Zuman Super 16

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The Zuman Super 16 (ズマンスーパー16) is a Japanese subminiature camera, briefly advertised in 1951–2 by Zuman Kōki Kenkyūjo, later Zuman Kōki Seisakusho.

Description

The Zuman Super 16 has a bar-shaped vertical design and takes 12×14mm exposures on 16mm film, probably loaded in some sort of cassette.[1] The film is advanced and the shutter is wound by a push-pull action, the same as on the Minox or Minolta 16. Original advertisements touted the ability to take 25 pictures in 8 seconds, perhaps corresponding to a full cassette load.[2]

The viewfinder is built-in at the top, and is visible in either position of the push-pull mechanism. The lens is placed under the viewfinder window, and there is a strap lug at the bottom of the front plate. Two discs are visible on the left-hand side plate, certainly the exposure counter and the speed setting knob.

In the original advertisements, the shutter is described as a focal-plane design offering B, 15–1000 speeds, definitely a rare feature on a subminiature camera.[3] The lens is interchangeable, and two focal lengths were offered: 25mm and 45mm.[4]

Commercial life

The Zuman Super 16 is only known from a few advertisements placed in the Japanese magazine Kohga Gekkan from September 1951 to November 1952.[5]

The September 1951 advertisement, placed by Zuman Kōki Kenkyūjo (meaning Zuman Optical Research Institute), shows a picture of the camera standing vertically in the closed position.[6] The speed range is not mentioned, and the exposure counter disc and speed knob look rather large.

The next advertisement appeared in the May 1952 issue only.[7] The July 1952 advertisement, placed by Zuman Kōki Seisakusho (meaning Zuman Optical Works), shows a different picture of a camera lying flat, in the open position.[8] The exposure counter disc seems smaller, and the speed control looks different.

No surviving example has ever been observed, and it is not known if the camera was effectively sold.

Notes

  1. Exposure format and film size: advertisements reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.143.
  2. Advertisements reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.143.
  3. Shutter characteristics: advertisements reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.143.
  4. Advertisements reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.143.
  5. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.353.
  6. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.143.
  7. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.353.
  8. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.143.

Bibliography