Category Archives: camera

have you seen Al Who?

Toronto. Leitz was determined to see the tiny Leica camera succeed as a “do anything bigger cameras can do” camera. For copy work, a focussing stage was offered. The stage swapped the Leica with a ground glass viewer for focussing. … Continue reading

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a kludge of clones

Toronto. In the late 1930s, a Chicago man embarked on a program to create inexpensive cameras and the Spartus Camera Corporation was born. One of the many cameras to emerge was a bakelite wonder that sold under a variety of … Continue reading

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my my mamyia

Toronto. In its hey-day Mamiya made high end cameras – subminiature 16mm, 35mm, TLRs and medium format press cameras. At a recent PHSC auction the Mamiya Press Universal camera was in one lot. This version is a rangefinder model, with … Continue reading

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known by good lenses alone

Toronto. In the mid last century, marketeers from camera companies strived to give their products a tag line making them the prime choice for fussy consumers. Voigtlander was no different, They came up with the tag line “because the lens … Continue reading

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a material thing

Toronto. Have you ever wondered why the older view, box and folder cameras were made of wood with a leather, paper, or varnish coating? Or that the new 35 mm minicams were mostly metal. That some cameras were bakelite and … Continue reading

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a closer look

Toronto. For many years the convention for mini-cams was infinity down to one metre (1m). Many normal lenses for the Leica followed this standard leading to a variety of means to frame and focus in the macro range – closer … Continue reading

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be wise, digitize

Toronto. No need for such a slogan today – EVERYBODY went digital (there are still some niche players that insist on ┬áthe beauty of the old film technique). In the film era every photo was carefully framed and shot. A … Continue reading

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Voigtlander, my Voigtlander

Toronto. 1956 was a land mark year for many. In the case of the oldest photography company in the world, It was its 200th anniversary – born years before photography itself! One of its remarkable offerings was the Vito B … Continue reading

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belly-button school of photography

Toronto. Camera makers tried to categorize their products as having a better way to make photos. Using a waist level finder was one way – introducing the “belly-button school of photography” – a term of which I had never heard … Continue reading

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they’re coming, they’re coming

Toronto. Not the Russians like the old movie title, but the Japanese camera makers. Until after the Korean War in the early 1950s, the Japanese industry made little inroads in the west. This changed when Americans discovered the Nikon F … Continue reading

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