Dan 16

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The Dan 16 is a Japanese 16mm subminiature made by Hagimoto around 1947–8. It was one of the first two Japanese cameras taking 16mm film, released at about the same time as the Steky.


The Dan 16 takes 10×14mm exposures on 16mm perforated film.[1] It is sometimes enthusiastically described as "a tiny Leica". Its shape actually shows some reminiscence of the German Minifex, but its shutter has a small size, in proportion with the rest of the camera. The tubular viewfinder is at the left end of the top plate, as seen by the photographer. The film is advanced by a knob at the top right, and is probably loaded through the bottom plate. No exposure counter is visible, and it is not known how the film advance is controlled. There is a disc in the middle of the top plate, attached by a sort of pin, whose use is unknown.

The shutter gives B, 25, 50, 100 speeds selected by an index at the top, and is certainly everset. The name FLEA is engraved at the bottom of the shutter plate, certainly corresponding to the shutter name. The lens is a fixed-focus Thunder 30mm f/6.3, and it is said that two aperture settings are available: 6.3 and 8.[2]

Commercial life

The camera was reportedly featured in the new products column of Kohga Gekkan July 1947, the same month as the Steky.[3] In this document, it is simply called "Dan" (ダン) and it is reportedly attributed to Hagimoto Shōten. ("Dan" is an abbreviation of the first name of Hagimoto Danji, founder of the company; this name was used on other Hagimoto products such as the Dan 35 I and II.)

The camera is mentioned again in a column in Kohga Gekkan January 1948, this time as the "Dan 16".[4] (The Steky and Dan 16 are listed as the only Japanese cameras taking 16mm film.)

A single surviving example has been observed so far, pictured in Sugiyama.[5] Given its scarcity, the Dan 16 was certainly not a commercial success, and it was certainly soon phased out by Hagimoto to leave room to the Dan 35.


  1. Exposure size, perforated film: Sugiyama, item 5027.
  2. Aperture settings: Sugiyama, item 5027.
  3. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.354 (and p.353 for the Steky).
  4. Column reproduced in Awano, p.4 of Camera Collectors' News no.239.
  5. Sugiyama, item 5027.


  • 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 592.
  • Awano Mikio (粟野幹男). "Meteōru, Besutokamu, Epokkusu" (メテオール、ベストカム、エポックス, Meteor, Vestkam, Epochs). In Camera Collectors' News no.239 (May 1997). Nishinomiya: Camera Collectors News-sha. (Contains a reproduction of a column in Kohga Gekkan January 1948, which briefly mentions the Dan 16.)
  • 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 5027.


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