I was familiar with the Topcon from the Navy. Ours was seldom used so I don't know about its reliability. Out of curiosity where they came from, I found an article on the Web about them, from a Topcon collector's site. Someone in the US Government considered them to be the most rugged and reliable 35mm SLR available in the late 1960's. Not only did the US Navy buy a large quantity, but so did the FBI.Originally Posted by Paul Howell
Basicaly, if a ship was built when the Topcon system was being issued, the camera stayed with the ship until it was decommissioned, unless the camera developed a problem and had to be refurbished.
Around 1980, the Canon F1 came out and had a mean cycles between shutter failures that was double the industry standard. Ships built from that time on were issued the F1. Don't know when its contract ran out nor what replaced it.
It seems the Topcon wound up as sort of an oddity. Someone, somewhere in the Government thought they were great, but maybe that greatness didn't pan out.