Previous Head of Photography Publishing Dept.
Asahi Newspaper Company
The era of Showa 30 had started, still the time when the Nikon F and the Canon F still hadn't appeared on the scene. A small scale 35mm camera with an attached rangefinder became popular. When talking of a range finder type that is difficult to understand, the popular leica was it. Most compact cameras are of this type but on October 1 the newly released Contax G2 too had a fixed range finder.
I was doing magazine work for the publishing Dept. for the Asahi Newspaper Co., so I not only used a big camera like the spegla, but also th small types. Whether I used the big type or small type depended on the material, the condition of shooting and what kind of magazine it would appear in. However everyone chose differently. My seniors looking at film precision would obstinately say that only amateurs use 24mm x 36mm size film in a 35 mm camera. It was a period that manufacturers were centered on the small scale cameras as Nikon and Canon. Looking around at people at work, suddenly they were split into Nikon users and Canon users. This was when the small cameras were just being used. Reasons for choosing wasn't because of one's personal taste of standard styles, the main reason was, did Leica start out or did Contax start?
The Helicoid lens in which you moved to get in focus was an opposite circular revolver in both cameras. In the Leica you would move the lever underneath the lens to get the focus, but the Contax was different in that you would revolve the gear which was in front of the shutter button, so it was an unavoidable difference. But for quick focussing, if you got confused with which to focus with, your left or right hand, you could easily miss a photo chance.
Me, a new co. employer in 1945, had a large type spegla, but I was told to get used to an old small scale leica. Before I entered the co. I had mainly used a double reflexed camera and there were many amateurs that loved the double reflex cameras. I did have a 35 mm camera but, it was a 35mm olympus which had a range finder. When I had just entered the co., my father said that he would buy me a camera, so while thinking of the Leica and the lens, I decided on him buying me a Canon, a Canon IVSb. There were two lenses, a Selina 50 mm f1.8 and also a 100 mm f3.5. I got the money off my father and I managed to get a discount so I bought the cheapest zoom lens. Not looking at the Canon IVSb's inconvenient viewfinder, it was a wonderful camera. There has only been one time in which I have had a camera bought for me, and I was so excited. It was the excitement of an artist and it was as if I had really won something because I thought about the price of the camera and lenses. This was the start of a sickness and from then on I couldn't help myself buying cameras and lenses. I can still distinctly remember buying cameras and lenses in those times, but I can't remember in which order I bought them. The cost of the camera which I bought just recently compares closely to the cost of those days. My father didn't have to worry about money too much so it meant that most of my salary from the newspaper co. disappeared on buying cameras. But as always, it wasn't enough, so I would borrow from the professionals at work. At work, I would use both the Leica and my own Canon, but I couldn't rely on the old Leica's shutter speed. Especially 1/500, the shutter wouldn't work well. With times like this, I decided to buy another canon body pretty promptly, but before that I think I bought a Nikka. Nikka was an imitation body of the Leica and it was released before the war. The one I bought was a Nikka 3s and it was similar to the Leica in the way that looking at the Leica, the syncro point of contact is dark to look at. There are many people who love it attached with a Nikkor Leica lens. The reason I bought the Nikkor was different. The cameramen from the US that used to shoot sports materials in stadiums would have the new model Nikka together with the Leica and they would look so cool. This impression was so great that I really wanted to start using a Nikkor 50mm f1.4 lens on a Canon. It wasn't a popular lens or a lens that pros used. I was told to take off the lens attached to the Nikka and to bring it up to the counter, and then I asked to see the body as well. Looking at the camera and asking the price, I couldn't believe how cheap it was, so I impulsively bought it.
I also often used the Nikka. The fact that you can feel it latch on when the film is winding on, and that it has a good feeling when pressing the shutter button, I often used it. But I used the Canon more often. Attaching the Nikkor lens on to the Canon body, I thought this was the best combination, this was popular among amateurs as well.