Sam Tata’s Cameras

Photographer Sam Tata (1911-2005) was born in Shanghai and died in Sooke, British Columbia. He started his career in Shanghai at age 24 and in the late 1940’s he met and became friends with famed French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. He moved to Montreal, Quebec in the late 1950’s where he began a successful career as a photojournalist and editorial portrait photographer. His images of Canadian writers and other artists  were displayed in magazines, books and in gallery shows. Many of his images are held by the National Gallery. Sam’s daughter Toni has many of Sam’s cameras and other gear and was kind enough to let me photograph some of his favourite machines.

Sama Tata's Leica

One of  Sam’s Leicas, an M$-2

Sama Tata's Eagle Eye Camera

Sam’s Eagle Eye box camera, Leica in the background.

Sama Tata's Covered Camera

One of Sam’s cameras wrapped in paper, actually a Minolta.

Sam Tata's Minolta

Sam’s medium format Minolta Autocord

Sam Tata's Minolta 2

The back of Sam’s Minolta Autocord

Sam Tata's Minolta CLE

Sam’s Minolta CLE, his favourite camera for unobtrusive street shooting. The rubber shade is bent due to storage in a box.

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