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.


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.


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.


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).


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


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

t-98_not-0015 1

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.

Hi! Mickey Mouse by Fujifilm – 1996

New arrival at our store! Straight from a collector in Japan – this cool little compact P&S from Fujifilm.


These are nearly impossible to find outside of Japan as they were only licensed by the Walt Disney Company to Fuji Photo Co., Ltd. with the Fujifilm brand on it. This one was sold at the Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo.


More to come on this one soon – we have the original box and all papers and it’s never been used!

Thanks for your visit!

Be sure to stop by https://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 © 2015-2018 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Rare Yashica Pentamatic S Box – c1961

The Yashica Pentamatic S was the last camera in the Pentamatic series of Yashica’s first ever 35mm SLR. We believe that the S model was first produced (by serial number) in April 1961. Approximately 3,200 units later, Yashica stopped producing the S in March 1962.

The Pentamatic S was sold in the US as we have a sales brochure (in English) that features the model S along with the Yashica Penta J and Yashica J-3 (Yashica’s first m42 mount bodies). We’ve never seen an advertisement for the model S in any of the major camera magazines of the period. We aren’t aware of any sales brochures in Japanese either for the model S and we’re not sure that it was available in Japan. No solid proof one way or another yet.

So with all of that said, the Yashica Pentamatic S was produced for an extremely short period of time in very limited quantities (about 3,200 total worldwide). That alone makes finding the original box for the model S quite a rare find. So here it is –


It’s also one of the few Yashica camera boxes that feature a photograph of the camera on the box.



Back of the box specs for the model S.

Another interesting item (to us) is the lens that’s pictured on the box. By serial number, it was made by Tomioka Optical for Yashica in October 1959 and it would have been first used on the original Pentamatic ’35’. The model S went back to using the original lens on its newest model – all part of the general confusion at Yashica during an extremely busy period in the history of the company.

If you have anything relating to the Yashica Pentamatic S, please feel free to share it with us. In addition to being Yashica researchers we’re buyers of almost anything relating to Yashica. Contact us here or at chriscarol@ccstudio2380.com

Thanks for your visit! Chris ^.^

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

Copyright © 2015-2017 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.


Neat Little Find

This camera cleaning cloth with an advertisement on it was with a Minolta camera we just acquired from a seller in Mie Prefecture, Japan.

A machine translation tells us that it is for a camera shop in Tokyo – Sakaecho – Tama 多摩ニュータウン.

Neat find from about 1963 or so… especially with the Contax camera depicted.  It’s 15 x 15cm square. We love the 4 digit telephone number! Just before the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.


Thanks for your visit!


1955 Camera Case Mystery

During a recent restoration of our 1955 Yashicaflex A-II twin-lens reflex camera, we discovered that the leather case held an interesting surprise!


The thread below is taken from our Flickr page (Yashica Sailor Boy).

Chris “As part of a restoration of my c1955 Yashima (Yashica) twin lens camera’s leather case, I discovered that the red felt material inside the case used backing made from Japanese newspapers! Leave it to the Japanese during the mid 1950’s to make good use of something that would normally have had one use and then thrown away here in the West. What really surprised me was how easy the felt pulled away from the newsprint without destroying the paper. I hope to get the writing translated… maybe some interesting clues as to where the case was made and when.”

Chris “The leather case was made for a Yashica Flex model A-II from 1955. The camera was purchased from a seller from Hiroshima, Japan. The camera was made in Tokyo and I am not sure if Yashima (Yashica) made their own leather cases or if they were made by a supplier. Maybe the newspaper will yield some clues as to where.”

Chris “I now know that it is a picture of Prime Minister Yoshida. This was a special edition newspaper made for (?) the Japanese National Railways (JNR). It appears that the paper is dated 17 February 1949. ‘Special Treated Approval Number 154 Issue’.”

Ken “The caption at the top actually records the newspaper’s national railways special handling permit #154, and does not identify the actual date of the issue in question. The article has to do with a controversy the prime minister created when he criticized a newspaper for allegedly spreading rumors about a political scandal concerning the shipbuilding industry. The scandal erupted in January 1954 and became one of the main causes of the fall of Yoshida’s government. It is not clear which newspaper this article comes from, but from the anti-government tone of the writing it is possibly the Asahi.”

Chris “Thank you so very much KenjiB_48. It helps to know this as it makes more sense for the Japanese company that made the leather case would have used a current (1955) newspaper for a camera made in 1955.”


The inside front of the leather case held a similar surprise. It would appear that in the mid 1950s, some Japanese manufacturers found ways of recycling almost everything produced. Used newspapers, I would think, could be had for free. Why not use them for backing the felt to the leather. Pretty smart!

Thanks for your visit!

Chris ^.^

People Pics… Japan 1977-1980

These images were mostly taken in and around Yokohama and Tokyo with my Canon F-1 (1978 version). I used Kodak Kodachrome 25 and on occasion some Kodak Ektachrome 64 (I believe). They are in no particular order and will jump around quite a bit in both year taken and location. Enjoy!


Early morning commuter at the Yokohama train station.


Cute little spot of color at Ueno Zoo Tokyo.


Pigeon racing –  Ueno Zoo Tokyo.


In keeping with red clothing as the central theme, my lovely wife Carol at Sankei-en (Gardens) in Naka-ku Yokohama. The admission was about .45 cents US for an adult which made visiting Sankei-en a regular past time for us.


Motomachi shopping street Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. A favorite spot for shopping. As always, the local police assisting lost citizens.


“You watchin’ me… I’m watchin’ YOU”! Watchful shop dog in Honmoku, Naka-ku.


Fast service at a local shopping “street”. A very small back street in Sugita just down the street from the then JNR station. Yokohama, Isogo Ward (Isogo-ku).


Daily shopping along the street in Sugita.


Lovely flower shop ladies in Honmoku (where we lived in Yokohama).


At Sankei-en in Honmoku. Fussing with his gear to capture the perfect sakura picture.


Young customer meets experienced toy vendor. I believe at Ueno Zoo Tokyo.


Yep, Mickey D’s in Yokohama.


Number 8 bus in Yokohama. The driver keeps his eye on me.


Iconic view in Japan. A professional bus driver and his clean white gloves.


On the road to Mt. Fuji. Taken by Carol with her Canon AE-1.

As always we thank you for your visit. We enjoy sharing some of our images from when we lived in Japan in the late 1970s.

Chris and Carol… and BTW, Merry Christmas!!! ^.^