As a professional archivist, understanding the context and provenance of archival material is hugely important. When I look at my camera collecting, I have applied a similar criteria to my hobby. I often like to collect cameras which are representative of a significant development in the history of photography or history in general and I …
As I write this, a heavy shower has just passed and the sun is beaming down once again. Photons are showering the solar array on my roof and switching our power supply back to free electricity. Solar power has been a long time in the making. The photovoltaic effect was first observed in 1839 by Alexandre Edmond Becquerel at the astonishing young age of 19.
Interchangeable lens 35mm rangefinder cameras became popular almost 90 years ago when Leitz introduced the Leica II and Zeiss debuted the Contax I. Both companies brought out full lines of lenses, and dominated the market for 35mm format. The design philosophies of the two companies were very different.
On an undisclosed date in September, 1979, Cosina released the CT-1 to little fanfare. After all, it was hardly a game changer. The CT-1 is a 35mm SLR with a Copal Square shutter, similar to that of the Nikon FM; a self timer providing a ten second delay and mirror lockup; and a Pentax K mount. The plates are plastic and the body feels rather cheap. The Cosina CT-1 is the distillation of all of the compact budget SLRs of the 1970s and has no distinguishing feature other than its legacy.
Recently I stumbled across a very old brown leather bag on the flea market in the German School in Beijing. It turned out it housed an equally old camera. On the back of the camera it said 120, which meant I could load it and shoot it with film that’s still readily available. I asked the seller if he was ok if I paid 120 RMB (c. 16 EURO) and he agreed. So I got a roll of 120 film for it and youtube’d how to load and shoot the thing. I believe there are at least 50 models of this camera and so I couldn’t find out if it is from 1920 or 1936. Nor could I find a matching manual.