E.P Marked Photo Gear. Is it really worth more?

A revisit to this earlier post about the mark that is sometimes found on Japanese cameras from the 1950s, 1960s and infrequently the 1970s. Recently we discovered a Canon AV-1 from 1979 with the mark – that’s the latest ever found by us.

Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris

Photo gear made in Japan will sometimes carry a strange marking  <E.P>


In the above example, the <E.P> mark is engraved on the rewind knob of this Nicca camera. This camera is from the 1955 to 1957 period.

s-l1600 (23)

In the example above, this Nikkor 13.5cm lens has the <E.P> mark engraved on a small lever near the base of the lens. On the lens case below, the <E.P> mark is stamped into the leather just below the JAPAN stamp. The case belongs with the lens pictured above.

s-l1600 (22) First time we’ve seen the mark on a lens case. To us that implies that the case was mated with that lens from the factory (or wherever the mark was applied).

So what’s up with the <E.P> mark anyway?

As we understand it, the Japanese government needed a way to identify which pieces of photo gear were sold through military facilities and duty…

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