Topcon Super D.

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by tony_lockerbie, May 25, 2015.

  1. Aah, where do I start with this one? Apart from the Zeiss Contarex, I reckon that the Super D is the coolest, chromiest classic camera out there.
    Everything about this camera oozes class, the heft to the beautiful chrome, even to the lovely detailing around the self timer lever. The film advance is truly lovely as well, as as you probably have guessed, I'm an unashamed fan of the Topcon reflexes.
    Their lenses aren't too shabby either, and the 50mm 1.4 Topcor is a wondrous thing to behold. The lenses are getting a bit hard to find, and are very expensive when you do. I only have the two fifties, a 35mm 2.8, and the 135mm 3.5.Still would like the macro and the 28mm.
    Recently went to the Southern Highlands for a photo shoot around an old sheep property. The weather was most unkind, appalling in fact, but we still got some pics, mostly digi colour I'm afraid to say!
    Still, I packed the Super D with the 50mm 1.4 and managed a roll of Across. I did shoot quite few "still lifes" because they were mostly in a shed out of the wind. The 50mm, as I found, does go quite close and is very useful for this, although in retrospect I should have used the excellent 50mm F2 for close ups.
    I relied on the meter in the camera, which was spot on. For those not familiar with the Topcons, the meter is cross hatched onto the mirror, and I think that this is unique to Topcon?
    Anyway, here are a few pics along with the requisite porn.
  2. First one.
  3. Sorry, forgot to resize....again!
  4. ..and the last one.
  5. Aha, did it again! I've been away for a week and lost the plot. At least the big files show how good the Topcor is.
    Film was my usual Across in Pyrocat...thanks for looking.
    BTW Rick, I just received the carrier and glass for my Epsom scanner, can't wait to try it.
  6. Tony, nice photos as usual. I think you may have meant the 58/1.4. There was a 50/1.4 (GN) but the lens pictured is the 58. What about the 50/2? I have the 58/1.8 and the 55/1.7. I don't think there was a 50/2 in RE mount. My interchangeable finder model is the RE Super so the chrome around the shutter button and self timer isn't as pretty as on your Super D. My only other Topcor is a 58/1.4. I do have Vivitar and Soligor T4 adapters as well as two Tamron Adaptall adapters so I have a good selection of lenses which will fit my Topcons.
  7. Thanks Jeff, you are quite right....comes from not having the camera in front of you when writing! The 1.4 is indeed a 58mm, and the other is the 58mm 1.8....yikes!
    I actually do have an RE Super as well, much the same but not quite as pretty. The Exacta bayonet is a bit small, making fast lenses difficult, hence the rather large front element....looks good though.
    Note to self....not all standard lenses are 50mm!
  8. Great camera, built like a tank. But the photographer always deserves the credit.

    When I was in Vietnam in the mid-60s, they ran about $100 with 50mm 1.4 lens. Military pay being what it was, I settled
    for a Canon FT-QL, nice camera but not quite up to the Topcon. Then again, I am not nearly up to Tony's skill level,
    bloody cobber.
  9. Fine pics, Tony, very familiar subjects in my patch, even down to the pylon on top of the hill in the very nice "Across the Farm". I've never laid hands on a Super D, though I have a few lesser Topcons, and much as I'd like one the prices are getting a little hefty. Perhaps I should make the effort to sell some of my other junk and spend the money on a nice example, though I'm sure I'd have trouble finding one as pretty as yours. Pleased to hear the glass arrived and look forward to hearing how you go with it; an anti-static cloth is a good investment...
  10. The styling on these older cameras is just outstanding!
    Kent in SD
  11. Excellent images! There's obviously nothing wrong with Topcon's optics for sure, and handled quite deftly by the operator.

    I have to admit to not being a big fan of the front shutter release location though...
  12. Nice shots with a great camera and lens set up. I have several Super D's and a D1 or two and love them as shooters and for their design.
    When I was a kid c 1960-70's in Poughkeepsie NY, the local "news shooter" for the "Po'keepsie Journal" had a case full of Topcons. On occasion he would show at high school sporting events with his black, motorized Super D with the 250 exposure bulk pack. Now that was a cool machine!
    His everyday walk around cameras were a pair of really worn, chrome SD's. He always carried a "bandolier" of about a dozen rolls of Tri-X too. The good old days.
  13. Thanks all. Rick, the first thing that I bought was a antistatic cloth! Steve, a bandolier full of Tri-X....that's cool!
  14. Great series, Tony. The Topcons in general were rugged workhorses which offered enough accessories to meet most challenges encountered by advanced amateurs and well as pros. Quite a few pros (also newspapers) went with the Topcon system over the Nikon system. In later years (at least in the USA) Nikon's popularity and wider lens selection was too much for Topcon to keep up with. Also, Canon had become a serious player in the pro level SLR field as well.
  15. Mike, I think that Topcon was held back by the Exackta mount,too restrictive for wide aperture lenses. Also, if you compare the VF on the Topcon to a Nikon F2, the Topcon is quite inferior. Still, as a user camera and one just to fondle, the Super D is hard to beat.
    Les, yours looks great to, obviously later than mine with the black prism and the later series lens. Interesting that they went back to a 50mm for the 1.4. Do shoot some images with it, love to see them.
  16. I scored a Miranda Sensorex a few weeks ago and it has the meter across the mirror surface as well. The flexible wire to the mirror cracking with age and fatigue is a cause of meter problems with this series sometimes according to what I have read. The one in mine seems to be basically working and accurate. Not in the same class as a Topcon of course, yours looks very nice and the lens quality is evident in your images Tony, although for chrome beauty I'm not sure an Exakta Varex isn't even prettier. The Topcon is certainly a looker though.
  17. Brett, I was going to suggest the Sensorex as a candidate for on-mirror metering, but I recalled reading that the marks in the mirror are actually tiny slits that bleed light through to the metering cells behind. Subsequently, several sources have confirmed this, but there still seems to be some confusion, with "metering on the mirror" still being quoted from some sources.
  18. Yes, the Topcon professional cameras were among the best made, I have several of them along with at least one example of nearly every RE Auto lens, from the 20 mm to the beastly 300 mm Topcon R f2.8. They are lovely to behold, wonderful to fondle, and easy to shoot with, although rather heavy. I love the front shutter release and the silky advance.
  19. Brett, I was going to suggest the Sensorex as a candidate for on-mirror metering, but I recalled reading that the marks in the mirror are actually tiny slits that bleed light through to the metering cells behind. Subsequently, several sources have confirmed this, but there still seems to be some confusion, with "metering on the mirror" still being quoted from some sources.​
    I've just taken a quick look, and the Miranda which I acquired a few weeks ago is a Auto Sensorex EE. In this case there is a wire connected to the mirror itself at the top corner of the rewind side, and the cell is definitely attached to the mirror, there is a rear cover behind the mirror rather than a conventional flat perch, the cover is totally solid, contoured, and I have no doubt its purpose is to house the unusual flat and wide cell shaped to fit behind the mirror surface. So the slits in the mirror coating permit the light to hit the cell attached to the rear of the mirror, and not a sensor near the film plane. Hope this is of some assistance.
  20. You're quite right, Brett; I've had a look at my EE and the system is as you've described. I don't have a Topcon RE with which to make a comparison, but this quote from Wikipedia regarding the RE suggests that it's the same procedure:

    "The meter cell is actually incorporated in the camera's reflex finder mirror. This was accomplished by milling narrow slits in the mirror surface letting a fraction of the light through to the CdS cell placed just behind it."

    So, in neither case is the light metered off the face of the mirror, but from cells within the construction of the mirror. I hope I've managed to get my head around it! I'll have to talk about "in-mirror" metering, in future...
  21. I think you've summed it up well Rick. The light isn't metered from the mirror front surface of the Miranda, but it is picked up when it passes through the mirror to the cell attached to the back of it.
  22. Well, I learned something new, and as they say, the more you learn the less you know! Always thought that the meter was on the there you go!
    Brett, you are quite right about the Exakta, very pretty, and the Contarex Bullseye is also a contender for chrome goodness. Maybe we should have a "chrome off" here on PDN.
  23. "Maybe we should have a "chrome off" here on PDN"

    A fun idea, Tony! Why don't you kick it off for the weekend? It would provide me with the stimulus to polish up a couple of old cameras...​

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