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Longest camera production?
Old 09-14-2019   #1
zuiko85
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Longest camera production?

It has occurred to me that *probably* the longest production of any camera has been the basic, black, Holga 120/120n model, 37 years.
Just find it ironic that a plastic toy camera has attained that distinction.
I believe that may even beat the production records of some FSU cameras.
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Old 09-14-2019   #2
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The Argus C3 was in production from 1939 to 1966. About 2 million copies. That may be number two.

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Old 09-14-2019   #3
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The Pentax K1000 is up there too; over three million produced during its 21 year production run from 1976–1997.
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Old 09-14-2019   #4
nickthetasmaniac
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Yeah I was going to suggest the K1000 too.

Depending on how you define a 'model', the Hasselblad SWC would be up there. No significant change to the lens from 1954 to 2001, and no significant change to the body from 1956 to 2001.
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Old 09-14-2019   #5
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Not quite up there, but I was amazed when I found out the Nikon F3 went from 1980 to around 2002, or so says Wikipedia.

The Cosina-made FM10 even has that beat, at 24 years. Still sold (at over $500!), according to their website.
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Old 09-14-2019   #6
zuiko85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickthetasmaniac View Post
Yeah I was going to suggest the K1000 too.

Depending on how you define a 'model', the Hasselblad SWC would be up there. No significant change to the lens from 1954 to 2001, and no significant change to the body from 1956 to 2001.
Thanks for the heads up on the SWC. Never knew it was made for so long a period of time.
And, like the Holga, same film and 6X6 format. But opposite ends of the quality spectrum.
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Old 09-14-2019   #7
zuiko85
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By the by folks, I'm not dismissing the Holga. In the hands of photographers like Michael Kenna and David Burnett the results are stunning.
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Old 09-15-2019   #8
David Hughes
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Difficult to answer as the criteria isn't very fixed but the first Leica in commercial production was 1925 and it ended in 1960 as the IIIg but some were still being assembled/sold by Leitz in 1970.

Then the Olympus OM started in 1972 and ran to 1997.

And the Leica (1925) became the FED (in 1936) and Zorki and the Zorki became the Zenit and that ended in 2004 as the KM Plus.

And there's the Olympus Trip 35...


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Old 09-15-2019   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
Difficult to answer as the criteria isn't very fixed but the first Leica in commercial production was 1925 and it ended in 1960 as the IIIg but some were still being assembled/sold by Leitz in 1970.

Then the Olympus OM started in 1972 and ran to 1997.

And the Leica (1925) became the FED (in 1936) and Zorki and the Zorki became the Zenit and that ended in 2004 as the KM Plus.

And there's the Olympus Trip 35...


Regards, David
Yep, those were all long production runs. However my thoughts ran more to a single model. The Leica started with a fixed lens, then gradually, interchangeable lenses, built in coupled RF, etc. Therefore, I would think of the entire III family, from the A to the G could be considered the same model, with improvements along the way. That would be a very long run indeed.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #10
David Hughes
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Hi,


Yes, I would have said that but wondered about minor changes.

F'instance the Leica standard ran from 1932 to 1950.

As for the III's there's ling and short versions. The longer die cast body from 1940 as the IIIc but complicated by the (smaller) III running from 1938 to '41 and then a small batch in 1946.

Looking at the OM-1's does the OM-1n count as a 1? So lots of interesting details to sort out. OTOH the OM ran a long time with minor changes and bigger metering changes.

And then there's the size of the production (largest) versus the years it ran (longest)...

Regards, David
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #11
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and at the opposite end of the size spectrum...

737 airplane ... Boeing sold the first one to Lufthansa in 1968 and it is still in production.

In between in size but not longevity:
The Porsche 911 - introduced in 1963 it, too, is still in production.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #12
Deardorff38
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Zuiko, I'm not sure what status that would bestow on the Holga. But the Deardorff view camera was made from 1923-88. Rolleiflex from 1920 on. It can be debated that any changes were improvements to the basic engineering idea....
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #13
Erik van Straten
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The M Leica was made from 1954 until now, production continues, 65 years.


Erik.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #14
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Now we're getting silly here...
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by css9450 View Post
Now we're getting silly here...

Wasn't it from the start?.....
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #16
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YashicaMat went from 1957 to 1986. Different models added meters but that's about it. Sort of the Pentax K1000 of medium format.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #17
David Hughes
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And to go with them the Kodak 120 and 35mm films and, of course, the Tessar.


Regards, David
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
It has occurred to me that *probably* the longest production of any camera has been the basic, black, Holga 120/120n model, 37 years.
Was it always made by the same people? I sort of remember a change in who made them... or was that the Diana?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyongazer View Post
and at the opposite end of the size spectrum...

737 airplane ... Boeing sold the first one to Lufthansa in 1968 and it is still in production.

In between in size but not longevity:
The Porsche 911 - introduced in 1963 it, too, is still in production.
Hmmm... The original 737 had those odd looking engines. What about Cessna 152, 172?

As for the 911, the last air-cooled "911" (dubbed the 993) was around 1996 or so. All current models are water cooled.

Then there's John Moses Browning's M1911 - essentially unchanged for 108 years.

What about a 49-year run for the Hasselblad 500C and variations (1957-2006):

https://www.hasselblad.com/history/500-series/
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #20
zuiko85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
Hi,


Yes, I would have said that but wondered about minor changes.

F'instance the Leica standard ran from 1932 to 1950.

As for the III's there's ling and short versions. The longer die cast body from 1940 as the IIIc but complicated by the (smaller) III running from 1938 to '41 and then a small batch in 1946.

Looking at the OM-1's does the OM-1n count as a 1? So lots of interesting details to sort out. OTOH the OM ran a long time with minor changes and bigger metering changes.

And then there's the size of the production (largest) versus the years it ran (longest)...

Regards, David
I think the question would be;
If you had been shooting for a time with a IIIa then pick up a IIIG it would be instantly familiar, operating the same controls in the same manner. Sure, the eyepieces were moved next to each other, and flash sync was added, and the 90mm vf was added, but essentially they operate almost identically.
Same thing applies to the OM-1 and 1n, basic operation is preserved.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #21
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This is the type of post from someone with too much time on their hands and a memory that is beginning to ‘clearly’ remember things that never were.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #22
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The Stereo Realist was first sold in 1947, and trickled to a close in the mid ‘70s as Olden Camera constructed new camera from existing parts. Most resembled the “Custom” but lacked the significant features.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
This is the type of post from someone with too much time on their hands and a memory that is beginning to ‘clearly’ remember things that never were.
Not to be picayunish (but I am!), I think a lot of these cited examples had far too much variation really to be considered the same product. Today's Mustang or 911 shares the same marque as one from 1965, but little else (or the 737 for that matter). Not quite the same as the VW Typ 1 (Beetle) that was virtually untouched through 2003!
Maybe Leica comes close with how little has changed mechanically in the screw mount and film Ms.

Either way, I do find it impressive that they, Nikon, and Pentax have used essentially the same lens mount for so long with minor mechanical and electronic variations. Even EOS and Minolta alpha are getting up there in years, though one can only wonder for how long.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #24
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Nikon F from 1959 to still in production as F6. So that's, umm, 60 years-ish and counting..

This is why it is about 1 model, not a line.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #25
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Kiev 4a 1956-1980, not a bad run. Contax rangefinder (all variations): 1932-2005 (73 years, Contax i-G2, with Kievs filling in the middle years). There might be a gap between 1980 (Kiev 4a) and 1994 (G1).
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #26
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What about the Gandolfi Precision 4 x 5 produced from 1938 until 2017?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #27
David Hughes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
This is the type of post from someone with too much time on their hands and a memory that is beginning to ‘clearly’ remember things that never were.

Hmmm, it was a Sunday, a day of rest and all work and no play etc, etc...


Regards, David
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #28
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Did we forget the Rolleiflex TLR? Basically the same --no, really, not like a Porsche 911's air-to-water-cooled conversion--from 1932-2015. Changes were mostly tweaks to the body, refinements to the film transport, faster lens, bayonet mount variations....
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #29
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When the going gets weird...
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #30
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IMO any body change at all doesn’t count. So, so far it’s the holga still?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #31
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Some answers are beginning to suggest the Brownie...


Regards, David
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