MINOLTA, CHINON, PRAKTICA, what ever happened to them?

For those who have been in the photo industry for years, and including the days of 35mm cameras, these 3 brands of cameras played a part in the photo industry that everyone knew. Seemed to be well built, had good lenses! But where are they today?

FIRST: CHECK THIS VIDEO OUT:

CHINON:

35mm Chinon Bellami; 1981 red suede edition
commemorates 50 years of Chinon USA

Chinon Industries Inc. was established by Chino Hiroshi in September 1948 and was originally known as Sanshin Seisakusho. Its name changed in 1962 to Sanshin Optics Industrial Co. Ltd, finally becoming Chinon Industries Inc in 1973. It is now owned by Kodak Japan Limited, the Japanese daughter company of Eastman Kodak Co. It sells digital cameras to Kodak and provides assistance to Kodak Electronic Products (Shanghai), the manufacturer of its cameras. The takeover by Kodak took place in January and February 2004. Before that time Chinon had been an independent manufacturer of optics and cameras since 1948.

PRAKTICA:

Praktica started as the name of a model of 35mm SLR from KW, introduced in 1949 and successor to the Praktiflex , these cameras were one of the first to use the M42x1 mount.

It became a long-lasting series of SLRs produced by KW and then by Pentacon. The last Praktica produced was the BX20s, discontinued in 2001.

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THE ORIGINAL PRAKTICA HEADQUARTERS
ONE MORE GREAT VIDEO TO WATCH:

MINOLTA:

Minolta Co., Ltd. (ミノルタ, Minoruta) was a Japanese manufacturer of cameras, camera accessories, photocopiers, fax machines, and laser printers. Minolta Co., Ltd., which is also known simply as Minolta, was founded in Osaka, Japan, in 1928 as Nichi-Doku Shashinki Shōten (日独写真機商店, meaning Japanese-German camera shop). It made the first integrated autofocus 35 mm SLR camera system. In 1931, the company adopted its final name, an acronym for “Mechanism, Instruments, Optics, and Lenses by Tashima”. In 1933, the brand name first appeared on a camera, a copy of the Plaubel Makina simply called “Minolta”.[1][third-party source needed]

In 2003, Minolta merged with Konica to form Konica Minolta. On 19 January 2006, Konica Minolta announced that it was leaving the camera and photo business,[2] and that it would sell a portion of its SLR camera business to Sony as part of its move to pull completely out of the business of selling cameras and photographic film.[3]

THE MINOLTA DYNAX 7

Minolta made one last attempt to enter the amateur and professional market with the Maxxum (Dynax) 9 in 1998, followed by the Maxxum 7 in 2000, which used a full LCD readout on the rear of the camera. Though well received by the photographic press, the 7 and 9 did not sell to expectations or achieve any significant breakthrough with their intended customer base, who had largely gravitated to the Canon or Nikon brands. All of these cameras were eventually discontinued in favor of the less-expensive Maxxum 50 and 70, which were sold under the Minolta name until 2006, when Konica Minolta ceased production of all film cameras.

Digital SLR’S from Minolta/ Konica:

Although Minolta had launched their first digital SLR system as early as 1995, the RD-175 — a 3 sensor (3 x 0.38 megapixel) camera based on the Maxxum 500si — was never successful, and in 1998, it was superseded by the Minolta Dimâge RD 3000, a 3-megapixel DSLR based on the Minolta V-mount of Minolta’s APS format SLR camera line, which was equally unsuccessful and short-lived.[citation needed]

While Minolta was the inventor of the modern integrated AF SLR, it took Konica Minolta a long time to enter the digital SLR market, a delay that may have proved fatal. Konica Minolta was the last of the large camera manufacturers to launch a digital SLR camera (Maxxum/Dynax 5D and 7D) using the 35 mm AF mount. During July 2005, KM and Sony negotiated on a joint development of a new line of DSLR cameras,[8] where it was believed that Konica Minolta and Sony would market their DSLR line to the masses (much like the joint marketing and development of Pentax and Samsung K10/GX10 DSLRs).[citation needed]

On 19 January 2006, KM announced that all DSLR production would continue under Sony’s management;[2] DSLR camera assets were transferred to Sony during the Konica Minolta withdrawal phase until March 31, 2006, where technical support for these cameras (primarily Konica Minolta’s other digital cameras) was assumed by Sony, who announced the first Konica Minolta-based Sony SLR — the Alpha A100 — on June 5, 2006. Sony continued the manufacture of DSLRs using Minolta technology until 2010 when the company phased out DSLRs for its SLT system but retained the Minolta A-mount.

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