Eastman View Camera 33a

Eastman View Camera 33a

Sold in 1936/37 as an affordable view camera, this unit was inherited by the museum from my wife’s Grandfather, who used it for studio portraits. As with most view cameras, this offers rising front plate along with horizontally and vertically swinging back – more limited movements than might be sought with a product or landscape…

Mamiya Universal

Mamiya Universal

This is an example of the final model run that began in 1960 with the Mamiya Press, the Universal being introduced in 1969. It is a medium format rangefinder targeted squarely at the professional press market, and features interchangeable backs and lenses. This example was inherited from my wife’s Grandfather, who was himself a newspaper…

Argus C33

Argus C33

This is one of several cameras that we inherited from my wife’s Grandfather, who was a newspaperman. Known as “The Brick’ for obvious reasons, this was an attempt to go after the Leica market by US manufacturer Argus. Since the mid 30’s Argus had success domestically with the C3, which was a 35mm rangefinder that…

pentax auto 110

Background This is a real oddity, a precision SLR designed around the tiny 110 film format. Pentax introduced this in 1979, at a time when electronic exposure controls could be miniaturised to the point where they could be used in a device this small. And it’s really, really, small! Technical Details This is the only…

Pentax spotmatic spII

Background Introduced in 1971 along with the line of S-M-C Takumar lenses – though still all metal without the rubber grips found on the later models on the SP F. Compared to the original Spotmatic the film transport was improved, as was the light meter. A hotshoe was now included in addition to the standard…

Pentax Spotmatic F

Background Launched in 1973, the Spotmatic F was the first Pentax to offer open-aperture TTL metering – 7 years after rivals had first offered the feature. It’s visually very similar to other Spotmatic models, and continued the tradition of refinement and quality in the hand. Technical Details In common with the other late models in…

Canon F-1

This represents a turning point for Canon: their first professional grade camera, introduced in March of 1971 along with a new lens mount – the FD range. The F-1 established it’s pro-credentials by offering a huge range of interchangeable parts – viewfinders, focusing screens, winders, backs – and a range of flash accessories. Also notable…

Canon Pellix

This is a definite odd-ball, and example of creativity attempting to solve an engineering problem: how do you capture light coming through the lens for metering purposes? The Canon answer was to use a pellicle mirror; one which allows about 2/3rds of the light to pass through, and diverts the remaining 1/3rd to a light…

Olympus OM10

In 1972 Olympus introduced their OM line, and reset consumer expectations for the size and heft of a 35mm camera body. The various OM1/2 variants were very successful and so, in 1979, the OM10 was introduced at a more amateur friendly price point. During the time when I studied photography at school – 1979-1981 –…

Pentax KM

Essentially an Spotmatic F, the KM is what many feel the K1000 should have been. Introduced alongside the KX in 1975 as it’s less expensive sibling, the KM still offered a self timer and depth of field preview – both features that were thought to be omissions from the K1000. Interestingly, the depth of field…