25 YEARS AGO
Color form: This graphic abstraction of a woman in a swimsuit was made by Japanese photographer Hideki Fujii as part of a series of images for a calendar. He used a 35mm SLR and a 180mm lens. The exposure, lit by electronic flash units, was 1 /100 sec between f/11 and f/16 on Kodachrome 64 film. The printing process rendered the image more abstract-an unaltered version ran in our 1985 Photography Annual.
Weimar Berlin: This striking portrait of actress Lotte Lenya (who was also the wife of Kurt Weill) was taken in Berlin by noted German photographer Lotte Jacobi in 1930, a time when pre-Nazi Germany was seething with exciting innovations, particularly in the performing arts. This photo was shown in an exhibition of Jacobi’s work depicting many of the stars who had to leave Germany after 1933.
Manhattan landmark: Maybe it takes an out-of-towner to make superb images of New York. In this case, the photographer was Robert Walker, a Canadian who moved to the city in 1978. He spent years shooting street scenes, including this look at Suerken’s, a restaurant near City Hall dating back to the Gay Nineties and now gone forever.
Night over Seattle: Bryan F. Peterson advised that the best light comes at the end of the day, and this photo of Seattle proves his point. He used a 35mm SLR and slow (ISO 64) color film. His secret was very long exposures, up to several minutes in some cases, with the camera mounted on a tripod, of course.
50 YEARS AGO
The graceful dive of Kumiko Watanabe was captured by pro photographer Yoshikatsu Saeki at an indoor pool in Tokyo. He used a Topcon-R 35mm SLR with a 58mm f/1.8 Auto-Topcor lens. The exposure, on Kodak Ektachrome film, was 1 /250 sec at f/8. He supplemented the available lighting with a #5 flashbulb.
Hasselblad wannabe: This new Zenza Bronica 2 1/4 SLR was intended to compete with Hasselblad as a top-level medium-format SLR. It offered several desirable features, including an instant-return mirror and excellent Nikkor lenses, but it lacked the rugged dependability of its rival. The Bronica came in at the same price as the Hasselblad 500C, $489.50, with 75mm f/2.8 Nikkor lens.
3. Breaking the rules: Pete Turner, shooting color almost exclusively, made this unusual picture using the double-exposure capability of his Rolleiflex. Each exposure was 1 /50 sec at f/16 on Kodak Ektachrome daylight-type film. One exposure was sharp, the second was deliberately out-of-focus.
4. End of the line: This beautifully finished Zeiss Super Ikonta IV was the last 21/4 folder in a line that started in 1935 with the first Super Ikonta B. Boasting a Zeiss Tessar f/3.5 lens, Compur-Rapid shutter to 1 /500 sec and built-in photoelectric exposure meter, the camera was bargain-priced at $79. Today, as a collectible, it’s worth about three times its original price.