The Blondy is a Japanese subminiature announced in 1949 by Kashiwa Seikō.
The viewfinder is contained in the middle of a sleek top housing. There is a body release, a rare feature on this class of subminiature cameras, emulated by the New Midget III only two years later. The release linkage is covered by a small cylindrical fairing next to the lens barrel. The film is advanced by a gear at the left, half covered by the top housing. The back is presumably hinged to the left, and there is a spring-loaded latch on the right. The film advance is certainly controlled via a red window in the back.
The shutter gives B, 25, 50, 100 speeds. It has a lever on the side, certainly used for winding. The lens is a Blondy Anastigmat 20mm f/4.5 made of four elements, again a rare feature on a subminiature camera.
The name BLONDY is engraved above the viewfinder, together the word PATENTS and the company name KASHIWASEIKO CO.
|Column in Photo Art December 1949. (Image rights)|
The Blondy was briefly advertised in the July and August 1949 issues of Kohga Gekkan. It is also mentioned in an article of Photo Art December 1949 on Japanese cameras, where the price is quoted as "less than ¥2,500". It was certainly made in very small quantities, and no surviving example has been observed so far.
- 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 799.
- 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.68 (brief mention only).
- Photo Art December 1949. "Ōru kokusan kamera" (オール国産カメラ, All of Japanese cameras). Pp.34–41.
The Blondy is not listed in Sugiyama.