Contax S camera, 1949-1951, and Nikon S rangefinder camera, 1951-1955.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The Contax S 35 millimetre single lens reflex (SLR) camera was made by Zeis Ikon in East Germany. The 'S' stands for Spiegelflex (mirror reflex). The Contax S was the first postwar Zeis camera design and the first SLR to incorporate a pentaprism. It is generally regarded as being the father of all modern 35mm SLR cameras. The Nikon S 35 millimetre single lens reflex (SLR) camera was made by Nippon Kogaka, Japan. It featured rangefinder focusing and was the first Nikon camera to use the 24mm x 36mm picture format which is standard in 35mm photography. Since World War II, German and Japanese manufacturers have been at the forefront of the camera market from the point of view of both innovation and quality.