Rare Shinano Pigeon 35 Model IIA

Made by the Shinano Camera Company and distributed by Endo Photo Supplies Company of Tokyo in late 1952 or early 1953. First off, this camera is a survivor when you factor in just how old it is and the fact that this type of camera was never made in vast quantities.

It’s a 35mm viewfinder camera with an NKS shutter with speeds from bulb to 1/200 of a second plus a built-in self-timer. The 4.5cm Tri-Lausar lens is made by Tomioka Optical Company of Tokyo and has a maximum aperture of f/ 3.5


When these types of cameras were made in the early 1950s they were never intended to be collector cameras in the future and they were up against stiff competition in a crowded marketplace. They were built well and they were designed to be affordable cameras for the masses.


A beautiful top plate that is free of dents, dings, and corrosion.


I like the way Pigeon is embossed into the covering.


Removing the entire back and bottom plate makes loading film super easy and fast.


The film pressure plate is in excellent condition with very little wear. Once again, the camera is free of corrosion and rust. Japan’s climate is very hot and humid during the long Summer months followed by intense cold Winters – with little indoor climate control it’s hard to find cameras from this era in such good condition.

Another remarkable aspect of this set is that the original leather case is also in nearly perfect condition.




If you enjoy collecting vintage cameras from Japan then this Pigeon would make a wonderful addition to any collection. I haven’t tested it with film lately but the shutter operates at all speeds and sounds accurate, the aperture blades are clean and oil-free and with the exception of some dust specs in the lens I see no fungus or mold and it’s free of distracting cleaning marks or scratches. Optically the Tomioka lens is clean and clear. This is not a coupled rangefinder camera so you focus based on distance and you meter separately as there is no built-in exposure meter. Basic film photography just as it was intended.

If you’re interested this camera is available in my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – Thanks, 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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