Fun Foto Facts
"A picture paints a thousand words" - seems especially true when showing picturing-taking boxes. Here are a few fun examples:
1976: Mini Mechanical Marvel
The Pentax MX was born 2 years before I was. Growing up using one shaped my experience of photography. Coming out the same year as the K1000 the MX was a smaller and more feature packed model. The tiny tank-like tool was Pentax's flagship pro camera, until the LX came out in 1980. Although their light meters seldom stand the test of time, it doesn't stop the camera from working.
1997 - 2017: Digtial Speed
Digital camera tech has rather stagnated in the 5 years since the Sony A9, but... Comparing it to the FD7, from 1997, illustrates some truly staggering advancements! The A9 writes: 140,000 times as much data (per second), to memory potentially 240,000,000 times the density. Each time the FD7 takes one interlaced 0.3mp JPG, the A9 takes two-hundred (24mp) RAW files with AF tracking.
2015: IR Special
Zeiss made three special "IR" (blue coated) versions of their lenses for near-infrared photography in 2015. The 25mm, 50mm & 85mm lenses were made in Nikon F (ZF), Canon EF (ZE) and M42 (ZS) mounts. This was a very niche product and sold for only a few years so They're pretty rare. Zeiss also ended selling off the prototype versions (low serial number) due to demand, which are hyper rare.
1959 - 1999: Firsts
Showing a plethora of Nikon history in one image. Not only does this show Nikon's first SLR but THE first ever purpose-build DSLR. Shot from a Nikon F5 that was converted by Kodak into an APS-H digital camera, connected to an old pre-AI 55mm Nikkor macro lens. Both lenses shown are the fastest 85mm Nikkor lenses made for each platform of the time. Stunning optics all around.
Back in 1995 purpose built DSLRs were still a dream. Bolting electronics to an existing film SLR were all the rage however. Kodak were the main game in town for this, but they charged a fortune for the privilege, so several manufacturers stepped in to see if they could do it for considerably less and gab some attention. Minolta managed to get the price down but so too was the image quality.
1958: All Black
1958 brought possibly my favourite camera design of all time; The Canon P (Populaire), which was mostly finished in silver (initially over brass). Although it looks spectacular in black, there were only a few officially made in that colour. Unofficial repaints are common, but there are several ways to spot real ones (like the one above). Along with black-paint lenses, these are pretty rare and expensive.
2017: The Year DSLRs Slowly Died
Sony had been making some great full frame mirrorless cameras by 2016, but they were not grabbing the attention from professionals until they launched the A9. They announced the worlds first stacked sensor camera in 2017, Canon and Nikon both had collective heart attacks and five years later both companies have all-but admitted that their DSLR lines are well and truly done.
1935: Barnack III
The Leica IIIa dates back to 1935, this particular one is from 1936. You can easily find older cameras, but the elegancy of these machines stands out even today. Perhaps it's the build quality or maybe the design, but there's just something special about these old Barnack Leica's that makes them feel refined and enjoyable to operate and shoot.