Goro Yoshida – The Man Behind Canon’s First Ever Camera

Goro Yoshida

Canon UK on Twitter posted an image of Mr. Goro Yoshida, the creator and driving force of Canon’s first ever camera, the Kwanon. Read about the birth of the Kwanon (which was also the birth of Japan’s first 35mm focal-plane-shutter camera) and Goro Yoshida’s engagement in Canon Camera Museum’s “History Hall” article. An excerpt:

When asked about his motives in disassembling a Leica to produce Japanese made high-grade 35mm cameras, Yoshida explained in later years:
“I just disassembled the camera without any specific plan, but simply to take a look at each part. I found there were no special items like diamonds inside the camera. The parts were made from brass, aluminum, iron and rubber. I was surprised that when these inexpensive materials were put together into a camera, it demanded an exorbitant price. This made me angry”.

The Telegraph published an “Evolution in Pictures” for Canon’s celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Kwanon. From Canon’s historical article:

The prototype camera was named “Kwanon” because Yoshida was a believer in “Kwannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy.” The camera’s logo depicted a thousand-arm Kwannon Goddess, and even its lens was named “Kasyapa” which came from Mahakasyapa, a disciple of the Buddha.

Kwanon camera prototype

 

Canon Celebrates 80th Anniversary Of Kwanon (Canon’s first camera)

Kwanon

Canon press release:

Canon celebrates 80th anniversary of Kwanon, Company’s first camera

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.

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Metabones Announces Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX Speed Booster ULTRA

Speed Booster ULTRA

Metabones announced their new Canon EF Lens to Sony NEX Speed Booster ULTRA adapter. The Speed Booster ULTRA sells for $649 and van be purchased at Metabones, where you’ll also find more information and details about the adapter.

Press release:

Sharper corners, less distortion, reduced vignetting 

New optical design:  advanced 5-element/4-group optical design incorporating ultra-high index tanatalum-based optical glass to achieve extraordinary optical performance with improved corner sharpness, distortion and reduced vignetting.

Like the revolutionary original Metabones Speed Booster announced in January 2013, the Speed Booster ULTRA has a magnification of 0.71x, and so it effectively reduces the crop factor of mirrorless cameras with DX-sized sensors, such as Sony E-mount and Fuji X-mount cameras, from 1.5x to 1.07x.  However, the new ULTRA design makes very effective use of exotic materials at the furthest limit of glassmaking technology, and as a result is well corrected for use with virtually all fullframe SLR lenses regardless of exit pupil distance. Thus, the Speed Booster ULTRA performs extremely well with professional-grade f/2.8 zoom lenses such as the 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 zooms by Canon and Nikon to produce 17-50mm f/2.0 and 50-142mm f/2.0 high-speed zooms, respectively.  Similarly, high-speed fixed focal length lenses such as a 50mm f/1.2 will be transformed into a 35.5mm f/0.9 lens with excellent contrast and resolution from the center all the way to the edges of the image. (More information can be found in the press release here)

Key Features
  • Increase maximum aperture by 1 stop.
  • Increase MTF.
  • Makes lens 0.71x wider.
  •  Advanced 5-element/4-group optical design incorporating ultra-high index tanatalum-based optical glass by Caldwell Photographic in the USA (patent pending).
  • Electronic integration of aperture diaphragm, controlled by or from the camera body.
  • Partial autofocus support for late-model (post-2006) Canon-brand lenses.
  • Powered by camera body. No external power source required.
  • High performance 32-bit processor and efficient switched-mode power supply.
  • The tripod foot is detachable and compatible with Arca Swiss, Markins, Photo Clam ball heads.

All available versions:

  • Metabones Canon EF-Emount Speed Booster Ultra – (Click here)
  • Metabones QBM-Emount Speed Booster Ultra – (Click here)
  • Metabones Contarex-Emount Speed Booster Ultra – (Click here)
  • Metabones OM-Emount Speed Booster Ultra – (Click here)
  • Metabones MD-Emount Speed Booster Ultra – (Click here)
  • Metabones FD-Emount Speed Booster Ultra – (Click here)
  • Metabones Alpha-Emount Speed Booster Ultra – (Click here)
  • Metabones Alpa-Emount Speed Booster Ultra – (Click here)
  • Metabones Nikon G-Emount Speed Booster Ultra – (Click here)
  • Metabones Leica R-Emount Speed Booster Ultra – (Click here)

Speed Booster ULTRA

[via SonyAlphaRumorsEOSHD]