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Mamiya Camera Museum

The direct link to the Japanese history site no longer works (e.g. redirects to the home page) but some of the child links still work (e.g. Anyone have a new top level link? -- Edjpgcom

I don't understand Japanese, but I think it's -- artysmokes 17:58, 23 August 2010 (EDT)

I think you're looking for that. --rebollo_fr 12:27, 24 August 2010 (EDT)

T.S.M. Lenses — questions to be researched/answered !!

As you'll know, I am working on the Mamiya Six and its variations (see my sandbox in user:GitzoCollector).
A number of Mamiya Six III models, all produced after the war, have T.S.M. Anastigmat 75mm f/3.5 lenses (set in both Copal and NKS shutters). This is speculation at present, but I believe that the TSM lenses were manufactured by Mamiya at its Setagaya (世田谷) plant. Reasoning is as follows:

1) All T.S.M. lenses are associated with post-war production Mamiya Six III
2) Mamiya bought the Setagaya plant in March 1946[1]
3) The first new lens produced at Setagaya was the Neocon, which means neo-con[struction] according the Mamiya Company History[2]
4) The Neocon was introduced in July 1947,[3] so what kind lenses were they making between March 46 and July 47?
5) The first Neocon are actually labelled Tōwa Kōki Neocon (see here)[4], then come the Setagaya Kōki.
6) Looking at the Mamiya Six serial numbers, the T.S.M. Anastigmat and Tōwa Kōki Neocon run parallel for a while, but there is no overlap between T.S.M. Anastigmat and Setagaya Kōki.

My guess is that T.S.M. either stands for

  • Tōwa Setagaya Mamiya
  • Tōwa Seiichi Mamiya

What's now needed is  :
a) a detailed trawl trough the adverts and brochures of 1946 and 1947 to see whether there are different 75mm lens options offered (Anastigmat vs Neocon), and when.
b) we need to work out what the Setagaya Plant was called before it was bought by Mamiya. AFAIK it was incorporated as Setagaya Kōki K.K. (世田谷光機㈱) in 1950. What did it trade under before? Tōwa Kōki ??

--Dirk (GitzoCollector 05:34, 17 December 2010 (EST))
You've found very interesting information! I think that you have a strong case that the Setagaya plant was originally a small optical company called Tōwa Kōki, making the T.S.M. lens. For the meaning of the initials, T for Tōwa and S for Setagaya are plausible; M for Mamiya is possible but not certain. S. for Seiichi is much less likely in my opinion, because the proper Japanese order is Mamiya Seiichi (family name-given name), not the reverse, and I don't think Japanese people were much accustomed to the Western given name-family name order at the time. I'll check through the documents I can find. --rebollo_fr 13:43, 17 December 2010 (EST)
Of course S. for Seiichi is nonsense...too late at night, wasn't thinking straight ...that it should be TMS if it were. Keen to see what you can dig up...and any of the early lens ads...--GitzoCollector 16:40, 17 December 2010 (EST)
I have found a COMPLICATION: I myself actually have a Mamiya Six IIa (see here) with a TSM in an Olympus-Tokyo-N shutter....and that is war-time. It is possible, but not that likley, that someone over time chnaged the front cell.--GitzoCollector 16:53, 17 December 2010 (EST)
I've looked through my image archive and have found a number of wartime cameras with T.S.M. Anastigmat lenses. The lens does not appear on any other Japanese camera of the period, as far as I know. After giving it some thought, I would say that maybe I answered too fast, and there is no real reason that the T.S.M. is related to Tōwa Kōki, only the T. and S. initials that might mean Tōwa and Setagaya (but could have many other meanings). On the Tōwa lens, I've found two mentions over the Internet of it being paired with a "T-Merit" shutter [2] [3]. This slightly extravagant shutter name might be an early designation for the "Stamina", but of course I'm extrapolating on very thin evidence. --rebollo_fr 17:52, 17 December 2010 (EST)
Given your comments, my guess now is that TSM does not stand for anything related to Setagaya, as it that was bought post war. BUT, I found a reference that claims that in March 1944 Mamiya manufactured lenses in a workshop at Toyko University....This does not affect, though the Tōwa Kōki to Setagaya Kōki sequence, and we still need to sort out what company Tōwa Kōki was and whether it pre-existed and was bought by Mamiya...--GitzoCollector 19:18, 17 December 2010 (EST)
I think that Tōwa Kōki is written 東和光機. (I'm not alone in thinking that: [4] [5].) The first part would mean "Peace in the East" or "Harmony in the East", appropriate for early postwar years. The chronology in this page of the Mamiya site says the following (among other things):
  • the company bought a factory building in Setagaya in March 1946, with the intention to build shutters and lenses; it was called the Setagaya Bunkōjō (Setagaya branch factory);
  • the Setagaya factory started to function in June 1946;
  • the first Stamina shutters were completed in February 1947;
  • mass production of the Stamina started in May 1947 at the Setagaya factory;
  • mass production of the Neocon lens started in July 1947 at the Setagaya factory;
  • the Setagaya Bunkōjō was renamed Setagaya Kōjō (Setagaya factory) in August 1948;
  • the Setagaya factory became the independent company Setagaya Kōki K.K. in July 1950.
The phrasing indicates that the Setagaya factory was not functioning when it was bought by Mamiya. Tōwa Kōki may be a small independent optical workshop that designed the Neocon and worked as a subcontractor for a short time, until it was absorbed by Mamiya when the Setagaya factory became ready for mass production. Or it may be a depending company raised by Mamiya to develop lenses, which had a brief existence and was soon merged into the main company as a sort of internal restructure. I think that there is no time continuity between Tōwa Kōki and Setagaya Kōki, and that there was an intermediate period when the lenses were merely made by Mamiya in its Setagaya plant. --rebollo_fr 06:27, 18 December 2010 (EST)
Good stuff. Thanks A.. Will look at that pages and turn it through the Yahoo Translation machine to see what else I can use from there. --GitzoCollector 08:40, 18 December 2010 (EST)

Some more additional data on the T.S.M. lenses Based on the dataset I have compiled to date, this is how they pan out...

Serial Bezel Shutter Mamiya Six Mamiya s/n
2974 silver face [blank/no name] III 22979
4152 black face OLYMPUS-TOKYO-N KOHO   IIa 22822
4310 black face OLYMPUS-TOKYO-N KOHO IIa 22344
4397 black face OLYMPUS-TOKYO-N KOHO IIa 22515
5334 silver face NKS-TOKIO III
5384 silver face NKS-TOKIO III
5552 silver face NKS-TOKIO III 25083
5587 silver face NKS-TOKIO III
5830 [unspecified]   T-MERIT III 29863
5844 silver face COPAL III 27854
6068 silver face COPAL III 29634

The black faced ones go with the Mamiya Six IIa and the silver ones with the Mamiya Six III.—The silver faced shutters are inscribed ‘7.5cm’, and the black faced ‘75mm’.—The number and appearance of of 2974 is correct (double checked twice over). So this is not an issue of the black ones being earlier.--GitzoCollector 23:29, 17 December 2010 (EST)

Isn't "black face" vs "silver face" a difference in diameter? "Black faced" lenses would go on the #0-size shutters, and "silver faced" on the #00-size ones. --rebollo_fr 06:28, 18 December 2010 (EST)
could be. Don't have a silver faced one (yet) so can't go and measure it out...--GitzoCollector 08:40, 18 December 2010 (EST)


  1. Mamiya. A History of Innovation. Mamiya 50th Anniversary. Produced by the Mamiya-History of Innovation Editorial Committee. Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo: Mamiya Camera Co. Ltd. p. 4.
  2. Mamiya. A History of Innovation. Mamiya 50th Anniversary. Produced by the Mamiya-History of Innovation Editorial Committee. Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo: Mamiya Camera Co. Ltd. p. 5.
  3. Mamiya. A History of Innovation. Mamiya 50th Anniversary. Produced by the Mamiya-History of Innovation Editorial Committee. Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo: Mamiya Camera Co. Ltd. p. 5.
  4. Also used on the Mamiya Flex, and there with a Stamina shutter: [[1]]

Ron Herron's Mamiya site gone !

The Herron Mamiya site had lots of information. I noted on 7-28-2020 that it seems that the main INDEX page has turned into a basic "cookie-cut" page with fake E-mail and links. His Yahoo address no longer works. If a link from here goes to a internal page, it still works. Any link to the main INDEX page, and you are stuck there. The correct INDEX page is still on Wayback machine. I'll assume the Wayback will be there forever ? ?

I will check the links to his Mamiya pages from site and see what I can fix if only goes to the INDEX page. There are many other websites that go to his main INDEX page.