Ofuna Six

From Camera-wiki.org
Revision as of 23:18, 18 April 2008 by Rebollo fr (talk | contribs) (observation + yen template)
Jump to: navigation, search
Japanese Six (6×6)
Postwar models (edit)
Aires Viceroy | Angel Six | Aram Six | Astoria Super Six | Atom Six | Balm Six | Baron | Beauty Six (1950) | Beauty Six (1953) | Calm Six | Carl Six | Centre Six | Crown | Crystar Six | Daido Six | Dorima Six | Doris Six | Ehira Six | Elbow Six | First Six | Flora Six | Fodor Six | Frank Six | Fujica Six | Super Fujica Six | Futami Six | Gotex | Grace Six | Kohken Chrome Six | Kyowa Six | Liner Six | Lyra Six | Mamiya Six | Middl Six | Mihama Six | Mine Six | Minon Six | Mizuho Six | Motoka Six | Mount Six | Muse Six | Super Naiku | Ofuna Six | Olympus Six | Olympus Chrome Six | Orion Six | Oscar Six | Pigeon Six | Planet | Please Six | Pluto Six | Poppy Six | Press Van | Press Van-120 | Proud Chrome Six | Proud Super Six | Renown Six | Ricoh Six | Ruvikon | Ruvinal | Sanon Six | Silver Six | Sisley 1 | Sisley 2 & 3 | Sister Six | Tenar Six | Toho Six | Tomic | Toyoca Six | Ugein Six | Wagen Six | Walcon 6 | Welmy Six | Wester | Windsor Six
rigid or collapsible
Dia Six | Ehira Chrome Six | Enon Six | Flora | Flashline | Fujipet | Harmony | Mikono-6 | Orion | Ponix | Rich-Ray-6 | Shumy | Weha Chrome Six
Japanese 6×6 TLR, pseudo TLR and medium format SLR ->
Japanese Semi (4.5×6) and older 6×9 ->

Ofuna Six (オフナーシックス, Ofunā Shikkusu[1]) was the name used by Ōfuna for two very different 6×6 rangefinder folders in the 1950s.[2] Both have a diecast body with two windows on the back, for 6×6 and 6×4.5, and have a unit-focussed Ofunar 75mm f/3.5 lens, designed by Kunitomo Kenji (国友健司) within Ōfuna, made by Ōfuna and the same as is used on the Ofunaflex.

Model with non-coupled rangefinder

The earlier and better-known model seems to have been sold from the very end of 1952 or the start of 1953 and it was still advertised in summer 1956. It has a non-coupled rangefinder, which shares the eyepiece of the viewfinder. As the camera is viewed by somebody using it to take a photograph, the eyepiece is slightly to the left, the focusing dial for the rangefinder is to the right, and the film winding knob is to the left. The finder housing has an accessory shoe in the centre and is inscribed "OFUNA SIX". The struts for the door are curved and are not marked with any manufacturer's name.

The shutter changed over time: originally a Nissei Rapid (B, 1–500), from December 1954 an NKS-FB (B, 1–300), and finally (from some time in 1955–6) a Copal (B, 1–300).

Cosmetic and perhaps other changes were made over the camera's lifetime. An early example (to judge by its Nissei shutter) has "OFUNA SIX" in one line in oblique script (the ends of the "S" extending below the "F" and above the X"), an "OFUNA" logo to the right of the accessory shoe (as the camera is held for use), "∞—feet—4" inscribed below the distance scale of the rangefinder, and no frame around the viewfinder window; a later example (to judge by its Copal shutter) has "OFUNA SIX" in one line and in a straightforward (non-oblique) script, no "OFUNA" logo, no inscription below the distance scale, and an added frame surrounding the viewfinder window.[3]

An advertisement in the November 1953 issue of Asahi Camera offers the Ofuna Six (with Nissei Rapid shutter) for ¥15,000 (exactly half the price of the Ofunaflex); one in the December 1954 issue offers it (with NKS shutter) for ¥14,500 (and the Mamiya Six K for ¥18,800).[4]

About 2000 of these cameras were made.[5]

Model with coupled rangefinder

A later model (c.1956–7) is much less known in Japan. It has a sliding control on the front of the finder housing to move the 6×4.5 finder mask in and out of position. "OFUNA-SIX" is inscribed in one line of a non-oblique lettering across the top. In other ways, too, it looks very different from its predecessor, and very similar to certain models of Mihama Six and Mine Six.

This new Ofuna Six was ordered by Kashimura for export. While the lens is an Ofunar as claimed, the body is indeed made by Takane and is the same as that of the Mine Six IIF.[6]


  1. Note the change of pronunciation from that of Ōfuna (大船), the manufacturer.
  2. Much of the information in this article derives from Hagiya, "Ōfuna Kōgaku no kamera."
  3. Older example shown here, later example shown by Hagiya, pp.160–61.
  4. Both advertisements are reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.125.
  5. Hagiya, p.162.
  6. Takane's manufacture of this camera for Ōfuna was one part of an arrangement whereby Takane was able to obtain Zunow-brand (but in fact Ofunar) lenses for the Mine Six IIIS(B); see Takane.

Sources / further reading


In Japanese: