The Royal Senior (ローヤルシニア) is a Japanese camera taking 4×4cm pictures on 127 film.
One source says that the Royal Senior was made around 1954 by "Royal Works". The body shows strong similarities with the Picny 35 and Royal 35, certainly made by Miyagawa Seisakusho around 1951. The date of 1954 seems too late, and the camera was more probably made a few years earlier. The model is probably also related to the Royal Junior 6×6 folder distributed by Sanshin Sangyō in 1951–2. Conversely, it is probably unrelated to the Royal 35 rangefinder models made by Royal Camera from 1955.
The Royal Senior has a metal body with rounded edges, similar to that of the Royal 35 but a little higher. The viewfinder is contained in the middle of the top housing. There is an accessory shoe on the left, as seen by the photographer. The name ROYAL SENIOR is engraved at the front, on either side of the viewfinder. The format 4×4 is engraved in red above the viewfinder, together with a logo showing a doublet lens above a triangle pointing downwards. The same logo is repeated on the rectangular metal plate screwed to the front of the body.
The film is loaded through the bottom plate. It is said that there is a screw on the back, pulling back the pressure plate for easier film loading.
The lens and shutter assembly is mounted on a metal tube. The shutter is a Neuman, reportedly giving B, 1–250 speeds. It has a thread for a cable release and a synch pin at the bottom. The release lever is placed on the shutter casing itself. The shutter plate is inscribed NEUMAN at the top and NEUMAN OPTICAL WORKS at the bottom. The origin of this Neuman shutter is unknown. The name is reminiscent of Neumann & Heilemann but has a single "n", and it is probably not directly related: Billy Neumann died in a traffic accident in the late 1930s. However the related Royal 35 is known with a Perfect shutter by Neumann & Heilemann, a surplus dating from the late 1930s, and the company which made the two cameras perhaps reused a similar name on purpose.
The lens is a front-cell focusing Royal Anastigmat 50mm f/3.5, the same as on the Royal 35.
- Camera Collectors' News, October 1996.
- Tanimura Yoshihiko (谷村吉彦). "Neumann & Heilemann: kieta ashiato, Minoruta setsuritsu to sono ato no karera wo otte" (Neumann & Heilemann 消えた足跡・ミノルタ設立とその後の彼等を追って, On the traces of Neumann & Heilemann at the founding of Minolta and afterwards.) 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.12, October 1988. No ISBN number. Minoruta kamera no subete (ミノルタカメラのすべて, special issue on Minolta). Pp.96–9. (About the fate of Billy Neumann.)