Collecting and Using Classic SLRs Paperback – 2 Jun 1997
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'A standard work for collectors'
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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!
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.
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.