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Canon AF35M - 1979
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• Canon's first autofocus camera

• $240 with 38mm f2.8 lens in 1979 ($721 in 2010 dollars)

By 1980 there were three autofocus systems in use: Honeywell's Visitronic, CAFS (Canon Auto Focus System), and Polaroid's Sonar.

The Visitronic system was first used in the Konica C35 AF in 1977, making it the first autofocus camera. Next came the Polaroid SX-70 Sonar One Step in 1978. (Both the Konica and the Polaroid are shown by this app.) The Canon AF35M, using CAFS, came next, in 1979.

CAFS sends out infrared and Sonar sends out sound; both focus by analyzing the reflection from the target. Visitronic is completely different: It analyzes the image itself, although crudely by today's standards.

In the late 1970s CAFS and Sonar may have worked better than the Visitronic system, since they weren't dependent on the amount of light. But the Visitronic system led the way to modern systems, as it was the only one of the three that could exploit the through-the-lens capabilities of SLRs.

For more about the first practical SLR autofocus camera, the Minolta Maxxum 7000, see that camera in this app.

Canon AF35MCanon AF35MCanon AF35MAd from Popular Photography, March 1980
Review from Modern Photography, Nov. 1980Review from Modern Photography, Nov. 1980Review from Modern Photography, Nov. 1980Review from Modern Photography, Nov. 1980
Review from Modern Photography, Nov. 1980Review from Modern Photography, Nov. 1980

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