April 30th was

A Very Interesting Camera Show

wherein I learned a bunch!

Yesterday, the 30th of April, there was another camera show at the Croatian Cultural Center. This time I was not that enthused about going. There was a lot going on at homee and I had a lot of work to do. But I had agreed with my friend John from Seattle to share a table with him so I was up at 5:00 am and met John at 6:15 at the Center. I did not take much to sell. I had some bulky items I wanted to get rid of and I had a large box of “Free” stuff that I knew I would never be able to sell. I put out a few cameras and lenses at really good prices to round out the table and it looked very presentable.

Before the public where admitted I was able to get around and see what everyone else had. The only thing I saw that was even tempting was a very nice Yashica C which you really seldom see. But the leatherette on the front was torn badly and the price was high. I left it hoping someone else would buy it and remove the temptation. The camera gods smiled and it was gone.

The camera show was well attended and it had all of the usual cameras and bargain boxes. I have been to so many I am starting to recognize the gear for sale. And there was a lot of it. I am to the point in my collection that I have most of the common inexpensive Canon cameras so there is really very little anymore that interests me at these shows.

John looked after my table several times and I was able to cruise the tables. There were no Canon SLR’s that I did not already have but I did find two point and shoot cameras. The first was an Elph LT260 which is a miniature APS film camera. It was in a reasonably good original box. The box did not have the manual and usual packing material but it did have the oringinal leatherette case that came with the camera. It was in excellent condition and appeared to work. I expected that the price would be high, $50 or $60, but all the chap asked was $25 and he threw in a couple of rolls of film. Good deal!

Elph 370Z

Elph LT260

The second camera I found was another APS Elph in an original box. Only this time the box was excellent and it contained all of the manuals and paper work except for the registration card which was probably mailed into Canon. This was the Elph 370Z and it too appeared to work. But this time the asking was $50.00.

I offered $40 but the seller stuck to his price so I walked away. About an hour later I went back and tried again. He again refused and suggested the price had gone up. So I went back to my table. At the end of the show

when people were starting to pack up the camera was still on his table so I went back and said $40 again. This time he said “Take it. Take it. I just want to go home.” So it was mine. Two more really nice point and shoots for the Collection. Only 432 to go!

But it was around noon when this show really got interesting. A friend of mine I knew from previous shows came by the table and laid out 6 of the most beautiful late model Canon rangefinders. Nothing at the show compared with this display of photographic beauty. Included were an original Model 7 “Black” and a Model 7SZ neither of which I had ever handled before. And to top it off he had a Canon turret viewfinder that is really very rare. It too was in wonderful condition.

Canon Rangefinder Lens

Looking at the front of the camera, on the lens mounting ring at the 9 o’clock position, there is a small scribed line on all Canon rangefinder cameras from the IIB of 1949 to the Model P of 1958.

Canon Rangefinder Lens

Locking the lens on infinity and placing the locking tab over the scribed line the lens mount threads will engage immediately when the lens is turned counter clockwise to mount it.

I immediately wanted them all. However, that was not practical. He did have a really nice VI-T and over the course of the next two hours he agreed to put it away for me together with the turret viewfinder. Now all I have to do is find the money to pay for them. It is truly said that this hobby is a sickness!

I like to think that I know my Canon Cameras but Todd told me something I did not know. A simple thing I had never read or heard about. On a Canon rangefinder lens mount there is a chrome plated mounting ring that has the M-39 threads cut into the inside edge. If you look on the left side of this ring (facing the front of the camera) there is a black line scribed there. I had never noticed this before. It is not on my Sekie Kogaku S-II but it is on the IIB and as far as I can see it is on every rangefinder camera up to the Model 7. The Model 7 has the external bayonet lugs mounted on the face of this ring leaving no space for this mark. I had never noticed this before.

If you lock the lens at infinity and position the lens so that the locking tab is over the scribed line the lens is positioned so that turning it clockwise will immediately engage the threads and the lens will screw into the lens mount smoothly. I have tried it on several rangefinder Canon’s and with different lenses and it works.

I have only one one Leica, a very nice 3F, and the same mark is on that mounting ring as well and the same rule seems to apply. And the Elmar 50mm f/3.5 screws into the Canon bodies in the same manner. I assume the same applies to other Leica models but I am unable to check that out.

Todd, John and I stood around my table for a good two hours just talking cameras with people dropping into the conversation and wandering away again . I sold a few cameras, enough to break even on the day. And Todd and I agreed on a price for the Model VI-T and turret viewfinder.

When the show was over I was carrying my boxes out to the car and a copy of a magazine cover caught my eye and it got me thinking. I always say that we have to judge cameras by the photo industry standards of their day and not by our own.  But there is another aspect to considering a camera that we should be aware of as well. There is a political aspect to our cameras that we forget about.

When Russia went into Ukraine last year I was upset and wanted to do something. I went on E-bay and contacted a camera store in Kiev and bought several Zeiss Contax and Kiev cameras and by so doing put cash into the hands of ordinary Ukrainians. Politics had a direct impact on my camera collecting. 

I then became fascinated by the effect of World War II in Zeiss cameras and how the Kiev cameras originated in the beginnings of the Cold War.

The War also had an impact on the Japanese camera industry and Canon exists today because of the US occupation troops stationed in Japan. And then the Korean War saw another influx of US and Commonwealth troops into Japan which caused rapid growth in the camera industry to service these new customers.

I got thinking about this because I picked up a copy of the cover from the Zeiss “in-house” magazine, issue 5 from December 1940. Of course by that time Germany was deeply involved in the Second World War and their society had been completely militarized. The cover had the swastika in the masthead and the image showed two military men going through an earlier issue of the magazine.

It really hit home how the camera companies of the world have to live and grow in a political environment and how they are shaped by world events totally beyond their control.

And that was my camera show. It turned out to be one of the most interesting I have been to and I had a great time. I am in love again with Canon cameras, actually any cameras really, and I am looking forward to the next show which is here in Richmond, B.C. in two weeks. Can’t wait!


Canon Model VI-T

This is the VI-T and turret viewfinder I am buying from Todd. The lens was mine from before. Once I have run a few rolls of film through it I will write about it here.

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