|Gamma 16mm camera|
image by Rick Soloway (Image rights)
The Gamma is a Japanese subminiature takes ten 14×14mm exposures on 17.5mm paper backed rollfilm, made in the late 1940s or early 1950s by an unknown company.
The Gamma has a sleek top housing, containing the viewfinder in the middle and supporting a thin advance knob on the photographer's left and a release button on the right. The design is less clumsy than the majority of Hit-type cameras, and the body release is itself a rare feature. The back is hinged to the left and is locked by a sliding bar on the right. The red window is protected by a sliding cover.
The camera is identified by the name Gamma engraved above the viewfinder, and the words MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN are sometimes, but not always, engraved under the bottom plate.
The shutter gives B, 25, 50 speeds selected by a button of the left of the casing. The lens is an Angel 20mm f/4.5, and the aperture is adjusted by turning a disc at the bottom, containing Waterhouse stops.
Nothing is known on the camera's origin, and it appears in none of the original documents observed so far. The lens name "Angel" might remind the Angel Six 6×6 folder, probably distributed by Tōkai Shashin-yōhin in the early 1950s, but the connection is unconfirmed.
- Kobayashi Takehiko (小林猛彦). "Ganma shisakuki?" (ガンマ試作機？, Gamma prototypes?). In Camera Collectors' News no.251 (May 1998). Nishinomiya: Camera Collectors News-sha. Pp.21–2. This article presents three unfinished Gamma cameras, with no.195, 200 and 201 inscribed in pencil on the top plates.
- 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.336.
- Pritchard, Michael and St. Denny, Douglas. Spy Cameras — A century of detective and subminiature cameras. London: Classic Collection Publications, 1993. ISBN 1-874485-00-3. P.80.
The Gamma is not listed in Sugiyama or in Kokusan kamera no rekishi.
- Gamma at Submin.com
- Gamma among other subminiature cameras at the Subminiature site of Gary Sivertsen