Wednesday, March 7, 2012
The evolution of photography gear
Photography has evolved so much through the decades, making tremendous strides in the digital era. In the medium-format era of the 1930s-1940s, photographers were often seen wielding their "compact" medium format cameras such as the Rolleiflex or Hasselblad, compact compared to the gigantic Graflex cameras they used to carry! Along came the Leica M3 which introduced a brand new 35mm film format, and radically changing what a portable camera system meant.
The 35mm film format was popular for more than 60 years, from the 1940s to the turn of the century. It witnessed the rise and fall of rangefinder cameras, to the dominance of the single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras. Legends such as the Nikon F series and Canon F-1 came into the scene and defined professional photography, although some marques like Olympus and Pentax did create some unique alternatives such as the Olympus OM4 and Pentax LX) to the huge and cumbersome professional SLRs. Around the year 2000, digital SLRs became more affordable and film never regained its former glory, although die-hard enthusiasts maintained that film delivers a special kind of magic that digital can never replicate!
This photo shows some of the tools that professional photographers have used from the 50s to the 90s. They belong to the super-cool personal collection of one of our school directors!