The camera is a copy of the 4.5×6 Ikonta, with the typical three-part folding struts. The folding optical finder is in the middle of the top plate, as seen by the photographer holding the camera horizontally. Its opening is coupled to the folding bed release by an external linkage. There is a body release on the left.
The back is hinged to the left and is locked by a latch on the right. The film is advanced by a key at the bottom right, and there is a tripod thread at the bottom left. The name Adler B is normally embossed in the leather covering at the front.
The Adler B is very similar to the Semi Kinka manufactured by Yamamoto Shashinki Kōsakusho, and to the first model of the Semi Mulber distributed by Kuwata Shōkai. All three cameras were certainly made by Yamamoto.
|Adler B in a catalogue by Asahi Kōgaku Kōgyō, c.1938. (Image rights)|
|Advertisement in Shinkō Graph August 1938. (Image rights)|
The camera appears in a catalogue by Asahi Kōgaku Kōgyō reproduced above, certainly dated 1938. The document says that the Adler A and Adler B were introduced after the Adler III, to extend the range of Adler cameras. The shutter has T, B, 150, 100, 50, 25 speed settings. Its front plate is marked SEMI ADLER at the top and has an illegible name at the bottom. The lens is described as a Ukas Anastigmat f/4.5, and the price is given as ¥58, case included. The description mentions chrome finish, and the picture shows metal-coloured body edges. Some illegible engraving is visible on the folding struts. The back is opened by a sliding button, and the latch is covered by a leather handle.
The advertisement in Shinkō Graph August 1938, reproduced on the right, lists the same features and shows the same picture. Another document dated 1938 reportedly lists the Adler B for ¥65, with ten-month payment option. The camera was also featured in the new products column of the October 1938 issue of Asahi Camera, with a Fiskus shutter and a Ukas f/4.5 lens.
The Adler B appears for ¥74 in the official list of set prices compiled in October 1940 and published in January 1941. It is also mentioned in the November 1941 official price list, where it is attributed to Riken.
|Adler B, Perfekt shutter. Picture courtesy of Dave Metcalfe. (Image rights)|
Various cameras are known that should correspond to the Adler B. All have black-painted body edges and a newer back latch with a sliding bar and no handle. Only that pictured above still has its original leather covering, embossed Adler B. At least one camera seems to have the round AKK logo of Asahi Kōgaku Kōgyō engraved on the folding struts. All have a Perfekt shutter (5–250, B, T) by Neumann & Heilemann with the late shutter plate design (see Perfekt). The lens is an Adler Anastigmat 75mm f/4.5, when this data is available.
- The name "Adler" was clearly used to demonstrate Japan's alliance with Germany. During the war period, Riken often used such names (they also sold a Heil camera), or other "patriotic" names.
- Catalogue Olympic Products, c.1938, p.15.
- Catalogue Olympic Products, c.1938, p.14: 弊社では先にブローニー(½)判のアドラーⅢを発売しましたが、その好評嘖々たるに鑑み今回姉妹機としてアドラーA型及びB型を特に速写ケース付で発売致しました.
- Advertisement in Shinkō Graph August 1938, p.39.
- "Riken Konzern geppō" (理研コンツエルン月報), quoted in Tanaka, p.16 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.14.
- Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.334.
- "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku", type 3, section 4A.
- Example pictured in this article, example pictured in Sugiyama, item 1029 (where it is called "Adler Semi"), example pictured in McKeown, p.828, and example pictured in this page of the AJCC.
- Picture in this page of the AJCC.
- Asahi Kōgaku Kōgyō. Olympic Products. Catalogue published c.1938 (date not indicated). Document reproduced in this Flickr set by Rebollo_fr.
- "Kamera no kōtei kakaku kanpō happyō" (カメラの公定価格官報発表, Official announcement of the set prices of the cameras), November 1941. Extract of a table listing Japanese camera production and setting the retail prices, reproduced in "Bebī Semi Fāsuto 'Kore ha bebī wo nanotta semi-ki da'" (ベビーセミファースト"これはベビーを名乗ったセミ機だ", Baby Semi First, 'this is a Semi camera called Baby'), an article by Furukawa Yasuo (古川保男) in Camera Collectors' News no. 277 (July 2000). Nishinomiya: Camera Collectors News-sha. P. 27. Type 3, section 4A.
- "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku" (国産写真機の公定価格, Set prices of the Japanese cameras), listing Japanese camera production as of October 25, 1940 and setting the retail prices from December 10, 1940. Published in Asahi Camera January 1941 and reproduced in 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. Pp.108—9. Type 3, section 4A.
- Shinkō Graph (新光グラフ) August 1938. Advertisement by Asahi Kōgaku Kōgyō on p.39.
- 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 5.
- 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.828.
- 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 1029.
- Tanaka Masao (田中政雄). "Senzen no kamera 2: Supuringu kamera" (戦前のカメラ2・スプリングカメラ, Prewar cameras 2: folding cameras). 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.14, October 1989. No ISBN number. Rikō kamera no subete (リコーカメラのすべて, special issue on Ricoh). Pp.16–9.
- Adler B in a page of the AJCC website
- Adler A & B in the Ricoh camera list of the Ricoh official website (wrong information on the Adler B)
|Asahi Bussan and Riken prewar and wartime cameras ( )|
|rigid or collapsible|
|Vest Adler | Gokoku | Semi Kinsi | Letix | Olympic | New Olympic | Regal Olympic | Semi Olympic | Super Olympic | Vest Olympic | Riken No.1 | Ricohl | Roico | Seica | Zessan|
|Semi Adler | Adler III | Adler A | Adler B | Adler C | Adler Four | Adler Six | Gaica | Heil | Kinsi||Chukon Ref||Ricohflex | Ricohflex B|