image by RochesterCityPhoto (Image rights)
The Easternflex is a regular copy of the Rolleicord. The whole front standard is moved back and forth for focusing. The film advance and focus knobs are on the photographer's right. There is a sportsfinder in the viewing hood. The name EASTERNFLEX is inscribed on a nameplate above the front plate, and no company name is visible.
The release button is placed at the bottom of the front standard, on the photographer's right. There is an accessory shoe on the left plate. The synch post is probably buried at the bottom of the left plate.
The camera was featured in the news column of the Sankei Camera issue dated June 1955. It was called Easternflex A (イースタンフレックスA) and attributed to "Tōyō Seiki" (東洋精機). It was announced with semi-automatic film advance, a TSK shutter (B, 1–200, self-timer), a PC synch post and Unicor 75/3.5 four-element lenses made by Union Kōgaku.
The first version has similarities with the Elbowflex and Prince Junior. It has J-Luminar lenses and a round exposure counter window at the top right. There is no soft release thread and no depth-of-field scale.
The second version has Lumicor 8cm f/3.5 lenses. The strap lugs are very different and no exposure counter is visible. The advance and focus knobs are bigger, the distance scale is black and there is a depth-of-field scale. The accessory shoe is placed further to the bottom. Of this second versions, some examples have a soft release thread and others don't, and there are variations in the back latch.
The following arguments lead to the probable conclusion that the Easternflex, or at least its first version, was made by Tōyō Seiki Kōgaku:
- the attribution of the Easternflex A to "Tōyō Seiki";
- the use of a TSK shutter on the Easternflex A;
- the similarities of the body (specially the first version) with the Elbowflex and Prince Junior;
- the use of J-Luminar lenses and a Ceres shutter on the first version, as on the Prince Junior.
- Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p. 346.
- Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p. 346. The company name Tōyō Seiki is also given by Kanno, p. 116.
- Name inferred from the katakana ユニコール.
- All details: Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p. 346.
- Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 2090.
- Compare the example pictured in McKeown, p. 253, with the example pictured in this page at Samlarkameror.com.
- 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 381. (No advertisement for the Easternflex is reproduced.)
- Kanno Tsunetoshi (管野経敏). "A kara Z no kokusan niganrefu" (AからZの国産二眼レフ, Japanese TLRs from A to Z). In Miryoku saihakken: Nigan refu: Firumu kamera ha e no messēji (魅力再発見・二眼レフ：フィルムカメラ派へのメッセージ, Fascination rediscovery — TLRs: A message to film cameras). Tokyo: Shashinkogyo Syuppansha, 2006.
- 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. 253.
- 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 2090.