Cosmo 35, Micronta 35 and Rolex 35

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The Cosmo 35 is a Japanese 35mm viewfinder camera with a leaf shutter, made in the mid-1950s by Cosmo Camera Seisakusho. The Rolex 35 and Micronta 35 are name variants of the Cosmo, but see also the Rolex 35 III (name variant of the Camel) and the other Micronta 35 (name variant of the Ranger 35).


All the models have the same body, and the body casting and removable back are copied on the Pigeon 35.[1]

The viewfinder is integrated in the middle of the top housing, with an accessory shoe above. The advance knob is surrounded by a black exposure counter. The film advance is not coupled to the shutter cocking. The rewind unlock button is placed next to the advance knob. There is a metal casing in the front of the camera, with a large lever protruding from one side and acting as a body release. The model name and the serial number are engraved in front of the accessory shoe: either Cosmo 35, ROLEX 35 or MICRONTA 35.

The back is removed together with the bottom plate for film loading. It is locked in place by a knob at the middle of the bottom plate, with O and C indications. The tripod thread is offset to the left, on the rewind side.

The Cosmo 35

The Cosmo 35 has a Copal shutter giving B, 10–200 speeds, with a self-timer. The lens is a front-cell focusing S.Cosmo 4.5cm f/3.5. The lens rim is engraved S.COSMO and HARD-COATED. There is a PC synch post at the bottom of the front metal casing. There is a sliding button at the front of the top housing, whose use is unknown.

The Cosmo 35 was announced and advertised in the September 1955 issue of various Japanese magazines.[2] In Sankei Camera,[3] it was offered for ¥7,000 together with the Elbow Six and Elbowflex. Various company names appear in the advertisement: Elbow Shōkai is certainly the distributor, Cosmo Camera Seisakusho is certainly the maker, Tsūun Sangyō and Zentsū are mail order companies and Nittō Shashin Yōhin is an authorized dealer.

The Micronta 35

The Micronta 35 is exactly similar to the Cosmo 35, except for the top engraving and the Micronta lens name. It was perhaps an export version sold by Radio Shack, which used the Micronta brand for various electronic products.

The Rolex 35

The Rolex 35 has a front-cell focusing Rolex 4.5cm f/2.8 lens and a different shutter giving B, 10–200 speeds. The shutter plate is black and is inscribed ROLEX at the top. The PC synch post is directly placed on the shutter casing, and the hole in the front casing is covered by a round metal patch. The button at the front of the top housing is fixed. The Rolex lens is said to have four elements.[4]


  1. This is cleverly demonstrated in Yazawa, pp.8–9 of Camera Collectors' News no.253.
  2. Advertisements and articles listed in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.351.
  3. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.136.
  4. Yazawa, p.9 of Camera Collectors' News no.253, counting the number of internal reflections.


  • 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 511.
  • 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.229.
  • 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. Items 3231 and 3738.
  • Yazawa Seiichirō (矢沢征一郎). "Renzu no hanashi (163) Rorekkusu 35" (レンズの話[163]ロレックス35, Lens tales [163] Rolex 35). In Camera Collectors' News no.253 (July 1998). Nishinomiya: Camera Collectors News-sha. Pp.7–10.


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