Happy SUNday! – Rangefinders Rule

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A trio of 1950s Japanese 35mm rangefinder cameras. Starting from the top, the Yashica YE was made shortly after Yashica acquired Nicca in 1958. In the middle, the Nicca 3-S was one of the last cameras made with the Nicca name and last, the Tower Type-3 which was made by Nicca for the Sears, Roebuck and Company around 1951. All of these were considered to be excellent “copies” of the Leica rangefinder.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day! – Chris

By the way, I’m having a big after Christmas sale in my online camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – stop by and see if something strikes your fancy! ^.^

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.

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Sears Camera Catalog – 1952

The back cover of the Sears Camera Catalog – 1952

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Of interest, the box that’s depicted for the Tower Type-3 rangefinder (far left, bottom) is not what the box looked like in 1950 and 1951 so I’d guess that it was changed sometime in 1952. 

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Here’s an example of a “modern” Tower blue box. (Detail from a larger web image)

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It’s a wonderful catalog filled with great references and illustrations of the cameras and accessories available in 1952. The full front cover pictured below.

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The Tower Type-3 was made by Nicca for Sears and in the catalog, it’s known simply as the Tower 35.

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.

Tower Type-3 35mm Rangefinder – Made by Nicca for Sears

One of the better made Leica type of 35mm rangefinder cameras from the early 1950s. This one dates back to the period during the occupation of Japan following WWII. The occupation formally ended in April 1952.

I believe the Nicca-Towers are extremely attractive in their design and some (like this gem) have aged very well (1951 on this one).

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The Tower brand was made by Nicca Camera Company for Sears, Roebuck and Company for sale in the United States through their stores and in their catalogs.

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Nippon Kogaku Nikkor – H.C f2 5cm lens from my Nicca s-3

These cameras accept all L39 screw-in (Leica type) lenses made by a ton of manufacturers – Canon, Nikkor, Leitz and more than I care to think about. Oh yeah, Nicca even made one with their own name and Yashica made a few too. Happy hunting!

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.

 

Custom Presentation Box for the Tower Type-3… 1953

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1953 Tower (Nicca Camera Co.) Type-3 35mm Rangefinder with custom box.

This custom designed box is based on original Tower (Nicca) designed presentation boxes of the early to mid 1950s. The leather case, which is the original from 1953 was reconditioned – the leather was gently cleaned with saddle soap, some loose stitches were properly glued to prevent further separation and the felt interior of the case was also gently cleaned and refreshed. The case hinged flap had become separated so another piece of leather was attached and it’s as good as new. The entire case was conditioned to bring out the vintage patina.

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The 64 year old leather looking great with a wonderful brown color.

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Looking fine after six decades.

As collectors, Carol and I enjoy restoring vintage cameras and when necessary, reconditioning the often neglected leather cases. We love camera sets that include the original boxes, but when they’re not available we like designing custom boxes based on original designs and colors.

Thanks for your visit! We love comments so feel free to share yours!

Chris and Carol

(Nicca) Tower Type-3 35 mm Rangefinder Camera… 1953

Nice little Tower Type-3 (or Type III) 35 mm rangefinder film camera from the early 1950s – made by Nicca Camera for the Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog. The build quality of the Tower branded cameras are no different from the quality of the Nicca camera as best as we can tell. It appears that Sears didn’t ask Nicca to lessen the quality like one might imagine – Sears was known for good value but not necessarily the best quality in our opinion.

By the way, these images were taken with our Sony Cyber-shot  (model DSC-W170) from 2008. It’s a basic point and shoot but sports a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens and 10.1 megapixels. It adds a nice “softness” to our studio shots especially of vintage gear and it’s fun (and simple) to use.

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The Tower Type-3 (made by Nicca) is one of the best of the Japanese made Leica copies.

This camera appears to have been made in around 1953 – the serial number places it as a mid production model and the fact that the open-shut latch simply has ‘Made in Japan’ vice ‘Made in Occupied Japan’ engraved on it. The occupation of Japan ended with the adoption of the Peace Treaty signed in April 1952.

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Open shut latch.

This camera works perfectly – the shutter appears to be spot on and the rangefinder-viewfinder is clear and accurate. We hope to be able to run a roll of film through it soon.

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Super clean and free of significant signs of past use. A gem!

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Designed to take the L39 screw-in lenses made by any number of lens manufacturers of the period.

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Actually it’s an interesting logo – quite detailed and almost a retro look to it even for the early 1950s. 

As we’ve stated before, if you’re looking for a nice camera to experience the joy of using a vintage 35 mm rangefinder, then the Nicca and Tower cameras fit the bill nicely. Excellent fit and finish and they’re built like a tanks. You should be able to find well preserved models on various online auction sites for reasonable prices. If you see signs of corrosion or missing leatherette… run! Avoid these and buy the best you can afford. You’ll be happy you did.

Chris