The Soligor 45 is a Japanese 35mm viewfinder camera distributed by Allied Impex under the Soligor brand. Two versions are known. Both are export models of the Nescon 35 or its predecessor the Aruba 35 II. They were probably made by Koike Seiki or by Nihon Seiki.
|1956 advertisement in US Camera. Scan by Jeffrey Felton. (Image rights)|
The early version has the same body as the Aruba 35 II and Nescon 35, with fixed back and film loading through the bottom plate. The advance and rewind knobs are similar to the knobs of the Nescon, with an exposure counter surrounding the base of the advance knob. The position and shape of the shutter release is the same as on the Aruba. There is a small knob behind the shutter release, in place of the exposure counter of the Aruba, certainly used as a rewind selector. The front of the top housing has a Soligor 45 marking. It is said that the serial number is inside the body.
|Soligor 45, early version. (Image rights)|
The lens barrel is half way between the Aruba and the Nescon. The lens is a 40mm f/4.5 mounted on a helical with a large focusing tab. The lens rim is chrome and is simply engraved SOLIGOR 1:4.5 f=40mm with no serial number. The shutter is behind the focusing helical and gives B, 25–100 speeds, selected by a small index.
The camera was advertised by Allied Impex in 1956, for $19.95.
|Soligor 45, late version, body no.1245, Soligor f/4.5 lens.|
Pictures courtesy of Audim Culver at Blue Moon Camera. (Image rights)
The late version is closely similar to the detachable back version of the Nescon 35 (probably called Nescon 35 II New). The main visible difference with the Nescon is that the shutter only has 25, B, 50, 100 settings, in that order. The serial number is placed above the top housing, as on the corresponding Nescon model; it is not known if they share the same number sequence. This version has been observed once in a box marked Soligor 45 Model 1, reportedly with a JCII tag dated June 1956. Some examples have a 40mm f/4.5 lens, engraved Soligor 1:4.5 f=40mm; at least one example is known with a 40mm f/3.5 lens, engraved Nihon Seiki Nescon 1:3.5 f=40mm. This version is also very similar to the Halina 35X or Micronta 35X — itself a copy of the Nihon Seiki Ranger 35. (The Halina has a ledge around the rewind knob, slightly different facia around the viewfinder, a shutter running to 1/200 and an f/3.5 lens.)
|Soligor 45, late version, body no.3567, Nescon f/3.5 lens.|
Pictures courtesy of Fred Sherfy. (Image rights)
- 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.721.
- 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. Item 3760.
This camera is not listed in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, certainly because it was made for export only.