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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A large parcel came in today - with Canons first ever SLR. The Canonflex R is a very well made professional SLR with an exchangeable viewfinder. The camera was introduced in May 1959, competing with the legendary Nikon F and - to lesser extent - the Konica F as well as the Praktina (not to be confursed with the Praktica). Well - everyone knows the Nikon F (850'000 made), only few know the Konica F (about 1600 made), and the Canonflex F was somewhere in between (17'000 made).

Here it is ...



Stephan


PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shutter speed dial system looks interesting. I wonder why Canon didn't use that later?


PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kansalliskala wrote:
Shutter speed dial system looks interesting. I wonder why Canon didn't use that later?

It was only possible because the film winding lever is on the lower side of the Canonflex R body!!

Not as weird to use as it first may sound, but very troublesome once your Canonflex is mounted oin a tripod ...

S


PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:

Not as weird to use as it first may sound, but very troublesome once your Canonflex is mounted oin a tripod ...


First 135 camera I used was Agfa Silette LK where the lever was on the bottom left side of the camera.


PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first camera was a nice Ricoh S3 with fast transport .... . under the bottom too.
Tripod screw in one of the bottom screws. Not ideal for stability, but no real hassle to transport.


PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another slightly "weird" SLR from the 1960s - the original Konica Auto Reflex (without "T"):



Why "weird"? Well ...

1) first its design - it looks a lot more "baroque" than that of its precedessor, the Konica FM.
2) While the Auto-Reflex has a automatic aperture control (and thus is one the first "automatic" SLRs), it doesn't measure through the lens.
3) Shutter speed are dialled in via a knob on the front of the camera (and not on top of it)
4) The rewind knob has an unusual shape, and it is geared
5) And las, but not least: There's a switch on top of the camera which allows you to change between "Full Frame" and "Half Frame". To my knowledge the Auto Reflex is the only SLR with this feature, but I'm not completely sure.
6) The shutter was very advanced, basically the ancestor of all todays DSLR shutters
7) The shutter release needs a loooong way until the shutter finally releases, roughly 10mm! This is due to the simply electro-mechanic construction of the automatic exposure: Pressing the shutter locks the position of the meter needle, which in turn controls the closing of the aperture.

The camera feels rock solid, it is precisely machined, and it looks pristine even after 55 years! All shutter speeds seem to work well (no "slow" slow speeds); there's a stop-down lever and a self timer, an a "on/off/check" switch for the electric circuit. Of course, the light meter (CdS) needs a battery - a mercury PX 625. All engravings are very well made, and the chrome plating looks perfect. The viewfinder image is quite large, but of course darker than the typical 1980s screen. It has a central microprism area, and two vertical lines (for half frame images). In addition to these lines, two triangular markings appear inside the viewfinder if you change from "Full Frame" to "Half Frame". The lightmeter needle is on the right side of the frame, and it's not overlapping with the image.

What else? A yea, the lenses!

The early AR lenses shown here are basically identical to the corresponding Konica F-mount lenses. They share the same optical construction, the front ring is engraved in the typical "broad" letters of the F-lenses, and the distance and aperture scales are extremely well done - comparable to the Leica engravings of the late 1950s. Please note that the 3.5/200mm lens shown here is a preset lens. It has a different optical construction than the later AR 3.5/200mm (see https://www.buhla.de/Foto/Konica/Objektive/e200_35.html for details).

All this stuff is very difficult to find here in Switzerland. Back then, Japanese lenses and cameras had to be imported directly, either from the US or even from Japan. Usually the original owners of such cameras were businessmen who brought home some interesting new stuff (remember, in the mid-60s most Japanese camera manufacturers did not yet have some official representatives anywhere in Europe). Actually this Autorefly is only the second I ever saw here in Switzerland. And I never saw a preset AR 3.5/200mm before ...

S


Last edited by stevemark on Sat Nov 14, 2020 2:07 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:

2) While the Auto-Rokkor has a automatic aperture control (and thus is one the first "automatic" SLRs), it doesn't measure through the lens.


older Nikon F:s with early Photomic finders do that too


PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kansalliskala wrote:
stevemark wrote:

2) While the Auto-Rokkor has a automatic aperture control (and thus is one the first "automatic" SLRs), it doesn't measure through the lens.


older Nikon F:s with early Photomic finders do that too


No Wink

The Konica Auto Reflex has a true automatic exposure (shutter preset): You set the shutter speed, and the camera automatically sets the right aprture, depending on the light measured and the ASA (ISO) set. The Nikon F certainly doesn't do that!!

S


PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:

The Konica Auto Reflex has a true automatic exposure (shutter preset): You set the shutter speed, and the camera automatically sets the right aprture, depending on the light measured and the ASA (ISO) set. The Nikon F certainly doesn't do that!!

S


you are right, they don't, I read too fast

what an amazing mechanism it must be predating microchips, like Canon AE-1?

Polaroid 100 has electronically controlled shutter but it is much easier to do

Smile
https://www.cameraquest.com/konihalf.htm
Quote:
"Unfortunately, Konica was ahead of its time, AE just didn't gain the acceptance or popularity that it would in the 1980's and beyond. Claims that AE's popularity came as educational systems began to break down ---- turning out sub par graduates who were no longer literate and couldn't think for themselves, much less reed complicated instruction books, has not been substantiated."


PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another early 1950s camera. Very stylish design, clear lines, very much Leica-like indeed!



As far as I remember I found the camera in a huge heap of old cameras to be destroyed, back in 2010. The 5.6/85mm lens just came in a few days ago. It is by far the smallest 85mm lens I own (and probably one of the smallest "portrait" lens ever made for a 35mm camera). Just 92g! While this early "Paxette" model looks like a rangefinder camera, that second window actually is a primitive light metering device. Later versions injdeed did have a coupled rangefinder, and even a selenium light metering cell!

The camera, while small, is quite heavy (460g including the 2.8/45mm lens). It has a Prontor shutter (behind-the-lens, 1/300s - 1s), its Staeble Kata 2.8/45mm normal lens is tiny (the smalles normal lens for 35mm cameras I have): Just 52 g, even though it's made completely from metal (alu) and glass. Focusing is precise, MFD is a whopping 1.0m! (the 85mm has 1.5 m MFD ...). And no, build quality of these lenses is not on par with contemporary Steinheil, Leitz or Voigtländer lenses ...

S


PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Canon F-1, here shown with a trio of fast prime lenses:







A few days ago my favourite camera dealer came up with a huge motor drive / grip for the old Canon F-1. I knew these things existed, but i didn't expect them to be that big! My hands are fairly large, and many cameras are simply too small for me, but this one is too big - seriously! Of course, like the conteporary Nikon F2, the old F-1 system is extremely well built, and the motor drive is no exception.
The setup shown in the second image (Canon old F-1, motor drive MF, Canon FD 1.2/55mm and batteries) weighs a whopping 2500g - that's 25% more than the FD 2.8/300mm Fluorite lens! Talking about the 2.8/300: While the whole set (F-1, motor drive, 2.8/300) is about 4 kg, it feels really well balanced - the camera being heavy and the FD 2.8/300 being one of the lightest 2.8/300 available. It must have been a stunning combination in its time, and somehow it still is today!



S


PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of my Nikons:



L-R: Nikon F-2 with 85mm f 1.8. , Nikon FE with 28mm f 3.5, Nikon F-3 with 50mm f 2 sans MD-4.

The F-2 is my go to camera, and sees the most use. I remember these K series 85mm lenses being sold with the factory ai conversion installed N.I.B.. Back in the late 70's the 85 Nikkor's were priced well out of my reach. It does fairly well wide open, despite the earlier coatings.

The FE is one of my favorite cameras. I bought it body only from a camera store a couple of months ago, and it is in excellent condition. The 28mm f 3.5 lens on it is no slouch even though it's a shade slow in aperture.

The F-3 is a nice enough camera. It is a totally different "feel" than the F-2. I can tell right away which one is the F-3 even in the dark. The rubberized leatherette it wears is quite readily apparent. The HP finder on it is nice for us far sighted older fellas that need eye correction.






L-R: Nikon Fe-2 with 50mm f 2, Nikon FG with series E 50mm f 1.8, Nikon FE with data back and 80-200 f 4.5.

The FE-2 comes in handy when fill flash is needed out doors with it's 1/250 sync.

The FG is quite a nice little camera. The L.E.D.'s in the viewfinder still weird me out. I find it a little fumbly to use because of it's small size. The factory removable metal grip on it is an absolute necessity for me~ the camera is almost impossible to hold on to without it.

The black FE came to me in one of my package deals. It needs some work to replace the mirror cushion. The 80-200 f 4.5 on it is a very nice lens.







My Nikkormat FTn with S.C. 50mm f 1.4
I just love this camera. The microprism spot focussing screen takes a bit of getting used to.
My very first was a FT-2. This thing is a heavy weight piece of extreme precision. The lens barrel shutter speed ring is entirely natural for me. At the time I got my FT-2, shutter speeds in the view-finder were still a big fat hairy deal. Wink
That lens is a personal favorite. C-41 film run through the camera with this lens results in prints that look like they were taken from Kodachrome. It tends to a very slight warm orange tone, which I don't find objectionable in the least.




FTn again, this time with a good view of the 135mm f 3.5 Q lens aboard. Nice sharp lens.






MD-4 motor drive for the F-3 shown above. I rarely have a "real" need to use it, and with 8 "AA" batteries aboard, it weighs a ton. It does work as advertised. I just had to try it a few times. It is fairly quiet for a motor drive~ much quieter than the MD-12 I had become accustomed to...
#2


Nikon F-65 film camera. It came to me in a package deal with no lens for it.
It has no means of communicating with a m/f lens, and I have no interest in it at all.
Just one of those things stuck in the closet. I don't even know if it will power up, and have yet to try.
No real interest in it yet...


-D.S.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2020 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doc Sharptail wrote:
Some of my Nikons:

The F-2 is my go to camera, and sees the most use. I remember these K series 85mm lenses being sold with the factory ai conversion installed N.I.B.. Back in the late 70's the 85 Nikkor's were priced well out of my reach. It does fairly well wide open, despite the earlier coatings.

-D.S.


Thanks for showing us your gear Wink

While i did my first steps in photography with cheap Mamiya SLRs, i bought my first professional SLR (the Minolta 9000) when I was 18 years old. Later on, when Minolta decided to take the "electronic" way with the 9xi I wasn't that happy with the newly released flagship. Not much later i decided to try a fully mechanical camera, and ended up with a used Nikon F2 plus Ai 1.4/35mm Nikkor. Soon I added a Ai 2.5/105mm and started using it in parallel to the 9000, which remained my main camera in spite of the 9xi. After a few months I found that the mechanical F2 didn't have any real advantages over the 9000, and I sold it.

Fast forward to summer 2020 - my favourite photo store offered me a rare Ai Nikkor 4/300mm ED (non-IF!), and I decided to buy it, only to find a few minutes later that there was a nice F2 with motor drive and Ai 2/35mm available as well! So all four ended up here. Fully equipped with the MD-3 motor drive and a nice fast lens, the Nikon F2 is a real beast, comparable to the Minolta Dynax 9 with its stainless steel body (the only SLR to have one). Here a few images Wink








Stephan


PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Stephan-

Thanks for your reply.

I had briefly an old SRT 101, but was already into nikon. At the time, the dual lens piles didn't make a whole lot of sense, so the Minolta got sold off. There was a short tele rokkor in that pile that was an excellent piece of glass. Can't remember if it was 90 or 85mm.

My college room-mate went through several X-700's. The first versions of it had serious electrical problems. I think he ended up with warranty replacement bodies 3 times and got tired of it. I loaned him an EL-2 for a while, and he ended up with nikons of his own, starting with a FM.

Kind of curious as to your experiences with the 85 1.8 Nikkor wide open. Mine is a bit fringy in the corners at 1.8, but you really have to know what you're looking for to spot it. It's gone by f4 though, and not really a problem...

I most recently had the F-2 out in the cold, and nary a hiccup. Did notice the swing of the meter needle slowing down a lot at -7C.

-D.S.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2020 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doc Sharptail wrote:
Hi Stephan-

Thanks for your reply.

I had briefly an old SRT 101, but was already into nikon. At the time, the dual lens piles didn't make a whole lot of sense, so the Minolta got sold off.

Yep, that was a major reason (not the only one) for me to sell the F2, back in the 1990s.

Doc Sharptail wrote:

There was a short tele rokkor in that pile that was an excellent piece of glass. Can't remember if it was 90 or 85mm.

There were basically two 85mm lenses (the earlier f1.7 and the later f2), plus a soft focus 2.8/85mm which is quite rare. The 1.7/85mm performs nearly identically as the Nikkor 1.8/85mm and the FD 1.8/85mm; the MD 2/85mm is extremely sharp and aberration-free even at f2 (for a vintage lens).

http://artaphot.ch/minolta-sr/objektive/161-minolta-85mm-f17
http://artaphot.ch/minolta-sr/objektive/162-minolta-85mm-f2
http://artaphot.ch/minolta-sr/objektive/163-minolta-85mm-f28-varisoft

Mechanically, all three Rokkors are superior to my sample of the Nikkor 1.8/85 which has a "dry focus" syndrome (I've never seen anything like that with all my >200 Rokkors, but it seems to be quite common with many MF Nikkors).


Doc Sharptail wrote:

My college room-mate went through several X-700's. The first versions of it had serious electrical problems. I think he ended up with warranty replacement bodies 3 times and got tired of it.


Yeah, that's the problem with many Minolta cameras. While so many failures in a row certainly weren't normal, the "electronic" Minolta SLRs from the 1975-1985 time frame seem to have more problems than the Nikons from the same time. The XM/XK - while being eight years ahead of Nikon - was a bit quirky to use. The XE - a simplified XM/XK born from the cooperation with Leitz - may have been the most reliable. The XD, a beautiful camera designed for exceptionally smooth operation, nowadays often suffers from a stuck mirror damper (easy to clean, but you have to do it). And the X-700 series partly had/has a condenser problem ... However it seems that the first generation AF Nikons have their own issues with the shutter - all (!!) of my F301/401/501/801 have a dysfunctional shutter now ... On the other hand, my 7000 / 9000 as well as the 7000i / 8000i work flawlessly. The Nikon F4, of course, doesn't have the shutter problem.

Doc Sharptail wrote:
I loaned him an EL-2 for a while, and he ended up with nikons of his own, starting with a FM.

Hmm ... the FMs are still missing in my small Nikon collection Wink - however, the FE2 ceratinly is more versatile and, in my opinion, has everything on really needs. And nothing more Wink

Doc Sharptail wrote:

Kind of curious as to your experiences with the 85 1.8 Nikkor wide open. Mine is a bit fringy in the corners at 1.8, but you really have to know what you're looking for to spot it. It's gone by f4 though, and not really a problem...

Yes, that's my experience as well (and the MC/MD 1.7/85mm and the FD/nFD 1.8/85 have the same fringing wide open). I haven't used the Nikkor that often since optically it isn't better than the Rokkor (and focusing feels much smoother with the Rokkor). And I prefer 100mm/105mm anyway ...


Doc Sharptail wrote:


I most recently had the F-2 out in the cold, and nary a hiccup. Did notice the swing of the meter needle slowing down a lot at -7C.

-D.S.


Interesting. And even more interesting. My Minolta 9000, back in 1992, didn't have any problems at -25°C, in northern Finland. Well, the LCD got really slow and had a very low contrast, but that was mentioned in the user manual. So I really couldn't justify to have a Nikon F2 in addition to the 9000s !

S


PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2020 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like 1 small

It must have been the 85-f2 with the SRT. It came at a very reasonable price.
I was doing theatrical work at the time, and features like bokeh meant nothing against the black background stages.
It did not get used much.

The Nikon F-2 manual suggests an external battery pack for metering in extreme cold weather, so like you, I have not un-covered a problem at all. The tiny batteries the body takes react quickly to sudden drops in temperature.

Will wait a few weeks for extreme cold, and see what happens to the LCD display in the F-3, after checking the manual again.

I find the m/s German to English translator a bit strange- completely understandable though.

-D.S.


PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:


< . . . >

A few days ago my favourite camera dealer came up with a huge motor drive / grip for the old Canon F-1. I knew these things existed, but i didn't expect them to be that big! My hands are fairly large, and many cameras are simply too small for me, but this one is too big - seriously! Of course, like the conteporary Nikon F2, the old F-1 system is extremely well built, and the motor drive is no exception.


Back in the 80s, I schlepped around a pair of F-1s with Motor Drive F's, plus a bag full of lenses and usually a monopod when I went to auto races. I didn't think much of it, figuring that was just what it took if you wanted to motorize your F-1.

By the way, I found a comfortable way to shoot verticals with that motor drive. I rotate the camera/motordrive 90 degrees clockwise so that the camera/motordrive is resting on the bridge of my palm. Then I rest my upper arm against my torso to stabilize everything. Finally, I use my thumb to press the shutter release. It's quite comfortable to shoot verticals this way.


PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:

Back in the 80s, I schlepped around a pair of F-1s with Motor Drive F's, plus a bag full of lenses and usually a monopod when I went to auto races. I didn't think much of it, figuring that was just what it took if you wanted to motorize your F-1.


Yep, I've seen images of 1970s professionals with lots of gear hanging from their shoulder Wink In the mid-1980s I was happy to have my small 9000 (without motor drive; it's the only AF SLR with manual film winding) and a few rather small lenses from 20mm to 200mm. That was just enough for going to the mountains - usualy one-day-trips with the mountainbike. Later, when the Nikon F4 came to the market, I was even more happy to have my lightweight Minolta 9000 ...

cooltouch wrote:

By the way, I found a comfortable way to shoot verticals with that motor drive. I rotate the camera/motordrive 90 degrees clockwise so that the camera/motordrive is resting on the bridge of my palm. Then I rest my upper arm against my torso to stabilize everything. Finally, I use my thumb to press the shutter release. It's quite comfortable to shoot verticals this way.

Did you ever use the Dynax / Maxxum 9 and Sony A900 grip? It's way better for verticals than any of the Nikon and Canon solutions, and it's really a mystery to me why CaNikon still isn't able to produce a grip as comfortable as the Minolta/Sony (D)SLR grips. Since I shoot mainly verticals (books, portraits, calendars and the like) this is a big issue for me ...





Especially the A900 vertical grip is perfect - completely reproducing the feelling of the "normal" grip.

Stephan


Last edited by stevemark on Tue Dec 08, 2020 1:36 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:



Especially the A900 vertical grip is perfect - completely reproducing the feelling of the "normal" grip.

Stephan


Laugh 1

(I don't know why but this is both funny and nice picture.)


PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kansalliskala wrote:

(I don't know why but this is both funny and nice picture.)


Now I know, they look like they fell asleep.


PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kansalliskala wrote:
Now I know, they look like they fell asleep.


Like 1
Laugh 1 Laugh 1


PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kansalliskala wrote:
kansalliskala wrote:

(I don't know why but this is both funny and nice picture.)


Now I know, they look like they fell asleep.


Laugh 1 Laugh 1

I miss Suomi Wink

EDIT probably need to go to mountains duing the next days ... plenty of fresh snow !!

Which camera to take with me, and moe importantly: which lenses ??

Wink


PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
kansalliskala wrote:
kansalliskala wrote:

(I don't know why but this is both funny and nice picture.)


Now I know, they look like they fell asleep.


Laugh 1 Laugh 1

I miss Suomi Wink

EDIT probably need to go to mountains duing the next days ... plenty of fresh snow !!

Which camera to take with me, and moe importantly: which lenses ??

Wink


A fast wide angle coma free lens to capture Geminid meteor showers?


PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blazer0ne wrote:

A fast wide angle coma free lens to capture Geminid meteor showers?


I would'n stay over night in the mountains - as I don't like the large hotel resorts and their "overpowered" atmosphere. While I've never been living in such a touristic area, some friends of mine have grown up in places like Verbier. Rich (maybe even very rich) people from all over the world arrive there for a few days, and during these days they do everything they don't do at home. It's up to your imagination what's actually happening, but I've heard some quite nasty stories, told by reliable persons (hotel owners) ... especially in wintertime.

While I don't mind at all hiking on my own in summer/fall - I know the Swiss mountains fairly well -, I'm not into (alpine) skiing. Avelanges, snow an cold are a serious risk for people like me, and therefore these days I prefer simply to take a train and spend a few hours at 2000 m / 6000 ft before going back home Wink

However, some years ago, I've been living high up in a hidden valley, no road, no trains, just 1 - 2 meters of snow and incredible peace.

S


PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another one, recently bought from its original owner:



The Cosina CT-1 is a fully mechanical body from the early 1980s (sold also as Nikon FE-10, FM-10 and Canon T60). It seems to be quite nice; all shutter speeds work, and the lenses are clean and with working apertures. This nice little set consists of a fast Cosinon 2/28mm, a slower (and much smaller) 2.8/35mm, the ubiquituous 1.7/50mm, and a rather good 2.8/135mm lens. The mechanical quality of the lens barrels is so-so - basically a metal construction with lots of plastics on the surface. As mentioned earlier their focusing has run dry, but that happens to contemporary Nikkors as well !

I haven't tried the 1.7/50mm and the 2/28mm lenses, but as soon as i know more, I'll write a few remarks on their performance.

S


Last edited by stevemark on Thu Dec 10, 2020 4:55 pm; edited 1 time in total