All the models are horizontal folders, with three-part struts inspired from the Ikonta. The viewfinder-only models have a low top cover with some leatherette glued above. The viewfinder is offset to the right — as seen by the photographer — and is contained inside a hump of the top cover. (This arrangement looks like a reversed Carl Six.) The model name is apparently engraved above the viewfinder.
There is an accessory shoe offset to the left, with the folding bed release button in front of it. The advance knob is at the left end. The body release is at its usual location on the right, and the right end is occupied by a decorative flange. The back is hinged to the right, and retained by a sliding bar on the left.
The original Doris Six (ドリスシックス) was advertised in Ars Camera from February to August 1955. In the May advertisement, it is listed at ¥8,800 with a Delta 75/3.5 lens and a unspecified shutter, with B, 1–200 speeds, flash synchronization and a self-timer. The picture seems to show an ASA synch post but this is unclear.
The only example known so far is that pictured in Sugiyama, reported as a Doris Six II. It is similar to the camera shown in the advertisement, but has a PC synch socket on a Convex shutter (B, 1–200, self-timer). The lens is a Delta Anastigmat f/3.5, reportedly with 75mm focal length. The camera is reported to take both 6×6cm and 4.5×6cm exposures; this feature is not mentioned in the advertisement, but was perhaps already present on the original model. It is likely that the arrangement of the red windows is the same as described below for the Doris III.
The Doris III and IIIA
The Doris III and Doris IIIA are redesigned versions with an uncoupled rangefinder. The top plate is extremely similar to that of the Crystar Six IIIA, released in late 1954. And perhaps it has the same body as Mihama Rhyme Six, released in 1954 too. In view of similar episodes involving the Doris Camera company (later Condor Camera), it seems clear that this was intentional. No original document mentioning the Doris III or IIIA has been found so far.
|Doris IIIA Japanese 6x6 folder, Quick Anastigmat 80mm F3.5 lens no.8131, body no.2309.|
The windows for the rangefinder and viewfinder are grouped inside a rectangular frame. The small second image window is square and is almost centered at the front of the top housing. The common eyepiece is offset to the right — as seen by the photographer. There is a slider at the front, moving a frame inside the viewfinder window, to indicate the field of view for 4.5×6cm exposures. The rangefinder is controlled by a wheel falling under the user's left thumb. The accessory shoe is offset to the left, and the folding bed release is just in front of it. The advance knob and release button are placed the same as on the previous models. The top cover has a DORIS logo in double-struck letters, and the model name DORIS–Ⅲ or DORIS–ⅢA engraved underneath, together with a four-digit serial number.
The main body is similar to that of the previous Doris Six. The DORIS logo is embossed inside an oval on the leather covering of the front door. There is perhaps a logo engraved inside the folding struts as well.
The back contains two rectangular red windows, one for each format, protected by individual covers sliding horizontally. The frame size 4.5 X 6 or 6 X 6 is engraved next to each window. The camera was supplied with a removable mask to insert in the exposure chamber for 4.5×6cm exposures.
The ever-ready case is made of brown leather and has the DORIS logo inside an oval embossed at the front.
The Doris III is known from a single example, with a serial number in the 22xx range. This particular camera is missing a part at the top right, either a decorative flange or a film reminder. It has an unknown shutter with self-timer and PC synch socket. Its lens is a front-cell focusing 80mm f/3.5; it is perhaps called Delta but this is unconfirmed.
At least two actual examples of the Doris IIIA are known. The difference with the III is certainly in the lens and shutter equipment, though this is unconfirmed.
The camera pictured in Sugiyama has an F.C. Quick 80mm f/3.5 front-cell focusing lens. Its shutter is a Helio, said to give B, 1–200 speeds, with a self-timer and a PC synch socket. The name HELIO is engraved at the base of the speed ring; the front plate is black with a slightly conical shape and has depth-of-field indications. The camera has a decorative flange at the right end of the top cover, and its advance knob slightly differs from that of the Doris III.
The other camera has a serial number in the 29xx range; its lens and shutter equipment is unknown. It is missing the flange at the top right, and has the same advance knob as the camera with F.C. Quick and Helio.
- The advertisements mentioned in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.356, are all dated 1955. The Doris Six II and Doris IIIA are dated 1954 in Sugiyama, items 1294–5, and in McKeown, pp.927–8, but this is probably a wrong guess.
- Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.356.
- Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.153.
- Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 1294. A text-only description of the same camera is given in McKeown, p.928.
- Condor Camera is famous for having made a cheap copy of the Nikon S2 called Condor, and the previous Semi Doris was already a copy of the Pearl II.
- Example observed in an online auction.
- Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 1295. The same information is repeated in McKeown, pp.927–8.
- Example observed in an online auction.
- 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 637.
- 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.927–8.
- 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 1294–5.