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What came first Graplex xl, Polaroid 600 SE or Mamiya 23

 
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ropedog



Joined: 19 Aug 2004
Posts: 21
Location: Central Michigan

PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone have the time line info on the XL look alikes? Also are any of them on the same chassis / dies?

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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be glad to know when the "XL" entered production; it is surprisingly difficult to find out! But it was a rather late entry -- I'd guess mid-1960s or afterward.

The Simmon "Omega 120" was an early 1950s product with a novel push-pull film advance. I don't think it had either interchangeable lenses or backs. Konica bought the design and added lens and back interchangeability, as well as a twin-lens reflex version. I think the "Koni-Omega Rapid" was the platform for Konica's Polaroid press camera.

The Mamiya rigid-bodied camera, I think, came later than the little press camera proper; I'd guess early '60s.

I don't know when Linhof began making its rigid-bodied 2x3 camera, which the Mamiya instrument resembled. I cannot determine whether the German Bertram camera of the early 1950s inspired Linhof to emulation, or was a Linhof knockoff.

All of these, so far as I know, were altogether independent designs, with their own tooling. The only continuity is between the American "Omega" and the Japanese "Koni-Omega," and the latter was pretty thoroughly redesigned.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1885
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2004-08-20 05:48, ropedog wrote:
Does anyone have the time line info on the XL look alikes? Also are any of them on the same chassis / dies?

Mamiya Press, in several versions. Then Mamiya Super 23 and Graflex XL at roughly the same time. The Super 23 replaced by Universal, which was the basis of the Polaroid 600 SE.

The Press, Super 23, and Universal all share the same lens mount. The Super 23, Universal, and Polaroid SE all share the same main casting or shell or whatever. If I recall correctly, the SE has a different lens mount and lenses for it cover 3.25" x 4.25". Lenses for the Press, Super 23, and Universal are all made to cover 2.25" x 3.25".

I wouldn't call the XL a Mamiya look-alike. Vaguely similar, maybe.

Cheers,

Dan
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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2004 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW, "McKeown's Price Guide" (2001-2002) does provide material for a sort of timeline.

The "Bertram-Kamera" was earliest (1951-1954), although I think you might consider the 1940s-era Kodak "Medalist" (which had an auxiliary groundglass back, and could accept cutfilm and filmpack with the appropriate accessories) as ancestral to the rigid-bodied miniature press camera. But the "Bertram" had limited back movements, and accepted three Schneider lenses.

The Simmon "Omega 120" was next, introduced in 1954. Again, you might entertain the hypothesis that somebody was trying to make the "Medalist" type faster to operate. It did not accept interchangeable lenses nor filmholders, so might be ruled out as a kind of "press" camera; but it was ancestral to the "Koni-Omega" line.

Linhof introduced the "Technika Press 23" in 1958, and the improved "Press 70" in 1963. It hung on until 1979!

The "Price Guide" is vague on the Mamiya press cameras. We learn that the "Press 23" line diverged in 1964, with the original camera becoming the "Deluxe" (with back movements) and a new, simplified "Standard" (without) joining it. We are not told when the first "Press 23" saw the light of day, but if I recall aright -- which is problematical -- it was after 1959.

McKeown dates the "Graflex XL" from 1965 to 1973, and reports that Konica's "Koni-Omega Rapid" was introduced in 1965, upgraded to the "Rapid M" in 1967, and split into the "Rapid Omega 100" and "-200" in 1975.
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