Takka and Tacker

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Japanese subminiature
on paper-backed roll film and round film (edit)
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20mm film Guzzi | Mycroflex | Top
round film Evarax | Petal | Sakura Petal | Star
unknown Hallow | Lyravit | Tsubasa
cine film see Japanese cine film subminiature
110 film see Japanese 110 film

The Takka and Tacker (タッカー) are Japanese subminiature cameras. The Tacker was distributed by Tsukada Shōji around 1950, and the Takka was probably a predecessor.

General description

The Takka and Tacker take ten 14×14mm exposures on 17.5mm paper backed rollfilm. They are better made and have slightly better specifications than the average Hit-type camera, aiming the same market as the Midget and Mycro.

The Takka

The Takka has a characteristic top housing, with two steps on the viewfinder's right — as seen by the photographer. The film is advanced by a knob at the top left. The back is hinged to the left and locked by a spring-loaded latch on the right, attached to the main body by three rivets. No engraving is visible on the main body, and the camera is only identified by the markings on the shutter plate.

The lens is a Takka T.K.W. 20mm with an unspecified fixed aperture. The everset shutter reportedly gives B, 25, 50 settings selected by a button sliding on the side of the casing.[1] It is tripped by a lever on the right. The shutter plate has the name Takka inscribed at the top and the initials T.K.W. at the bottom. The meaning of these initials is unknown, though the "T" might stand for Tsukada.

Only a few examples of the Takka have been observed, and no variation has been detected.[2]

Early Tacker

This page at submin.com contains pictures of a presumably early Tacker. This particular example is the sole of its kind observed so far. It probably corresponds to a transitional variant, produced for a short time only. The camera is very similar to the Takka, and notably has the same top housing, advance knob and back latch. The model name was certainly changed to make it look like an English word; the two names Takka and Tacker would be pronounced and the same by a Japanese speaker, and are written the same in Japanese script (タッカー).

The shutter has B, 100, 50, 25 settings selected by an index at the top. It is wound by a lever on the left and tripped by a longer lever on the right. The lens is a Tacker 20mm f/4.5 with adjustable Waterhouse stops selected by turning a disc at the bottom of the shutter casing. The shutter plate has the name TACKER inscribed at the top and the initials T.S.C. at the bottom. The meaning of these initials is unknown, though Tsukada Shoji Company might be a fair guess.

Regular Tacker

The regular Tacker has a less pronounced resemblance to ordinary Hit-type cameras. The lens and shutter unit is the same as on the earlier camera described above. The top housing is slightly slanted to the right, and is engraved TACKER T.S.C. in the middle, above the viewfinder. The advance knob is lower and has an arrow engraved at the top, sometimes with the words MADE IN JAPAN or MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN.[3] The red window is now protected by a sliding cover, and the back is locked by a sliding bar, moving under a striated cover.

The camera was sold in a red and white case inscribed CAMERA TACKER T.S.C., and the name TACKER is sometimes embossed at the front of the case.[4]

Commercial life

The Tacker was advertised by Tsukada Shōji in Japanese magazines dated February to December 1950.[5] The February advertisement in Photography shows a drawing of the regular model; in that document, the camera name is written in Roman script only ("Tacker").[6] The April advertisement in Asahi Camera, reproduced below, shows no picture and only briefly mentions the camera, whose name is written in Japanese script (タッカー).[7]


  1. Speed range: Sugiyama, item 5145.
  2. Examples pictured in Pritchard, p.79, in Sugiyama, item 5145, and in this page at Submin.com.
  3. MADE IN JAPAN: examples pictured in Pritchard, p.76, and in this page at Submin.com (towards the top). MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN: example observed in an online auction. No inscription: example pictured in this page at Submin.com (towards the bottom).
  4. Original box and case pictured in this page at Submin.com.
  5. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.354.
  6. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.145.
  7. Advertisement in Asahi Camera April 1950, p.114.


Original documents

Recent sources

  • 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 583.
  • 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 (brief mention only).
  • 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). Pp.913 and 934.
  • 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. Pp.76 and 79.
  • 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 5145.


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