Spotmatic was announced earlier (1960, introduced 1964, just after the Alpa 9d) and Zeiss through-lens metering patents go back to the early 20th century. There was also an Exakta through-lens system in (I believe) the 1950s but it was an accessory for close-ups.

  6. #16

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    [QUOTE=Roger Hicks;504208]First auto exposure: Durst Automatica and Optima 1 (1959/60), Ricoh Auto 35, then Canonet, Savoyflex Automatique, Focaflex (all 1960), Contaflex Super B (1963), Contaflex Super BC/Voigtlander Ultramatic CS (1965), Konica Autoreflex (1967 -- first with FP shutter), Konica Autoreflex T (though-lens) announced 1967, on sale 1968.

    Were these shutter or apaturte pefered systems?

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
    First auto exposure: Durst Automatica and Optima 1 (1959/60), Ricoh Auto 35, then Canonet, Savoyflex Automatique, Focaflex (all 1960), Contaflex Super B (1963), Contaflex Super BC/Voigtlander Ultramatic CS (1965), Konica Autoreflex (1967 -- first with FP shutter), Konica Autoreflex T (though-lens) announced 1967, on sale 1968.

    Topcon (Super D/RE Super) brought the first through-lens meter to market in 1963, though the Pentax Spotmatic was announced earlier (1960, introduced 1964, just after the Alpa 9d) and Zeiss through-lens metering patents go back to the early 20th century. There was also an Exakta through-lens system in (I believe) the 1950s but it was an accessory for close-ups.
    There you go. a great summary.
    thanks
    Bill

  8. #18

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    Optima, fixed shutter speed/variable aperture per film speed, Automatica, fixed aperture/variable shutter speed per film speed. The Canonet seems to have been the first with variable shutter speeds and automatically controlled diaphragm, and to quote my History of the 35mm Still Camera, 'this shutter-priority automation rapidly became the standard'. First aperture-priority SLR, Contarex Super Electronic in 1969 but you needed a bolt-on accessory to do it.

  9. #19
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    Thanks for all the replies, lots of good stuff here.

    Are there non-Topcon cameras that will take these lenses?

    As far as leaf shutters vs focal I, having never had to go to great expensive to have a Hasselblad lens repaired, am somewhat fond of leaf shutters. I always have thought of them as a sign of craftsmanship. It might be an outdated concept, but someone had to put them together, no mater how inexpensive the resulting product might be.

    Perhaps I'm cracked or maybe it's the magic of the mechanized dance of photographic collaboration that must occur for a fleeting image to be captured through such a lens, but for me, a working leaf shutter is the cat's meow!

    Eli

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by eli griggs View Post
    .

    Are there non-Topcon cameras that will take these lenses?
    No. What's the point of having a proprietary mount that isn't proprietary?

    [/QUOTE]As far as leaf shutters vs focal I, having never had to go to great expensive to have a Hasselblad lens repaired, am somewhat fond of leaf shutters. I always have thought of them as a sign of craftsmanship. It might be an outdated concept, but someone had to put them together, no mater how inexpensive the resulting product might be.[/QUOTE]

    In most 35 mm cameras made since around 1950, the Kodak Retina and Agfa Karat perhaps excepted, the leaf shutter is a sign of a low-end camera. And they weren't all well-made and reliable, even ones from that technically highly backwards country Germany.

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