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Back when they advertized on T.V.


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34 replies to this topic

#1
krag96

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When the camera manufacturers came into our living rooms and presented their latest consumer cameras in the last century,  Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus, Minolta, Kodak, Polaroid, and others on our T.V. sets during the evening news with Walter Cronkite.  They sold cameras and dreams, they even tried to convince the public with Fashion Models, (Cindy Crawford for Olympus), Paul Simon wrote and preformed the song, "Kodachrome" intentional or not, the song did help boost sales at Nikon, many Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen came home with a Nikon they bought at the P.X. on Okinawa, Japan while on R&R from Vietnam.  If it wasn't a Nikon, it wasn't a camera!

 

When Canon introduced the AE-1 Program via a T.V. ad, the wife had to have one!  An SLR that did the thinking for you, all you had to do to get good pictures was focus and shoot!  She convinced me to buy one, so we made the trek to, "Letts Camera Shop" in Lemoyne, PA. where we bought the AE-1 with an f1.8 50mm lens, Vivitar flash, 70ish-200 zoom lens, some film, and a bag to carry it all in.  I think the entire bill was under $400. including a free, get started lesson in the shop and some booklets. 

 

Minolta probably had the most irritating ad which ended with, "Only from the mind of Minolta..."  I don't think it did em much good as they always ranked far behind Nikon and Canon. 

 

What do you think, has the camera industry been lax in getting the word out via T.V. lately?  I'm just an old guy who doesn't think of a camera in a phone unless some slaps me up-side the head and reminds me, (and yeah, I got one, but rarely use it). 

 

 



#2
Ron

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Much of the glamor surrounding photography is gone. Today anyone with a phone is a photographer. No knowledge of the art and science of photography needed... indeed, it's often regarded as an unnecessary complication. Let the app worry about that stuff. Personally, and this may be a fault on my part, but I find phone cameras awkward. 

 

I think that many of the camera companies have adopted an attitude of letting the potential customer come to them and spend most of their advertising budget on photography magazines and websites. I won't go so far as to say they've given up on TV but I do think that they've become wary of spending large sums of money because the return on investment just isn't there anymore. This is probably true of film as well. Didn't always be that way tho. I sometimes wonder if Nikon would have ever become the company it did if not for the film "Blow Up".

 

I used to use Minoltas and you better not talk nasty about them.... :P

 

--Ron



#3
krag96

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Perhaps the glamor is gone, but not the art.  I've experienced some "looks" while afield with various cameras either doing shots of something not usually seen as "photo worthy" or the particular camera itself.  Try being out in public with an old wooden 8x10" camera once!  And yes, it was fully functional and taking some B&W pictures with it.  Laying on your back on the marble floor of the Pennsylvania Memorial at Gettysburg getting a shot of the inner bronze dome, people look at you like, "Huh?  That?  What-ever...''  It's actually quite beautiful.  It's fun in a way out in public with a SLR/DSLR, people pull their kids back, "Don't get in the man's way.  Can't you see he's working."  Being out and about with a real camera these days can be interesting, "they'' assume you're a pro on a job, even with the most basic of cameras. 

 

Camera phones being awkward is an understatement!  I've used mine in the strictest basic form, that is put it on camera and fumble to find the place where you press it to take the picture and that's about it.  I forget the device has a camera in it most of the time. 

 

Yeah, Minolta over-ran that ad even though they may have been ahead of the game in the tech dept. we called em, "camputers" and now look at us! :lol:


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#4
Ron

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Yeah, go anywhere that isn't a "photo mecca" and expect to be stared at. Been there, done that. You can even get some strange looks at places where cameras are common if your gear is a little larger and/or more unwieldy than what most everyone else is carrying. But I'm getting to the age where the stuff I leave home far surpasses what I choose to take. If only those phone cameras weren't so awkward! 

 

Oh, and speaking of Minoltas. I did a shoot recently at a gallery opening where flash was forbidden. The light was low enough that even with Auto-ISO I was still shooting at very low shutter speeds. My Nikon's "ker plunk" was very conspicuous even in "silent" mode. In similar situations many years ago the XK I used to carry would barely register a whisper. And, my XD-11 was only slightly noisier.

 

--Ron



#5
krag96

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Ron, did Minolta make Nikon fit lenses, or maybe vice-versa? 



#6
Merco_61

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Ron, did Minolta make Nikon fit lenses, or maybe vice-versa? 

I am not Ron, but I can still answer that question... Minolta never did any SLR lenses for other lens mounts, neither did Nikon. I used to shoot with Minolta MC and MD kit back in the day. I had mostly SR-7 and SRT bodies and Rokkor lenses, Ron's XK and XD were later models.



#7
krag96

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I am not Ron, but I can still answer that question... Minolta never did any SLR lenses for other lens mounts, neither did Nikon. I used to shoot with Minolta MC and MD kit back in the day. I had mostly SR-7 and SRT bodies and Rokkor lenses, Ron's XK and XD were later models.

I saw some odd listings lately for lenses either improperly placed or misleading at best.  Thanks for clearing it up.



#8
Ron

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Peter's right. Minolta was exactly like Nikon, Canon and Pentax among other Japanese camera companies in that they made complete systems ... but only for their own cameras. Their stuff was very, very good. Rokkor lenses were every bit as well made (both optically and mechanically) as Nikon's or anybody else's (and Minolta did indeed make their own lenses... from the glass right on up). It's a bit strange to hear people raving about Sony lenses nowadays because I'm pretty sure that they probably come out of the same Osaka plant that made Rokkor lenses back in the day.

 

My first Minolta was an SR-T which was built like a tank. A beautiful, all mechanical camera. I ran an awful lot of Tri-X pan film through that camera. My next Minolta was an XK which was very similar to the Nikon F. My XD-11 came out later... and the last Minolta I used extensively, an X700 came out much later. There were others but those were my favorites.They were all good cameras but the earlier models were, in my opinion, much nicer.

 

If you check manual focus lenses on KEH you'll sometimes see Minolta mount lenses mixed in with Nikon mount lenses. I have no idea why this happens.

 

--Ron



#9
Nikon Shooter

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The SRT-101 was all I could afford way back then.

While on an exploration trip to NY state, all was stolen so, 
with the insurance money, I got hold of a pair of used Nik-
kormat and stayed with the brand since.

At the time, Minolta had a good system.

Remember David Hamilton? :)



#10
krag96

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Nikon Shooter, Yes, I do remember David Hamilton.  I have some of his books. 

 

Ron, It's not just KEH, I see Minolta mixed in with Nikon at UPP also when I filter Nikon FX lenses.  That prompted me to ask.



#11
Ron

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Yes, I remember David Hamilton. Minolta featured him in one of their yearbooks. I believe he also used an SR-T with just a 50mm lens ... donno what brand of petroleum jelly he used on the lens though.  :P

 

Krag96, I mentioned KEH because that's the site where I've seen the mixing you mentioned. I have no trouble believing that it happens elsewhere too. It's been going on for some time though. I remember being asked a few years ago about whether or not Nikon and Minolta lenses were interchangeable.

 

--Ron



#12
Nikon Shooter

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 ... donno what brand of petroleum jelly he used on the lens though.  :P

 

 

Medical gel it was, the kind used with ultrasound scans
applied on a UV filter — easier to clean!


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#13
Merco_61

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The petroleum jelly on a Rokkor 50/1.7 is an urban legend. If he used petroleum jelly at all, it would have been on a filter. Besides which, he denied the petroleum jelly theory in several interviews.

 

The only technique recreations I have seen that came even close to his dreamy portraits used a systematically scratched filter and a piece of black stocking material with a hole in it stretched over the filter.

 

Medical gel on a filter gives a nice soft effect, but does not look like a David Hamilton portrait.



#14
Nikon Shooter

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Medical gel on a filter gives a nice soft effect, but does not look like a David Hamilton portrait.


I used the technique in the past and there were several ways 
to use the stuff.



#15
Ron

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I was joking about the petroleum jelly. But it's difficult to imagine how he might have achieved that dreamy quality in his photos using any other process. The joke about seventies glamor photographers smearing vaseline all over the front elements of their lenses goes way back.

 

If Hamilton used the process, which I've also heard that he denied, he probably would have been far from the only one. See:Bob Guccione and Penthouse magazine. 

 

--Ron 


Oh, and Minolta did at one time sell a defocus control lens that did produce a beautiful soft focus effect but I'm sure Hamilton never used it.

 

--Ron



#16
krag96

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I wonder if Hamilton may have used Cokin filters for some shots.  I have a good collection of them from the 80's used them on my Canon F1n and got some very interesting and sometimes wild results.  They're packed away with the F1n and I've been wondering how they would work with my D700.  Might prove more fun than using them with film.  I'm sure I don't have any, but I remember they sold a kit with color gels, might even still be available. 



#17
Ron

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I wonder if Hamilton may have used Cokin filters for some shots.  I have a good collection of them from the 80's used them on my Canon F1n and got some very interesting and sometimes wild results.  They're packed away with the F1n and I've been wondering how they would work with my D700.  Might prove more fun than using them with film.  I'm sure I don't have any, but I remember they sold a kit with color gels, might even still be available. 

Yaknow, it's funny but I seem to remember Minolta pushing the Cokin system back in the day. I suppose it's possible that he used them. They did have some interesting filters designed to do things like that. I'll have to try and dig up the Minolta yearbook that featured the work of David Hamilton.

 

I'm sure that, assuming they're in good condition, they'd work just fine on your D700. Only you can judge whether the effect is worth the trouble though. You're going to have to invest in step down or up rings.

 

--Ron



#18
krag96

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(Going on my aging memory here) Minolta was quite innovative and sometimes beyond what Canon and Nikon were doing in the later two decades of the 20th century, so it wouldn't surprise me they may have some connection with Cokin filters.   I'll have to dig through my F1n kit and see what I have, there's probably 5-6 rings and (guessing) 12-15 filters of various effects, but I know I never had any of the gel filters.  There's a couple of Cokin books somewhere and several David Hamilton books I'll have to take a look at.  Vintage Cokin filters and rings are available on e-bay.

 

Edit to add; It was a colored "varnish" kit that Cokin sold with their filter system, 5 colors to a set that I was thinking of.



#19
Ron

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Yeah, I can relate to aging memory. I never used any Cokin filters so I had forgotten how they worked. My bad.

 

I don't remember (aging again!) what Minolta's relationship was with Cokin but I do believe that they some kind of formal or informal relationship with them. Of course Minolta had their own line of regular round filters but I doubt if I have more than a couple of those. I used a lot of aftermarket filters from various companies but for some reason avoided Cokin. Probably because I was a "It's gotta be glass, dammit" snob.

 

--Ron



#20
krag96

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Having used them I'll say they're not much for walking around with on your camera, they're somewhat snug, but can easily come off if you're not paying attention and moving around and things get bumped.  They're best for studio and shots where you have time to plan and ready your shots then remove them.  They do very little to protect your lens at all.  They are capable of giving some wonderful effects and creativity right in the camera, but most of what they offer can now be done post processing in photo shop with a few exceptions. 

 

I'll have to find out how useful they still are with a DSLR as I've only used them with film. 


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