On the spot pentax

Pentax SP review

Anyone who wanted a cheap SLR camera in the 1960s or 1970s quickly came across the Japanese brand of Pentax. They offered affordable cameras with high quality, in a way comparable to Minolta. These brands were considered inferior to the big names such as Nikon and Canon, but nothing turned out to be further from the truth. The Pentax Spotmatic became one of the best-selling workhorses of all time. The Spotmatic was introduced by Asahi in 1964 and was the first camera with a TTL metering system, powered by a  battery. The body took common lenses with the famous and widespread M42 screw mount. The camera was produced until 1976, so there are still plenty of second-hand copies available. This SLR is also recommended by many professionals as the most appropriate vintage camera to learn photography with.

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Olympus Maitani -a classic SLR-

Olympus OM-2 review

We review the OM-2 that includes an innovative aperture-priority automatic exposure mode. The Olympus OM system is a line of 35 mm single reflex film and modern, mirrorless digital (MFT) cameras and lenses. The successtory of this popular series dates back to 1972 as chief designer Yoshihisa Maitani invented ‘his’  Olympus Maitani. It was meant as a feasible answer to the German Leica’s M series; small, compact and yet advanced enough to label the series pro-consumer. Technology driven cameras that emerged in a fast evolving series, known for their portability and high-quality optics.

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The vitalized Voigtländer VSL-1

voigtländer VSL-1 review

The Voigtländer VSL-1 is a 35mm film single-lens reflex (SLR) camera produced by the German manufacturer Rollei. Yes, Voigtländer was already in possession of Zeiss and sold again in the demise of the great camera company. The new VSL-1 was actually the Zeiss (Ikon) SL706 and rebranded as a Voigtländer. Only a few hundred bodies were built in Germany, and most of them in Singapore. Despite this complicated intro the Voigtländer VSL-1 was very popular amongst amateur photographers and students.

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The flattering Foth Derby

Foth Derby III review

In 1935, the Berlin cameramaker C.F. Foth & Co. introduced its third instalment of the popular Derby camera, intended as a counterpart to the expensive Leica and Contax cameras. Main plus, although unintentional, was that it could hold 127 medium size rolls. Although 35mm film had already made its appearance, the quality of the medium format proved significantly better. Despite strong ambitions and good quality camera and lenses, it failed to gain a meaningful position in the consumer market. Consequently, you rarely come across a second-hand one. If you succeed, buy one because they look particularly good in the display case. Let’s review this old camera from an interesting era.

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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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