Chiyoca and Chiyotax

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The Chiyoca and Chiyotax are Japanese Leica copies, made in the mid-1950s by Reise for the distributor Chiyoda Shōkai. The name Chiyoca is a contraction of Chiyoda camera.


All the models have the same basic body, copied on the early Leica screw mount models. The top plate is attached by six apparent screws at the front and rear. The position of the controls — advance knob, exposure counter, release button, rewind lever, speed dial and rewind knob — is the same as on the Leica.

The bottom plate is removable for film loading, and is retained by a key on the left side, with O and S indications (presumably for Open and Shut), the same system as on the Leica. The tripod thread is on the opposite side, to the photographer's right. There are strap lugs attached on either side of the body on most cameras.

All the models have a Leica screw mount, and a horizontally running focal-plane shutter, whose main speed dial has the following positions: Z or B, 20 or 20–1, 30, 40, 60, 100, 200, 500.

One model has no rangefinder, and is a copy of the Leica Standard. (It was not the only Japanese copy of this model, the other being the viewfinder Muley.) The speed dial is on a hump of the top plate, and there are no slow speeds. The accessory shoe is directly attached to the top plate. The tubular finder is attached by apparent screws on all corners, and has a frame around the front window.

The more expensive models have a housing for the viewfinder and rangefinder, also patterned after the Leica. The two eyepieces are somewhat distant, as on the Leica IIIa and unlike the IIIb. The rangefinder has 38mm base and 1.5× magnification, giving a 57mm effective base.[1] The rangefinder eyepiece has a diopter correction lever. The Chiyotax IIIF adds a slow speed dial at the front, with T, 1, 2, 4, 8, 20 positions.

The dimensions of the rangefinder model are 142×68×36.5mm, and the weight is 575g with Hexar f/3.5 lens.[2] The general build quality and the adjustment of the internal parts is said to be quite poor on the early viewfinder-only Chiyoca 35,[3] but this was much improved on the later Chiyotax models.[4]



The designer of the Chiyoca and Chiyotax was a former employee of Kōgaku Seiki, later Nicca, which was founded by Kumagai Genji and made the Nippon Leica copy during the war.[5] He certainly founded the Reise company specifically to develop the Chiyoca. He surely had personal contacts with the founder of Tanaka, maker of the Tanack Leica copies, another former employee of Kōgaku Seiki,[5] and this certainly explains the links with Tanaka for the special police version (see below), and for the f/2 lens of the later Alta model.

Early chronology

Many recent sources, mostly based on the observation of surviving examples, state that the viewfinder-only model was released in 1951 as the "Chiyoca 35" or "Chiyoca I" (sometimes called "Chiyoca 35 Standard" or "Chiyoca 35 I"), then became the "Chiyoca IF" (or "Chiyoca 35 IF") in 1952 with the adoption of two flash synch posts at the front, before the rangefinder "Chiyoca IIF" was released in 1953, first with two synch posts, then with a single post.[6]

The 1951 release date is however impossible to confirm.[7] The earliest original document mentioning the camera reported so far is the new products column of the December 1953 issue of Ars Camera, where the camera is announced as the "Chiyoca 35", with a rangefinder and two flash synch posts.[8] The rangefinder camera was advertised from April 1954 as the "Chiyoca IIF", and the viewfinder-only model only appeared briefly in the advertisements in July as the "Chiyoca I".[9] It is possible that the viewfinder-only camera was manufactured on a small-scale basis for a couple of years before it was announced in mainstream photography magazines, but this is unsure.

When the camera was announced in 1953–4, the other Japanese Leica copies were evolving towards more advanced designs: most had an integral top cover copied on the Leica IIIc, and some were adding features to the original Leica model. In that context, it is said that the Chiyoca was viewed as backward, but this was compensated by its comparatively low price.[10]

Unsynchronized cameras

It is likely that the viewfinder-only cameras found today with no flash synchronization were made first, perhaps as pre-production cameras. These are only engraved CHIYOCA 35 at the rear of the speed hump (with 35 in red), and it is likely that they were only known as Chiyoca 35 or Chiyoca I.

The speed dial is sometimes engraved Z and 20,[11] but at least one example is known with Z and 20–1[12] and others with B and 20–1,[13] making use of parts obviously intended for a camera with slow speeds, or perhaps salvaging parts from Leica cameras or other Leica copies.

These viewfinder-only cameras are usually found with a specific Hexar 50mm f/3.5 lens, in a barrel which is sometimes described as rigid but is actually collapsible on a short travel.[14] This lens was not officially made by Konishiroku; the camera maker got hold of various Hexar 50mm f/3.5 enlarging lenses instead, and grafted it on a focusing mount which they manufactured themselves.[15] It was supplied with a specific chrome Chiyoca lens cap. It is said that the coupling cam is not properly adjusted for rangefinder Leica cameras or Leica copies, because the cam was simply cut without the fine adjustment needed by the subtle difference in focal length between that lens and a standard Leica lens.[16]

Special model for the police

A special version, based on the unsynchronized Chiyoca 35, was made for the police.[17] It has no viewfinder or accessory shoe, and its advance knob is replaced by a gear topped by an exposure counter, reportedly to couple the camera to an external electric motor drive.[17] It is said that this special version was made by Reise but supplied to the police by Tanaka Kōgaku, maker of the Tanack cameras.[17] (The Tanack was developed by another of Kumagai Genji's former employee,[18] so the founders of Reise and Tanaka supposedly knew each other well.)

Dual and single synch post: original documents

The cameras with dual synchronization post certainly came next. It is not known if this dual post was common to some other cameras or if specific flash cables were provided; in any case, this dual post corresponds to a single synch output, certainly for FP flash bulbs (even the late Chiyotax have FP synch only).[19]

The rangefinder model was advertised as the Chiyoca IIF in mid-1954. The letter "F" might be for Flash, but it is also a transparent allusion to the Leica IIf and IIIf. The June advertisement in Camera Mainichi offers the camera with a Lena 5cm f/3.5 coated lens, and shows a picture of a camera with a dual synch post (which is also mentioned in the text).[20] The pictured camera has the name CHIYOCA inscribed in capital letters on the top plate.

The July advertisement in the same magazine shows the same picture and lists the IIF along with the Chiyoca I with no rangefinder.[21] The latter is pictured with a single synch post, of the PC type, indicating that the transition took place around that time. The prices are mentioned as follows:

On the pictures of the advertisements, both cameras are equipped with a Lena-Q.C 5cm f/3.5 lens, and no mention is made of the modified Hexar, which was perhaps already abandoned at the time.

Dual and single synch post: actual examples

The early IIF found today with two synch posts are similar to the rangefinder camera pictured in the advertisements. The top plate is engraved CHIYOCA and Chiyoca Camera Company, Ltd., together with a serial number. Today's collectors often call this the first version of the IIF,[22] and serial numbers are known in the 55xx and 56xx range. The oldest known camera (no.5506) has an oval zone on the leather covering around the synch posts,[23] and another camera (no.5663) is distinguished by the absence of strap lugs.[24] The speed dial normally has B and 20 positions.[25] These cameras are found with a Lena-Q.C 5cm f/3.5 lens in collapsible mount, attributed on the lens rim to Lena Kogaku, based in Tokyo, a company which is otherwise unknown.

At least one camera (no.5636) is known with the early engraving and a single synch post, apparently original; its serial number might indicate that the production of dual and single-post models occurred concurrently.[26] It comes with a brown leather case, embossed CHIYOCA at the front.

The late IIF have a different engraving, with Chiyoca in lowercase letters and MODEL–IIF, together with the same company name Chiyoca Camera Company, Ltd. and the serial number. The only such camera observed so far has a single synch post, and body no.6153.[27] Its speed dial has B and 20–1 positions, normally intended for a camera with slow speeds. It comes with a Reise-Q.C 5cm f/3.5 lens in collapsible mount, indistinguishable from the Lena other than by the engraving.

The Chiyoca I found today with two synch posts show no other difference with the unsynchronized cameras described above. They have no serial number either, and at least some have Z and 20 positions on the speed dial.[28] The name "Chiyoca 35 IF" used in current publications, presumably after the IIF and IIIF, is not confirmed, and was perhaps not used at the time.[29] No example of the Chiyoca I has been found so far with a single synch post, but the existence of this variant is confirmed by the July advertisement cited above.

Name switch to Chiyotax IIF

The camera was featured in various Japanese magazines dated December 1954 and January 1955 as the Chiyotax or perhaps Chiyotax IIF, with added slow speeds.[30] The slow speed dial is at the front, as on the Leica III. All the Chiyotax known so far have B and 20–1 positions on the main speed dial, and none has Z.

The name was switched from Chiyoca to Chiyotax because of a complaint by Chiyoda Kōgaku Seikō, which was using Chiyoko logos and markings on the Minolta cameras.[31] (There was no link between that company and Chiyoda Shōkai, other than the homonymy.)[32] There was perhaps some wandering before definitively settling on the new Chiyotax name, and at least one example of the camera is known with the engraving ChiyoTa instead.[33]

The persistence of the model name "IIF" is unexplained for a camera whose features have changed with the addition of slow speeds. At least one example is confirmed to have the name ChiyoTax and MODEL–IIF engraved on the top cover, together with the company name Chiyotax Camera Company, Ltd. and serial number 15574.[34] It comes with a Lena-Q.C f/3.5 lens (no.5732). The cameras with such marking were surely very few, and the newer MODEL–IIIF marking was already adopted for body no.15646.[35]

Early Chiyotax IIIF

The Chiyotax was advertised throughout the year 1955. The May advertisement in Camera Mainichi offers the camera for ¥28,300 with a Reise f/3.5 lens.[36] The picture shows an example with slow speeds and single synch post. The engraving on the top cover is ChiyoTax and the company name is Chiyotax Camera Company, Ltd. The model name is hardly legible but might be IIF,[37] and the serial number is in the 15xxx or 16xxx range. The camera is still equipped with a Lena f/3.5 lens (no.5511), despite the mention of a Reise in the main text. The frame around the viewfinder window is similar to that of the Chiyoca, with a small step on the side.

The camera was delivered with a Hexar 50mm f/3.5 lens from mid-1955. This time, the lens was a legitimate product by Konishiroku, released in Leica screw mount earlier the same year. It first appears in the July 1955 issue of Shashin Kōgyō, where the camera is listed as a Chiyotax IIIF, available at ¥28,300 with the Reise f/3.5, and at ¥29,800 with the Hexar f/3.5.[38] The corresponding picture shows the camera with Hexar lens and a newer frame around the viewfinder window, with a more rectangular shape, as adopted on the Leica in 1937. The new lens option was announced the following month in various Japanese photography magazines.[39]

After body no.15646 already cited above,[40] which has the older viewfinder window, various actual examples are known with the newer window and the Chiyotax Camera Company Ltd. engraving;[41] known numbers are 15663, [42] 15955,[43] 16030 and 16036.[44] Cameras from that period are sometimes found with a ChiyoTax chrome lens cap for the Hexar f/3.5 lens.[45]

In February 1956, the camera was announced with the Hexanon 50mm f/1.9 standard lens, at ¥41,100.[46] The picture still shows the same markings, and these appear in advertisements as late as November 1956.[47]

Late Chiyotax IIIF

The engraving on the top cover was changed to Chiyotax (with lowercase "t") MODEL–IIIF, with the company name Reise Camera Company, Ltd., and the addition of a mark indicating the position of the film plane.[48] At the same time, a film reminder was added inside the top of the advance knob, with ASA indications for COLOR, PAN-O and PAN-S film.

The earliest appearance of this new version in the original documents is in the October 1956 issue of Shashin Kōgyō, where body no.16210 is tested against four other Japanese Leica copies (Tanack IV-S, Melcon, Honor and Leotax K).[49]

The advertisement in the November 1956 issue of Shashin Salon is the earliest to show the new engraving, and the body number is perhaps 16240.[50] The camera is again listed at ¥29,800 with the Hexar f/3.5 lens, and at ¥41,100 with the Hexanon f/1.9. The advertisement was still placed by Chiyoda Shōkai; this proves that the change in the engraving was not motivated by the cancellation of the orders by the distributor, as stated in some sources.[51] Advertisements are reported until July 1957.[52] The camera is still listed in the Summer 1957 special issue of Shashin Kōgyō, again at ¥29,800 with Hexar f/3.5 lens; in this document, it is attributed to Chiyoda Shōkai, which thus distributed the camera until the end.[53]

One surviving camera is known with the new engravings and a serial number in the same 16xxx range as in the original documents (no.16295).[54] It has a dot next to the main speed dial, allowing to set the fast speed before winding, a feature which seems to be absent on earlier cameras.[55] Others have a serial number in the 20xxx range.[56] The original box for these cameras is salmon coloured, with the name Chiyotax printed on the cover.[57] The dark brown rigid ever-ready case is embossed Chiyotax at the front, has chrome reinforcements on the edges and a large attachment wheel at the bottom right.[58]

Succeeded by the Alta

The Alta by Misuzu Kōgaku was certainly a continuation of the Chiyotax IIIF.[59] The two cameras are very similar, and the earliest documents mentioning the Alta are dated September 1957,[60] just two months after the last advertisement for the Chiyotax, making the connection plausible. (The notion that the Reise company was bought by the distributor Misuzu Shōkai to form Misuzu Kōgaku[61] is a wrong guess based on the name similarity in Roman writing, whereas the Japanese writing of the names is completely different.)

Specific lenses

Apart from the modified Hexar 50mm f/3.5 enlarging lenses, the lenses specifically made for the Chiyoca are the Lena-Q.C 5cm f/3.5 and Reise-Q.C 5cm f/3.5, with four elements in three groups.[62] Both are identical except for the front engraving, reading Lena–Q.C and Lena–Kogaku Tokyo on the former, and Reise–Q.C and Reise–Kogaku Tokyo on the latter. They were certainly made by the same company, presumably the same Reise which made the camera bodies. At least one recent source says that the Reise-Q.C lens is made of Nikkor optics in a barrel made by Reise,[63] but this is perhaps a wrong guess based on the "Q.C" suffix, reminding Nippon Kōgaku's own designations, and on the physical similarity between the barrel and that of the collapsible Nikkor 5cm f/3.5.

The Lena-Q.C and Reise-Q.C have an all chrome collapsible mount, with the aperture scale on the side of the front part. The focusing scale is engraved in feet from ∞ to 3.5ft, and the helix is driven by a tab with an infinity lock. Depth-of-field indications are provided for apertures from 3.5 to 16.

The chronology of the advertisements and other original documents would indicate that the Lena (レナー), e.g. mentioned in June and July 1954,[64] came before the Reise (ライゼ), e.g. mentioned in May, July or October 1955.[65]

However the observation of serial numbers tells a different story: numbers for the Lena-Q.C are known from 5511 to 5581,[66] then again from 5616 to 5732,[67] whereas the two numbers confirmed so far for the Reise-Q.C are 5584 and 5607.[68] This might mean that the Lena and Reise markings were applied in no particular order, or that a small batch of Reise lenses was made between two batches of Lena lenses. In any case, the Lena and Reise lenses were made in very small quantities, perhaps no more than 300.

Production estimate

The production figures of the Chiyoca and Chiyotax are unknown. From testimonies, the production of the viewfinder-only model has been estimated at about 500 units.[69] Only the rangefinder models have a visible serial number, of which at least three batches were allotted. The first batch is in the 5xxx and 6xxx range, maybe starting at 5501; it might contain less than 1,000 Chiyoca IIF. The second batch, in the 15xxx and 16xxx range, might contains less than 1,000 Chiyotax IIF and IIIF. The last batch is in the 20xxx range, and might contain less than 1,000 Chiyotax IIIF. This gives a rough estimate of less than 3,000 units for the rangefinder Chiyoca and Chiyotax, perhaps in the order of 2,000, or much less if the numbers were arranged in more than three consecutive lots.[70]

Company names

The Chiyoca and Chiyotax models were manufactured by the Reise company, whose exact name is not known and might have varied with time. Some sources say that it was Reise Optical Institute (presumably a translation for Reise Kōgaku Kenkyūjo, ライゼ光学研究所),[71] and later Reise Camera Company, Ltd. (maybe for Reise Kamera K.K., ライゼカメラ㈱).[72] Very few original documents mention the maker's name. A table in the September 1956 issue of Shashin Kōgyō attributes the Chiyotax to Reise Camera (ライゼカメラ),[73] but the manufacturer is quoted as Reise Kōgaku (ライゼ光学) in the October issue.[74]

The name of the distributor is normally spelled Chiyoda Shōkai (千代田商会).[75] However the use of the brand name Chiyotax (and "Chiyota" on at least one example) might indicate that the company used the alternate Romanization "Chiyota" instead (see Chiyoda Shōkai.

The engravings on the camera itself varied from Chiyoca Camera Company, Ltd. to Chiyotax Camera Company, Ltd. to Reise Camera Company, Ltd. The former two names do not necessarily indicate that there was an actual company called that way, and might be dummy names, on the like of the Camera Works dummy names used before 1945.[76]

Finally, the markings Lena–Kogaku and Reise–Kogaku on the lenses specifically made for the camera are no definitive indication: as for Chiyoca Camera and Chiyotax Camera, the name Lena Kogaku was perhaps not that of any actual company. ("Lena" was certainly an imitation of "Iena".)


A number of fake Chiyotax cameras have appeared in today's collectors market. These are made from Fed or Zorki cameras, and should be quite easy to detect. It is advised not to buy a Chiyotax camera without having checked pictures of the object against those of genuine models, though.


  1. Shashin Kōgyō September 1956, p.217.
  2. Nemoto, p.28 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.45.
  3. Orima, pp.104–6 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.24. The author dismantled his own example and made various comments on the build quality.
  4. Nemoto, p.28 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.45.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Shirai, pp.25–6 of Maboroshi no kamera o otte: 熊谷氏の会社の職人だった人々が作ったカメラに、やはりライカそっくりの「タナック」、「チヨタックス」、「メルコン」があるという.
  6. This is the chronology adopted in Sugiyama, items 3214–6, in Pont / Princelle, pp.190–2, in HPR, pp.175–81, in McKeown, p.205, in this page by Ian Norris (archived), and with some variations in this page by Nekosan (archived) and this page at Pacific Rim. The book Sengo nihon kamera hatten-shi, quoted by Orima, p.104 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.24, says that the camera was released in December 1953 as the "Chiyoca 35" with a rangefinder, and that the viewfinder-only version appeared later as the "Chiyoca IF"; this is certainly based on the original documents cited below.
  7. Awano, p.50 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.37, says that the release date is unknown, comprised between August 1951 and August 1953 — he gives no reason for the August 1951 upper limit.
  8. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.355.
  9. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.355.
  10. Orima, p.104 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.24.
  11. Example pictured in HPR, p.177.
  12. Example pictured in this page at Pacific Rim.
  13. Examples pictured in Orima, pp.104–6 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.24, and in this page by Ian Norris (archived).
  14. Compare the pictures of the lens in extended position in HPR, p.179 or in this page at Pacific Rim and in retracted position in the Christies auction catalogue dated June 8, 1995 (lot no.28). The lens is described as collapsible in Awano, p.50 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.37, and in McKeown, p.205; it is described as rigid in Pont / Princelle, p.190, in HPR, p.178, and in this page by Ian Norris (archived).
  15. Sugiyama, item 3214, Awano, p.50 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.37, and this page by Nekosan (archived).
  16. Awano, p.50 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.37.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Sugiyama, item 3220, repeated in Pont / Princelle, p.192, and in HPR, p.291.
  18. Shirai, pp.25–6 of Maboroshi no kamera o otte: 熊谷氏の会社の職人だった人々が作ったカメラに、やはりライカそっくりの「タナック」、「チヨタックス」、「メルコン」があるという.
  19. The flash synch of the late Chiyotax IIIF is mentioned as FP only in Shashin Kōgyō September 1956, pp.173 and 217, and this was certainly also true of the earlier models.
  20. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.147.
  21. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.148.
  22. Sugiyama, item 3216, HPR, pp.179–81.
  23. Example pictured in Awano, pp.50–1 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.37.
  24. Example pictured in Awano, pp.50–1 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.37, and in Sugiyama, item 3216.
  25. Picture in Awano, p.51 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.37.
  26. Example observed in an online auction (presumably not a fake).
  27. Example no.6153 pictured in Awano, p.51 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.37, in Sugiyama, item 3217, and in HPR, p.180.
  28. Z and 20: example pictured in HPR, p.179.
  29. Name used in Sugiyama, item 3215, in Pont / Princelle, p.190, in HPR, p.178, in McKeown, p.205, and in Lewis, p.84.
  30. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.355. It is not clear if the name "Chiyotax IIF" was actually used in the documents, or inferred from the engravings visible on the pictures.
  31. Awano, pp.50–1 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.37, Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.355, McKeown, p.205.
  32. The word Chiyoda (千代田), literally meaning "one-thousand generation rice field", is a fairly common company name, and is also the name of a ward in Tokyo.
  33. Example observed for sale by a dealer.
  34. Example pictured in Awano, p.27 of Camera Collectors' News no.34 and p.51 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.37.
  35. Example pictured in HPR, p.182.
  36. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.148.
  37. In Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.355, the advertisements for year 1955 are classified in the entry on the "Chiyotax IIF", perhaps because they show that model number on the picture. This is no indication that the camera was produced under that name throughout the year, as demonstrated by the column in the July issue of Shashin Kōgyō which has "Chiyotax IIIF".
  38. Column in Shashin Kōgyō July 1955, p.38.
  39. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.355.
  40. Example pictured in HPR, p.182.
  41. Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 3219 (mis-identified as a late version), example pictured in this page at Koujiya Camera's blog (archived).
  42. Seen at online auction Aug. 2016
  43. ChiyoTax IIIF serial no 15955 with Simlar 50mm f/3.5 and with ChiyoTax case; lot 224 of the 30th Camera Auction by Westlicht Photographica Auction (now Leitz Photographica Auction), 19 November 2016; several excellent pictures of the camera.
  44. Body no.16030 pictured in Nemoto, pp.28–9 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.45, and body no.10636 pictured in Awano, p.51 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.37.
  45. Cap pictured in this page at Koujiya Camera's blog (archived).
  46. Shashin Kōgyō no.44, p.101.
  47. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.390.
  48. Pont / Princelle, p.192, suggests that there was an intermediate version with the lowercase "t", film plane index, film reminder and older Chiyotax Camera Company Ltd. engraving; this version has not been encountered, is not documented elsewhere, and is suspected to be a mistake.
  49. Shashin Kōgyō no.53, pp.265–9. The serial number is visible in the picture on p.266.
  50. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.255.
  51. This is said e.g. in Pont / Princelle, p.190, and in HPR, p.175.
  52. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.390.
  53. Shashin Kōgyō no.63, p.107.
  54. Example sold as lot no.264 of Westlicht auction no.13 (June 7, 2008): see links below.
  55. This feature is notably absent on the early Chiyoca IIF no.5636, observed in an online auction.
  56. Lowest is 20253, pictured in this page by Nekosan (archived). Highest is 20580, pictured in Awano, p.51 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.37.
  57. Box sold in lot no.264 of Westlicht auction no.13 (June 7, 2008): see links below.
  58. Case sold in lot no.264 of Westlicht auction no.13 (June 7, 2008): see links below.
  59. See Alta for the sources.
  60. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.378 (item 1117).
  61. This is found in HPR, pp.126 and 175.
  62. Four elements in three groups: column in the October 1955 special issue of Photo Art, p.78, about the Reise.
  63. HPR, p.410. The book does not say the same of the Lena-Q.C, listed on p.408.
  64. Advertisements in Camera Mainichi June and July 1954, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.147–8.
  65. Advertisement Camera Mainichi May 1955, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.148; column in Shashin Kōgyō July 1955, p.38; column in the October 1955 special issue of Photo Art, p.78. The tables of interchangeable lenses in the June and October 1955 special issues of Photo Art list the Lena, not the Reise, but they might be outdated.
  66. No.5511 is faintly visible in the advertisement in Camera Mainichi May 1955 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.148. No.5581 is pictured in Awano, p.50 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.37.
  67. No.5616 is pictured in Sugiyama, item 3219. No.5732 is pictured in Awano, p.27 of Camera Collectors' News no.34 and p.51 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.37. Other numbers are known in between.
  68. No.5584 has been observed in an online auction. No.5607 is pictured in Sugiyama, item 3217, in Awano, p.51 of Camera Collectors' News no.37, and in HPR, p.180.
  69. Awano, p.51 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.37.
  70. Awano, p.52 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.37, gives an estimate of 5,000 units, and a monthly rate of 200—300 units, but this seems excessive.
  71. Sugiyama, items 3214–5 and 3220, HPR, p.175.
  72. Sugiyama, item 3218, HPR, p.175.
  73. Shashin Kōgyō no.52, p.173.
  74. Shashin Kōgyō no.53, p.269.
  75. HPR, p.175, says "Chiyoca Shoki" but this is clearly a mistake.
  76. Sugiyama, items 3216–7 and 3219, attributes the camera to these companies, certainly on the basis of the top engraving only.


Original documents

  • Ōba Eiichi (大場栄一). "Renzu kōkan-shiki 35-miri kamera no genjō" (レンズ交換式35ミリカメラの現状, Current state of 35mm rangefinder cameras with interchangeable lens). In Shashin Kōgyō no.52, September 1956. Pp.171–3.
  • Photo Art rinji zōkan: Kamera akusesarī zensho (フォトアート臨時増刊・カメラアクセサリー全書, Photo Art special issue: All the camera accessories). June 1955, no.80 of the magazine. "Naigai kōkan renzu sōran" (内外交換レンズ総覧, Table and Japanese and foreign interchangeable lenses). Pp.78–9. (Lists the Lena lens.)
  • Photo Art rinji zōkan: Kamera no chishiki (フォトアート臨時増刊・カメラの知識, Photo Art special issue: Knowledge of cameras). October 1955, no.87 of the magazine.
    • "Naigai hyōjun renzu oyobi kōkan renzu ichiranpyō" (内外標準レンズ及び交換レンズ一覧表, Table of Japanese and foreign standard and interchangeable lenses). Pp.66–7. (Lists the Lena lens.)
    • "Kokusan kamera no saiten 1. 35-miri kamera" (国産カメラの祭典・1・35ミリカメラ, Japanese camera festival 1, 35mm cameras). P.78.
  • Shashin Kōgyō no.31, January 1955. "Kokusan kamera sōran" (日本のカメラ全貌・二眼レフカメラ・スプリングカメラ, Panorama of Japanese cameras). P.64.
  • Shashin Kōgyō no.37, July 1955. "Kokusan 35-miri kamera sōran" (国産35ミリカメラ総らん, Panorama of Japanese 35mm cameras). P.38.
  • Shashin Kōgyō no.44, February 1956. "News Flash". P.101.
  • Shashin Kōgyō no.52, September 1956. "Kokusan kamera memo" (国産カメラメモ, Memo of Japanese cameras). P.217.
  • Shashin Kōgyō no.53, October 1956. "Renzu kōkan-gata kamera go-shu o kentō suru" (レンズ交換型カメラ五種を検討する, Inspecting five cameras with interchangeable lens). Pp.265–9.
  • Shashin Kōgyō no.63, Summer 1957. "Nihon no kamera zenbō: 35-miri kamera" (日本のカメラ全貌・35ミリカメラ, Compendium of Japanese cameras: 35mm cameras). P.107.

Recent sources

  • 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. Items 602–5 and 1360.
  • Awano Mikio (粟野幹男). "Chiyotakkusu IIF" (チヨタックスIIF, Chiyotax IIF). In Camera Collectors' News no.34 (April 1980). Nishinomiya: Camera Collectors News-sha. P.27.
  • Awano Mikio (粟野幹男). "Kokusan Barunakku-gata kamera: Chiyoka, Chiyotakkusu" (国産バルナック型カメラ・チヨカ、チヨタックス, Japanese Leica-type cameras: Chiyoca, Chiyotax). In Kamera Rebyū: Kurashikku Kamera Senka (カメラレビュー クラシックカメラ専科) / Camera Review: All about Historical Cameras no.37, March 1996. No ISBN number. Leica Book '96 (ライカブック'96). Pp.50–2.
  • Christies auction catalogues:
    • Leica, Nikon and Canon, Leica copies and 35mm cameras, June 8, 1995, lot no.28.
    • Cameras and Optical Toys, April 17, 1997, lot no.110.
  • Hagiya Takeshi (萩谷剛). "Raika to sekai no raika-yō renzu" (ライカと世界のライカ用レンズ, Leica and other Leica-mount lenses). In Sekai no Raika renzu (世界のライカレンズ, Leica lenses of the world) Part 1. Tokyo: Shashinkogyo Syuppan-sha, 2003. ISBN 4-87956-061-8. Pp.178–88. (Contains a reproduction of an advertisement for the late Chiyotax, and nothing else on the camera.)
  • HPR. Leica Copies. London: Classic Collection Publications, 1994. ISBN 1-874485-05-4. Pp.175–82.
  • Lewis, Gordon, ed. The History of the Japanese Camera. Rochester, N.Y.: George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography & Film, 1991. ISBN 0-935398-17-1 (paper), 0-935398-16-3 (hard). P.84.
  • McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). Pp.205–6.
  • Nemoto Yasuhito (根本泰人). "Chiyotakkusu IIIF" (チヨタックスIIIF, Chiyotax IIIF). In Kamera Rebyū: Kurashikku Kamera Senka (カメラレビュー クラシックカメラ専科) / Camera Review: All about Historical Cameras no.45, March 1998. ISBN 4-257-13014-8. Sekai no Raika-gata kamera (世界のライカ型カメラ, Leica-like cameras of the world). Pp.28–9.
  • Orima Isamu (織間勇). "Puāmanzu Raika o mezashita ga: Chiyoka 35" (プアーマンズライカを目ざしたが・チヨカ35, The Chiyoca 35, a would-be poor man's Leica). Kamera Rebyū: Kurashikku Kamera Senka (カメラレビュー クラシックカメラ専科) / Camera Review: All about Historical Cameras no.24, March 1993. No ISBN number. Leica Book '93: Barunakku-gata Raika zukan (バルナック型ライカ図鑑, album of screw-mount Leica cameras). Pp.104–6. (The camera was passed to the author by Ogihara Akira [萩原彰], creator of the Miranda camera.)
  • Pont, P.-H., and Princelle, J.-L. 300 Leica Copies. Neuilly: Fotosaga, 1990. ISBN 2-906840-03-3. Pp.190–5.
  • Shirai Tatsuo (白井達男). "Nippon Kamera" (ニッポンカメラ, Nippon Camera). Pp.17–26 of Maboroshi no kamera o otte (幻のカメラを追って, Pursuing phantom cameras). Gendai Kamera Shinsho (現代カメラ新書). Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1982. ISBN 4-257-08077-9. (First published in Kamera Rebyū / Camera Review no.2, February 1978.) Contains an interview of Kumagai Genji, mentioning the Chiyotax as made by a former employee.
  • Sugawara Hiroshi (菅原博). "Kangei demodori musume Chiyotakkusu tenmatsuki" (歓迎出戻り娘チヨタックス顛末記, Details of a Chiyotax which returned home). In Camera Collectors' News no.247 (January 1998). Nishinomiya: Camera Collectors News-sha. Pp.7–9.
  • Sugiyama, Kōichi (杉山浩一); Naoi, Hiroaki (直井浩明); Bullock, John R. The Collector's Guide to Japanese Cameras. 国産カメラ図鑑 (Kokusan kamera zukan). Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1985. ISBN 4-257-03187-5. Items 3214–20.


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