The Centre Six or Center Six (センターシックス) is an inexpensive Japanese 6×6 folder released in late 1951 by a company called Nissan Kōgaku. (This company is probably unrelated to the similarly named Nissan Kōgaku Kōgyōsha, active before the war and linked to Motodori, and is obviously unrelated to the car maker Nissan Motor.)
|Centre Six. Pictures courtesy of eBayer candances. (Image rights)|
The Centre Six is a horizontal folder, with straight folding struts. The viewfinder is contained in the middle of the top housing. The advance knob is at the left end, as seen by the photographer, and the accessory shoe is at the opposite. The shutter is fired by a trigger placed along the right-hand folding strut. The folding bed is released by a button placed on the front door itself. The back is hinged to the right and has a single red window in the middle, protected by a vertically sliding cover. The camera's design is very cheap, and even lacks a pressure plate.
|Inside picture, courtesy of eBayer candances. (Image rights)|
The top housing has the name Centre Six engraved in cursive letters above the viewfinder, and the back leather has CENTRE SIX embossed under the red window. The logo NISSAN KOGAKU is embossed somewhere in the leather covering, certainly on the folding bed.
|Centre Six and NISSAN KOGAKU markings.|
Pictures courtesy of eBayer candances. (Image rights)
The lens rim is engraved CENTRE ACHROMAT and NISSAN KOGAKU; the lens is fixed-focus and has 6, 8, 11, 16 aperture settings. It is said that these settings are in the Uniform Scale, and that the maximum aperture of the lens is about f/9. The front element looks like it has a larger diameter, but the usable portion is much reduced by a circular aperture placed behind. The shutter has 100, 50, 25, B speed settings and it is synchronized via a pin at the top.
The commercial life of the Centre Six was certainly very brief: it was announced in the October 1951 issue of Asahi Camera and was advertised in the same magazine the following month. The advertisement shows the maker's name Nissan Kōgaku and the distributor's name Sukiya Kamera Shōkai; the name of the camera is written "Center Six" by mistake. The price was only ¥4,500 (case included).
- 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 579.
- 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.738.
The Centre Six is not listed in Sugiyama.