Sociedad Ibero-Americana de la Historia
de la Fotografia Museo Fotográfico y Archivo Historico "Adolfo Alexander"
Fórum Yahoo [maquinas russas]
One calls reflex camera or (SLR) for Single Lens Reflex, as a reflecting reflex camera design in which the motive for the consideration is illustrated by the objective about a mirror diverted on a ground-glass plate (see pic. below). History and development the reflecting reflex principle was described for the first time by Johannes Zahn in 1686:
- By a lens a picture reaches a mirror which diverts round the picture on a horizontal ground-glass plate:
Common opinion is that first SLR camera with a pentaprism was either Contax S or Rectaflex. This is important issue since introducing of the pentaprism is very significant step in development of the SLR cameras (there are arguments for either Sport or Exakta).
Prototype or private venture ?
Dr. Rex Watson
Exakta Times, Number 7, June 1992
1983 an exibition called "Historic Cameras and
He was joined by Hans Kefle who prepared a text which went beyond the exhibits alone to become a history of camera development. The reulting book, "Historische Kameras" was published by VEB Fotokinoverlag of
Among the pearls to be found
illustrated is the Exakta Diamant,
which is said to be a prototype of around 1950 vintage. It was at this time
that both Ihagee and KW were introducing pentaprism accessory finders for their 35mm SLR's. These were made by Carl Zeiss,
It is possible that the Diamant finder is a cut down version of the Zeiss accessory, fitting directly into the camera body instead of into the waist level finder. But we can believe that an Ihagee employee would have been allowed (or have wished) to perpetrate such an inelegant lettering in capitals of the precious Exakta name? Was there any point in the "Diamant" version when we see the Varex prism? Perhaps there are clues in the well used camera body that suffered the indignity of the ill shaped Diamant. Whoever built the camera had access to a flash socketless body and an unengraved front plate of a Kine Exakta version 5 (Aguila and Rouah) or Type 4 (Wichmann) or even Type 4 (
So could this camera have been the product of an instrument maker with access to Exakta parts, but without a sense of Exakta style?
Another prism Exakta
Based on the serial number of this camera (595171), we can suppose that it is pre-WWII product. Another facts to consider:
1. Shape of the prism cover differs from other known versions. It is original, not made later. It os chromer from outside. Inner surface is painted in black.
2. Name plate is without name on it. May be some different variation of the name was planned.
3. Name plate has a factory rivets where usual Exakta has threaded holes.
Leather case is usual, so it is bit small for the prism (you can see wear inside).
It can be a factory prototype, an independent expert adaptation, or an adapting made upon requirements.
Undoubtably very well made.
Two front views
Five details of the opened pentaprism
Prism cover with removed shutter lock
More prism views
And here for intriguing you the prototype of Contax S of 1945/46!
Look for the high/slow spped button in the top of body . The self timer trigger in the centre of the lever, the different knob release and the Sonnar f2/57mm!
Here the Zeiss Ikon/ Sonnar Not Zeiss
When the prism Contax was born, immediatly there were produced prism for reflex cameras
And several adaptations were spoted.
from Pacific Rim Co.
From Mike´s Praktica / Pentacon Dresden Pages
But I cannot understand why this magnificent idea didn’t go further -Zeiss Ikon Compact Prism- For 6x6 TLR cameras.
The first 35 mm
SLR was the Soviet of 1935,
soon followed by the much more influential German Ihagee
which was fundamentally a scaled-down Vest-Pocket Exakta.
Both of these cameras used waist-level finders. Further 35mm Exakta models were produced before and during the World War
II, making the Exakta the first 35 mm SLR system.
Ihagee invented through-the-lens (TTL) metering
during the war years, but it was never placed into production; the Ihagee factory in
Meanwhile, Zeiss began work on a 35 mm
SLR in 1936 or 1937. This innovated by using a roof pentaprism
to enable eye-level viewing of an image oriented correctly left to right
(waist-level finders show a reversed image). To brighten the image, Zeiss incorporated a fresnel lens
in between ground-glass screen and pentaprism,
forming the conventional SLR design still used today. However, the war intervened,
and the Zeiss SLR did not emerge as a production
camera until Zeiss in newly-created
How does work
The (Roof) Pentaprism
The Fresnel screen
The beginings of SLR
1887 Foundation of the camera manufacturing Richard Hüttig in
1896 Zeus-mirror reflex camera with plate magazin as first monocolar
1897/98 Foundationof the Aktiengesellschaft für Camera-Fabrikation Heinrich Ernemann in
The Russian Front
Among the Russian designers of cameras in the second half of 80s years of the IXXth century, I.I.Karpov reached one of leading places. In his workshop Karpov created many interesting and pioneer designs. It is curious, that the same workshop made to order, various devices under drawings of other known Russian camera designers.
In 1896 at the All-Russia industrial exhibition in Nizhni Novgorod were shown various I.I.Karpov's devices. They were distinguished through their original design allied to a high workmanship. One of newspapers informed: " Karpov’s Devices have the worthy advantage from foreign samples, in the respect that they are not copied., and are executed in his own workshop under his own ideas ". I.I.Karpov's chambers received two gold medals at this exhibition. Their specifications and execution level, their design ideas are on par to foreign samples.
The same year took place at Moscow
a photographic exhibition organized by Russian photographic society, I.I.Karpov's cameras called the attention of the visitors " not only for the grace of
its work, but also concerning their finishing quality and the continous
aspiration in improvement of design
". Special interest was caused with chamber "
The first in
1935 has appeared, as already it was spoken above, camera " Sports " of a design of A.O.Gelgara (the initial name "Гельветта" [“Gelvetta”]; the name "Sports" was received after several improvements at "ГОМЗ" factory), become first-ever single lens reflex 35mm camera and was charged by non-standard cartridges of 50 pictures each. In total it were been constructed a nearby of 20 thousand pieces..
As price of " FED" and "Sport" cameras were inaccessible to the mass consumer, the release of more simple and cheap models were done. From the 30’s years we mention the following cameras: "Liliput", "Maliutka", "Cyclocamera", "Yura", "FEDetta", "Smena”
One calls reflecting reflex camera as a reflecting reflex camera a design for a camera with which the motive for the consideration is illustrated by the objective about a mirror diverted on a ground-glass plate. History and development the reflecting reflex principle is described for the first time by Johannes Zahn in 1686: By a lens a picture reaches a mirror which diverts round the picture on a horizontal ground-glass plate.
One of his reflex cameras (left) showing the interior with 45 degree mirror, raised flap at rear, and an extended lens with the cap off. This lens was really the same as used today. It could provide a clear focus because it was housed within a cylindrical tube and was then brought forward or back. Notice again, the wheels for ease of movement.
JOHANNES ZAHN ( - )
This year, Zahn published in
The page to the above right (from Zahn's 'Oculus Artificialis Teledioptricus Sive Telescopium' of 1685) shows a drawing by Johannes Zahn in the bottom frame, of a portable camera obscura with side flaps in order to shield unwanted light from the viewer's vision. It was considered portable not only because of it's size but also it's ability to be moved easily from room to room. Notice it's roller-wheels. Zahn was a visionary in many ways. He suggested the camera could be used underwater, projected on glass for multiple use and, as a clock.