Vivitar Cameras-History-Review-Best Online Bargains
Vivitar Cameras-History-Review-Best Online Bargains- A Blast Through The Past
By Sam Ammouri
The company known as Vivitar formed back in the 1930s, when Max Ponder and John C. Best, two German immigrants, decided to start their own company in Santa Monica, California, to import and sell photography equipment and accessories.
You must have some idea of what was going on then- the Great Depression, and Hollywood a stone’s throw away. After World War II, Ponder and Best’s company imported and sold products made by Mamiya, Olympus, Rollei, Voigtländer, and Petri, but in 1964, after losing the rights of a few of them, Ponder & Best decided to start selling their own brand and that’s when the name Vivitar was officially born.
During the 1960’s, Vivitar became very successful due to the boom of their reflex cameras with interchangeable lens, which were cheaper than most similar models available back those days.
At the beginning , Ponder & Best sold cameras made by third party manufacturers with their logo on them, but later on, as their success grew, they started to make their own units. The result was one of the most renowned brands in the history of photography during the twentieth century ( Vivitar’s Series 1 ).
Thanks also for the help Vivitar was getting from Opcon, a company from Connecticut that used computerized technology to optimize the performance of their lenses, especially the first zooms.
By reducing the air trapped between the lenses, Opcon and Vivitar greatly increased the quality of these accessories, making them an excellent choice for all the users who wanted something top-notch. One of the most famous was –and still is- the 70-210-millimeter telezoom, which had many versions throughout the years, with all of them labeled as true classics.
One of Vivitar’s top kept secrets back then was the person behind their lenses, since the North American branch only manufactured the optical design. It was only a few years ago when a former employee of the brand leaked a detail that, finally, let us know who was behind many of Vivitar’s lenses brainstorming.
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