Following on from a recent posting by Tim Wainwright, we met up at Southwark’s Borough Market, along with another 35mmc contributor, Peter Roberts. The idea was to get to know each other and to find some interesting things to photograph. This posting is an attempt to document our walk along the banks of the Thames …
I’ve written before about the British camera industry. I’ve done a review of a medium format SLR from a company called ‘Aeronautical General Instruments’ (AGI). AGI were based in Purley Way, Croydon. They produced AGILux cameras and lenses there. AGI claimed to produce everything in the one factory, even constructing their own lenses and shutters.
In clearing out my late father’s stuff, I came across quite a few cameras. Dad was an instrument maker and specialized in optics. He used to buy up cameras out of ‘bargain bins’ and try to bring them back to life. One of the cameras I came across was a Minolta X-300. I’ve owned quite …
Konica produced Sakura film (later simply rebranded to ‘Konica’). They were the second-largest film producer in Japan after Fujifilm. As well as their own films, they produced films for lots of third parties. They had every good business reason to encourage rapid winding and exposure of their product.
In 1979 Konica produced a landmark camera with a winder.
It was not the first SLR with a built-in winder (that was the unmetered Minolta SR-M), but the FS-1 was the first automatic SLR to feature the winder integrated into the body (rather than bolted on the bottom). It also eliminated the manual wind-on lever. With a generous grip for the right hand to house the alkaline batteries required, It had a profile that was radical at the time, but which now seems rather familiar.
Back in the 1970s competition in the SLR camera market was fierce. Most companies needed to innovate regularly to maintain their profile and market share. Konica had been building up their Autoreflex system for some years. With the T3 they had produced a camera that did pretty much everything and was backed by a highly respectable system. However, there was still a need to keep up with trends and innovate.