Difference between revisions of "First Roll"

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* {{McKeown12}} P. 576.
* {{McKeown12}} P. 576.
* {{Zukan}} Items 1044–5.
* {{Zukan}} Items 1044–5.
== Links ==
* [http://www.ajcc.gr.jp/06Aki/06Aki_11Inoue.htm First Roll with Magna shutter and State f/4.5 lens] in a page of the [http://www.ajcc.gr.jp/ AJCC website]
[[Category: 6x9 viewfinder folding]]
[[Category: 6x9 viewfinder folding]]

Revision as of 23:47, 6 February 2007

Japanese older 6×9 (edit)
folding First Center | First Roll | Kinka Roll | Lyra (6×9) | Pearl No.3 | Pearl No.2 | Year-Eight Pearl | Reex | Royal Junior
box Dox | Sakura (box)
3×4 and 4×4, 4×5 and 4×6.5, 4.5×6, 6×6 and plate ->
Modern 6×9 RF and SLR ->

The First Roll (ファーストロール) is a Japanese 6×9cm folding camera, advertised by First Camera Works or Minagawa Shōten from 1933 to 1936.[1] It was probably made by Kuribayashi.

Description of the body

The First Roll is a vertical folding camera taking both 6×9 and 4.5×6 exposures. It is not self erecting and the lens standard needs to be manually pulled out after opening. There is a focusing scale on the left of the folding bed but no focusing control is visible: it seems that the camera is focused by manually moving the lens standard back and forth. The U-shaped lens standard and the focusing rails are similar to the corresponding parts on the First plate folder, as is pointed out by Baird.[2] The focal length is always 105mm.

There is a brilliant finder and a folding wireframe finder including an inner frame for half-format exposures. The eyepiece can be retracted by pivoting along the back.

The advance key is at the bottom right (as seen by a photographer holding the camera horizontally) and there are tripod threads both under the body and under the folding bed. The back is hinged to the left and the back latch is covered by a leather handle. There are two red windows near the top of the back, protected by sliding covers. Variations have been observed in the shape of these covers.

The name Roll is inscribed on the standing leg.

Evolution, lens and shutter equipment

It seems that the First Roll was initially offered with German lenses and shutters. According to Lewis, the camera was offered in 1933 with a Vario shutter and a Trinar f/6.3 lens for ¥30 and with a Trinar f/4.5 lens for ¥45.[3] Baird also mentions Radionar and Tessar f/4.5 lenses mounted on Compur shutters.[4]

The camera was advertised in February 1934 in two versions:[5]

In May and July 1935 the range was as follows:[6]

In September 1935, only the two first versions were offered, for respectively ¥33 and ¥43.

The Magna shutter gives 25, 50, 100, B, T speeds selected by a small wheel at the top. It also has a simple thread-and-pin self-timer device. The shutter plate is marked MAGNA in the speed dial, SEIKOSHA at the bottom and has the SKS logo at the top right. The Toko f/6.3 lens has the Tōkyō Kōgaku logo and is engraved Tokyo Kogaku TOKO–Anastigmat 1:6.3 F=10.5cm Nr.xxxx[9] or simply Toko–Anastigmat 1:6.3 F=10.5cm Nr.xxxx.[10]

The other observed lens and shutter combinations are as follows:

  • Magna shutter, First Anastigmat f/4.5 lens engraved First–Anastigmat Tokyo 1:4.5 F=10.5cm Nr.xxxx[11]
  • Rulex A shutter (1–200, B, T), Radionar f/4.5 lens by Neumann & Heilemann[12]

An example of the First Roll is also known with a Simlar f/4.5 lens by Tōkyō Kōgaku and a Seikosha shutter giving T, B, 1–250 speeds, in a version sometimes called "First Roll Deluxe".[13]


  1. The 1933 release date is given by Baird, pp. 17 and 63–4, Sugiyama, items 1044–5, McKeown, p. 576 and Lewis, p. 50. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p. 339, lists advertisements dated 1934 to 1936. Baird, p. 65, says that the camera was still made in 1937 but this is unlikely because its successor the First Center was already released in January 1937.
  2. Baird, p. 64.
  3. Lewis, p. 50.
  4. Baird, p. 65.
  5. Advertisement published in Asahi Camera, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p. 85.
  6. May 1935 advertisement published in Asahi Camera, reproduced in Baird, p. 17. July 1935 advertisement published in Asahi Camera, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p. 72.
  7. This version is pictured in Baird, p. 63, and in Sugiyama, item 1044. It has also been observed in online auction.
  8. The July advertisement says that this version cost the same as the Toko f/6.3 version, obviously by mistake.
  9. Example observed in a Yahoo Japan auction with lens n°1431.
  10. Example pictured in Baird, p. 63. The example pictured in Sugiyama, item 1044, seems to have the same engraving.
  11. Example observed in a Yahoo Japan auction.
  12. Example pictured in Baird, p. 65.
  13. Sugiyama, item 1045. According to Baird, the camera was sold under that name in 1937 but this is unlikely because its successor the First Center was already released in January 1937.