In photography, the most important camera is the one that you have with you. This sentiment was first popularized by photographer and author Chase Jarvis, and it’s something that I’ve come to believe more and more as I’ve pursued photography over the years.
Of course, there are certain cameras that are better suited for certain types of photography than others. For instance, a DSLR will almost always produce better results than a point-and-shoot when it comes to things like low-light performance and depth of field control. But if all you have is a point-and-shoot (or even just your smartphone), that doesn’t mean you can’t still take great photos.
At the end of the day, it’s not what camera you use that matters, but how you use it. The most important camera is the one that allows you to capture the images that you want to capture, in whatever way works best for you.
Kodak Brownie 1900
The Kodak Brownie 1900 was the first camera to be mass-produced and marketed to the general public. It was designed by George Eastman, the founder of the Eastman Kodak Company, and it revolutionized photography. Prior to the Brownie, cameras were large, expensive, and complex devices that were used primarily by professional photographers. The Brownie changed all that by making photography accessible to everyone.
The Kodak Brownie was a simple box camera with a fixed-focus lens and a simple shutter. It used roll film, which made it easy to load and unload. The camera was very inexpensive, costing just $1 when it was introduced in 1900 (equivalent to about $30 today). Despite its low price, it was surprisingly well-made and durable. Over 150 million KodakBrownies were sold between 1900 and 1967 when production finally ceased.
The impact of the Kodak Brownie on photography can not be overstated. It popularized amateur photography and made it possible for anyone to take pictures. It also spurred the development of new technologies such as roll film and snapshot cameras. For these reasons, the Kodak Brownie is widely considered to be one of the most important cameras ever made.”
Leica I, Model A, 1925
The Leica I was very popular with professional photographers and amateurs alike. It quickly became the standard for 35 m m photography. Many famous photographers used Leica cameras, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, and Ernst Haas. The Leica I set the stage for all future 35 m m cameras.
Kine Exakta I 1936
Kine Exakta I was the first 35 mm single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. It was manufactured by the German company Ihagee Kamerawerk Steenbergen GmbH in Dresden, Germany. The Exakta name was derived from the location of the shutter release on early models which was placed on the side of the camera body, allowing for more precise(exact) composition and focus when using a viewfinder attachment.
The Kine Exakta I utilized a unique top-mounted vulcan it e wind knob and an innovative bayonet mount for its interchangeable lenses. The body itself was constructed of cast aluminum with chrome plated brass trim. Early models featured a black crackle finished leather covering, while later versions were produced with brown or green leatherette. The wind knob design allowed for one handed operation of the film advance, something that would become increasingly popular in future SLR designs.
Despite its advanced features and sleek design, the Kine Exakta I did have a few drawbacks. One issue that plagued early users was “flare” or light leaks due to its lack of an internal light baffle system. This could be somewhat remedied by attaching an accessory shoe-mounted viewfinder cover, but it was not a perfect solution. Another potential problem area lay in the bayonet lens mount itself which could become misaligned if not used carefully. Thankfully, these issues were addressed in future iterations of the Kine Exakta camera line and did not prevent it from becoming one of the most popular SLR cameras of its day
Kodak Super Six-20 1938
The Kodak Super Six-20 was a popular camera model produced by the Eastman Kodak Company from 1938 to 1942. It was a simple and easy-to-use folding camera that took six 2¼” square images on 120 roll film. The camera was constructed of bakelite and covered in black leatherette. It had a coated meniscus lens with two shutter speed settings (1/25 and 1/50 sec) and an aperture range of f/11 to f/22. The viewfinder was direct vision, meaning that the user looked through the same lens that took the picture. The Super Six-20 was priced at $12.50 when it was introduced in 1938, making it an affordable option for amateur photographers.
Despite its simple design, the Super Six-20 produced high quality images thanks to its coated lens which reduced glare and improved sharpness. The camera was also well-built and durable, making it a good choice for everyday use. It wasn’t until 1942 that Kodak introduced a new model (the Super Six-16) with upgrades such as a faster shutter speed (1/100 sec) and an accessory shoe for attaching flash units. However, even with these improvements, the Super Six-20 remained popular among amateur photographers due to its affordability and ease of use.
If you’re lucky enough to find a Kodak Super Six-20 in good condition today, it’s sure to be a treasured addition to your vintage camera collection!
Nikon F 1959
The Nikon F was a single-lens reflex (SLR) camera produced between 1959 and 1973. It was Nikon’s first SLR camera and the start of the highly successful Nikon F series.
The Nikon F used a bayonet mount lens system which was compatible with a wide range of Nikkor lenses. The standard lens for the Nikon F was a 50 m m f/2 Nikkor lens but other lenses were available including wide-angle, telephoto, and zoom lenses. The Nikon F also had a hot shoe which allowed for the attachment of an external flash unit.
The Nikon F featured manual controls for aperture, shutter speed, and focus. It also had a depth of field preview button which allowed the user to see how deep their DOF would be before taking the photo. The viewfinder had both automatic and manual parallax correction so that it could be used with both 35 m m film and 120/220 film without having to adjust the framing lines manually.
The camera body itself was made from die-cast magnesium alloy which made it very durable and resistant to corrosion. The baseplate could be removed so that the film chamber could be cleaned easily if necessary.
Overall, the Nikon F was an extremely well-built and versatile camera that set the standard for future SLR cameras to come.”
Minolta Maxxum 7000 1985
In 1985, Minolta released the Maxxum 7000 – the world’s first autofocus 35 m m SLR camera. The Maxxum 7000 represented a major breakthrough in camera technology, and it quickly became the gold standard for professional photographers. The Maxxum 7000 was packed with features that made it an extremely versatile and powerful tool for capturing images. It had a fast autofocus system, a wide variety of interchangeable lenses, and a robust build quality that could withstand heavy use. The Maxxum 7000 quickly became the most popular 35 m m SLR camera on the market, and it remained so for many years.
Today, the Minolta Maxxum 7000 is considered by many to be one of the most important cameras ever made. It changed the way photographers thought about autofocus systems, and it paved the way for modern DSLR cameras. If you’re looking for a classic film camera that can still take amazing photos, then you should definitely consider adding a Minolta Maxxum 7000 to your collection!
Sony Mavica 1981
The Sony Mavica was a series of digital cameras introduced by Sony in 1981. The first model, the Mavica FD-51, was a still camera that used floppy disks to store images. The first Sony camera to use charge-coupled device (CCD) technology, it captured digital images at 640 480 resolution and could store up to 50 images on a single disk.
The second model, the Mavica FD-7, was introduced in 1983 and improved upon theFD-51 with higher resolution (1024×768), more storage capacity (100 images per disk), and the ability to record short video clips (up to 15 seconds). In 1987, Sony released the third generation of Mavicas, which included the popular Model 3 as well as an updated version of the FD-7. These cameras added support for longer video clips (up to 60 seconds) and larger storage disks (200 MB).
The fourth generation of Mavicas appeared in 1991 and consisted of three models: The entry-level CD1000, mid-range CD3000, and high-end CD5000. These cameras retained the floppy disk drive of previous models but also added support for Compact Discs (CDs), which could store up to 500 MB of data. The CD5000 also featured a removable hard drive for even more storage capacity.
In 1995, Sony released its fifth generation of Mavicas: The budget Model 5 a followed by the mid-range 7 a and high end 9 a. These cameras ditched floppies entirely in favor of 1 GB Memory Stick media. The 7 a and 9 a were also notable for being among the first digital cameras with Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar lenses.
Finally, in 2006, Sony released its last iteration of the Mavica: The HD1000V High Definition camcorder/camera hybrid. This model captured stunning 1080 i video at 30 frames per second as well as 5 megapixel still photos – all stored on readily available DVD media.”