60 Years Ago - May 1954

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by marc_bergman|1, May 9, 2014.

  1. Welcome to May 1954.
    I thought we would start with an excerpt from Jacob Deschin's book "35mm Photography". Photography magazine published this excerpt and I think it is a good introduction to this prolific author. You can still find his books on Amazon.com and Ebay. I have his Canon book.
  2. For those of you following Mike Gammill's "Vintage Filters" posts here is a nice article.
  3. Here is an interesting article on the Speed Graphic from this month's Modern Photography.
  4. Another article from Modern on the effects of different shutter speeds.
  5. Here is this month's camera equipment ads.
  6. Here are this month's dealer ads. I really like the Burleigh Brooks ad.
  7. That is it for May 1954. All comments and suggestions welcome.
  8. Always a pleasure, Marc. Thanks! I enjoyed the Speed Graphic article very much.
  9. Thanks, Marc. Always fun to see pages from these old magazines.
  10. Wonderful Leica marketing:
    "captures all that your eye sees - Set the Summaron to f/11 at 11 feet - Everything from 5 1/2 feet to infinity will be in sharp focus"
    Leica May 1954
  11. Wow, 1954 was 60 years ago? Eek! Really love the Rollei ad, have to try and get a ood copy of that to frame.
  12. Great coffee-break reading once again, Marc. The Rollei ad is a little surprising, in that it's more the sort of approach the British retailers indulged in. And more and more I'm finding myself exhibiting an unhealthy interest in the smaller Graphics...
  13. Careful Rick...they quickly become bigger!
  14. Glad everyone liked this post.
    Tony - Here is a larger and hopefully straighter copy of the Rollei ad.
  15. Hi, Marc thanks for posting all those scans, mate. Just by coincidence, last week I scored a 1954-ish Diax 1b at a charity store, in amazingly minty condition. Unfortunately, seems the days of picking up old classic cameras at these places for ten or fifteen bucks are long gone (sigh!). This Diax had a $120 sticker on it, but I managed to get the manageress of the store down to $80. Still a lot to fork out, seeing it's only got a very bottom-line ISCO F3.5 Westar triplet lens - but it's in such such good nick, I thought 'What The Hell!"
    If you should chance to find an ad for the Diax 1b/11b range in any of your 1954 photo magazines, I'd greatly appreciate if you could scan and post it. (PETE IN PERTH)
  16. Peter - Glad you like them. I hope those bargain days aren't behind us. Perhaps we just need to temper our enthusiasm for the classics. LOL. Like that is going to happen.
    I haven't had any luck finding a Diax ad. I know that Carl Heitz was the US distributor and that they also imported the Alpa camera. I will keep looking and will post what I can find.
  17. Peter,
    I actually had 2 ads for the Diax scanned and on my hard drive. I found another in the Nov. 1956 issue of Modern Photography. Compared to their competition they didn't advertise much.
  18. Hi, Marc much appreciated, my friend. Diax adverts aren't all that common here in Oz either, although the cameras sold quite well probably due more to word of mouth. One of the old guys in our WA Camera Collectors Society recalls that he started work as a junior salesman at a Perth camera shop in 1954, and the very first new camera he sold was a Diax 1b. He also recalled that the Oz importer of Diax cameras was a Sydney company called Salmon and Gardner, and they were most helpful whenever he had to phone them about an order or whatever. He also recalls that the Oz importer of Leicas was the total opposite, being most unhelpful and giving the impression that they couldn't care less.
    Regarding my recently acquired Diax 1b, I've emailed Diax Guru Peter Geisler in Germany with my camera's details for his database. He came back with the interesting news that the 'cooking' F3.5 ISCO Westar lens is actually quite rare, and he's only got one himself. He reckons most customers preferred to shell out more money and get a Schneider Xenar or Xenon. PETE IN PERTH

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