Aires Archives - Photo Jottings

Aires

Aires 35-III L 45mm F/1.9 Review

Today's review camera, the Aires 35-III L, was purchased brand new by my Father in late 1957.   Dad actually wanted a kodak Retina, but it was quite a bit more expensive than the Aires, and the upcoming month long vacation in Arizona with my Mom was going to eat up most of their finances, so he settled with the Aires.  However, 'settled' may be a bit too harsh; the Aires 35-III L was highly rated in all the magazines at the time, where the writers gushed about the great lens, single stoke rapid film advance, and rangefinder focusing down to 20 inches (0.5m).

The Aires 35-III L has a six element (H) 'Coral' lens of 45mm, and a F/1.9 Seikosha shutter mechanism.  The camera feels very solid in the hands, and is quite heavy at over 800g bare.  Aires incorporated the much dreaded 'light value' system into this model, and in actual use causes too much fiddling with the lens ring to change it; you could easily miss a good shot by screwing with this feature, I don't like it.

My Dad used this camera exclusively for almost 30 years, running only Kodachrome or Ektachrome through it, and rarely printing anything as he liked to project the images with a Three Dimension Company set-up on a sparkly Da-lite screen...

Read more »

Scroll to Top