The Aires 35-V: A Foggy Day in Lenexa

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by lou_meluso, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Today, it was a very foggy day here in Lenexa, Kansas. Even familiar places seemed to take on an eerie look. A good day to take out the Aires 35-V for a spin I thought.
  2. For this outing I am using a 1958 Aires 35-V rangefinder camera with a Coral H 45mm f/1.9 lens. This camera was a kind and generous gift from my friend Clarence Gass.
  3. The 35-V is the last and best of the Aires rangefinders. It featured an on-board meter and a series of interchangeable lenses that mount in front of a “focal plane leaf shutter”. The Coral-H 45mm f/1.9 lens is brilliant and is the same lens found on the Aires 35-III. See my post here for a discussion of this fine lens:

    This is a beautiful camera to hold and behold. You can feel the quality in your hands. It sports a Seiko leaf shutter with speeds from B,1-1/400. The on board Selenium meter is working and spot on accurate! That surprised me most of all.
  4. Shooting with the camera you get the sense of old school solidness. The fit and finish seems excellent on my example. The film advance feels positive, if a little stiff, through its travel. The lever is not as beefy as earlier models, but my thumb liked it as well. The focus is smooth, easy and quick. The shutter release has good feel but a very slight mechanical/spring noise accompanies it when the shutter is fired. It has a very bright finder with good eye relief for eyeglass wearers. While a foggy day is not the best to show off the quality of a lens, that’s the weather we have now so….here are some pics on Fuji Superia 400 film.
    #1 Frozen Creek
  5. #2 A Local Antique Shop
  6. Not my favorite hangout but the fog adds an spooky element.
    #3 Lenexa cemetery
  7. #4 Old Hoe in the Snow
  8. The gift of a camera is special and this one is special to me. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to make pictures with such a fine machine. I just can't wait for the sun to come out now to see how she performs in better weather. The years of joy this camera will bring have only just begun. Thanks Clarence!
    #5 Old Barn in the Fog
  9. Louis, some of the nicest samples I've seen on this forum. Well done! I remember having the hots for an Aries lllC back in the late 50's but my wants always exceeded my bank account. Ask Clarence if he needs any more friends; I'm volunteering. :) Best, LM.
  10. Well done!
    Nice camera too, thanks.
  11. Beautiful shots. The camera looks gorgeous also.
  12. Images are as good as I get with my 1954 Leica M3 with same age collapsible Summicron. I sold my 3 lens Aire outfit some years ago, before I bought the Leica. By the way even longer ago, I had an Aires Twin Lens Reflex with Nikkor lenses, that too is long gone, I kept my Rolleiflex ca 1939 Automat.
    Wonderful images from your equally superb Aires V in the capable hands of a skilled photgrapher! Thank you for sharing.
  13. Thanks Louis! wonderful pictures. The fog makes the snow more romantic! So why are you in a hurry for the Sun shine. Post more fog and snow shots, please! I especially like the old hoe in the snow! Lovely! regards, sp.
  14. Well done.
  15. That is a nice camera Louis. And it looks like the lens performs admirably. I like the snow hoe also.
    Are the lenses easy to change? Also you said leaf/focal plane? both or which ? Just curious.
    My Speed Graphics have both sometimes, and sometimes not with a barrel lens.
    Oh, you said Focal Plane Leaf Shutter. Does this I assume means that the leaf shutter is near the focal plane then...
  16. Just beautiful, Louis. The combination of snow and mist just has to be a winner, combined with a big dollop of camera skills and a fine camera. The cemetery and the old hoe, particularly, are classic photographs.
  17. Great photos from a wonderful old camera.
  18. Absolutely beautiful, Louis! "Frozen Creek" looks all too familiar while "Old Hoe" is a wonderful picture, worthy of a frame and a spot on a wall. The camera is gorgeous and obviously performs quite well (with help from a master photographer), and looks like one I should add to my arsenal. Excellent series...thanks for posting these!
  19. I've been hunting for an Aires. They say "It's the photographer, not the camera", but a finely crafted mechanical camera seems to inspire me to do my best. I love the way that lens renders; razor sharp, but not at all devoid of character. Great stuff.
  20. Louis, you've been posting some really fantastic topics and awesome pictures lately. Keep it up! I think the same shouldn't be in such a hurry for the sun to come back, I love your snowy pictures!
  21. It is a great skill to overcome challenging conditions and produce art like you have done with this series.
  22. Well like the others.. I'm very impressed. I like the Hoe shot and the Cemetery too! I hope you reply to SG, because I wanted to learn more about the camera, I guess I could look it up.. but hey talkin' about our cameras is what we do best here! The gift of a camera is a very special thing! I'm glad to see you're doing the right thing.. using it........... and I'm sure Clarence agrees!!
  23. Thank you all for the good feedback!
    SG and Chuck - Changing the lenses is a snap. They literally snap in and take a quarter turn to seat. A release button on the lens allows the process to reverse. The lenses have an aperture but no shutter between the elements. Instead, the leaf shutter is part of the camera. Focal Plane Leaf Shutter may not be entirely accurate as the shutter is not really at the focal plane but slightly in front of it. I guess "behind the lens leaf shutter" would be more accurate. It still maintains all the qualities of a leaf shutter-flash sync at all speeds, quiet operation, etc, but there is only one shutter to worry about. The shutter blades are exposed and easy to get to, from both sides, should they ever need cleaning.
  24. heres the photo
  25. Those are wonderful shots! I love getting out and burning some film whenever we have fog like that. I'd say that the Aires is giving you some good results.
  26. Hi Louis, great series and a phenomenal camera. I have made some attempts to acquire one of these, but never considered it too seriously.
    I particularly like the frozen pond for the depth and well thought out composition. That old hoe in the snow is a great study in form, and it's capture makes it a great classic photograph. Well done.
    You have an image of sakura film cartridge, is that a rebadged konica or mitsubishi film?
  27. Thanks Ralf! Sakura color neg film was made by Konica, introduced in 1964 I think. That roll came out of an old Taron 35 rangefinder, I just used it for scale and it's pretty red color.
  28. Wonderful shots, but BRRRR! I had to go make some tea just for a warm up, that snow registers as cold to my ancient bones. Beautiful shots and a lovely old gem of a camera. All the more significant because it was a gift from a friend. Many of the cameras in my collection were just that, gifts from friends and relatives that just quit seeing any use.
    You have posted many excellent photo examples, but none exceeded these. Thanks.
  29. The first time that I used an Aires rangefinder I was amazed at how well made it was, the only experience that I had with Aires was their rather unreliable leaf shutter reflexes, kind of tainted my opinion of them.
    You have shown how well this camera can perform, great work indeed. The Aires 111 that I have looks very much like a Leica M3 from a distance, no doubt deliberate!
  30. In one of the photos is a roll of Sakura film. Sakura was the brand name of films, papers, and photo chemicals by Konica. About 20 or so years ago, Konica changed their name from Sakura to Konica, hoping that the more familiar name would work better.
    I tested some Sakura films in the 1960's with an eye toward importing it as a Calumet product. Ken Becker, Calumet's owner decided that while these were good products, he didn't want the aggrivation of dealing with films, papers, and chemicals.
    Unfortunately Konica and Minolta merged trying to save themselves but they spent too much time on film/film cameras and didn't spend enough time on digital. So Sony bought the camera and lens division from the bankruptcy court.
  31. Thanks for that background info Lynn. I remember Sakura also made X-ray film and had a contract with the US Army to supply film to all the Army hospitals back when I was an x-ray/nuclear medicine tech in the service. I learned to wet process Sakura x-ray films by hand, in a MASH tent, long before I ever processed my first sheet of Tri-X.
  32. Excellent shots all around, although I particularly like the third and fourth images. They make me feel the chill!
  33. Beautiful pics from a very nice camera...I think I'll try to buy one, if I find it on ebay
  34. Aires made some of the finest lenses I ever tested in 1965! I developed a Plus-x film in Rodinal at 40:1 ratio for 1.5 hrs @70F. Then blew up the photo to 30x40" by reversing the enlarger post around and placing the paper on the floor! Amazing results! My friend tried it with his Summircron 50mm F:2 lens and gave up crying, God dam Japanese! Ha, i took $20.00 off him in a bet! Anyone that thinks the Coral lenses are cheap or bad never shot them! I have a 4.5cm F: 1.5 on my Aires 35-V and I love it! The problem was not the cameras. The problem was the American distributor in 1965. They were all drunks, corporate men of the three martini lunch in NYC and they ruined Aires Camera Ltd. by being incompetent advertisers and salesman. The Japanese should have never trusted that distributor!
  35. I used a Aires Viscount in 1964 with kodachrome l slides. I swear it was the sharpest lens ever made! My dad was shocked when we projected those slides..He was a leica man... I have two complete outfits of Aries 35-V, love that camera, looking for a Aires 35-V lens adapter to Sony A7r to do some shooting. Anyone know where i can find that? Regards, don@eastwestphoto
  36. Naturally a adapter has been made to mount the Aires Coral 4.5cm F:1.5 lens to Sony E-Mount mirrorless cameras. As you should expect the results were amazing! Prices for this lens, somewhat scarce are rising every day on eBay. By the way the other two lens 35/3.2 & 100/3.5 are also amazing optical quality. This was Aires final death heart attack as the cost of manufacturer, the high quality control; drove the firm into bankruptcy. As far as I know, no other manufacturer picked there bones as the change over to SLR design was all the rage and Pentax & Nikon & Canon was killing rangefinders. Sadly I write this Epitaph for the great Aires optical Company. I had a Aires Viscount in 1964 with the great 4.5cm/1.9 Coral lens. My Kodachrome 1 slides are still killer sharp to this day.
  37. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    That is a great photo of an antique hay mower (not a hoe). As a young boy back on the farm I spent some time on one of those being pulled along by a tractor. Back then it wasn't an antique (and neither was I).
  38. its 2016 NOW, Time flys! Having shot the aires coral 5cm F:1.9 in 1964, I was amazed. Remembering this fact i searched ebay in 2015 for a aires 35-V adapter to Sony e-mount. Today i tested the aires coral 10cm F;3.5 on that adapter to a Sony A7r. WOW mind blower, as sharp or sharper than my Loxia Planar 50mm F:2, yeaks, i only paid $8.00 on ebay for the lens. Amazing contrast and sharpness! It's a shame Aires 35-V and its lenses were such a secret in the early 1960's, why was that and who was behind that? Regards, Don@eastwestphoto
  39. Where can I buy the Aires 35-V adapter to Sony e-mount adapter? I try to search for a long time, but still can't find it.

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