My interest in photography while in high school soon lead me to purchase one of the top 35mm cameras available. I was working for a small chain of camera stories, three to be exact, at that time. The hoped for "big discount" on the camera did not happen, but I did get to make payments at no interest.
The Canon IV-S2, with rangefinder viewing, and an F: 1.8 50mm lens cost a princely $305 in 1955. Princely when you remember that I was probably making two bucks an hour.
Viewfinder is really a misnomer. The viewfinder actually measured 1/8 inch by ¼ inch and uses a split image rangefinder for focusing. The sports finder was somewhat of a help but focus had to be done before you took the picture.
Photo: Canon IV-S2, with rangefinder viewing
Not being able to afford a Canon telephoto lens I settled for a Travenar 135mm probably under 100 bucks. A sports viewfinder clipped on top and a rapid winder on the bottom completed my system. All this in a tidy package that weighted over 2 ½ pounds. Go weigh your single lens reflex Digital with a zoom lens, auto focus and 10 shots per second.
The small number of color and a few B & W shots were taken with a 2 ¼ Rolliecord, couldn’t afford a Flex. When I felt rich I even used my 4 X 5 Crown Graphic, again could not afford a Speed Graphic like the big press boys used, for a few color images.
When I graduated to a SLR Minolta (still film) after my sports car years, I sold the Canon to my brother, Leonard Kuhn. I hadn’t even thought about the Canon for decades until one Christmas Leonard handed me a 2 ½ pound gift-wrapped package. I was floored when I opened it and found my old Canon that had served me so well over my sports car career.
Photo: Canon IV-S2 Viewfinder