Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Rangefinder Explosion

This coming Sunday, October 14, I'll be in Novi Michigan, where I'll be doing my part as a member of the Michigan Photographic Historical Society. It is our annual Photographica Show, and runs from 10-4 at the Novi Community center. My annual job is running the tables that the MiPHS is selling stuff from. We are still selling off the remainder of the Naslanic estate, as well as some others, so this year will be a bonanza for someone, or many someones.

As I have had the bulk of the stuff in my garage, I have been able to sort through it and price the nicer items that we will be selling. Ross Orr came over last Sunday and helped out with that, so the SLRs and 35mm rangefinder cameras are set. Speaking of rangefinders, it was fun to look at them again, and see how nice some of them really are. Here are a few examples:

Ciro 35, Model S The Ciro 35 Model S. An American-made 35mm camera, from Ciro Cameras, Inc. , Delaware, OH, 1949-1954. Not a particularly exemplary camera, but it does have a rangefinder. Value - $20 - $50.

Konica II Konica II - 1951 all-manual rangefinder 35mm camera; 1 - 1/500 sec shutter, 50mm f/2.8 lens. Compact, all metal camera with a nice Hexanon lens. Value-- $80-$120. It's a beauty of a camera.

Yashica YK Yashica YK --1959 Japanese rangefinder, Yashinon f/2.8 45mm lens, 1/25-1/300 shutter. No meter.

Petri 1.9 Color Super Petri 1.9 Color Super -- An all-manual rangefinder camera from 1960. This one, unlike many Petri cameras, seems to work just fine. And, it is a pretty one!

And the nicest one of the bunch, as far as I see:
Futura-S Futura S -- An incredibly cool rangefinder camera from Futura Kamerawerk, Freiberg, Germany. 1952-55. Synchro-Compur shutter, B-1/500, coupled RF, f/2.0, 50mm lens. This one is a beauty and I knew I better photograph it, as I am sure I'll never see another!

It's plain to see, just from these few examples, how much better the Japanese and German-produced rangefinders were compared to American-made counterparts from the same era. Why buy an Argus C-3 when you can have a camera with more features, better appearance, ergonomics and lenses? And for not much difference in price? Even my lovely Argus C-4 pales in comparison to the Konica II. That Futura-S is just beautiful.

1 comment:

Avelino Oliveira said...

hi, I have just found an Futura P with 3.5 45mm lens in my grand father's house.
Do you any documents or site links that talk about de quality of this lens? do you have any opinion about this model?

Many thanks, Avelino