The Alfaflex is a regular copy of the Rolleicord. The focusing is done by moving the front plate back and forth and the film advance is controlled by red window. The focusing and film advance knobs are on the photographer's right, and the focusing knob is surrounded by a depth-of-field scale. The back has a single red window in the middle, protected by a vertically sliding cover. There is a magnifying lens in the viewing hood but no sportsfinder. The name ALFAFLEX is inscribed on a stepped nameplate above the front plate, and the company name ALFA or ALFA OPTICAL CO. is sometimes written in small characters underneath. The leather case is embossed Alfaflex at the top.
The shutter is a TSK giving B, 1–200 speeds. The release lever is directly placed under the shutter casing and the synch post is buried in the front standard at the bottom. No self-timer is visible. The shutter is marked TSK on the speed rim and TOYO S.K.CO on the shutter plate, and it was surely made by Tōyō Seiki Kōgaku.
The lenses are Alfa 7.5cm f/3.5 or S. Cosmo 7.5cm f/3.5. The Alfa are engraved ALFA 1:3.5 f=7.5cm No.xxxxx and the S. Cosmo are engraved S. COSMO 1:3.5 f=7.5cm ALFA Opt. Co. No.xxxxx.
The Alfaflex was featured as a new product in the July 1952 issue of Ars Camera. It was offered along with the Cosmoflex in an advertisement dated March 1953, with S. Cosmo lenses. No price was indicated and the camera name was simply "Alfaflex".
Some recent sources mention an Alfaflex I and Alfaflex II, certainly differing by the lens type (Alfa or S. Cosmo), but it is not sure that the distinction was made at the time. The Alfaflex was eventually superseded by the Cosmoflex, a slightly improved model.
- Dates: advertisements and articles listed in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.346.
- ALFA: example pictured in Sugiyama, item 2050, and example pictured in this page at Japan Family Camera. ALFA OPTICAL CO.: example observed in an online auction.
- Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.346.
- Advertisement published in Shashin Salon, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.117.
- Sugiyama, item 2050, presents an example with S. Cosmo lenses as an "Alfaflex II". Lewis, p.80, briefly mentions an Alfaflex I and an Alfaflex II. This page at Japan Family Camera (archive.org) says that the "original model" has Alfa lenses and that the "Alfaflex II" has S. Cosmo lenses and a self-timer. However no self-timer is visible on the cameras observed so far with S. Cosmo lenses.
- 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 374.
- 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.80 (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). P.49.
- 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 2050.