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Monday, 19 September 2011


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Mike J? Now that's an odd coincidence. and coincidence it must be, as that comment didn't sound the slightest bit curmudgeonly. Lately the Famous (or is that Infamous? Or even Notorious?) Mike J. of TOP has been described as curmudgeonly (I believe by self and others). So it can't be the same guy, surely.

Pfff, that Mike J. guy doesn't know jack!

Critique does not mean "slam." I don't remember what teacher told us that, nor what the subject material was, but I've never forgotten it. I keep that in mind when reviewing anything.

Hilarious that some feel so threatened by Sony that they prefer Panasonic.

The Brownie makes it by default, but the single-use 35mm point and shoot does not? How influential to /photography/ do you have to be to make this list?

I thought the strangest thing about the list is that it was essentially 20th and 21st century, even though photography had only been invented a few dozen years before that early Kodak. If you want to call it an all-time list, why wouldn't you put on it the first camera to use film? Or the first camera, period?

As for the Sony a55 or whatever it was, you gotta give a list-maker at least one free one, which the Sony was. I think if you interviewed 99 other camera gurus for the same list, none of them would choose that Sony. Or any Sony, for that matter. But, you gotta give the guy one free one.


I avoid religious battles. They always end badly.

Everyone has an opinion, most are based on anything from emotion to prejudice. Automation and computers have made cameras a carrier for the latest innovation in "picture capture".

The "greatest influence" in cameras in my life time has been quality of picture("negative") and print. All of the mentioned and some not mentioned cameras have made great contributions to the art/hobby/profession of photography and our enjoyment of same.

The list is good but the "Most" Influential is still a personnel opinion, and not one I can agree with ---

Why post a 'list' like that - on International Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day?

Here is a better one ~ARRRRRRRRRR


Cheers Matey! Jay

Dear Mike,

Y'know what amazes me? I can only come up with two quibbles. I read down the list and kept going, "uh huh, uh huh" to myself.

Quibble 1: DCS 210. Important, yes. Influential? I dunno (Aside to readers-- yes, there's a difference, which is why Polaroid and Speed Graphics, just to mention two VERY important names, shouldn't be on the list.)

Quibble 2: It's WAY too early to say about the alpha-55. An impressive camera, to be sure. But there's been lots of impressive digital stuff (micro-4/3, Red. etc.) which has yet to demonstrate influence.

All things considered, it's a miracle Jason and I are so much in synch.

pax / Ctein

Actually most of his choices make sense. Including the iPhone is especially smart - it is the most used camera in social networking by a long shot...

The last choice seems like an excuse to get some more advertising revenue, but all in all it's a good list, and a good read.

Too many digital cameras for my taste, as that weights the "influence" heavily towards today, but I can't disagree with the film cameras chosen, except that the M3 should be there.

(And maybe at least ONE of the 15 film cameras *I* own) ;)

What about a Speed Graphic? Or the Hasselblad V-series?

Not a bad list, but definitely too heavy on the digital side. And wasn't the Canon D30 (not the Nikon D100) the first "affordable" prosumer dslr?

I would add the Olympus Pen F, a great film camera whose impact is continuing to be felt as manufacturers obliquely compete with the Olympus line to the great technological good.

I read most of the comments at the Adorama site and would only say the following re: Schneider's list.
1) I'd bet if he did the list again every two weeks for 6 months the list would be different each time (not100% different, but at least one change each time).
2)I would have substituted the K1000 with the AE-1. The K1000, though it sold zillions for years offred nothing that wasn't already common. The Canon, however was an early polycarbonate bodied camera, but more importantly, was IIRC, the first camera to use integrated circuits to control the shutter and meter. I'd say that's on par with the intro of autofocus (I may be confusing this with the A-1).

This isn't sour grapes on my part as I've never owned any of the cameras on the list.

(to the Adorama commenters that suggested the Argus C3, they baffle me. I used one as a lad and thought the designers of it must have built the old Defender video game. Horrible controls. But at least the Argus had a crappy lens and took poor photos to make up for it's ugly appearance.)

The Ermanox camera that Eric Salomon used - a breakthrough in available light photo journalism.



Hmmm, quite a lot to quibble about. Not exactly with what's on the list, but with what's not.

Really, where's Olympus OM-1? No TLR camera? Possibly Hasselblad 500C? Possibly the original Pen, too? Olympus Mju/Stylus or any similar camera? The first (successful?) autofocus camera? And yes, Micro 4/3?

Mike, I'd also quibble that any important or a very popular camera is also influential.

To Tom Kwas:

The Rebel may have gotten things started at your paper, but the D100 was also 6MP, and a year earlier. I would say that your paper waited a little long, even! Before the D100, there were several good 3MP cameras as well.

The only camera I thought was missing was the original Kodak Retina. The first camera to take the 35mm film cartridge? That seems somewhat influential...

No medium format .... Hassey ... Rollei ... I knew these names in 1960s when I was a little boy even I did not know a thing about photography. I noted these strange names (in Chinese) when reading books on some photos. Not that I would see one until 200x. But they are everywhere used in advertisment.

Large format ...

Also even for 35mm, I still think that the simple rangefinder (not M3) but simple one used by everyone in 1970s. It must come from somewhere and the design must be standardised by someone. Also, the 1980s auto everything ... Nikon/Canon/Olympus ...

What is the criteria, mostly used, most pro, most breakthrough ...

If go along the list, why no Canon AE that was mentioned and dethroned Nikon F but instead of two DCS ... Also, mention of D100, not it should be Canon D30 (and I am a Nikon guy) and then if mention Nikon D it should be D1 which is the cheapest pro digital camera if one compare with DCS.

"Into the night with D1x" is still an essay that I like to read from them to them.

Sorry who is that guy again ...

the comments (rants) on that page really make me appreciate that TOP comments are moderated, or maybe it's the readership that is more reasonable.

Thanks for sharing the link.

Relatedly, AP are doing a greatest cameras ever poll


Personally, I voted 1. Rollei original 2. Leica III 3. Nikon F

Given that it's most influential, and not "cameras I love," I'm delighted that the Pentax MX, ME Super, Olympus OM's, and (especially) Leica M's are not on the list. And I am also glad that (brilliant) dead ends like the TLRs and the Polaroid SX-70 are omitted. And I'm also glad that the Hasselblads are MIA (if only to elicit the venom of the Hasselblad fans who are, in this case, more rabid than Leicaphiles; I'd not thought that possible).

But the Canon AE-1 is, indeed, a terrible omission.

I'm surprised not to find a film EOS camera there. While Minolta kicked it off, and he rightly included the 7000, it was the Canon EOS line that really made AF important (looking at who got AF around me in that period).

And surprised to find the K1000 and NOT a screw-mount Pentax. As he says, the K1000 is just a a Spotmatic with an updated lens mount. It's the Spotmatic that was influential.

I can't justify the Mavica as "influential"; later cameras were nothing like it, didn't borrow much of anything.

I think there's too much digital stuff -- I think there should have been at least a 5-year stand-off from the present, to give some perspective before trying to make the judgment.

K-1000 was my friend for running about with. Got dropped, kicked, smacked, thumped, clanked, rattled, left to boil, left to freeze, and kept on going. It was the Timex of cameras...

Controversial is one word for it. I can think of some other, more accurate ones...

But I'm really pretty surprised that every time one of these lists is made, one camera that changed the course of camera design forever is always left off.

I simply don't understand why the Topcon RE Super seems to get written out of history by those who think they know history.

It introduced open aperture through the lens metering. Which is well, pretty much universal on every camera these days. Topcon had every other manufacturer of SLRs scrambling to catch up. Now, many people swear that TTL metering is indispensable.

Hmmm. It's too bad the idea didn't come from Nikon or Leica. Maybe people would remember what company brought it to market then.

The inclusion of the K1000 is baffling, as what is it but the C3 reincarnated as an SLR? I do not mean this in a derogatory way, I own both - but seriously? The K1000? What did it influence? It sold a lot, but so what? So did the Argus, and so did the Smena 8m, and those disposable cameras. If sales count as "influence" then surely all of those cameras are more deserving of being on the list than the K1000.

The Super Six 20 is another odd choice. It may have been the first auto-exposure camera - but the only influence it had was to teach people to avoid cameras with auto-exposure.

Maybe the next person to compile such a list will have better luck.

Little late to this party, but there you go. Interesting & informative list for me. I certainly get Ctein's distinction between influential and important.

i wonder if there is a counter-influence argument, too: those cameras that wandered off into dead-ends that caused the rest of history to avoid those mistakes. In my experience knowing what not to do is just as influential as knowing what works.

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