Whenever I reminisce about classic cameras from the 1950s it’s hard not to think of this Nicca camera inspired by the iconic Leica 35mm rangefinder (RF).
By today’s standards there’s nothing easy about using a camera from this era. Some of the “negatives” – manual focusing using a rangefinder (not thru the lens like an SLR), manual exposure and shutter speed settings, difficult film loading, and lots of add-ons just to be able to shoot with a wide angle or telephoto lens to name just a few. The positives – this is considered to be a miniature camera (compared to other film cameras), interchangeable lenses, rugged construction, excellent lens choices, and portability. I like this camera because it just feels right cradled in your hand.
If you want to experience film photography in its purest form then check out one of these amazing machines from the 1950s. Leica, Nicca, Yashica, Canon, Nikon, Leotax, and dozens more.
Totally random here but I wanted to give a shout out to my friend Peggy’s WordPress site at https://cameragocamera.com/ It’s a lot of fun to visit and she’s tested nearly every camera on the planet (almost) nearly every camera. Pop on over for a read and be sure to click follow while you’re there.
Thanks for stopping by and have a safe and beautiful day! – Chris
OK, what’s a WINTU? A crazy little right angle viewfinder that Leica-Leitz made between 1933 to 1948. I imagine it could have assisted with close-up copy work but having used it on my Nicca 3-S I can say that it works but it seems to have been made as just another gadget to buy. It was advertised as being able to “look around corners” and to take pictures without being noticed (stealth street photography).
It doesn’t fit completely onto the accessory shoe of my Nicca 3-S from around 1955 but the eyepiece does line up and I was able to use it. In reality the best way to take street pics without being detected is to place your camera on a table at a cafe along the street and prefocusing it and presetting the exposure. Then just press the shutter whenever something strikes your fancy.
Still, a nice bit of German engineering that’s stood the test of time.
1950s vintage Nicca rangefinder 35mm camera shot on location – c1911 post office.
After a day spent on a photo walk in our local historic district, our Nicca takes a break for a beauty shot. The mid-afternoon lighting is always just right in this 100-year-old post office – the table once held ink wells (the hole behind the camera) and the wood table top has such a wonderful patina and texture.
Our Nicca 3-S is fully operational – it’s considered to be one of the best Leica copy cameras produced in Japan in the early part of the 1950s. The 5cm f/ 2 lens is a Nikkor and is clear and sharp.
Of interest, the <E.P> mark on the rewind knob (extreme left) indicates that this camera was available for sale in Japan as an exempt purchase, meaning that it was for sale only to military personnel and their families, diplomatic personnel and their families and possibly available at duty-free shops. Photogear marked with the <E.P> symbol was not for sale to Japanese citizens as it was tax-exempt.