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Japanese Bolta film cameras (edit)
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The Bolty (ボルティー or ボルティ) is a Japanese folding camera taking twelve pictures on Bolta film, made by Miyagawa.[1] It was announced by the distributor Yamashita Yūjirō Shōten in 1942 and sold by Chiyoda Shōkai after the war.


The Bolty is a vertical folder, the only folding camera using Bolta film. It has a folding optical finder. The film is advanced by a knob at the top right, as seen by the photographer holding the camera horizontally. Frame numbers are engraved on the base of the advance knob, and the user has to stop turning the knob when the next number is reached. The folding bed release is placed next to the advance knob. The name BOLTY is prominently engraved on the standing leg.

The lens is a three-element Picner Anastigmat 40/4.5, made by Fujita.[2] The shutter is a Picny D made by Miyagawa.[3] The shutter plate has the speed settings inscribed at the top in the order 100, 50, 25, B, and the shutter name PICNY D at the bottom. This lens and shutter equipment is the same as on the Boltax.

Commercial life

The Bolty was advertised by the distributor Yamashita Yūjirō Shōten in Japanese magazines dated January 1942, as "available soon".[4] The advertisement in Shashin Bunka gives the official set price of ¥56, eight yen more than the Boltax III.[5] (The picture perhaps shows a black shutter plate.)

The camera is also listed in the April 1943 government inquiry on Japanese camera production.[6] It was perhaps sold in limited quantities during the war.

The Bolty was advertised again by the distributor Chiyoda Shōkai in Japanese magazines dated December 1946 to August 1948.[7] The December 1947 advertisement in Kohga Gekkan says that the camera was "awaited" (待望) and was "released at last" (遂に出現).[8] (The picture again shows a black shutter plate.) It is not known if the Bolty was effectively produced after the war or if the examples sold at the time were old stock. The last occurrence of the Bolty is in the December 1949 issue of Photo Art, in an article on Japanese cameras which might list discontinued models as well.[9] In this document, the exact price is not given, but the price category is "up to ¥2,500".

Surviving example

The example pictured in Sugiyama, in Lewis and in this page is probably the same.[10] It has a clear-coloured shutter plate with black markings. Another surviving example has been observed with a black shutter plate and an accessory shoe (perhaps not original) added opposite the advance knob.[11]


  1. Made by Miyagawa: "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), item 183.
  2. Three elements, made by Fujita: "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), lens item I5.
  3. Made by Miyagawa: "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), shutter item 12-V-3.
  4. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.341.
  5. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.93.
  6. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), item 183.
  7. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.365.
  8. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.182.
  9. Photo Art December 1949, pp.36–7.
  10. Sugiyama, item 4194; Lewis, p.61.
  11. Example observed in an online auction.


  • 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. Items 246 and 840.
  • "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" (国産写真機ノ現状調査, Inquiry into Japanese cameras), listing Japanese camera production as of April 1943. Reproduced in Supuringu kamera de ikou: Zen 69 kishu no shōkai to tsukaikata (スプリングカメラでいこう: 全69機種の紹介と使い方, Let's try spring cameras: Presentation and use of 69 machines). Tokyo: Shashinkogyo Syuppan-sha, 2004. ISBN 4-87956-072-3. Pp.180–7. Item 183.
  • 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.61.
  • Photo Art December 1949. "Ōru kokusan kamera" (オール国産カメラ, All of Japanese cameras). Pp.36–7.
  • 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 4194.


In Japanese