Quote Originally Posted by desertratt View Post
Quibble all you want there was nothing like the Nikon F when it came out. Pentax had to get rid of its screwy screw thread lens mount before it could make it with the grownups. Although they did make fine cameras for casual users. If you weren't there you have no idea what things were really like. And as they say "history is mostly lies told by to those who were not there when it happended."
I agree that the Nikon F was the first to put everything together- the general layout, instant return mirror, rewind crank, plus auto diaphragm, and established itself as most versatile with interchangeable finders and focusing screens, scads of accessories, a large high quality selection of lenses and so on. And its singular significance has been shown by its wide adoption by professionals, its 15 year run, and the fact that it remains pretty much as usable as any other 35mm SLR, if using manual focus and exposure.

However, in the 60's into the 70's quite a few photojournalists liked the Spotmatic for its lesser size and weight, and the quality of the Takumar lenses. Lens changes were not a big deal to a lot of them, because in fast happening situations there was seldom time to change lenses anyway. Usually, two or three bodies were carried, with a wide angle, short tele and normal lens used. One of the best known I can think of offhand, was Charles Moore, who took many of the pictures of the civil rights demonstrations and persecution of the demonstrators, and had close access to King and others in the movement. Minolta also had adherents, the best known of which was probably W. Eugene Smith. His Minimata work was taken with SR-T 101's.

Canon FT's, SR-T's, Spotmatics, and others were used by a lot of people who were more than "casual users".