Rare early 60s underwater camera Calypso Phot - 35/3.5 SOM Berthiot Flor lens - #1622. Up to 1000 shutter speed (no ad included in sale, shown for historical reference). Excellent cosmetic condition with very minor wear from some use. Looks amazing for a 50+ year old camera.
The shadow of Cousteau : the Calypso Phot First experiments with underwater photography date back to the early 20th century. But they really develop with the introduction and demonstration of self-contained scuba equipment by Commander Jacques-Yves Cousteau in 1943.
Already directing underwater films, Cousteau meets the Belgian engineer Jean de Wouters in 1956. They work together to develop the Calypso Phot prototype, the first underwater camera. The Calypso was produced from about 1960 in France.
Nikon liked the design so much they bought the rights and started production of it in Japan about 1963. The Calypso originally was available with three lenses: the 35/3.5 SOM Berthiot Flor, a 28mm SOM Berthiot & a 45mm Angenieux. The 35/3.5 is a chrome lens, I imagine the others were too. Early examples have a shutter speed dial to 1/1000.
Later Calypsos go to 1/500th. The body covering is an imitation seal skin. Also made were special Calypso lens covers, camera strap, and flash. Nikon also produced a "Calypso-Nikonos, " a "Calypso II" and "Calypso III" (versions of the Nikonos I, II, III respectively). These pictures are of # 1622 with a top shutter speed of 1/1000th.
The item "Rare early 60s underwater camera Calypso Phot 35/3.5 SOM Berthiot Flor lens" is in sale since Tuesday, July 21, 2020. This item is in the category "Cameras & Photo\Vintage Movie & Photography\Vintage Cameras\Other Vintage Cameras". The seller is "the_music_depot" and is located in Huntington Beach, California. This item can be shipped to United States.
- Model: Calypso
- Brand: Nikonos
- Type: Underwater Flim Camera
- Country/Region of Manufacture: France
- Color: Silver