Of Photography

GN lenses were launched was that the focal length of the standard lenses shortened from 58mm to 50mm, something Nikon, Minolta and others had done a decade earlier.

How much do they cost?

An RE Super with 5.8cm f/1.4 recently sold on eBay with some accessories for £146.16, which seems to be the going rate for online auctions. Classic camera dealers would ask maybe £200-£250 for a carefully checked example. The RE-2 sells for around £60 at auction, or £100-£120 from a dealer. The lenses are scarce and fetch from £120 upwards, with the exotic focal lengths costing a lot more.

THE Topcon accessory range was not as vast as that available for brands such as Nikon, Canon and Minolta, but it had all the bits most people would need, particularly for close-up work. There were automatic bellows and extension tubes, slide-copying attachments, a microscope attachment, waist-level and magnifying viewfinders, macro lenses within the RE Auto-Topcor range and even a BOmm Macro-Topcor, used with a special ring in the manner of the Zeiss Luminar. An intriguing oddity is the translucent 'incident light receptor', made in sizes for each

Some Topcon accessories: Back row (I to r): eyesight correction lens selector; waist-level finder; microscope adapter; variable extension tube; incident light receptor; exposure meter for attachment to lens; 'large' motordrive. Front row (I to r): critical focusing viewfinder; viewfinder meter reading illuminator; twin cable release; colour filters and viewfinder magnifier of the lens filter mounts, of which an example is shown above. This enabled the built-in TTL exposure meter to act as an incident lightmeter.

Topcon 58mm

Topcon RE Super Icons of Photography

If you're buying

Watch out for... A dim focusing image

The mirror may be corroded and need re-silvering, or the silvering of the prism may have degraded - this usually shows as brown patches in the viewfinder.

Meter not working

Check there is a battery in the camera - if not, ask why not. The Re-Super and Re-2 both need a 3.5V battery and the best replacement for non-existent mercury batteries is the zinc/air Wein Cell. Contact the Small Battery Company on 020 88713686 or www.smallbattery.company.org.uk. If the meter does not work with a battery, things could get expensive.

Shutter problems

It is rare for an RE Super to have shutter problems, but check all speeds carefully. Ed Trzoska will quote for repairs (tel: 0116 267 4247).

Fungus in the lens:

Look for white thread-like clusters between the lens elements.

You may also like...

The Nikon FTN Photomic, which has most of the advantages of a Topcon RE Super and a rather more available range of second-hand lenses and accessories.

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