Swiss knives and cameras

small Swiss Army Knife

Toronto. When the minicam bug took off in the mid 1930s, people traded size for resolution. Companies like Leitz touted the use of enlargers to make large images from the small negatives. And minicams proliferated. The cameras ranged from complex mechanisms with many built-in features like the Compass camera to very utilitarian cameras like the Leica.

Both concepts had many added features. One built-in, and the other with a wide variety of accessories. The Exakta was more middle of the road – not as feature rich as a big Swiss Army Knife but far more features than a utilitarian design like the early Leicas. Being an SLR, an Exakta viewer worked just fine with any lens focal length. Long exposure times were built-in as was a film knife – just think of a smaller version of a Swiss Knife as shown – scissors, nail file, small screw driver flat blade, tooth pick and tweezers, but no saw, separate screw drivers, etc.

I have carried the small Swiss Army Knife shown for over 30 years now.


This entry was posted in history and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.