The Olympus 35RC is deceptively similar to other cameras of the early 1970s, at first glance. It has a 40mm 2.8 lens and as such is similar to a Ricoh 500G, several Konica and Minolta models (those were two separate companies back then), and a plethora of zone focus cameras. But, the 35RC has full manual override of all settings and that quickly made it a beloved photographers camera. A position it has kept for decades.
Some say that the Minolta 7S is lacking. It must be, since there’s a Minolta 7S-II, right? And in the eyes of many, newer is better so a model II should have improvements.
But I’m telling you, the Minolta 7S is the most complete rangefinder I ever encountered. It fits my bill 100% and to me it’s the all-in-one rangefinder camera!
The Tower type ’45’ camera was a screw mount Leica clone built by Nicca from Japan. It was sold exclusively by Sears in the United States, who commissioned cameras with their ‘Sears’ brand name with various Japanese and German camera manufacturers in the late 1950s and 1960s.
The second half of the 1950s saw the Japanese camera manufacturers face some difficulties in their production. Many of them (Canon, Nicca, Leotax, even the British Reid & Sigrist) had built their empires on copying the German design of the Leica IIIc. The Germans had lost their patents after World War II and the Japanese and other manufacturers had jumped on the opportunity to create their own versions of what had proven to be very well-built and highly effective cameras. But then, the Germans took the market back by releasing the Leica M3, which was a whole new level of camera and it was patented again too! The Japanese copy-cats were left lightyears behind.
But, they quickly figured out that Leitz had filed for a combined patent of all new features and had not filed the single alterations and improvements for patent too. And they set out to close the gap between their own (very capable!) models and the Leica M3.
And it got us some interesting developments.
The history of the Komura brand lenses is little-known. Information on the company and the lenses it produced is difficult to find online. But, many of the Komura lenses are very good, both in build quality and in optical results!
The company started out with making lenses for Large Format cameras. But in the 1950s they also started manufacturing rangefinder lenses for Leica thread mount cameras, and switched over to making lenses for Nikon rangefinders in the 1960s. Later, they also manufactured enlarging lenses, lenses for various medium format systems and also briefly produced lenses for various models of SLRs. Komura probably was the first brand to build a 1.4/85mm lens in Nikon F mount!