Project SLR production numbers...

This project started in 2013 and aims to collect information about production numbers of 135 film SLR's. In a first step I only looked at classical designs, meaning no Autofocus and no build-in motor drives. Therefore, the relevant time frame is between 1937 (Kine Exakta) to about 1985. Some classical SLR have been build after this date. However, no major improvements or new developments have been implemented.

Some production numbers are easily available and can be found in books or the internet. I always try to cite my sources, however, in many cases you cannot be sure, whether there is truth in the information or not. Therefore I developed an advanced method to assess production figures from serial numbers. I used it either to cross check found information or to give a number, where none can be found elsewhere.

Below is a list of all articles I have published so far. Have fun reading...

Global Production by Countries

One important source is CIPA (the Japanese "Camera & Imaging Products Association"), which enabled me to give a comprehensive overview, even without having details available. The drilldown by producing country I have published in late 2017.

German 135 film SLR - Thecomplete statistics

12.3 million SLR units have ever been produced for the 135 film in Germany. The by far most of them in Dresden. How this distributes over 21 camera series can be read in my very first article of this series. The one, all begun with...

Japanese 135 film SLR's. Part 1: Nikon

Over decades Nikon has been regarded the Japanese SLR producer with the highest reputation. In addition, from the SLR start in 1959 until 1983 they only produced SLR cameras! How the different camera series contributed to their success can be read here.

Japanese 135 film SLR's. Part 2: Minolta

Minolta's success on the SLR market based on a few very modern and innovative designs. Unlike Nikon they always focused on the needs of the average amateur photographer. Most of their camera series have been a success.

Japanese 135 film SLR's. Part 3: Asahi Pentax

Asahi were the first to produce a SLR in Japan. In addition with their fabulous Spotmatic SP they ruled the market in the late '60ies and early '70ies. The SP was the first SLR which sold more than 1 million times.

Japanese 135 film SLR's. Part 4: Canon

Canon's start into the SLR market was not as successful as their dominance they gained after the launch of the AE-1. Read here, how they developed themselves to the market leader.

Japanese 135 film SLR's. Part 5: Miranda

Today Miranda is a rather unknown Japanese camera manufacturer. During the early days of 135 SLR development they quite succesfully competed against Nikon and others. However, they missed out to find a way into mass production and went bankrupt.

Chinese 135 film SLR's

The Chinese started relatively late in copying German, then Russian, and eventually Japanese SLRs. When the political conditions were right production took off in the late 80ies and China produced about 25 million 35mm film SLR.

Soviet (and post-Soviet) 135 film SLR's

Zenit is the most important brand name for SLR cameras produced in the USSR and the following post-Soviet states. Only two production sites produced about 17 million units...

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