The Nicca Camera Company was well known during the 1950s as producing high-quality Leica inspired 35mm rangefinder cameras often of better quality than what Leica produced.
The Nicca Type-5 was released in March 1955 and it was the first Nicca camera to feature a rear film door that opened from a hinge on the right side of the body. This made it easier to load film as the film path was accessible directly from the rear. It was the only Nicca to open this way until a top-hinged model was introduced with the release of the Nicca 5-L (the L added a film winding lever vice dial shown here).
Another feature of this Nicca is the added high-speed shutter which has a top speed of 1/1000 of a second.
The film back (rear cover) is side-hinged which is a unique feature of the Nicca Type-5.
From the front, an easy way to identify the Type-5 is by the black band that runs around the body just above the leatherette.
The film cassette is inserted on the left side of the camera and the film leader is drawn across the shutter curtain and is wound around the take-up spool on the right side. When the rear cover is closed the film pressure plate will keep the film flat. In the above picture, the bottom plate is reversed from its mounted position.
Another feature of the Type-5 is that the film door can be removed for even better access to the camera’s interior to facilitate film loading. The film take-up spool is on the far right.
The Type-5 is not a common Nicca today although it appears that nearly 6,500 were made during its run based on the thought that the serial numbers ran consecutively with no breaks in production. The earliest serial found is 125001 which is the camera depicted in the instruction book and the latest serial number found in the wild is 131531. My camera depicted here has a serial number of 130109.
Here’s an ad from May 1955 for the Type-5.
The advertisement is dated May 1955 which is a few months after the initially reported release date of March 1955. The distributor’s name is Hinomaruya ひのまるや which can be seen just below the Nicca name on the lower right of the ad. Scan courtesy of Paul Sokk.
For more, much more, please check out my good friend Paul Sokk’s wonderful site.
Thanks for stopping by and please visit our camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – Chris
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