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35mm SLR Cameras: Fujica v Pentax

35mm SLR Cameras: Fujica v Pentax

The Fuji Photo Movie Business was recognized in 1934, and in the beginning made photographic movies for the Japanese household sector. In the early 1940s, they began to produce optical glass for military services use, and in 1948 commenced building cameras. In 1971, Fuji built their to start with 35mm SLR digicam – the Fujica ST701.

In the early 1970s, the 35mm SLR digital camera most favoured by severe novice photographers was the Pentax Spotmatic. Other manufactures created types that ended up potentially just as great, but none commercially rivalled the dominance of the Spotmatic.

The FujicaST701 boasted incredibly identical technical specs to the Spotmatic II – it even shared the exact M42 threaded lens mount – but Fuji stepped forward of their competitors by staying the initially enterprise to use silicon blue photocells in its place of CdS. Silicon cells were being claimed to respond a lot a lot quicker, and answer to a broader selection of gentle degrees than CdS. In truth, all digital camera makers sooner or later adopted Silicone cells. In addition, the ST701 was lesser, lighter, and had a brighter viewfinder than the Spotmatic II.

In 1972, a second Fujica SLR digicam was released – the ST801. This available open aperture metering (by means of Silicone cells), a lens locking method, and 7 LED viewfinder indicators in its place of a popular needle. The open up aperture metering (and lens locking process) needed a new modified lens mount, and marked the begin of a divergence from the established M42 mount. The claimed rewards of the LED process was the absence of a mechanical mechanism, reducing meter deviation triggered by shock or mechanical failure, in addition it was much better for lower light-weight shooting. Even though none of these features ended up improvements, the ST801 was 1 of the initial cameras to provide with each other all of these features.

In 1973, the Pentax Spotmatic F was introduced. It was essentially an open aperture metering variant of the earlier Spotmatic, and it as well required a new modified lens mount. Fujinon and Pentax lenses ceased to be wholly interchangeable (a simple fact that appears to elude a lot of of present-day next-hand image gear sellers). On paper, the ST801 was however a greater-specified digicam.

In the meantime, Pentax experienced been working on a new style of automobile-exposure program. In 1971 the ES was released (an improved variation of the Electro Spotmatic, which was bought only in Japan). This digicam highlighted open up aperture metering with instantly picked shutter speeds, indicated by a viewfinder pointer (aperture priority car-exposure). In 1973 the ES was upgraded as the ES II, with an impressive electronic move-less shutter. The ES and ES II ensured that Pentax remained a dominant drive in beginner SLR cameras.

In 1974, Fuji launched a rival to the Pentax ESII: the Fujica ST901. It also featured open aperture metering with routinely chosen phase-much less shutter speeds (aperture precedence vehicle-exposure), but claimed an additional 1st in digital camera style: a digital LED shutter pace indicator in the viewfinder (as to start with observed in early 70’s calculators and digital watches). Once all over again, Fujica appeared to be technologically in advance of Pentax.

Regrettably, shortly following the introduction of these best quality cameras, the race among Fujica and Pentax experienced operate its class, and the glory times of equally corporations have been properly in excess of.

1975 was a 12 months of substantial improve for Pentax. The firm launched its have lens mount, the K bayonet (which included a lens locking program), alongside with a new established of shorter-lived “K” cameras based closely on the Spotmatic format. A 12 months later, Pentax abandoned the Spotmatic physique condition, and released a band new smaller sized camera selection (the M sequence), maybe owing to escalating level of popularity of the Olympus OM-1 (and variants), which has set new standards of compactness.

The ME was an aperture precedence auto exposure digital camera (with no guide override), and the MX was a completely guide digital camera. Both of those highlighted large brilliant viewfinders (as found in Fujicas), but neither was impressive. The MX, for example, was tiny additional than a miniaturise Spotmatic F.

In the meantime, Fuji caught with their model of the M42 lens mount, and made a further new digicam in 1976: the ST601. Just like the new Pentax cameras, the style lacked innovation, and was basically a variant of the 5-calendar year-aged ST701. However, the 600 sequence camera sold effectively in the budget sector of the SLR industry.

In other places in 1976, other firms had been getting prominence. Canon’s AE-1, for illustration, released the initial use of microprocessors, and steered the upcoming of digital camera design in a new path.

Pentax continued to generate insignificant M sequence variants (primarily lesser designs soon after the 1980 ME Tremendous). Fuji similarly and trivially up-to-date their camera array: the ST601 grew to become the ST605 in 1977, the ST605n in 1978, and the ST605 II in 1979. The ST701 grew to become the ST705 in 1977, and then the ST705w in 1978. The ST801/ST901 ended up replaced by a lesser hybrid – the AZ-1 – in 1978. All have been rather uninteresting offerings, but the model selection was presented a even further lease of existence in 1980 as the STX series when, like Pentax experienced finished formerly, Fuji released they individual lens bayonet mount procedure.

Neither corporation had any further layout triumphs that restored their place as sector leaders, or built their goods serious rivals to the new current market leaders. By the mid 1980s, Fuji withdrew totally from the 35mm SLR marketplace, when Pentax struggled on, but largely grew to become a 2nd price model.