Nicca 3-F Brochure – 1957

Here is a very nice brochure for the popular Nicca 3-F (lever) 35mm rangefinder camera – a sophisticated Leica inspired camera from Japan.

Nicca 3-F Bro

An inside view of the brochure. The serial number on the camera is No. 151144

Analysis of the serial numbers indicates that about 6,000 cameras were made. This assumes that there were no breaks in production and that the numbers were assigned consecutively.

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The front and back cover of the brochure. Hinomaruya ひのまるや (upper left corner) was the sole distributor for Nicca in Japan – I’m not sure if they handled distribution outside of Japan.

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Nice assortment of available accessories for the Nicca 3-F

This brochure has survived in near mint condition – it’s obvious collectors have handled it carefully over the years.

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
All rights reserved.

Nicca Type-5 35mm Rangefinder Camera – 1955

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).

Nicca Type 5

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.

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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.

Nicca Ty 5

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.

Nicca T5 apart

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.

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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

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
All rights reserved.

 

 

Camera matchmaker – Canon Model 7

A rather odd title for an odd post about cameras. Let me explain. Recently I purchased a rather large collection of camera manuals, user guides, sales brochures and whatnot from a seller in Japan. Mixed in with all the stuff that I wanted and knew about was some surprising finds.

Here are the original warranty-registration papers that would have been included with a Canon Model 7 (or simply the Canon 7) 35mm rangefinder camera that was produced between 1961 and 1964. The paperwork contains the camera and lens serial numbers as they were recorded by the factory.

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A close-up of the registration card (below) shows the body and lens serial numbers.

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Body number 806188 and the lens’ serial number 38115

The Canon 7 was produced in rather large quantities and it was considered a fairly capable camera especially with the 50mm f/1.2 lens attached. An impressive f/0.95 lens was also available. As I understand it, production started at 800001 or 800000 – the camera pictured in the instruction booklet was numbered 800022 (see below).

Canon 7 SN close

So the papers that I have are from an early production model (6,188) which I would guess is from late 1961.

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All of the papers are in excellent vintage condition and show very nicely. Just some slight yellowing with the passage of time.

The Matchmaker Part – If you own this camera or lens – then heck, contact me at ccphotographyai@gmail.com and we’ll get the two of them back together. If you own a Canon 7 and would like to add these papers with your camera or to your collection then head on over to my shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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
All rights reserved.

Another Time, Another Place – Sears Tower Camera Manual 1950

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Sears, Roebuck and Company sold an extensive line of cameras and photo accessories under the Tower name. Here’s a scan from an instruction booklet from around 1950.

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Sears refers to the camera as the TOWER 35 but the camera’s top plate is engraved with Tower Type-3. The booklet also calls the camera the TYPE III. The camera was made for Sears by the Nicca Camera Company of Tokyo starting in the late 1940s through at least 1952 or so. Nicca also sold the same camera under their own name as the Nicca Type-3 or simply the Type III. They’re beautiful examples of craftsmanship that survive today as not only awesome cameras but works of industrial art.

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The Tower logo as it appears on the lid of the camera box. It’s a super cool design.

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A gorgeous early example of this wonderful camera.

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The cover of an original Nicca Type-3 instruction booklet – 1950

If you’re looking to collect an early example of these wonderful cameras they are readily available on various online auction sites both here in the United States and in Japan. Be advised that if you plan of actually taking pictures with it most if not all will require a complete service by a qualified technician (about $200 to $300). If you’re just looking to add one to your collection then expect to spend in the vicinity of $200 for one that shows well.

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
All rights reserved.

 

 

Tanaka Optical Company, Ltd. – the 1950s

The Tanaka Optical Co., Ltd. was a camera and lens manufacturer with a factory in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan during the 1950s. Not many would have seen their cameras (35mm Leica type rangefinders) and fewer still their lenses for L39 Leica screw mount cameras. Their first camera was the Tanack 35 which was developed in 1952 and released in 1953. The company was gone by 1959.

There’s conflicting information on the web about whether Tanaka made just a few cameras and no lenses. This I believe is definitive proof that they did make cameras and lenses.

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Complete lens box from about 1955.

Tanar Lens Box

The side panel says it all – “Manufactured in Kawasaki Japan by Tanaka Optical Co., Ltd. Manufacturers of Tanack Cameras, Tanar Lenses & Accessories”.

There’s still a lot to learn about the early years of this small camera manufacturer. At this time, I haven’t been able to find evidence that they made lenses for other camera makers. My guess is that they did but no proof yet.

Do you have more information about Tanaka, Tanar lenses and Tanack cameras? Please feel free to share what you know with me and I’ll gladly share that with my readers.

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
All rights reserved.

Nicca Bits

I love finding “new” bits of vintage photo gear especially when you’ve been hunting for them for years.

These bits may seem like no big deal but if you collect hard to find items in their original boxes and cases it’s rewarding when it all comes together.

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Nicca-Hinomaruya Y2 filter and lens hood. Both are from at least 1955 but likely earlier.

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Hinomaruya was the exclusive distributor of Nicca cameras and accessories.

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Using a Y2 yellow filter is a must when shooting with black and white film. It will generally darken a blue sky and provide more contrast between the sky and clouds. It can also help add better definition when shooting landscapes where haze and light atmospheric fog is present. When using a Y2 filter on a camera such as this one you must compensate by a factor of two when taking your meter readings. If you’re using an SLR with TTL metering then the camera’s built-in meter will compensate for you.

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Nicca Type 33 sales brochure showing a slightly different box for the hood and for a color filter along with the older style filter box. The Type 33 was one of the last Nicca cameras produced by the company and was released in 1958 so this would represent the last style of filter and hood boxes. As with everything else, these items were distributed by Hinomaruya.

Studio Camera: Fujifilm X-A10

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
All rights reserved.

 

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

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
All rights reserved.

Graflex Graphic 35 – The other camera made in Rochester

Call it space age or mid-century if you wish, the Graphic 35 is a love it or hate it design that was the style of the 1950s. The Graphic 35 featured push-button focusing – how modern was that!?

We think it’s a good looking camera given the era that it was designed in and compared to other cameras from the fifties, it’s rather slick.

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The two push-button focusing buttons are visible just above the lens on either side.

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It’s a coupled rangefinder – a separate viewfinder from the rangefinder.

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The camera was assembled in Rochester, New York with some components (lens and shutter) from West Germany – the 50mm lens is a three element design made by Rodenstock with the Graflar name and has a maximum aperture of f/3.5. The shutter is a Prontor-SVS model with a top speed of 1/300. Although I haven’t used this camera (yet) I’ve read that the lens is very capable in the f/8 and f/11 range but it wasn’t touted as a fast lens for low light or fast action photography. There was also an f/2.8 model.

graphic 35 ad

It looks like an interesting camera to use and from what I can gather with a fine grain film like Neopan 100 and bright sunlight it should produce some fine images.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit our camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com as we are running our big 15% off everything sale! ^.^

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
All rights reserved.

Nicca 3-S vs. Nicca 3-F

Another look at these two classic cameras from Nicca.

Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic

We’ve always assumed that the Nicca cameras were pretty much the same size from one model to another. The early 1950s models look for the most part, the same as the 1958 models. Now that we have two Niccas in our collection it’s time to do some comparisons.

Nicca 3-F on the left and the Nicca 3-S on the right.

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First off, without the lenses attached, there is a slight difference in weight between the two with the 3-F weighing in at 445 grams and the 3-S weighing 432 grams.

There is however a difference in size which surprised us. The later model 3-F (left) is taller than the 3-S (right) by about 4mm.

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The 3-F is also longer than the 3-S by about 7mm.

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The 3-F is about 7mm longer and 1mm wider than the 3-S.

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The 3-F is the top body with the 3-S on the bottom.

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Since…

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Ricoh Five One Nine – 1958

The Ricoh 519 is a 35mm rangefinder camera made by Riken Optical Industries, Ltd. of Tokyo in 1958. The 35mm rangefinder field was extremely crowded in 1958 with Yashica entering the market with its first rangefinder at about the same time. Almost every major and relatively unknown Japanese camera maker had at least an entry in the marketplace. In general, the designs of cameras during this period could range from downright ugly to beautiful – I would place this Ricoh in the beautiful category. I love its lines and thoughtful engineering details. The build quality is exceptional – everything fits nicely and the finishes are extraordinary. Who wouldn’t love the extra attention to detail with the “519” written out in a script?

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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 © 2015-2018 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.