Leotax Merite TV2 – 1958

While doing some research on late 1950s Japanese 35mm rangefinder cameras, I came across the Leotax brand. Their cameras are highly regarded by collectors and photographers alike. They have a reputation of being one of the better built Leica inspired models, especially during the early 1950s. I personally believe that Nicca built the best versions as I own several different models and I occasionally shoot with a Nicca 3-S.

My good friend Paul Sokk pointed out that a Leotax camera box in my collection has the name of the model spelled differently than the accepted norm – ‘Merite vs. Merit’. Intrigued we both started looking for proof as to the camera’s “real” name. The camera was also known as the model TV2.

merite 2

My recently acquired Leotax Merite camera box (from Japan). Mérite in French.

“Excellent mechanism with the best technology”… Leotax Merite

Brochure 2

Paul spotted this sales flyer from Leotax. The name ‘Merite’ is clearly spelled out. Notice that the camera itself does not have a name on it.

Brochure 2 (1)

boxed (10)

Here’s a Merite camera (not verified) with a box that’s marked ‘TV2’ which was another name that the Merite was known by.

It’s interesting to note that the next camera in the Leotax line was called ‘Elite’. Another French word that would fit nicely with Merite. Is any of this definitive? No, but the fact that the flyer and the box match I would imagine that was and is the intended name.

For more about the Leotax Camera Company please visit here. The Merite is referred to by its improper name at the moment.

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
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