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Tuesday, 17 September 2019


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Colani designd everything! His bathrooms were eye-catching, to say the least https://i.pinimg.com/736x/7a/57/1a/7a571a94a78cea3fa712ea13b2ebe756--pink-bathrooms-retro-renovation.jpg And Teapots for Rosenrhal http://media.vam.ac.uk/media/thira/collection_images/2009CB/2009CB8717_jpg_l.jpg

Colani was good at designing camera bodies, where he was somewhat constrained by the existing components. His designs for big aircraft were frankly ludicrous - he assumed engines which did not exist and never could exist. You can't design a supersonic wing by the same aesthetic principles as a subsonic wing - the laws of flow are simply different.

I guess I resent him because I was continually being excited by the look of his designs and coming down to earth with a bump when it became obvious they were simply not functional.

Thos is sad news. But I had not realised until reading the article you referenced quite how much DSLR design and 1970s Yes album covers are, really, the same thing. This explains why I am simultaneously repulsed and strangely attracted by both. Only Pentax seem to have got anywhere near the true colour-palette needed.

I never liked the T series, or the 'big grip' SLR idea, nor is it ergonomically sound.

When your hands are at eye level that close to your face, the natural forearm angle is near vertical.

The big grip forced us to contort the wrist so that the hand was horizontal, with the result that a lot of DSLR users hunch forward.

It was a terrible ergonomic design for steady shooting, but good for packaging larger batteries required for AF lenses.

Personally, I held on to my AE1P as long as I could.

A good part of the reason I switched from the EM-5 II to the GX8 was the grip. Before the EM-5 II, I’d used Canons from the Elan IIe to the 5D to the 1D II. The EM-5 II never felt right because it lacked a Colani-style grip that I’d taken for granted. The GX8 got it right though, and despite being larger, was much easier to hold.

“I never liked the T series, or the 'big grip' SLR idea, nor is it ergonomically sound.

When your hands are at eye level that close to your face, the natural forearm angle is near vertical.”

I just remembered that I still have half a roll of film in the Photura.

Sad news regardless of Cameras. The world is always poorer when a true original like Colani passes.

On the T90; I chose the T90 over the Contax 167 for my 21st birthday back in 1990 because of that wheel. The coherence of the T90’s handling and design, along with its brilliant spot metering, kept me in the FD system through the AF SLR era until going digital 15 years later. While the T90 (and to an extent the T80 were clearly test beds for the EOS, the early EOS 6xx bodies lost the detail in the sculpting of the body and grip making them feel far inferior in the hand. The 1-series are definitely more closely aligned and carry on the T90’s spirit/DNA more clearly.

The Eos 1Ds I moved to was both familiar yet completely different and seemed almost comically large.

I still have a pair of T90’s and just acquired a couple of lenses as I’d decided to get the original out and shoot a couple of rolls in time for my forthcoming 50th.

One thing I especially like about my Fuji X-T series cameras is that they take me back to the classic, pre-T90 camera shape.


Personally I preferred the look and feel of the AE-1, which served me well until the late 1990s. Those curvy, bulbous cameras seem very unattractive to me, rather like the curvy external decorative features bad architects put on shopping malls these days.

My sincere respect to Luigi Colani. His influence on camera design is immense, and your comparison of the Canon AE-1, T90 and EOS1D is the perfect illustration. The first two almost concurrent in time but separated by a generational gap, but the second two almost identical in haptic philosopy, despite the decades that separate them.

For me personally, like for some of your other commentators, those friendly grips never worked. Today's Fuji XPro2 is of course much closer to the AE-1 than to the T90.

Our fellow TOPer Steve Jacob has I think nailed it: "When your hands are at eye level that close to your face, the natural forearm angle is near vertical." Exactly. The full grip makes this vertical position harder to do, whilst the absence of a grip brings it about in a natural way.

Ergonomic perfection, for me: the austere efficiency of a Leica IIf.

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