Baby Ōso

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Japanese Baby (3×4) and Four (4×4) (edit)
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The Baby Ortho (ベビー・オーソ)[1] is a 3×4 camera announced in 1937 by the Japanese company Optochrom.

The only advertisement mentioned by Kokusan kamera no rekishi is dated February 1937.[2] The Baby Ortho was presented as soon to be available, with no price indicated.

The camera pictured has a metal top housing, containing the viewfinder, not unlike the Letix or the Kraft. The shutter gives T, B, 25, 50, 100 speeds. The lens aperture is f/4.5 and it seems that there was a choice of two lens models, called New Gold and Lausar.[3]

It is not known if the camera was ever sold. The official price list compiled in October 1940 and published in January 1941, mentions a "Tsubasa Ortho I" (ツバサオーソⅠ) and a "Tsubasa Ortho II" (ツバサオーソⅡ), respectively for ¥60 and ¥77 with no further details.[4] It is not known if they were related to the Baby Ortho announced in 1937 or if the name was re-used for another camera model.


  1. The Roman spelling "Ortho" is inferred from the katakana オーソ (ōso), by analogy with the orthochromatic films which are called オーソ in Japan. The name could be "Oso", "Autho", "Awso" or a variation, Kokusan kamera no rekishi exceptionnally gives no Roman equivalent.
  2. Advertisement published in Camera Art, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi in two parts, pp.61 (items 34 and 91) and 70 (items 89–90).
  3. The advertisement reads "New Gold — Lausar" (ニユーゴールド・ローザー). This might mean that the lens was called New Gold Lausar, but it is more likely that the New Gold was one lens offer and the Lausar was another. The Lausar lenses were made by Tomioka.
  4. "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku", type 1, sections 5 and 7.


  • Asahi Camera (アサヒカメラ) editorial staff. Shōwa 10–40nen kōkoku ni miru kokusan kamera no rekishi (昭和10–40年広告にみる国産カメラの歴史, Japanese camera history as seen in advertisements, 1935–1965). Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1994. ISBN 4-02-330312-7. Item 34.
  • "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku" (国産写真機の公定価格, Set prices of the Japanese cameras), listing Japanese camera production as of October 25, 1940 and setting the retail prices from December 10, 1940. Published in Asahi Camera January 1941 and reproduced in Shōwa 10—40nen kōkoku ni miru kokusan kamera no rekishi (昭和10〜40年広告にみる国産カメラの歴史, Japanese camera history as seen in advertisements, 1935—1965). Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1994. ISBN 4-02-330312-7. Pp.108—9. Type 1, sections 5 and 7.

This camera is not listed in Sugiyama.