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Rangefinder cameras have been made in all sizes and all film formats over the years, from 35mm through medium format (rollfilm) to large-format press cameras.
Rangefinder cameras were common from the 1930s to the 1970s, but the more advanced models lost ground to single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras.Many of them, such as the Minolta 7s II and the Vivitar 35ES, were fitted with high-speed, extremely high quality optics.Though eventually replaced in the market with newer compact autofocus cameras, many of these older rangefinders continue to operate, having outlived most of their newer (and less well-constructed) successors.The most popular design in the '50s were folding designs like the Kodak Retina and the Zeiss Contessa.In the 1960s many fixed-lens 35mm rangefinder cameras for the amateur market were produced by several manufacturers, mainly Japanese, including Canon, Fujica, Konica, Mamiya, Minolta, Olympus, Petri Camera, Ricoh, and Yashica.
(From late 1951 they were completely compatible; the 7 and 7s had a bayonet mount for the 50 mm f/0.95 lens in addition to the thread mount for other lenses.) Launched in 1940, The Kodak 35 Rangefinder was the first 35 mm camera made by the Eastman Kodak Company.