Adler C

Jump to: navigation, search
This article needs photographs. You can help by adding some. See adding images for help.

Japanese Semi (4.5×6)
Prewar and wartime models (edit)
Semi Ace | Semi Adler | Adler III | Adler A | Adler B | Adler C | Semi Ako | Ami | Bakyna | Semi Chrome | Semi Clover | Collex | Semi Condor | Semi Dymos | Semi Elega | Semi First | Auto Semi First | Baby Semi First | Gaica | Semi Gelto | Semi Germa | Hansa Semi Rollette | Heil | Hokoku | Hope | Kadera | Kankyu | Kelly | Kiko Semi | Semi Kinka | Semi Konter | Semi Kreis | Semi Kulax | Semi Lead | Semi Leotax | Semi Lester | Loyal | Semi Lucky | Semi Lyra | Semi Makinet | Semi Metax | Semi Minolta (I) and II | Auto Semi Minolta | Semi Miss | Mizuho | Semi Mulber | Semi National | New Gold | Okaco | Oko Semi | Semi Olympus | Semi Olympus II | Semi Osamo | Semi Pearl | Primo | Semi Prince | Semi Proud | Semi Prux | Roavic | Semi Rody | Rondex | Semi Rosen | Semi Rotte | Seica | Seves | Semi Shiks | Sintax | Semi Sixteenth | Semi Solon | Semi Sport | Star Semi | Semi-Tex | Tsubasa Kiko Three | Tsubasa Nettar | Tsubasa Super Semi | Ugein | Vester-Lette | Victor | Waltax | Wester | Zeitax
Semi Kinsi | Lord | Lyrax | Nippon | New Olympic | Semi Olympic | Semi Renky | Auto Victor | Well Super
Sun Stereo
Semi Elka | Semi Keef | Napoleon
Postwar models ->
Japanese SLR, TLR, pseudo TLR and stereo ->
Japanese 3×4, 4×4, 4×5, 4×6.5, 6×6 and 6×9 ->

See also the Semi Adler and Adler III (4.5×6cm), Adler A (4.5×6cm), Adler B (4.5×6cm), Adler Four (4×4cm), Adler Six (6×6cm) and Vest Adler (4×6.5cm).

The Adler C (アドラーC型)[1] is a 4.5×6cm folding camera sold in the early 1940s by Riken Kōgaku Kōgyō (predecessor of Ricoh).


The Adler C is extremely similar to the vertical Semi Rody made by Shibayama, of which it was certainly a rebadged version. The main body is essentially copied on the large Baldax model, but the folding optical finder is placed on the opposite side, so that the front door's hinge appears on the right-hand side, as seen by a photographer holding the camera horizontally.

The body release is to the right of the viewfinder and is tripped by the right-hand finger; it is said that it retracts towards the camera body when the front door is closed.[2] The film is advanced by a knob at the top left, and the release of the front door is on the same side, at the bottom.

The back is hinged to the right, and is locked by a sliding bar on the left. (The shape of the back latch is the only visible difference with the vertical Semi Rody.)

Documents and surviving example

The Adler C appears in the official list of set prices compiled in October 1940 and published in January 1941, for ¥62 with no further detail.[3] The Adler CII is advertised by Riken in the January 1941 issue of Asahi Camera, with a four-element 75/3.5 lens and T, B, 5–150 shutter speeds, but the document shows no picture of the camera.[2] Finally, the Adler CII appears in the official price list dated November 1941, where it is attributed to Riken.[4] The distinguishing feature of the Adler C and Adler CII is unknown.

The only surviving example observed so far is pictured in articles by Tanaka and in the Ricoh official website.[5] It has the name ADLER C embossed in the leather covering at the front. The shutter is a Peerless (T, B, 5–200) with setting lever, marked PEERLESS at the bottom of the front plate. The lens is a Solar 7.5cm f/3.5, engraved Solar 1:3.5 f=7.5cm Riken Kogaku Oozi with a serial number. The engraving probably indicates that the lens was made in the Ōji (王子) plant of Riken Kōgaku Kōgyō.

A similar camera is reported in this page at Photoethnography, apparently with the same lens and shutter combination.


  1. 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.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Advertisement in Asahi Camera January 1941 listing the Adler CII, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.65.
  3. "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku", type 3, section 5A.
  4. "Kamera no kōtei kakaku kanpō happyō", November 1941, type 3, section 5B.
  5. Example pictured in Tanaka, p.79 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.8 and p.17 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.14, and in this page of the Ricoh official website.


Original documents

  • "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 5B.
  • "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 5A.

Recent sources

The Adler C is not listed in Sugiyama.


In English:

In Japanese:

Asahi Bussan and Riken prewar and wartime cameras (edit)
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
folders pseudo TLR TLR
Semi Adler | Adler III | Adler A | Adler B | Adler C | Adler Four | Adler Six | Gaica | Heil | Kinsi Chukon Ref Ricohflex | Ricohflex B