The Peacock (ピーコック) are Japanese cameras taking 3×4cm pictures on 127 film, made from 1939 by Tōyō Kōki. The Peacock brand was owned by Oriental Shashin Kōgyō, of which Tōyō Kōki was a dependent company.
The Peacock models have a rigid metal body. There is a telescopic tube supporting the lens and shutter assembly, an advance knob at the top left — as seen by the photographer — and a tubular finder in the middle of the top plate. The back is hinged to the right.
The Peacock I
The Peacock I has a brick-shaped body and a large body release on the right of the viewfinder. The top and bottom plates are metal finished. There is a single red window in the middle of the back, protected by a pivoting cover. The lens is a fixed-focus Peacock Anastigmat Orioscop 50mm f/6.3. It has two elements and was made by Musashino Seisakusho. The everset shutter gives 100, 50, 25, B speeds and is marked Peacock at the top of the shutter plate.
The Peacock II
The Peacock II (ピーコックⅡ型) has a longer body with thinner edges. The top and bottom plates are painted black. This model has the same body release, advance knob and tubular finder as the previous one. A control is visible on the right end of the top plate, but its function is unknown. The lens and shutter are the same as on the Peacock I.
The Peacock II was advertised in Asahi Camera from August 1939, and was featured in the news product column of the September 1939 issue. The advertisement dated October 1939 shows a picture of the camera and gives the price of ¥30. The document shows the name of the distributor Banno Bōeki but no other company name.
|April 1940||May 1940|
|Advertisements in Asahi Camera, listing the Peacock but showing no picture. (Image rights)|
The Peacock was listed again in advertisements by Fukada Shōkai dated April, May and August 1940. The description only mentions the format and the presence of a body release. There is no picture, and the model number is not specified, but the advertised model is probably the Peacock II. Finally, the Peacock I and II were both listed for ¥28 in the official list of set prices compiled in October 1940 and published in January 1941.
No surviving example of the Peacock II has been observed yet.
The Peacock III
|Wrecked Peacock III.|
Picture courtesy of Pacific Rim Camera. (Image rights)
The Peacock III has the same body shape as the Peacock II, but the top plate is leather covered and the edges of the body are metal finished. This model has a trapezoid-shaped tubular finder, a different knob advance and a much smaller button on the right of the viewfinder, supposed to be the body release. There are two handles on the sides of the telescopic tube, used to pull it out.
The lens is the same fixed-focus Peacock Anastigmat Orioscop 50mm f/6.3 as on the previous models. The shutter gives T, B, 100, 50, 25, 10 speeds. It has a lever on the top, probably the cocking lever, and a small button on one side, perhaps an additional release lever. The name Peacock on the shutter plate is not styled the same as on the two previous models. The aperture scale is above the shutter housing and it is also written PEACOCK under the aperture numbers.
The Peacock III was listed for ¥44 in the late 1940 official price list cited above. It was still mentioned in the "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), listing the Japanese camera production as of April 1943, with Tōyō Kōki mentioned as the maker of the body and shutter and as the distributor.
Various examples of the Peacock III have been observed with the regular lens and shutter equipment.
One example is pictured in McKeown in a slightly different version. It has no button above the top plate. The lens is a front-cell focusing Recta Anastigmat 60mm f/3.5 and the shutter gives T, B, 1–300 speeds and is reported to be a New Alfa. (The same lens and shutter equipment, with the same shutter plate design, is found on the Alfax Model II.)
- Dates: advertisements and articles mentioned in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.339, run from 1939 to 1940. Attribution to Tōyō Kōki: "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), item 157, and Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.339.
- "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), lens item Jd2.
- Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.339.
- Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 4060 (the same picture is reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.339, and in Fujishima and Nakamura, p.161 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10), and example observed in an online auction.
- Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.84.
- Advertisements in Asahi Camera April 1940, p.A56, and May 1940, p.A29. That dated April is reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.80.
- Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.80.
- "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku", type 1, section 3.
- "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku", type 1, section 4A.
- Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 3044, example observed in an online auction and example pictured in this page.
- McKeown, p.933. The focal length is wrongly reported to be 50mm, but the picture reads 60mm and this is consistent with the Recta lens mounted on the Alfax.
- Asahi Camera. Advertisements by Fukada Shōkai:
- April 1940, p.A56;
- May 1940, p.A29.
- "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" (国産写真機ノ現状調査, Inquiry into Japanese cameras), listing Japanese camera production as of April 1943. Reproduced in Supuringu kamera de ikou: Zen 69 kishu no shōkai to tsukaikata (スプリングカメラでいこう: 全69機種の紹介と使い方, Let's try spring cameras: Presentation and use of 69 machines). Tokyo: Shashinkogyo Syuppan-sha, 2004. ISBN 4-87956-072-3. Pp.180–7. Item 157.
- "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 3 and 4A.
- 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 184–5. (See also the advertisements for item 155.)
- Fujishima Kōichi (藤島広一), Nakamura Kin (中村欽). "Kurashikku kamera Q&A" (クラシックカメラQ&A, Classic camera questions and answers). 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.10, September 1987. No ISBN number. Konishiroku kamera no rekishi (小西六カメラの歴史, special issue on Konishiroku). Pp.159–61.
- 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.933.
- 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 3044 and 4060.