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Collecting and Using Classic SLRs Paperback – 2 Jun 1997

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; New edition edition (2 Jun. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500279012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500279014
  • Product Dimensions: 26.2 x 20.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 126,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'A standard work for collectors'
--Amateur Photographer

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Logical structure, and a good flow. A bit top heavy on the big name manufacturers (like Canon and Nikon, etc),but aren't they all?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting look into vintage cameras (the book is quite old to). Published in 1996 and sold for $50 back then.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Matanle's Classic SLRs Captures the Tools 16 July 2000
By Scott Helm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Matanle's "Collecting and Using Classic SLRs" is amust own for every SLR camera collector. His camera close ups, as wellas specs, prove he knows his material. He provides abundant information on cameras A to Z. His shots of cameras are crystal clear; however, photos from his personal collection are somewhat hazy and appear out of place. Book is still worth the money...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Magnificent Book on Cameras and Lenses 25 April 2002
By Gerald E.Shepardson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When I first read Ivor Matanle a few years ago I had never heard of this Englishman who writes so beautifully about cameras and lenses.
This book covers single lens cameras in several formats,rather than just 35mm. He has used the equipment he describes, and writes as well as a fine novelist. He gives the history of SLR's and tells about the rise of Asian cameras as Europe abandons innovation in design. But he plays no favorites.All cameras are treated fairly.
This is a book you will marvel at, if you are a user or a collector. Read it once; refer to it often. But above all, enjoy it and marvel at how well he writes.
With nearly 400 fine photos of equipment and pictures taken with these cameras, the book is a smorgasbord of information.
If I lost this book, I would drive 500 miles to replace it!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Matanle aims straight for the heart of the SLR grognard! 25 Oct. 1999
By Ivan Singer (isinger@jhancock.com) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Matanle's book is a great survey book of 50's-through 70's SLRs. It is obvious that he likes certain makes/models and not others (but usually for good reason) an he makes no apologies for it. There is a certain old-fashioned paradigm that he has adopted that endears you to his pre-electronic worldview. I learned about the sleeper systems like the Mirandas and learned why Fujicas never caught on. Also, what rare birds could be found in the post-war East German lineups, and which models had poor shutter mechanisms, etc. His book is splendid bathroom rack material and a trusty companion to any obsessive Ebay shopper. A camera nerd's best paperback friend!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good intro to SLR history. 2 Jun. 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a very well organized and thorough book on the history of SLRs. It traces the design threads of SLR manufacturers from around the world. The hundreds of B&W photos of the cameras are very helpful identification aids. It is not an encyclopedia with exhaustive technical specs or a price guide with accurate dollar values. Instead, it is filled with the author's practical experiences in handling and using almost all of the cameras covered in the book through his decades as a professional photographer and used camera dealer.
Unfortunately, this book is really too short to be a true user's guide. Even the Nikon F is covered in only a few pages. There is very little info about lenses beyond the author's personal opinions (all Leica lenses are superb, don't buy non-manufacturer lenses, etc) and none at all about other accessories such as flashes or motor drives. The camera descriptions themselves assume you already know how each one is supposed to work and concentrates on pitfalls and repair (or nonrepair) weaknesses.
The book also suffers from the opinion of the author that any electronic automation is bad. His coverage of each company always ends abruptly when it begins to add electronics beyond a light meter - circa 1975 for most. Autodiaphram lenses are OK, but programmed autoexposure is not.
Lastly, the author has included a lot of his personal photos taken with many of the covered cameras. They make nice eye candy, but book quality reproduction does not give any real indication of lens quality.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Did not live up to the expectations. 6 Dec. 2013
By Karsten F Nielsen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Had much higher expectations about this book. Reading the headlines and expect to for example get a good knowledge about how to examine SLR's at least something new that I didn't know. He just tells in general and mainly about older cameras. He also puts a lot in effort to describe brands like Ricoh and Russian cameras that are known for inferior quality compared to European and Japanese brands. About recommendations he recommends the Canon FT over the F1 for the reason of price!.Quote "The best balance of price and performance". I do sincerely believe that collectors in general are connoisseur's and like to collect the supreme,rare and high end stuff out there, not going for what is cheap or more mass produced.

The book revealed some but not a lot of new knowledge mainly about less known brands, that you can't obtain on the web. Few aha experiences for me at least.

Then oddly to me when he reviews medium format cameras not a single word about the Mamiya RB 67 that has been the work hoarse for a lot of professional photographers all over the world. Of course he goes over the Hasselblad but when it comes to Japan he mainly talks a bout the Bronica which never took of. Not to mention the Pentax.

I do share with him the love for the all metal and sturdy cameras not made of plastic like Nikon F and F2 and some other cameras.
My conclusion is that I had higher expectations on this book. To me it's a good entry book for people who want to get an insight into this.
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