Camera of the Month

The Universal Vitar 35mm camera, assembled from leftover parts

The Universal Vitar: The Spare Parts Camera & The Univex Story

To appreciate the Universal Vitar, one must first know how it came to be. Universal Camera Corp., with headquarters in New York City, was founded in 1932 by Otto Githens and Jacob Shapiro. The company produced several cameras during the 1930’s and 1940’s starting out with less expensive plastic cameras and moving

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Mercury CC-1500: A Rare Version of the Univex Mercury CC

Although the Mercury CC-1500 camera appears identical to the standard Mercury CC model (CC stands for Candid Camera), there is a significant difference between the two. What separates this model from the standard Mercury CC is its top shutter speed of 1/1500 second, unheard of at the time. Let’s see

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A Warehouse Find: Kodak’s DCS Pro 14n

As they sift through donated cameras, preparing for the next PHSNE Auction at Photographica 89 (April 23, 2022 at Newton North High School in Newtonville, MA), the warehouse crew occasionally finds a rare or unusual camera. In this case, one previously unknown to several of the collectors in the room:

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Minolta Maxxum 7000 (1985)

Minolta Maxxum 7000 — First 35mm All-Auto SLR

From time-to-time, PHSNE’s warehouse crew comes across an unusual camera as they sift through donations and prepare for auctions. One recent find was a Minolta Maxxum 7000, destined for Photographica 89, PHSNE’s one-day dealer show, sale, and auction for everything photographic on April 23, 2022—so long as COVID-19 doesn’t interfere.

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The completed DIY Ur-Leica

Building a DIY Ur-Leica Replica

The December 2021 issue of Snap Shots featured an article about the Ur-Leica. Now PHSNE member Mark Kronquist has shared a story about building his own DIY Ur replica (above). “I have been using Leicas since my college days. In 2000, Leica introduced a limited edition of O Series replicas;

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Original Ur-Leica at Leica Museum

The Ur-Leica: Primeval, Primitive, Original, Earliest Leica

The Ur-Leica, generally referred to as the original Leica, should actually be called Ur-Leitz since the Leica name wasn’t in use until 1925. The word Ur has German roots; English and German dictionaries define Ur as primeval, primitive, original, earliest. It is considered to be “a mechanical masterpiece that is

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Minolta Weathermatic A 110

Minolta Weathermatic A: Colorful, Waterproof, Fun

Bright yellow was a popular color for waterproof electronics in the 1980s; the Sony Walkman is a prime example. Minolta followed suit with its bright yellow waterproof cameras, one “for each of the popular film formats, 110, 35, and APS,” for the 20-plus years the Weathermatic line was in production.

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Seagull 4BI: 6×6 TLR from Shanghai Seagull Camera Co.

China’s Shanghai Seagull Camera Co. has produced over 20 million cameras since its inception in 1958. The line includes high-quality models on a par with well-known and highly rated comparable cameras produced in Japan, Germany, and the United States. “The product line of Seagull includes TLR cameras, SLR cameras, folding

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Nikon N4004: An Early Autofocus Film SLR

A PHSNE member’s collection boasts a Nikon N4004, the North American version of the Nikon F-401. Introduced in 1987, it was one of Nikon’s earliest models designed for novices. Its autofocus feature was modeled after their 1986 model, oddly numbered the F-501 (or N2020 in North America). This 35mm SLR

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Leica R4: A Leitz-Minolta SLR Collaboration

A PHSNE member is thrilled with the newest acquisition to his collection, a Leica R4. “The Leica R4 family of Leica 35mm SLR cameras was launched in 1980. The initial design was a joint venture based on Leitz’s co-operation agreement of 1972 with Minolta, whose own version was launched in

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Coming Up

June 5 — ZOOM meeting with Vladimir Khazan on the Exakta

PHSNE meetings pause during July and August; our next meeting will be Sunday, September 11, 2022. Check the PHSNE website and watch for email on updates and new features.

To all participants in this year’s Photographica 89 — Thank You!

Get ready for 2023: PHSNE’s 50th year & Photographica 90

Dealers: Contact Show Manager John Dockery

Use the Contact Form



Bulletin Board

Coming Up

June 5 – Vladimir Khazan on the camera firm Ihagee and the Exakta

PHSNE Snap Shots and monthly meetings pause during July & August. The September Snap Shots arrives in late August; the next meeting in early September.

Check the PHSNE website for updates, email notices, and new features. Don’t forget to take pictures. Got film?

A Big Thank You!

To everyone who participated in this year’s Photographica 89 Sale, Show, and PHSNE Auction

Get ready for 2023: PHSNE’s 50th year and Photographica 90

Dealers contact show manager John Dockery through the