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Tuesday, 20 March 2012


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it looks like a very interesting book, thank you for pointing it out.
i am glad to see the page with the epson r-d1! i bought that camera a while back, LOVED it, sold it to get a leica m8, and eventually bought it again.
there is something about that camera that is truly special ... unlike most digital cameras coming and going without leaving any trace, the r-d1 was a real game changer, and, in my humble personal opinion, it still performs better than most techno-wonders out there (images speak louder than tech charts!).

I wonder if the Lytros made the cut.

If you're ever in Melbourne, Australia, there is an astounding display of cameras at Michaels (cnr Elizabeth and Lonsdale Sts,) covering all eras. I believe only 10% is on display, but it's free, and I imagine there aren't many places you'll see both versions of Compur Leicas in one place.Set aside an hour at least.

That Epson R-D1 looks really intersting!

Mike, the book states clearly that Plaubel did manufacture the Makina, and went over its history. Where Mamiya comes in is their manufacture of the last of the Makina cameras, which is true, at least according to wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plaubel_Makina.

I believe that Mamiya and Copal did make the Makina 67. Doi bought the remains of Plaubel in the late 70s and had the Makina built under contract. Makinas have bits from Nikon, Copal, and Mamiya and I had always heard that Mamiya did the assembly.

Ross and Hugh,
Fixed, many thanks.


Finally! A book I own.

Actually I was going through some of the cameras with my son last night. You never know when a life long interest will begin. It may have been last night, with this book at my place.


It is a great browser book, and I found it in hardback for $15 on Barnes and Noble's sale shelves last week!

While in spring cleaning mode I came across a 1988 Anniversary issue of Life Magazine that celebrated 150 years of photography. The issue contained an ad for the Casio VS-101 "electronic still camera" and featured an article on the Canon RC760 "still video camera". The Canon apparently went for five grand in 1988. Both used 2" floppy disks and the RC760 article showed how a photographer in California could photograph a Track Meet and send his photos to an editor in New York. It took 18 minutes for each full-color image to arrive.

Jim A

I almost bought one of the late 70s Makinas because it was said to have the same 75mm 2.8 lens as the Bronica S2A which is about number 3 on the "stuff I sold that I wish I had kept" list. I almost broke the Makina just looking at it in the store, but if it weren't so damn fragile it would have been about perfect.

Didn't you mention this once before? Anyhow, I bought it and was very disappointed. Definitely too superficial.

My son gave it to me for Christmas--and chose well. It's pretty good, if not comprehensive and includes modern "classics" as well as older ones. It is, as much as anything, a history.

The Kodak original digital camera is there, a wistful meditation for some on this pivotal point in photography, and on Kodak.

I am biased because I do have 4 of the cameras included.

Serious collectors will lust after the unused factory condition cameras in the Eastman collection.

I was also delighted to see the Epson R-D1. And also bought an M8 recently to replace it. Still didn't sell it, and what stefano said makes me even more hesitant. While the M8 feels smoother in the hand (after you get thubms-up grip for an extra EUR 150, well done Leica!) the Epson is more reliable at high ISO. M8-files can look good, but at times look like crap in dark areas, whereas the Epson is unbelievably good with its Sensor from the stone-age - and Lightroom 3 (shoot raw, no matter what arguments being construed).
Unfortunately my sample of the R-D1 drains the batteries quite badly (often not more than 30 shots), you cannot buy the good ones any more (originals), and the rangefinder patch is slightly tilted, which drove me almost crazy over the years, because I checked the framelines, which were fine, still my photos often came out off-kilter.
But the files are very nice, on a reliably frequent basis. And the M8 is not an M in the sense of the M3 or M6. Leica screwed up some things: not weather-sealed, no shutter-cocking-lever, no stop a A-position on the shutter-dial, shutter-dial goes wrong direction (like M6-TTL and M7), so you can't mix Zeiss or Cosina with modern Leica bodies, ISO in the menu, buttons on the back too easy to be pressed accidentally plus off-timer not working when screen is on (hello!?), shutter release not smooth (you need a soft release), on-off-switch is a shame for Leica, and the shutter causes too much vibration. And don't get me started on faulty sensors.
Still, there is no alternative to shoot M's digitally.
Seeing all the M-buzz of lately, I don't understand why no one jumps on this ship (and I don't mean EVF-stuff, I mean a real rangefinder - people should not be allowed to call cameras like the new Fuji a rangefinder ;-)

This looks like a nice update of Gustavson's earlier "Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital"

I routinely walk through the technology exhibit (aka, "a selection of 500 Cameras") at GEH, which is a permanent exhibit. Most of it remains the same, but they do rotate a bit.

The only problem is the damn glass cases and security guards.

Mike, you might also be interested in an earlier book by Todd Gustavson/George Eastman house, "Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital" from 2009. Large size 10x12, it uses some of the same camera shots but also has lots of photo history. It's a great book, imho.

The listing on the B&N site has a "See Inside" feature to get a good look:

Amazon has it with a lower price (and help to TOP) but the shipping is a couple weeks out. Apparently, a paperback edition is coming out in September of this year in 9x10.5 size.

(Full Disclosure: The publisher Sterling Signature is owned by B&N. I work part-time at a B&N store in St Paul but I am not trying to shill for my employer.)

Andreas, glad you are also enjoying the r-d1! i am sure you are aware of the fact that it is really easy to adjust the focus patch, right? it does go 'off' once in a while, if the camera gets knocked about in shipping or inside a bag, but it is a really easy fix.
batteries are also easy to find and cheap, non OEM perhaps, but it is ok, the same format was used by several types of cameras ...
i keep hoping that some day epson will decide to issue a new, FF version of this camera ... i know, it is only a dream.

I had the pleasure of visiting The Eastman House last November and enjoyed the camera displays as well as the rest of the house.
Even bought myself an 18% gray baseball hat!

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