Automatic SLR 1973-74

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by antony_glaser, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. Can some one give me a list of the Automatic SLR Cameras for my favourite Photography 2 year period 1973-74. Both Shutter or Aperture Priority makes please. I am fascinated at what appears to the different prices and manufacturers in this emerging market !
    I am aware Konica kick started in 1967 the automatic SLR market with their Autoflex, but I have read that for the considered period of 1970/2 the market could not afford to manufacture models as they would have costed too much to manufacture, but why ?
  2. tgh


    I have a copy of the December 1972 Modern Photography issue which contains their 1973 camera report on 47 models.
    Among just the 35mm SLR automatics, included are:
    Petri FT EE - shutter priority
    Miranda Auto Sensorex EE - shutter priority
    Mamiya/Sekor Auto XTL - shutter priority
    Konica Autoreflex T - shutter priority
    Honeywell Pentax ES - aperture priority
    Beseler Topcon unirex - shutter priority in a leaf shutter
    Not on the 47 camera list, but mentioned in a "first look" article elsewhere in that issue is the Canon EF - shutter priority.
    I think the Canon F1 also had an external attachment that allowed shutter priority. The Nikon F2 may have too.
  3. Nikkormat EL 1972.
    Nikon F2 Photomic S with the EE Control Unit 1973.
  4. I'll bet you'd love this: I have a set of Petersen's PhotoGraphic "Mini-Manuals", printed in 1973, titled "35mm SLR EE Selection Guide", 'Volume I - Shutter-Priority' and 'Volume II - Aperture-Priority'. In addition to the above, they include:
    Shutter Priority:
    - Mamiya/Sekor 528TL (fixed f/2.8 lens, my daughter had one of these with Sears badges)
    - Ricoh Auto TLS EE
    Aperture Priority:
    - Minolta XK
    - Yashica Electro AX
    Listed in the back as "More on the way" are the Canon EF and the Argus/Cosina EC-2000.
    As for your last question: That was the pre-electronics era - calculators were assembled by hand and cost hundreds of dollars, and a 1972 watch repair text explained that electronic watches, while available, would never be more than an insignificant niche market due to their extreme manufacturing costs. The first autoexposure SLRs used a mechanical system to trap the meter needle and transfer its reading to the lens aperture with springs and levers. Aperture priority was considered a radical, impractical and excessively costly approach when it appeared in the Spotmatic ES and the Nikkormat EL. It was only a few years later when, scientific calculators now being mass produced and selling for under $20 at retail, Canon introduced the first mass-market automatic, the AE-1. This rapid advance in technology was not foreseen less than a decade before it occurred.
  5. 1974- Minolta XE-7
    Aperture priority with Copal-Leitz electronic shutter.
  6. Aperture priority is the best way to go, although these cameras are getting a bit old, and there may be some reliability issues.
    The sturdiest would be the Canon F1 and Canon EF (if you can find one) and the nicest would be the Minolta XE (or Leica R3) with the Pentax being great to use but prone to metering problems and best avoided.
    With shutter priority, the Konicas are built like tanks and should prove reliable, the T3 being the best.
  7. I do believe the Canon EX Auto was introduced in 1972. Aimed at entry level photographers, this camera was built to the same quality point as the pro F-1. Takes unique screw-in lenses (four of 'em) of excellent quality. It had shutter priority and a dedicated strobe, the Canonlite D, same one used with the later Canonets. Needed a merc battery but worked fine as a total mechanical camera with out one.
  8. Shown in prototype form at the 1974 Photokina was the Olympus OM2 - but it did not hit the streets until a year or so later.
  9. I was going to say OM-2. One thing that is important to look at in this period is the development of metering cells. Prior to early 1970's era, CdS cells were the primary metering cells used in cameras. In the early 1970's silicon cells became available and they changed the way that cameras were able to meter.
  10. The Konica Auto Reflex was introduiced in Japan in 1965. It had shutter priority automation but an external meter cell. I think the aperture priority system of th attachment for the Contarex SE predated the other aperture priority 35mm SLR cameras. Was aperture priority better than shuttter priority? For scientific work and landscape shooting it has some advantages. When the Canon A-1 and Minolta XD-11 were introduced the argument was settled. You could have both aperture priority and shutter priority automation in one camera. The Canon F-1 could be used with the cumbersome Servo EE finder for shutter priority automation. I have an EX Auto. It is not built to the same standard as the F-1. I still consider it an interesting camera and I have the 35/50/90/125 lenses for it.
    My experience with Konica Autoreflex T3 cameras was not altogether good. It is not well sealed against dirt and it develops a problem where the shutter fires again while you let the film advance lever back. The Autoreflex T2 was far more reliable. The T3N is probably the nicest of the large size pre-FS-1 but it did not come out until after the '73-'74 time frame.
  11. Canon EF (Shutter priority )
  12. A mate of mine said he recalled the Minolta XM was an Aperture Priority SLR Camera coming out 1973, anymore details ifor this helpful thread

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