Twenty-two years after its foundation in 1994 by Lars Netopil, the Solms Camera Fair held at the Taunushalle (Taunus Hall) of this city of the Land of Hessen (Germany), located at around 80 km from Frankfurt, has turned into one of the most important photographic fairs of classic and vintage cameras, lenses and accessories in the world, as well as a twice a year landmark international event within its scope,
by dint of a great effort fulfilled by a number of professional exhibitors from both Germany and many other countries of the globe, sharing a love for their trade and a passion for this type of top-notch stuff featuring an amazing level of mechanical and optical technology, along with second to none standards of reliability, duration in time working flawlessly for many decades and a timeless beauty.
A first-rate service and painstaking attention paid to the customers
(who are allowed to thoroughly check the correct and full operating state of the items together with their cosmetic appearance) as top priority for exhibitors, along with a craving for offering highly competitive prices, make up a very interesting additional bonus for the visitors, who in increasing numbers have gathered at the Solms Taunushalle (venue of this one of a kind relishing rendezvous for any enthusiast of analogue photographic equipment) for more than two decades.
As a matter of fact, the very recent edition held on November 26th, 2016 has been an outstanding success, with 100 exhibitors from a number of countries (Germany, United Kingdom, France, Japan, United States, Austria, Belgium, Holland, Spain and others) and around 500 attendees who arrived at the Solmser Fotobörse not only from Germany but also from worldwide to have unforgettable experiences
and acquire top quality cameras, lenses and accessories.
In this regard, the Solms Camera Fair epitomizes the feature that has traditionally turned this professional sphere events celebrated in Germany into world class encounters:
the very good condition (often in A/B, near mint or mint condition and perfect functioning to get pictures at every diaphragm and shutter speed) of a high percentage of the articles on sale, not only Leica ones (though the legendary German photographic firm is the core of the fair) but also from other prestigious brands in the History of Photography like Nikon, Canon, Zeiss Ikon, Ihagee Exaktas, Voigtländer, Rollei, Mamiya, Minox, Kodak, Hasselblad, Zenza Bronica, Alpa, Olympus, Pentax, VEB Pentacon Dresden Prakticas, Linhof and many others.
Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 fourth version (manufactured between 1979 and 1994) and sharing identical optical formula with the Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 Fifth Version (1994-2013).
It is one of the greatest feats in the history of photographic lenses. Featuring 6 elements in 4 groups and 8 blades, it was designed by Walter Mandler at Leitz Midland, Ontario (Canada), managing to reduce the weight (195 g) in comparison to the 6 elements in 4 groups and 10 blades 3rd version (200 g), beating the resolution of the Summicron Rigid 50 mm f/2 (1956-1968) and simultaneously improving the contrast a great deal, doing it without any aspherical or floating elements and stretching the classic Double Gauss scheme to its feasible scientific and physical boundaries, according to the parameters set forth in his mythical dissertation Über die Berechnung einfacher Gauss-Objective at Giessen University (Germany) in 1979.
Through Leica M adapters, this tiny lens has proved its great symbiosis with professional digital cameras, both in the 24 x 36 mm format (Sony A7, A7II, A7r, Leica M9, Leica M, Leica M Monochrom and others), APS-C (Fujifilm XT-1, Fujifilm XT-2, Fujifilm X-Pro 1, Fujifilm X-Pro 2, Fujifilm XE-1) and Micro 4/3 ones (Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus OM-D EM-5, Olympus OM-D EM-5 Mark II, Olympus PEN-F), delivering superb image quality, even at maximum f/2 aperture, with high contrast and crisp detail on almost the entire picture area, in an stunningly compact and light combo resulting in very comfortable handheld shooting throughout many decades of intensive use, thanks to its first-rate mechanical construction.
Needless to say that coupled to analog rangefinder 24 x 36 mm format Leica M cameras like the Leica M3, Leica M2, Leica M6, Leica M7, etc, it also renders extraordinary results with chemical b & w and colour films alike, having traditionally excelled among others with the Kodak Tri-X 400.
Not in vain, many of the visitors of top-of-the-line classic camera fairs like this, are not only analog cameras users, but also owners of digital ones which they connect to manual focusing classic and vintage lenses to get very special and different image aesthetics, colour renderings, 3D character and bokehs impossible to achieve with more perfect modern aspherical lenses in which aberrations are better corrected and whose optical formulas are particularly optimized thinking of getting the best possible resolving power and contrast and uniformity of performance at every diaphragm aperture.
Therefore, the arrival of digital photography has brought about a very important worldwide revival of classic and vintage manual focusing lenses with great personality manufactured during the XX Century like:
- The legendary Asahi Takumars and Supertakumars from sixties and seventies.
- The Nikkors and Micro-Nikkors from seventies and eighties.
- The Olympus Zuiko from seventies, eighties and nineties (Zuiko 24 mm f/2, Zuiko Macro 50 mm f/2, G-Zuiko Auto-S 55 mm f/1.2, Zuiko Auto-T 85 mm f/2, Zuiko MC Macro 90 mm f/2, Zuiko Auto-T 100 mm f/2).
- The Leitz screwmount and Leica M lenses (Leitz Elmar 3,5 cm f/3.5, Elmar 50 mm f/2.8, Leitz Summarit 50 mm f/1.5, Leitz Summitar 5 cm f/2, Leitz Thambar 90 mm f/2.2, Leitz Hektor 73 mm f/1.9, Leitz Summarex 8,5 cm f/1.5, Elmarit 90 mm f/2.8, Tele-Elmarit-M 90 mm f/2.8, Noctilux-M 50 mm f/1, Summilux-M 75 mm f/1.4, Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 in its different versions, Leica R lenses like the Summicron-R 50 mm f/2, Summilux-R 50 mm f/1.4, Apo-Summicron-R 100 mm f/2, Vario-Apo-Elmarit-R 70-180 mm f/2.8), Canon lenses in FD mount like the Canon FD 50 mm f/1.4 S.S.C, Canon FD 55 mm f/1.2 S.S.C Aspherical, Canon New FD 50 mm f/1.2L, Canon FD 85 mm f/2L, Canon FD 135 mm f/2).
- Unique lenses like the MC Rokkor PG 58 mm f/1.2 manufactured by Minolta during seventies.
On the other hand, the silky smooth focusing rings of a very high percentage of classic manual focusing lenses associated to the distinctive image quality and gorgeous out of focus rendering they generate, has turned them into real highly coveted jewels in the scope of HD and 4K video recording, coupled to the most updated digital 24 x 36 mm, APS-C and Micro Four Thirds photographic cameras boasting that function, being possible to obtain filmic results.