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Collecting and Using Classic Cameras: With 320 Illustrations Paperback – April 1, 1992


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Collecting and Using Classic Cameras: With 320 Illustrations + Comprehensive Guide for Camera Collectors (Schiffer Book for Collectors)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; New edition edition (April 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500276560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500276563
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #356,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Matanle defines "classic cameras" as those 35mm or rollfilm cameras produced by any of the great manufacturers during the golden age of miniature camera development from the mid-1920s to the late 1960s. Passionate on the subject of their enduring fascination and quality performance, he offers practical information on specific models and manufacturers such as Contax, Leica, Hasselblad, Voigtlander, and Rolleiflex. Advice concerning condition and reliability of particular models, evaluation of styles and features for individual needs, comparison of original market values in pounds and dollars, and detailed information on the manufacture of lenses and accessories are the book's raison d'etre. Unfortunately, Matanle has used his own images to illustrate the text, and they are neither compelling nor convincing of the singular value of these great cameras. Ann Copeland, Drew Univ. Lib., Madison,
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I refer to both books regularly.
Gerald E.Shepardson
If you are interested in collecting 120mm or 35mm classic cameras then you need this book.
"1handclapping"
I recommend it to anyone interested in old cameras.
cmmj91a@prodigy.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
I bought this book shortly after becoming seriously interested in classic cameras, and it reinforced my interest greatly. It contains much useful information, such as how to check the condition of cameras, lenses, and shutters comprehensively before buying. It also has lots of interesting historical info about manufacturers and their products. Although some of the photos used as illustrations may not be brilliant art works, they illustrate the qualities of the equipment, and because many of them are shots of the authors family, friends, and environment over many years, they combine to give the book a very friendly touch--like looking through a friend's album, with notes on the equipment used and how the photos were taken. All in all, a very worthwhile book for anyone interested in collecting and using the classics.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Rei Shinozuka on November 16, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
if you are interested in using classic cameras (defined by the author for the purpose of this book as 20's to 60's 35mm and rollfilm cameras), this is as nice a volume as i've come across. there's some truth to the comments about the author's personal photographs being a bit unpolished, but 1) the quality is standard for most camera-oriented books and 2) they do add a personal touch to what is, after all, a personal treatise. i also appreciate the author's contention that using the classic camera is a sort of fetish (NOT his words) that's difficult to articulate or justify on purely technical grounds.
the only other books that i've encountered that may better matanle's book are jason schneider's excellent collection of 80's Modern Photography columns "Camera Collecting" volumes I-III, which unfortunately out of print and cost hundreds of dollars.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gerald E.Shepardson on July 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
Ivor Matanle knows cameras as well as we know our own faces in the mirror, and his love and understanding of their strengths and weaknesses makes for informative and fascinating reading.
This is a wonderful book for browsing and/or serious study. The writing is first rate. The illustrations are fine photos and are inserted close to the accompanying text.
If you are a collector or merely want to learn more about these mechanical and optical marvels, you owe yourself the treat of reading this book.You will be richly rewarded.
His other book, "Classic SLR's" is equally rewarding. I refer to both books regularly. What a writer!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "1handclapping" on June 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you are interested in collecting 120mm or 35mm classic cameras then you need this book. Mr. Matanle has owned and/or used most of the cameras in this book and the text is loaded with the kind of user information that can't be found anywhere else. I only wish this book were longer. I have read the book several times and I use it often to refresh my memory about a particular camera or manufacturer. It is well written and the black and white photographs of the cameras are excellent. Mr. Matanle even shows actual photos he took using the cameras discussed in the text. My copy is printed on heavy, high quality, clay paper that allows the high contrast, detailed photos to look their best. Highly recommended.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
I have read this book several times and find myself referring to it often. The pictures may not be the most interesting in the world; but they demonstrate the abilities of the cameras being discussed. The book is not intended to describe in detail every old camera. (If that's what you're looking for, try to find a catalog). The book successfully introduces the major options available to the classic camera enthusiast who wants to take pictures, not just collect equipment to put on a shelf. I would definitely recommend this book to those wanting to acquire old cameras for use.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book comes across as being written by an enthusiast, but the illustrations are of the really muddy, dull and just plain dull type. It's okay as far as it goes (if one ignores the photos) but it doesn't go far enough. It is also written from one nation's viewpoint. Collecting cameras actually changes from country to country, and what is just another Argus may be someone's rare collection centrepiece. It's an adequate starting point to get someone collecting cameras, but not of very much use to the more experienced photographic collector.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
Matanle's monograph is entertaining reading. It makes a good starting point to read about ownership and usage issues pertaining to vintage cameras. However, much of what he says should be taken with a grain of salt.
What troubles me the most is his basic premise, that older camera's while technically inferior to modern camera's have a certain 'je ne se quoi.' The "pleasing roundness and slight softness" of image that he extols appears to be the result of using miscalibrated equipment. He makes a specific statement regarding Leitz lenses; "it remains Leitz policy not to design lenses purely to achieve high resolution ... but to deliberately leave intact a modest degree of aberration and curvature of field to improve the rendition of three dimensional objects." And, "Leitz lenses of each generation only excel by the standards of their time." Say what??????
Despite this, he does give a reasonable, if not overly Anglocentric, overview of many common and not-some common collectible cameras. Unfortunately, the book is ignorant of American equipment as well as Edwardian-era English equipment.
The illustrations are typical of the work of an enthusiastic amateur.
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