Beseler Topcon Super D

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The US manufacturer Charles Beseler, known for enlargers and similar devices, had begun importing SLRs from Tōkyō Kōgaku in 1959 beginning with the Topcon R, rebadged for the US market as the Beseler B Topcon. The subsequent 1963 Topcon RE Super was a historically-important model, featuring behind-the-mirror TTL light metering which functioned regardless of which finder attachment was in use. Beseler brought this to the US market as the Beseler Topcon Super D.

This was an important model for Beseler. "US Navy"-marked Beseler Super D cameras resulted from a competitive contract awarded to Tokyo Kogaku, based on solid build, TTL open-aperture light meter, and excellent optics. These cameras were used during the Viet Nam wartime period by Navy pilots and river patrol boats.[1]

In 1971 Tokyo Kogaku slightly revised the RE Super to launch the Topcon Super D—now applying that name globally, not just for the Beseler version. The camera gains black finish on several of its controls, and loses the raised metal plate behind the shutter release. The Beseler version continues the Super D name.


  1. A 1970 ad in Popular Photography highlights the Naval air connection. (Vol. 66, No. 2; pg. 21) scanned by Jerry Vacl.