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LC-A Big Book Chapter 71: Worldwide Development

As the Germans were trying to top each other with annual new inventions in the 1930s, foreign markets kicked into gear. So it was in 1930, our friends at LOMO PLC in Russia were producing their first camera, the FOTOKOR. But this camera was still quite a big hunk of metal and couldn't be considered a compact camera.

It stands to reason that many companies wanted to tap into the success and fame that the small Leica had earned. The German competitor of Esselte Leitz (the inventors of the Leica), Zeiss Ikon, released one of the most highly regarded models, the “Contax”, to the public in 1932. The camera was equally welcomed with loud applause and was considered as a true rival to the triumphant Leica. The Contax series proved itself with a slick and compact design, the use of 35mm film, practical functions (for example the first ever built-in exposure meter in the Contax III) and excellent optics. As the Germans were trying to top each other with annual new inventions in the 1930s, foreign markets kicked into gear. So it was in 1930, our friends at LOMO PLC in Russia were producing their first camera, the FOTOKOR. But this camera was still quite a big hunk of metal and couldn’t be considered a compact camera. The Russians later came up with the Smena, but you can read about this in our chapter about the LOMO PLC works in this book! (see page 511)

Meanwhile, Japanese manufacturers Ce.g. Canon) tried to copy the Leica and released several quite similar models in the middle of the 19305. Even though the Japanese products offered a good range of quality, it was only after the end of the Second World War that they began to get known abroad. That was notably due to the homecoming American war veterans and soldiers from Japan who brought some of the cameras with them and the photojournalists and reporters who had needed local equipment for their work in Japan. Many were used in reports on the 1950-1953 Korean War.

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written by ungrumpy

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