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I see a vanilla Kiev and I want it painted black…

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…no chrome anymore, I want it to turn black   ♪

I see the Leicas shoot dressed in their black chrome   ♫

I have to turn my head until chrome from my Kiev goes   ♪

etc.

Yes, the Rolling Stones’ songs were all about cameras, but they had to adapt them to be more mainstream. Busters.

Now, today we’ll give a little rest to Zenits and their ancestors and we’re going to talk about Kievs. More or less.

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Chrome and leather

Plastic. EEW
Plastic. EEW

What is this? WHAT IS THIS? Yes, what you just saw in the pic above is an analog Canon amateur camera. The name is just not important, as Canon had different names for the same model in each continent, and sometimes they used completely different names for the same camera with some minor difference, like the color of the paint they used or the data back they mounted. These are just perks of global marketing, I guess.

But yes, this above is a Canon analog all-plastic SLR from the 90s. And want to know a secret? This is the camera which I have used most and most successfully during my days as an amateur photographer. It’s just so convenient: if you want, it’s auto everything (I normally shoot in aperture priority mode), it has a wind/rewind motor and you can even adapt M42 and Nikon lenses onto its EOS lens mount. The batteries last forever and the systems of the camera use it so wisely that you can even let it in ON position during months and it won’t deplete. Plus, it’s so small and light that you can take it everywhere without even noticing. The only down to it is that being all-plastic, you better be careful not to drop it on a hard floor or you will be picking up a broken camera; the hinged back is particularly prone to breaking: I’ve experimented this first hand. And hey, they can be bought nowadays for twenty bucks if you know where to buy (which is like one fifteenth of their price back in the day).

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Champagne Showers

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Someone told me once (well, it was my mother, which makes all this a little more sad) that the pictures I post in my blog won’t sell any cameras ever. “They’re non-descriptive”. Duh, nobody cares that the ones in the evilbay store are descriptive, but oh, well.

Maybe there’s something true about it, but I don’t think I’m giving up my studio style here in my blog. I really think my camera porn style really belongs in here. I’m not only trying to desperately sell some cameras to you, which is quite obvious, but also to share with you people some of my work.

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DisasteR

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Oh, look, a Leica. Wait, what is this… thing? Yes, this hump over it is a prism. This is a SLR camera, the last (well actually there was a R9, with identical external design) of the Leica R line. Yes, R stands for reflex.

It’s not that they were bad cameras (they weren’t), it’s just that they were hopelessly outdated in their time. Canon and Nikon gave infinitely more value to the pro photographer for his money, not only buck for buck, but in absolute terms: less weight, electric winding and rewinding, autofocus, high frame rate… If you were a pro, Leica-mania (or Leica bigotry) were the most powerful arguments to invest into the R system. It’s just that…

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Gimme an F

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Doesn’t look like it changed the world, eh?

 

For those of you who are not really into camera history, this thingie may look quite unimpressive. It’s just a simple SLR. The speeds range goes just from 1 second to 1/1000. No internal or TTL light meter. No auto mode and no automatic winding. Well, yes, it’s got interchangeable prisms, but still…

Even though, there are two things in this cutie that changed everything, EVERYTHING in camera and photography history. It was 1959, and Rangefinders were still king. The Leica M3, THE no-nonsense rangefinder camera was the rage: professionals had abandoned everything else because Leica and its system were aeons away from any competitor. Yet, this was to last only five years, because, friends, all pros abandoned their fabulous Leicas in favor of this unassuming SLR camera above: the Nikon F.

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