The Corona are Japanese subminiature cameras taking ten 14×14mm exposures on 17.5mm paper backed rollfilm, made in the late 1940s or early 1950s. Two very different models exist, which were perhaps not made by the same company.
The top housing contains the viewfinder in the middle and extends to the photographer's right. The film is advanced by a knob on the left. The back is hinged to the left and the back latch consists of a sliding bar. The red window is protected by a sliding cover. The name CORONA is engraved above the viewfinder, together with a K.S.K logo, whose meaning is unknown. The lens is a Corona Anastigmat 20mm f/4.5.
Most examples have an adjustable diaphragm and a shutter giving B, 25, 50, 100 speeds, wound by a lever on the left and tripped by another lever on the right. Some of these, but perhaps not all, have a red covering and gold finish on the metal parts.
One example is also pictured in this page at submin.com with a simple everset shutter only giving B and INST settings, and no diaphragm for the f/4.5 lens. It has a chrome finish and black covering.
The dual-finder Corona has a different style, and is probably later than the single-finder model. The construction looks cheaper, and nothing is known about its origin.
The top housing covers the whole length of the body, with a step on the photographer's left to accommodate the advance knob. It contains an eye-level finder offset to the right and a waist-level finder in the middle, and the name CORONA is engraved on the right. The back is hinged to the right and contains a single uncovered red window. The lens is unnamed and has unspecified features, and the shutter is of the simple everset type. The shutter plate is inscribed CORONA or sometimes CORONAX at the top and MADE IN JAPAN at the bottom.
- Red covering, gold finish: examples pictured in this page, in McKeown, p.572, in Pritchard, p.75, and in this page at submin.com. Another example has been observed in an online auction in a very poor condition, apparently with black covering and golden finish.
- CORONA and CORONAX: see the pictures in this page at submin.com.
- 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). Pp.219 and 572.
- Pritchard, Michael and St. Denny, Douglas. Spy Cameras — A century of detective and subminiature cameras. London: Classic Collection Publications, 1993. ISBN 1-874485-00-3. Pp.75–6.