Hinomaruya ひのまるや and Nicca Camera

Nicca camera made one of the better 35 mm rangefinder cameras in the 1950s. The style of camera is typically referred to as a Leica copy or Leica clone which is an unfair label to attach to the cameras of this design. One could argue that all cameras are copies of some previous camera – someone had to be first.

Here’s one of my favorite cameras in my collection – the Nicca 3-S rangefinder from about 1955.

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Seldom seen outside of Japan, here’s a nice lens hood with Nicca branding. It was distributed by Hinomaruya Co., Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan. The hood (or lens shade) was designed to be used with the Nikkor 50 mm f/2 lens and had a mount size of 40.5 mm.

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The attention to even the smallest details is what makes collecting these vintage bits of photo gear interesting and fun. The Yashica branded lens shades from this period look exactly the same so I will assume that the same manufacturer made them all. Could it have been Hinomaruya? No proof that they actually “made” things.

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The back of the leather case carries the Hinomaruya (in Japanese it’s ひのまるや) logo in a similar font as the Nicca logo (or at least close to it).

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Side view of the box – the translation is “Nicca Lens Hood”.

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There’s very little about the company Hinomaruya available on the web. It’s last known address was Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi Muromachi 4-3 (which was just around the corner from Yashica). The company was the exclusive distributor of Nicca up until 1958 when Yashica acquired Nicca. They also distributed the rather cool Melcon 35 mm rangefinder camera and the Nikkor lenses used on both the Melcon and Nicca.

Hiromaruya in hiragana is ひのまるや

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Here’s a bag that has Nicca and Hinomaruya on it. Another direct link between the two of them.

I’m not sure if they made this slide projector or if they distributed it but this item is from about 1959 – interesting because it’s a year after the Yashica acquisition of Nicca.

Maruya Pet hinomaruya

There are a few (very few) advertisements floating around on the web from Hinomaruya and I haven’t seen that name anywhere on paperwork from Nicca associated with the camera. It’s unknown if they handled warranty registrations and related paperwork for Nicca or Nikkor.

Thanks for stopping by and BTW, if you have additional information about Hinomaruya or Nicca please feel free to share it with me! Thanks – Chris

Studio Camera: Fujifilm X-A10

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Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
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