The Gemflex or Gem Flex is a subminiature pseudo TLR camera made by Shōwa Kōgaku Seiki (昭和光学精機) in November 1949. (It was advertised in Japanese camera magazines dated February to June 1950.)
|SOW maker's plate.
The Gemflex uses paper-backed 17.5mm film, for a frame size of 14×14mm. It has the same layout as that of a conventional 6×6 TLR, with the viewing lens above the taking lens. The taking lens is a 25mm f/3.5 "Gem". The "Swallow" shutter has three speeds (25, 50, 100) as well as bulb. Film wind and aperture knobs are on the right.
The nameplate reads GEMFLEX with the "G" and "F" larger than the other letters. At the center of the outer cover of the viewing screen (visible from the front when the cover is open for use) is a stylized "SK" monogram.
A 1950 advertisement does not mention the manufacturer but describes the camera as being distributed by Miura Shōji (三浦商事), of Ginza.
Pictures courtesy of eBayer econsigna. (Image rights)
|Gemflex, the subminiature TLR|
image by alonnso (Image rights)
- ↑ According to Kokusan kamera no rekishi, Shōwa Kōki (昭和光機).
- ↑ Advertisement in Asahi Camera April 1950, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.140.
Sources / further reading
- 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 532.
- The Japanese Historical Camera. 日本の歴史的カメラ (Nihon no rekishiteki kamera). 2nd ed. Tokyo: JCII Camera Museum, 2004. P.52.
- 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.68.
- 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). P.892.
- Pritchard, Michael and St. Denny, Douglas. Spy Cameras — A century of detective and subminiature cameras. London: Classic Collection Publications, 1993. ISBN 1-874485-00-3. P.57.
- 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 5039–40.
- Watakushi no ni-gan-refu kamera-ten (私の二眼レフカメラ展, Exhibition of twin lens reflex cameras). Tokyo: JCII Camera Museum, 1992. (Exhibition catalogue, no ISBN number.) P.28.
|image by sivartk (Image rights)|
- Gemflex at Submin.com
- Gemflex among 17.5mm cameras at Subclub.org
- Gemflex at Cameras Downunder
- Past auctions by Westlicht Photographica Auction (now Leitz Photographica Auction):
- Gemflex serial no. 3464, lot no.452 of auction no.1 (November 15, 2002)
- Gemflex, lot no.511 of auction no.5 (May 29, 2004)
- Gemflex, lot no.609 of auction no.6 (November 6, 2004)
- Gemflex, lot no.600 of auction no.10 (November 18, 2006)
- Gemflex serial no. 4793, lot no.511 of auction no.17 (May 29, 2010)
- Gemflex among Hit-type cameras (archived) at Fotomuseet i Osby