Sunday, September 13, 2009
Another Amazing Individual You Never Heard Of
“There will always be some form of recording of light images. What shape it will take in the future has yet to be determined.” - Fred Spira, 2001
In searching for more information on a Spiratone lens, I discovered some general facts on the Mr. Spira as well as the Spiratone company in this obituary from the New York Times. Sounds like he was an incredible man. I enjoy finding new reasons to appreciate things even more. I initially found myself gravitating toward Spiratone brand items simply because of their robust build and retro nature. They have a sort of intrigue about them. It turns out, Mr. Spira has been noted as one of the pioneers in camera equipment distribution. Specifically, he is hailed as the Henry Ford of photography equipment. It was he who first began importing Japanese photo products into the states and making photography more accessible to the everyman. It is also claimed, it was he who made a more affordable fisheye lens available for the public. Even more impressive, he began this endeavor after fleeing his birthplace of Vienna (his father was Jewish), during World War II.
I especially found this quote on Spiratone products easy to relate to:
"Amateur and professional photographers awaited each gadget catalog as if they were children waiting for a Christmas toy catalog." (Dennis Hevesi, NY Times)
Take a look at the article and enjoy it. It certainly encourages me to continue in the world of photography and be myself. I am very appreciative of someone like Mr. Spira and for his attitude and desire to make things better for everyone as demonstrated through his contributions to the photographic art.