The 5 greatest innovations

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Cheesehead, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. Cheesehead

    Cheesehead Guest

    We've discussed pretty cameras and ugly cameras (on r.p.e.35mm).
    I thought it might be good (from both sides of the fence, so to speak)
    to interact on what have been the best (most useful, practical, or
    innovations in photography since 1950?

    My top 5 are:

    1. SLR
    2. Hardened multi-coating process
    3. 4x5 quickload/easyload
    4. Computer-designed aspherical elements
    5. Digital

    and a couple of runners-up:
    1. Polaroid print process (that might be pre 1950)
    2. Zoom lenses (I think they're recent -- correct me if this is wrong)

    Cheesehead, Apr 10, 2006
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  2. How about the innovation of the autofocus system back in the early
    80's. (At least I think the autofocus system began in the early 80's)
    I'm referring to the Canon EOS, Minolta Maxxum, etc. The autofocus
    system of cameras sure have come a long way since the early 80's. The
    focusing mechanisms are faster and more precise now-a-days, as well as
    being more compact ( if you want), and they're digital as well.
    helensilverburg, Apr 10, 2006
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  3. But I agree with Collin about his top 5 innovations.
    helensilverburg, Apr 10, 2006
  4. Cheesehead

    Advocate Guest

    I'd put TTL or OTF metering in the top five.
    Advocate, Apr 10, 2006
  5. Cheesehead

    Cheesehead Guest

    Yes, AF should be on the list somewhere.
    Cheesehead, Apr 10, 2006
  6. Cheesehead

    george Guest

    #4 is really a is computer AIDED design, the computer just
    allows the designer to do many more "what if" scenarios than one could ever
    do manually and it (the computer) is used in not only design, but also in
    manufacturing and testing products (lenses and cameras) and keeps quality
    more consistent and costs lower (look at brands like Alpa, Leica, and
    Hasselblad that are manual labor intensive, at least in the past).

    Also, one thing you didn't list (perhaps because it hasn't even scratched
    its potential yet) is the inclusion of electronics in cameras...that enabled
    built in metering, TTL metering for flash, auto focus, auto exposure,
    digital image capture, perhaps in the future such things as post image
    capture focus (post processing in camera), and who knows what else!

    But Collin's list is a good one.

    george, Apr 10, 2006
  7. Cheesehead

    Eric Miller Guest

    My vote is for the "thyristor" type circuitry that turns off the flash unit
    once the correct amount of light has been emitted.

    Eric Miller
    Eric Miller, Apr 10, 2006
  8. Cheesehead

    Cheesehead Guest

    Excellent. Auto flash. Even TTL & OTF flash control.

    Cheesehead, Apr 10, 2006
  9. Cheesehead

    Cheesehead Guest

    Correction accepted.

    But I wonder if part of the proces is engineer "what if" and
    the remainder is a "fill-in the blanks" by the software.
    Maybe taking CATIA and adding the suitable modles.

    This could allow the engineer to supply the coatings used,
    focal length, and some elments or physical constraints,
    and then let the system finish the process, returning optimizations
    and perhaps several options. With the current level of CAE
    using packages like CATIA it's not out of the question.

    TTL Metering certainly deserves its place. I've used my cameras'
    (ZX-5n & *istDS) spot meters frequently. Wonderful inventions.

    Cheesehead, Apr 10, 2006
  10. Cheesehead

    Gordon Moat Guest

    1. The 35 mm SLR
    2. Polaroid Instant Films
    3. The minilabs enabling one hour photography
    4. Smaller and more powerful flash units
    5. PhotoShop
    Gordon Moat, Apr 10, 2006
  11. Cheesehead

    Tony Polson Guest

    1. SLR - though that predates 1950
    2. TTL metering
    3. Automatic exposure
    4. Matrix metering
    5. TTL auto flash control

    Note I did not include autofocus and digital.

    Tony Polson, Apr 10, 2006
  12. Cheesehead

    DunxUK Guest

    I would (predictably) put flashcubes and disposable cameras at the top.
    Both revolutionised consumer photography.
    DunxUK, Apr 10, 2006
  13. Hmmm; "since 1950" is interesting.

    I'd say

    Aspheric lens elements

    OTF flash measurement


    E-6, C-41, RA-4 processes (talk to anybody who used the predecessors!)

    Digital image manipulation (Photoshop & co.)
    David Dyer-Bennet, Apr 10, 2006
  14. Cheesehead

    Cheesehead Guest

    I put "since 1950" to get things that are (presumably) within the
    lifetime of most of the list participants.

    Some older Kodachrome, iirc, predates 1950. But that final formulation
    sure was nice.

    Cheesehead, Apr 11, 2006
  15. Cheesehead

    Kinon O'cann Guest

    You left out roll film?
    Kinon O'cann, Apr 11, 2006
  16. Cheesehead

    rcochran Guest

    But the 35mm SLR dates back to the 1930s.

    4x5 quickload/easyloads are outside the scope of this group, and
    besides, I'd guess the number of photographers who have actually used
    them is rather small, at least when compared to things like instant
    return mirrors and auto diaphragms.

    My list of innovations since the 1950s might be
    Fully automatic diaphragm
    Instant-return mirror
    TTL metering (not talking about flash yet, just ambient)
    Eye-level pentaprism
    Motor drive

    These things helped speed the handling of the 35mm SLR, turning it into
    something that was fast, nimble, and convenient, very suitable for
    sports and photojournalism.

    These innovations were all available in the Nikon F, by the way, so
    they're pretty early in 35mm SLR history.

    I learned on a 1957 Exakta VXIIa that had none of those features. (OK,
    I sometimes used an eye level finder, but often used the waistlevel
    one). The VXIIa is virtually equal in handling and capabilities to the
    newest cameras when it comes to landscapes and slow macro, but it's
    considerably less nimble for fast action photography.
    rcochran, Apr 11, 2006
  17. Cheesehead

    rcochran Guest

    Oops, sorry, I should have read the headers more carefully before
    posting. I didn't realize this was crossposted to the large format

    My response was tailored toware the 35mm group, obviously. The list of
    innovations for large format would naturally be rather different.

    rcochran, Apr 11, 2006
  18. Cheesehead

    Skip M Guest

    There's one your going to have to replace, the SLR was in existence before

    My list would be:

    1) Digital
    2) Autofocus
    3) Multicoated lenses
    4) Zoom lenses
    5)TTL metering.
    Skip M, Apr 11, 2006
  19. Cheesehead

    2 Guest

    Leica's Depth of Field preview in their M camera. (Can't remember which one,
    but my 1964 M2 had it.)
    2, Apr 11, 2006
  20. Cheesehead

    2 Guest

    The Decisive Moment Indicator, 2009.
    2, Apr 11, 2006
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