Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Minolta - 16

Minolta - 16 camera, 16mm film this was the first model from Minolta, based on and improved from the Konan - 16. Minolta almost redesigned this from the bottom up, dimensions, lens, shutter, film chamber and the film cannister itself, it is fair to say that this was a totally new camera. Bach in the early 1960's it was fairly popular and served much thge same role as mobile phones does today, a camera in the pocket alway at hand.
The camera with the nice, original soft-leather purse. This was the camera chosen to document the first japanese summit of Mnt. Everest and the images from thius expedition, with a 360 vief from the highest spot on earth was rightly famous in its day, it was many years to come before anyone else could bring back similar images..... This version is the sought-after "gold plated edition", in real life it is gold colored aluminium, but this camera command premium prices on €-bay......
The original soft-leather purse is just like brand new......

Friday, February 17, 2012

Konan - 16

Claimed to be the original Minolta -16 a closer inspection will reveal major dissimilarities.
This was the original concept camera and most likely did rise from within the minolta organization.
But when Minolta decided to enter this market, they almost totally redesigned this camera.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Canon AF35 ML

Canon AF 35 ML, a motordriven autofocus 35mm camera
Nice, clean lines excellent lens here hidden by a rather dirty skylight filter!

As seen from the side we can clearly see nice, unblemished lens, with Cannon's hallmark red ring feature, distinguishing this as one of their top-tier lenses, a 40mm f:1.9
Easy to use, just a shutter button and light and sound signals indicating if the user has to do anything.

As seen from the other side, we se the flash pop-up unit, manually controlled, 
the viewfinder and the AF windows, a quite accurate Canon CAFS unit.
Other than that we see the manually set ASA (ISO) window, which is great for anyone that 
prefer to push or pull the film speed

Quite clean back with manual controls : Flash pop-up, flash clear light signal by the viewfinder window
a film transport window that clearly signal moving film, and the power control button.

The power control button has battery control via a sound signal, off, on and self timer.
the button itself or control whell is quite wriggly so extreme care ahs to put it off, inn order not to deplete battery power. There are no othe controls, this is a auo-only camera, but combined with a good AF feature, and a sharp lens and manualm control over the flash it is possible to control picture quality to a degree.

To use the flash it has to be selected via the flash pop-up button, and wether it is needed is via a sound signal, flash ready light is by the viewfinder window, if one choose to ignore this signal, the auto-exposure will select a longer exposure time, and a full lens opening, i.e. one needs a tripod!

Uncluttered underside, two buttons film sprocket release, and auto film rewind, and a tripod socket, plus the motor batteries door.

The film chamber is clean and evverything is bright, note lack of film DX-decoder in the leftmost film casette chamber, a little surprising for such a modern camera and the film easy load feature

Close up of the film easy-load feature, just pull the film leader, place it over the take-up spool and close the back door, the little roller to the right her will catch the film leader and make sure the grippable surface catches the film securely. To ascertain that everything works properly, just watch the little film-advance indicator window.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Carl Zeiss Jena, Werra mat

This is an example of a family of cameras, Werra introduced by Carl Zeiss in the early 1950's
The Werra range was the only camera ever produced by the renowned german lens manufacturer, they where reputedly designed by german prisoners of war, former Carl Zeiss employees, who in some cases had a strange life after capture: in 1945 the russians took the camera factory producing Zeiss Ikon Contax cameras and shipped all of it to Ukraine. Setting up the factory, they had trouble getting it back in production, and former german POW's was shipped back and forth ironing out troublespots.

In this turmoil, and since the germans no longer had a factory producing modenr, quality cameras, the Carl Zeiss factory decided to start producing cameras, and the Werra series was the answer.

This model, the mat, was a later model, and has a fixed lens, the range included fixed lens, interchangeable lens models, rangefinder models and exposure meter models.
This particular model has the Carl Zeiss Tessar 50mm f:2.8 lens, east german Prestor shutter and a coupled exposure meter, the readout for this is inside the viewfinder. All in all a modern camera back in 1958 - 60!

Clean uncluttered lines!
The camera top is clean too, acessory shoe, shutter release, and a window for the exposure readout.

Underside shows rewind, back-lock aned exposure counter, and lens house details.
Make a note of the flash sync handle (M X), it doubles as timer delay handle (V).

Here one can clearly see the ASA/DIN coupler, it is coupled with speed setting.

A closer look at the back-lock and the MX V handle, note the settings on the lock, this is a bit more involved than usual, the arrow points beyong the black dot, this is the lock position. 180 degrees to the left is the C position, which is Open!  Intermediate position is R, for rewind.........  Think about that for a second, one uses the open-lock control to control film rewind also!  Here one better KNOW what one isw doing or all exposed film will suddenly see a lot of light!  To the left in this picture is the manual set frame counter.

The opened camera revealing film rails, film advance and the interlock and locking parts.....

The film advance was special and shared across the entire Werra range : the innermost ring around the lens mount is the film advance, turn it a little more than 90 degrees and another frame is ready, shutter tensioned and ready to go. The other controls are traditional, manual focus, shutter and diaphragm setting the last two semi-coupkled and coupled to the exposure meter too

Nice uncluttered and absolutely one of the better examples of german camera design

A reallyn nice, sharp Carl Zeiss Tessar lens!