Leica M3 Fall 1956 Advertisement

Sept 1956 Pop Photo ad
ad for the Leica M3

Toronto. In 1954, Leitz finally began selling the famous M3 camera. The design was radically different than the screw mount cameras, adding many features that other makers had adopted. The Bayonet Mount still exists today (over 60 years later) in the Leica’s digital cameras. Rudimentary design began during WW2 as Leitz realized the screw-mount era was fast ending and a much newer and improved design was needed.

My thanks to member George Dunbar who sourced this beautiful Leitz NY ad for the M3. It appeared in the September 1956 issue of  Popular Photography to explain the new M3 and why it was uniquely a Leica through and through.

The camera caught on and became the choice of professionals and advanced amateurs world-wide long after the SLR design took over the 35mm film camera.

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NYC Photography Fair April 2018

NYC Photo Fair
April 4-8, 2018

Toronto. The Daguerreian Society sent me  a notice that they will host the New York City Photography Fair on April 4 to 8,  2018.

The Society offers full details here. If you plan to visit New York City this spring, why not time your visit with this show?

A great opportunity to augment your collection and enjoy what the Big Apple has to offer.

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Kertesz 1930 photograph in auction

Andre Kertesz 1930
Swann auction lot 38

Toronto. Dalle Kaplan sent me a reminder that Swann Galleries have their exhibition for the Icons & Images auction up and will auction the photographs and books this coming Thursday, the 15th of February down in the Big Apple.

Jane Corkin Gallery here in Toronto represented and sold Kertesz photographs for many years. The Gallery still sells Kertesz photographs.

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Whittaker Micro 16 camera ad II

Whittaker Micro 16 ad
from the July 28th, 1947
issue of LIFE magazine

Toronto. Late last year (December 28th), I wrote an extensive article on the Micro 16 and its ad. When first released the camera’s use by police departments as a spy camera was touted.

This ad sent to me by good friend George Dunbar shows how the tiny Whittaker factory down in LA embraced colour and Hollywood actresses. This July 28, 1947 ad taken out in LIFE magazine proclaims how easy the camera cold be used, featuring actress Joan Bennett “photographing” her children (Bennett was a popular actress at the time).

The ad displays sample colour pictures and emphasizes the camera’s precision-set lens with the standard box camera boast that it was fixed focus “3 feet to infinity” while overlooking the fact that such a feat was based on a short focal length, small aperture lens being used. Film and prints came to $1 for 12 B&W photos sent out and returned by post, or 10 colour transparencies for $1 with processing included – prints were an additional 40 cents each or three for a dollar (all American funds). The transparencies were in a strip. Not mounted for a slide projector (SVC made a projector for both 35mm film strips and mounted 35mm film transparencies).

Whittaker’s tag line was”Makers of Precision Airplane Valves and Cameras”. While “precision made” the tiny camera was no more than a simple box camera: fixed focus, Instant or Time shutter, and embellished with three Waterhouse stops for a crude control of light. Suitable for daylight photos using DuPont B&W film or Ansco colour transparency film.



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some thoughts on lenses

Concept of Metasurfaces.
Courtesy of Penn State

Toronto. Thanks to friend and member Russ Forfar for this idea about future lenses.

Before photography, we had microscopes that needed quality lenses (objectives). Initially, the design was “cut and try”.

Designers tried to combine glass elements made with different glasses and curvatures to improve resolution and reduce distortions (geometric, astigmatic, spherical, etc.).  The goal was to have two or three colours come to focus in the same plane. Photography meant that the plane had to be flat as well all across the light sensitive glass or metal plate material.

Ernst Abby  applied mathematics to the problem and challenged glass maker Otto Schott to create glass meeting his criteria.  People became skilled as “computers” and calculated various points on a flat plane based on the specifics of each element. Different curves and glasses were calculated in attempts to improve resolution and speed while reducing distortion. This lead to classic lens designs of multiple elements.

In the 1950s, Leitz used modern day electronic digital computers to do the necessary calculations vastly reducing the time taken and increasing the accuracy of the results. Modern lenses are designed with even faster computers and a vast array of glasses.  Some elements are even made with aspherical surfaces to improve resolution, reduce distortion, and reduce the number of elements needed. Some zoom lenses resort to actually moving a group of elements to retain resolution as focal length is changed.

A recent trend has been to vary the glass characteristics within an element, culminating in the potential of creating a usable lens consisting of a single element as described in this  Penn State article.

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Colour for the masses

Kodak ad in LIFE magazine
July 28, 1947

Toronto. In its 1947 LIFE magazine ad, Kodak tried to gain customers using two emerging themes: the growing popularity of 35mm; and the in roiads of colour (both transparencies and prints).

If a customer wasn’t ready to embrace colour, he could use his 35mm Kodak 35 camera to snap the more common and less costly B&W photos too.

Thanks to George Dunbar who discovered this wonderful Kodak ad which saw the newsstands and mailboxes 70 years ago. Beautiful ad, ugly camera. And sadly Kodachrome is no more.

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collecting orphan Polaroids

Orphan Polaroid
from Washington Post article

Toronto. This past Monday, I received an interesting email from George Dunbar. The topic was orphan Polaroids. George passed on this link to an article in the Washington Post (motto “Democracy Dies in Darkness”). The article, written by Dee Swann on Monday, covers a Canadian, Kyler Zeleny,who has collected over 6,000 orphan Polaroids so far. The article covers Zeleney and his intention to encourage others to write a story inspired by each photo. Some of his orphans have no story, others have more than one.

George writes, “Kyler Zeleny, a Canadian photographer-researcher, has collected lost Polaroid photographs. His web site is: http://www.foundpolaroids.com/

“Kyler Currently lives in Toronto, where he is a doctoral candidate in the joint post-graduate Communication and Culture program at Ryerson and York University. “

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Reg Innell, photographer, Toronto Star 92

Reg Innell, Photographer c1980,
Toronto Star (photo by Bob Olsen)

Toronto. My thanks to Ashley Cook for passing on this note regarding retired Star photographer Reg Innell.

In this February 5th column by Julien Gignac, the Star noted the passing of Reg Innell.

Innell was an associate of the late Boris Spremo who was also a Star photographer in the 1960s. Innell emigrated from Britain and worked for the Toronto Star for three decades.

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The Big One – May 27, 2018

PHSC Spring Fair

Toronto. The fair you have been waiting for! This year’s spring PHSC Photographica-Fair is set for May 27, 2018! Free parking , tasty pirogies, lots of dealers, A great time to add to your collectible or usable gear. Bring in your cameras or lenses for evaluation by our many exhibitors.

<== Click poster icon for details, map, etc.

We have held this fair every year since 1974 and added a second fall fair around 1984. Come out to browse and buy from our many exhibitors. It’s a great way to enjoy spring and welcome our summer while adding to or changing your collection.

Students are always welcome and given free admission with a school ID.

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PHSC Spring Auction March 18, 2018

PHSC Spring Auction

Toronto. Spring is coming and with it the PHSC Spring auction. This is our general consignment auction.  All are welcome.

<=== Click the poster icon at left for details and map.

Bring your old but good photo items and stay to buy  usable and collectible goodies for yourself!

We will be posting a slideshow of many of the lots in a later post.

Free parking – Free Admission – Food on site – ATM on site

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