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4 Days Ago - 2 Likes   #1
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1971 Cambridge ad

I found this in a post from 2010 in another forum. Claimed to be an ad from a 1971 issue of Popular Photography. I found it interesting, I hope you do to. Note the black color is a pro add on for $10. and, in the bottom right, the Pentax motor drive package is twice the price of the camera and lens.

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4 Days Ago - 1 Like   #2
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Ironic that back in '71 chrome was ordinary and black was exclusive, while now black is the norm and silver is a special order

---------- Post added 11-07-19 at 08:18 PM ----------

This also reminds me that when my dad gave me his old SP1000, it was still in the original box! The price tag stuck on it was 200 ZAR. I can't even buy a memory card for that today!
4 Days Ago   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Robin Quote
Ironic that back in '71 chrome was ordinary and black was exclusive, while now black is the norm and silver is a special order

---------- Post added 11-07-19 at 08:18 PM ----------

This also reminds me that when my dad gave me his old SP1000, it was still in the original box! The price tag stuck on it was 200 ZAR. I can't even buy a memory card for that today!
As I recall (this was the year I bought my first SLR, a Minolta SRT-101, $189.99), the conventional wisdom was black was for a professional because the chrome models could reflect stray light into the lens affecting quality. I don't know if there was any truth to that or not. Mine was chrome and I never noticed any problems.
4 Days Ago   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by DWS1 Quote
chrome models could reflect stray light into the lens
But all the chrome is behind the lens (or behind the front element). It sounds like a sort of urban myth - which is not to say it was not religiously repeated until it became the received wisdom. At least now we can have just about any colour (or even the Evangelion Q10) with some models and are not afraid to call it a fashion statement.

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QuoteOriginally posted by PJ1 Quote
But all the chrome is behind the lens (or behind the front element). It sounds like a sort of urban myth - which is not to say it was not religiously repeated until it became the received wisdom. At least now we can have just about any colour (or even the Evangelion Q10) with some models and are not afraid to call it a fashion statement.


Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but a white or red K-x, seemed to hint at being more a toy than a tool. So mine is plain black... as are all the other cameras and lenses
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PM'd, I'm interesting in the brand new takumar 85mm for $112.

This is too cool to look at. I love old ads. I just got an old M lens manual that shows all the offerings for those lenses and saw some new ones I never even knew existed.

Thanks for sharing.
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For perspective the cumulative rate of inflation from 1971 is 534%

So $149.50 USD in 1971 would be $947.74 USD in 2019.

Still think the KP is too expensive?

Inflation Calculator | Find US Dollar's Value from 1913-2019
3 Days Ago   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
For perspective the cumulative rate of inflation from 1971 is 534%

So $149.50 USD in 1971 would be $947.74 USD in 2019.

Still think the KP is too expensive?

Inflation Calculator | Find US Dollar's Value from 1913-2019
Puts it in perspective. I have a Pentax-F 35-70 that I bought about 10 years ago. It came with the original box and had the price sticker(for those who remember price stickers) and the original price was around $259 marked down to $179. I wouldn't pay $259 in todays dollars for that lens (even though its pretty good). I think todays equipment is a good bargain especially on the used market.

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Cambridge was one if the shadiest NY camera sellers.

If you actually called they would probably try to sell you a rebadged Zenit and one of their Cambron lenses.
3 Days Ago - 1 Like   #10
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That motor drive was insanely expensive back then.
3 Days Ago   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by DWS1 Quote
As I recall (this was the year I bought my first SLR, a Minolta SRT-101, $189.99), the conventional wisdom was black was for a professional because the chrome models could reflect stray light into the lens affecting quality. I don't know if there was any truth to that or not. Mine was chrome and I never noticed any problems.
From what I have read, black cameras were preferred by pros because they were more discreet. Some even taped over the white letters of the brand name on the prism.

On a related note, why are pro lenses white? Are they more cool because they absorb less heat in sunlight?
3 Days Ago   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by DWS1 Quote
I found this in a post from 2010 in another forum. Claimed to be an ad from a 1971 issue of Popular Photography. I found it interesting, I hope you do to. Note the black color is a pro add on for $10. and, in the bottom right, the Pentax motor drive package is twice the price of the camera and lens.
Yes, the motor drive kit was expensive, but keep in mind that wasn't an add-on motor, like we saw in later years. For that price you got the camera, lens, and motor. It was a special model. Regular Spotmatics didn't take a motor or winder.
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ontarian50 Quote
Yes, the motor drive kit was expensive, but keep in mind that wasn't an add-on motor, like we saw in later years. For that price you got the camera, lens, and motor. It was a special model. Regular Spotmatics didn't take a motor or winder.
The motorized Spotmatics must be pretty rare these days. I can't imagine the prices that they fetch.

But this is the age of the internet. The asking price for this one is about $600.

RARE PENTAX MOTOR DRIVE UNIT w/SPOTMATIC MD BODY & F/2.2 55MM AUTO-TAKUMAR | eBay

Here is a good write-up on this rare beast:

AOHC - Asahi Optical Historical Club: Some notes on Spotmatic, ESII, KX and KM Motor Drive cameras

Last edited by Wasp; 3 Days Ago at 03:21 PM.
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wasp Quote
From what I have read, black cameras were preferred by pros because they were more discreet. Some even taped over the white letters of the brand name on the prism.

On a related note, why are pro lenses white? Are they more cool because they absorb less heat in sunlight?
That, and black cameras were less likely to be seen in a reflection too.

The white lenses has to do with Canon and their fluoride lens elements. The fluoride elements were very sensitive to temperature changes and so Canon made the lenses white to help with them heating up. Of course if there is no fluoride elements in the lenses, it's just cosmetic these days.
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QuoteOriginally posted by Qwntm Quote
The white lenses has to do with Canon and their fluoride lens elements. The fluoride elements were very sensitive to temperature changes and so Canon made the lenses white to help with them heating up. Of course if there is no fluoride elements in the lenses, it's just cosmetic these days.
So, what was a necessity became a fashion statement for upmarket gear? The world moves in strange ways.
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