An Elusive Camera – the Royal 35-M

When you don’t have one it’s considered to be hard to find. After you acquire yours it becomes rare.

When it comes to any camera made by the Royal Camera Company of Tokyo they collectively can be considered rare. They did, however, make cameras that were branded by other companies with either the exact same specs (as the Royal 35-M) or with exclusive features only found on that model.

Here’s our “rare” Royal 35-M from around 1958.

royal 35m logo

It’s a handsome camera and it has the feel of a very well constructed machine. The fit and finish are excellent. This model comes with a fixed 45mm lens made by Tomioka Optical and carries the Tominor name. It’s a fast lens at f1.9.

royal 35m logo2

It would appear that by serial number this camera is from about the middle of the production run. Royal looks like it used a simple sequential numbering system with no “hidden” date codes.

royal with flap

The light meter “exposed” – normally the flap would be closed but it can still be used with the flap down under bright conditions. The meter in this camera is no longer operating which is typical of a 60-year-old camera.

tomioka lens pair

A pair of Tomioka lens equipped old birds from the 1950s

Advertisement for the Royal 35-M in Modern Photography magazine from February 1960. The f1.9 lens is claimed to have a seven element lens whereas the f2.8 is a five element lens. There isn’t a ton of info out there on these cameras so these little bits of data here and there are helpful.


Modern Photography ad from February 1960

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