Picture it in 3D: Belplasca stereo camera

Belplasca stereo camera

It seems that stereo photography is (on its way) out. Even in cinema, the popularity of wearing 3D glasses for hours on end is declining. A pity, considering the special experience of stereography. Many also do not know that 3D photography had a real existence in analog photography. Still, there is always hope, especially if you want to experiment with top-of-the-line stereo cameras from the past. Like the legendary 35mm Belplasca, the Holy Grail of stereocameras.

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The practical Parvola

Ihagee Parvola review

German cameramaker Ihagee is mostly known for the Exakta cameras. Johan Steenbergen, a Dutch merchant, established the company (Industrie- und Handelsgesellschaft) in 1912. Steenbergen had previously been trained at Ernemann in Dresden. The German camera manufacturer gained much fame for its 35 mm SLR cameras. But before that their medium format cameras were succesfull as well. The most curious camera is the little Parvola.

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The Psychedelic Pentina

Pentacon Pentina review

Imagine a time of a camera industry in a socialist country under immense pressure to perform in a highly competitive and innovative worldwide market. And at the same time surrounded by poverty, hassled by unimaginative and reckless politicians. The 1950s and 1960s were ultimately the most dramatic times for the East German camera industry which, from its knowledge gained from the West German legacy, initially looked promising, but finally degenerated into a loss-making competition due to the unreasonable and unachievable demands of the East German system. The VEB Pentina symbolizes the immense complexity and is the embodiment of the proverb: blind pride comes before the fall.

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Objective of the Meyer Görlitz Orestegor

Meyer Görlitz Orestegor 200mm

There is no huge market for 200mm prime lenses. We see the 200 mm more often as the closing end of a zoom lens, which distance is very popular for portraiture and product photography as well as nature and wildlife imagery. But as a standalone lens, you probably don’t put it that quickly in your camera bag. Too bad, because the world looks interesting from that focal length and it is easy to test with, e.g., the review of this fantastic vintage Orestegor from Meyer Görlitz.

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Leica’s rewarding R6

Leica R6 review

Just like in the M serie, Leica also has the magic ‘6’ number in the R series. Just like the M6, the R6 is legendary. Both are fully manual operated cameras with only a battery for the light meter. They are like brother and sister. The M6 is a rangefinder, the R6 a SLR. Also in terms of age, they are not far apart. My black R6 dates from 1989, the M6 from the nineties. Both cameras have their undeniable charm, but the R6 doesn’t share the iconic status of its M counterpart. That’s a shame because every Leica fan should own this combination. In this review I explain why.

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Minolta’s magical ‘7’: the SR-7

Minolta SR-7

Minolta is the brand with a model number capable of marketing the very latest in camera technology. Just look at the appeal of a Minolta 7, in all series, this is the camera that sets the tone in the industry. Actually, this has remained true even after the takeover by Sony in 2006, because there too the 7 series is the big sales success. In 1962 the same was true of the then SR-7, the very first SLR camera with a CdS light meter.

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Leica IIIg. G for Gorgeous.

Leica IIIg

You can’t have enough Leicas, especially the classic Barnacks from the 1925-1960 period. All models will make your photography heart beat faster. They are gems to behold with very sophisticated fine mechanics, purely manual and visibly built with love for the craft and for a lifetime. Today the last in the series, in which all previous improvements led to the Leica IIIg, produced between 1957 and 1960.

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Eye catcher from Japan: the legendary Pentax 6×7

Asahi Pentax 6x7 MLU

If you shoot medium format, sooner or later you won’t escape the legendary Pentax 6×7. It is a mandatory camera in any serious collection. But above all, you take great pictures with it at 6×7 size, which is about 4x larger than a 35mm negative or a full frame sensor. The Pentax is the Japanese flagship in medium format. Big, heavy, noisy and expensive. But it’s also love at first sight (Updated review with examples).

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