Of lenses and old viewfinders…

I’ve been planning on doing this for a while now, but only just got time.

It was my dad and my aunts who told me that my grandfather was into photography. That’s how my dad got interested in it. Watching him got me interested.

Back in those days, i.e. early 1950s, it was quite hard to get a simple point and shoot. Instead you had your Pentax, Zeiss-IKON, Kodak, AGFA, Rolleiflex among the prominent camera makers. My grandfather had both a Pentax and an IKON-Zeiss with an AFGA lens.

My dad tells me that my grandfather had his own dark room, complete equipped with appropriate chemicals (hypo solutions, silver nitrate solutions), a photo enlarger, and would meticulously prepare his photographs. Another time, I guess. My dad too initially developed his own photographs. Lucky him.

The first time I remember being aware of any camera was my dad’s Minolta. Then sometime later, I remember him clicking with a Ricoh point and shoot. He handed it to me when I was, I think, 12 years old. And then, on and off, I’ve handled his Minolta, his later digital point and shoots from Sony, Panasonic, Olympus and Sony HandyCam. Now I have taken the Sony A-37 almost entirely for myself.

Recently back from Chennai, with a good bunch of photographs with me, I took to cleaning my Sony. You know, the casual brushing and all. While taking out the brushes my dad had, I came across two huge packs, stowed away carefully.

And then, the gold burst forth.

My grandfather’s Zeiss-IKON.

F/3.5 – 16. AGFA lens

My dad’s initials on them.

I wish I could’ve put up some test shots.

The lens hood, the yellow filter with its cleaning cloth.

The yellow filter was essential to Black/White photography, like to separate the clouds from the blue sky, essentially used to separate contrasting colors.

It was through these hooks that the filter was held.

And this is an IKOPHOT photometer. I’ve used it a couple of times, a few years ago.

The needle you see in the image is still very sensitive.

Still works. Amazingly well at that.

F/4 – 32. Tokina lens.

This is my dad’s Pentax.

My grandfather also had one. One that he had bought after meticulous research and calculation. All that and then it got stolen on a train journey. That incident really hit him. After that he was never the same way about cameras.

The ME Super.

Ricoh XF 30. Point and shoot.

My grandfather asked a friend to get a flash for him. This, sadly, stopped working a while back.

And the Minolta: 50 mm F/1.4. Alongside its telephoto lens: 70 – 210 mm.

The 400si.

70-210 mm. AF

Our first digital camera. Sony Cybershot, 3.2 mp. Point and shoot.

With a 3x optical zoom, when we first bought it it was quite expensive.

The Olympus FE 20. 8 megapixels.

Those dents along the lens you see are actually from the time my nephew threw it on the ground, jamming the lens at an awkward angle. We got it fixed though.

The Panasonic Lumix DC Vario. 14 meagapixels. Touchscreen interface. And an amazing camera.

Boy has this camera been around ! It’s gone to Auli, Nainital, Ranikhet, travelled abroad with my dad, to a couple concerts with me, been passed around my circle of friends… It takes good quality pictures with an awesome zoom. Very good value for money. Still my point and shoot travel companion. Never disappoints.

That’s it then. I have assembled all of the above in one photo below, the Lumix being an exception. Quite a collection I’ve got their, huh ?

The entire collection with all the tools and equipment.

I have deliberately not included my A-37 in this post. I think I feel that it’s still a part of the present; these guys, well they have had their time in the limelight.

Quite a trove, eh ?

My only regret is that I haven’t seen my grandfather’s Pentax. It was an F/1.2 or so my dad says. No hope there.

Oh, and also that I haven’t shot with a Leica F/1 as of yet. There’s still hope on that front, though. Slim, but still.


2 thoughts on “Of lenses and old viewfinders…

  1. Yup pretty awesome collection.. My dad had a Minolta which got destroyed in a fire, he til date misses that camera and is quite touchy about cameras… He talks about it with a lot of reverence, I obviously never got to see it… So it was good to see a Minolta here.. I’ve seen a photometer and one of my dad’s old camera .. But never bothered to research beyond that.. On top of that I think your pictures of the cameras probably give a more vintage charm to the collection.. I’d like to see them with my own eyes…. 🙂

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