December 22, 2014, 08:41:19 PM

Author Topic: Canon Celebrates 80th Anniversary of Kwanon  (Read 1544 times)

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Canon Celebrates 80th Anniversary of Kwanon
« on: September 02, 2014, 07:11:27 AM »

TOKYO, September 2, 2014—Canon Inc. commemorated today the 80th anniversary of the birth of Japan’s first 35mm focal-plane-shutter camera, dubbed the Kwanon, which was produced in prototype form in 1934.

The engineers who created the camera decided to name it after Kwannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, hoping the deity would share her benevolence as they pursued their dream to produce the world’s finest camera. The camera’s lens, called Kasyapa—after Mahakasyapa, a disciple of Buddha—also took its name from Buddhism. Additionally, the top portion of the camera body featured an engraving depicting the thousand-armed Kwannon.

In 1936, two years after the birth of the Kwanon and following much trial and error, Canon launched the Hansa Canon,* its first commercial 35mm focal-plane-shutter camera, thus embarking on the Company’s history as a camera manufacturer.

In 1959, Canon introduced its first single-lens reflex (SLR) camera, the Canonflex, followed in 1961 by the Canonet, an immensely popular rangefinder camera that took the market by storm, selling out an entire week’s worth of inventory in a mere two hours. Following these successes, the Company continued to lead the industry with a range of popular camera models, such as the F-1, a top-of-the-line 35mm SLR camera introduced in 1971, and the AE-1, introduced in 1976, which was the world’s first SLR camera equipped with a built-in microcomputer.

In 1987, following continued technological innovation, Canon launched EOS, the world’s first AF (autofocus) SLR camera to employ a fully electronic mount system. In 1995, EOS marked its entry into the digital era and the lineup continues evolving today. In 2012, the Company released the Cinema EOS System, a lineup of professional digital cinematography cameras and lenses realized through the culmination of various technological innovations centered on optical technologies developed since the Company’s founding. Since its introduction, the Cinema EOS System has contributed to expanding the horizons of visual expression.

Over the 80 years since the birth of the Kwanon camera prototype, Canon, supported by its wide user base, has continuously striven to realize camera and lens technologies to fulfill the Company’s never-ending ambition to create the world’s finest cameras. Leveraging the technologies and know-how it has acquired over its history, Canon will continue contributing to the development of the photographic and video imaging culture through its technologies and products designed to satisfy the expectations of a wide range of users.

* Made possible through the cooperation of Nippon Kogaku K.K. (present day Nikon Corporation). “Hansa” was the trademark of Omiya Photo Supply, a wholesaler of cameras and photo products. In accordance with a contractual obligation, it was engraved on the top of the camera.

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Canon Celebrates 80th Anniversary of Kwanon
« on: September 02, 2014, 07:11:27 AM »

plam_1980

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Re: Canon Celebrates 80th Anniversary of Kwanon
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2014, 07:31:18 AM »
Great, we need some new product worth of that anniversary :)

pierlux

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Re: Canon Celebrates 80th Anniversary of Kwanon
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2014, 08:08:56 AM »
Great, we need some new product worth of that anniversary :)
What about a retro styled FF mirrorless? Unfortunately it's not going to happen... and if it happens, it'll fit in the set of the most unexpected and secreted projects from Canon.

zim

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Re: Canon Celebrates 80th Anniversary of Kwanon
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2014, 08:25:27 AM »
wow now that was when Canon were innovative.... FF mirrorless with interchangeable sensors, brilliant  :P

Niki

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Re: Canon Celebrates 80th Anniversary of Kwanon
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2014, 09:14:44 AM »
i'd buy that film camera

Mitch.Conner

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Re: Canon Celebrates 80th Anniversary of Kwanon
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2014, 01:56:11 PM »
Oooh.  New subject for flame war.  DR of Kwanon vs. Nikon D810.

So, is it true (I think I read this on Ken Rockwell's site) that Canon was originally trying to make knock off Leicas?  I ask because that doesn't comport with the story of this camera.  Was this another one of KR's jokes?

The Hansa Canon is apparently a serious collector's item.  There's one on Ebay with 40 watchers listed at almost $17,000.

I like how Canon started in cameras, and branched out into tech, as opposed to certain companies that seemed to start in tech and branch out into cameras.  Maybe it doesn't ultimately mean much, but somehow I like it.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2014, 01:58:59 PM by Mitch.Conner »

Rocky

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Re: Canon Celebrates 80th Anniversary of Kwanon
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2014, 02:41:51 PM »
At the beginning, EVERY BODY in Japan were making knock off German camera. Canon was making knock off Leica while Nikon was making Knock off Zeiss (Conterex). Canon was trying to out do the Leica in the 1961 and comes up with the f 0.95, 50mm lens. While their range finder camera also tried to avoid the "Leica look" in the 50's.

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Re: Canon Celebrates 80th Anniversary of Kwanon
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2014, 02:41:51 PM »

douglasgottlieb

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Re: Canon Celebrates 80th Anniversary of Kwanon
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2014, 10:32:42 AM »
Dear Canon:

Please honor Goro Yoshida, and as he did 80 years ago, take apart a Leica and make a camera just like it at an affordable price.

You can start with the new Leica M-P.

A full frame, Canon rangefinder with dual card slots, large buffer and a small, high quality, weather sealed metal body, would be most welcome.

Giant plastic DSLRs are no longer the way, in spite of how well they perform. We want portable but without compromise. And the ergonomic, UI and focus speed nightmare that is the EOSM will be forgiven if you build this. :)

Happy anniversary Mr. Yoshida!

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Re: Canon Celebrates 80th Anniversary of Kwanon
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2014, 10:32:42 AM »