Konica may be no more but their legacy lives on in many of the film cameras still out there, ready for those who know what and where to look. For those unfamiliar with the Japanese camera company, today’s vintage camera commercial brings some introductions to some of its noteworthy models.
The 1981 commercial below is actually about the Konica FS-1, but the company took the legacy route to establish the credibility of the camera. It reminded photographers that their newest 35mm camera was in good company, and it was the latest in the many firsts they brought to Japan and the rest of the world. Hence the slogan, “The Oldest and the Boldest”.
Among these historic firsts was the Cherry Hand Camera released in September, 1903, which was Japan’s first branded camera. According to Camerapedia, this box plate camera came in three models, with Cherry No. 2 and No. 3 released in January, 1904. All three were sold together for some time but No. 2 and No. 3 were sold until about 1920.
While it’s not easy to come across the Cherry Hand Camera, the Konica FS-1 remains cheap and easy to find in secondhand shops and flea markets. Introduced in 1979, camera-wiki.org tells us that it’s historic for being the first 35mm SLR camera with a built-in motor drive. As a full-featured SLR, it was equipped with an electronic shutter with a top speed of 1/1000 sec, shutter priority auto-exposure system, a Gallium Arsenide Phosphour TTL light meter, and a viewfinder with LED indicators for meter settings.
Sounds like a historic camera you’d like to add to your camera collection? We spotted one on eBay to check out.