Dan 35 M
The Dan 35 M (ダン35M型) is a Japanese camera, released after the Dan 35 I and II and Dan 35 III, and perhaps announced as the Dan 35 IV. It was made in Suwa by a dependent company of Hagimoto (see the discussion about the Dan 35 I and II).
The Dan 35 M is essentially a copy of the German Photavit. The picture format is unclear: some sources say 24×30mm (or 25×29mm), and another says 24×24mm. The camera probably takes perforated 35mm film loaded in special cassettes, perhaps the same cartridge system as used from 1938 on the Photavit. It is unclear whether it can take paper-backed Bolta film as well.
The all-metal body has rounded edges, and the back is hinged to the right for film loading. The viewfinder is contained in a top housing extending towards the right, as seen by the photographer. There is a polished metal frame attached to the finder's front window. The top housing certainly contains an auto-stop advance mechanism and an exposure counter, visible through a small round window at the far right. The release button protrudes at the top and is interlinked with the auto-stop mechanism for double exposure prevention. A small sliding button is visible next to the viewfinder, but its use is unknown. The name Dan 35 and the model name M are engraved at the front of the top housing, on either side of the viewfinder. The advance knob is at the left end of the top plate. It is unusually high and has two superposed milled rings, and its top is covered by a round leatherette patch
The telescopic tube supporting the lens and shutter assembly is mounted on a focusing helical, driven by a tab and contained in a metal casing attached to the front plate. The lens is a Dan Anastigmat 40mm f/3.5, the same as on the Dan 35 III. The shutter gives B, 25, 50, 100 speeds, and the name NEW HIT is reportedly engraved at the bottom of the shutter plate. The body release is connected to the release lever on the shutter casing by a long rod visible from the outside, the same as on some Photavit models.
A possible predecessor called the Dan 35 IIII or Dan 35 IV was featured in the June 1949 issue of Kohga Gekkan, together with the Dan 35 III. It is described as having a hinged back, a body release, auto-stop advance and double exposure prevention, its lens has f/3.5 maximal aperture and its shutter gives B, 5–200 speeds. McKeown mentions the "Dan 35 IV" as a "rare Photavit copy" but does not elaborate.
The Dan 35 M was advertised in Japanese magazines from February to May 1950. The March 1950 advertisement in Asahi Camera was placed by Dan Shashin-yōhin and gives few details. The pictured camera does not have the letter M engraved at the front of the top housing, and has no lens number, unlike the known surviving cameras.
One surviving example corresponding to the above description, with lens number 3108, is pictured in various Japanese sources.
A small picture has been observed in the website of a Japanese dealer, showing a camera based on the body of the Dan 35 M but with various differences, perhaps corresponding to an early prototype. The body release and the sliding button next to the viewfinder are absent. The base of the advance knob has a conical shape and probably has frame numbers engraved on it, and there is probably no exposure counter at the right end of the top housing. The frame surrounding the viewfinder window is absent too. The top housing has no Dan 35 or M marking. The metal casing containing the focusing helical is either absent or has a different shape. The shutter is a Kokka Model-I (T, B, 150, 100, 50, 25), probably coming from wartime stocks of parts. The lens was reported as a Dan Anastigmat 40mm f/3.5, the same as on the regular Dan 35 M.
- 24×30mm: Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.355. 25×29mm: Takesaki, p.95 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.21. 24×24mm: Sugiyama, item 4199.
- Special cassettes are mentioned about the Dan 35 III in an advertisement dated March 1950 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.147 and in this page at Out of Focus.
- Sugiyama, item 4199, and McKeown, p.242, say that the camera takes Bolta film, and do not mention the special cassettes.
- Auto-stop advance: advertisement dated March 1950 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.147 and in this page at Out of Focus.
- Double exposure prevention: advertisement dated March 1950 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.147 and in this page at Out of Focus.
- Shutter name: Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.355, Sugiyama, item 4199.
- Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.354–5.
- All features: Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.354–5.
- McKeown, p.242.
- Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.355.
- Advertisement dated March 1950 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.147 and in this page at Out of Focus.
- Sugiyama, item 4199, Takesaki, p.95 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.21.
- 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 596–7.
- 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.66.
- 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.242.
- 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 4199.
- Takesaki Harutoshi (竹崎春年). "Boruta-han kamera no subete [katarogu]" (ボルタ判カメラのすべて[カタログ], All Bolta-size cameras [catalogue]). In Kamera Rebyū: Kurashikku Kamera Senka (カメラレビュー クラシックカメラ専科) / Camera Review: All about Historical Cameras no.21, June 1992. No ISBN number. Kurashikku kamera daikenkyū (クラシックカメラ大研究, studies on classic cameras). Pp.95–105.