Gelto

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See also the Semi Gelto and Geltoflex models. The Arsen is a 4×4cm version of the Gelto, distributed by Ars and treated in a separate page.

The Gelto (ゲルト)[1] is a series of Japanese cameras taking 3×4cm exposures on 127 film, made between 1936–7 and 1943 and produced again after the war until about 1952.[2] The maker was Tōa Kōki, perhaps called Takahashi Kōgaku at the beginning,[3] and some advertisements also give the name "Gelto Camera Werke" (which was probably not the same of any actual company, see Camera Works).

Contents

General description

The Gelto is very similar to the earlier Picny, except that it has a die-cast body with angled edges. Both cameras are inspired from the Gewirette by Wirgin.

Some characteristics are common to all the models. The lens and shutter assembly is collapsible and mounted on a focusing helical. There is a tubular optical finder offset to the left and an advance knob at the right end.

Top-loading models

On the prewar and wartime models, the top plate is removable for film loading, analogously to the bottom loading of the Leica screw models. It is locked in place by a key. There are normally two red windows in the back to control film advance. Under the camera, the serial number is engraved on a round plate to the left and the tripod screw is offset to the right. On the cameras with black finish, the front leather is embossed GELTO on the left.

All the prewar and wartime cameras have Grimmel three-element lenses made by Fujita Kōgaku Kikai.[4] The lens marking is Anastigmat Grimmel. The lens bezel is black on all the observed f/4.5 lenses and black or silver on the f/3.5 lenses. The focal length is given in millimetres (f=50mm) on early cameras and in centimetres (f=5.0cm) on late ones.[5]

Before the war, the distributor of the Gelto was Hattori Tokei-ten, with Matsuzaki Shashinki-ten as authorized dealer in Kansai (Western Japan).

Original model

The original Gelto was released in late 1936 or early 1937.[6] It has a round plate at the left end of the top plate, instead of the accessory shoe of later cameras. It is also probable that it has no cover for the red windows.[7]

The original model is pictured in advertisements dated January, February and March 1937.[8] In January, the only price was ¥52 and no detail was given. In February and March, the lens was mentioned as a Grimmel Anastigmat 50/4.5 and a choice of two shutters was offered:

  • No.1 Gelto (Ⅰ號ゲルト): 25, 50, 100, B, T speeds, ¥52;
  • No.2 Gelto (Ⅱ號ゲルト): 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, B, T speeds, ¥58.

There is no evidence that the camera itself was called "Gelto I" and "Gelto II". It seems that the camera pictured in February has the No.2 shutter and the others have the No.1 shutter. In all cases, the shutter plate is marked GELTO at the top and has a logo on the right, perhaps TK in a circle. The aperture scale is a crescent-shaped black plate screwed to the bottom of the shutter plate.

Only two surviving examples of this model have been observed so far: one with the No.1 shutter and the other with the No.2.[9]

Gelto III and D III

The Gelto soon received an accessory shoe, situated at the left end of the top plate. It is pictured as such in an advertisement dated June 1937 for the Tsubasa hood.[10] There is a new shutter plate design, with the shutter name written at the bottom. It seems that the camera was offered as the Gelto III in 1937, presumably without red window cover.[11] The shutter was a Gelto III giving the same speeds as the No.2 Gelto with the addition of a setting for 1/75. This model probably exists in black only.[12]

The Gelto D III (ゲルトDⅢ型) was introduced at the end of 1937, its distinguishing feature being the addition of horizontally sliding covers for the red windows. It appears in an advertisement dated December 1937, mentioning GELTO CAMER WERKE (with a typo) and displaying a picture of the back with the red window covers.[13] The f/4.5 model is offered for ¥65 and the f/3.5 model is mentioned as "available soon" (近日発売) with a patented self-timer that apparently was not adopted on the production version.

The Silver Gelto D III (シルバーゲルトDⅢ) was introduced in mid-1938. The top and bottom plates are chrome plated and a coarse patterned silver finish replaces the leather covering of the black version. The earliest advertisement observed for that version is dated June 1938.[14] The black version was soon renamed Standard Gelto D III (スタンダードゲルトDⅢ). The range was as follows :

  • Silver Gelto D III, Grimmel Anastigmat f/3.5 lens, Gelto III shutter, ¥85;
  • Standard Gelto D III, Grimmel Anastigmat f/3.5 lens, Gelto III shutter, ¥75;
  • Standard Gelto D III, Grimmel Anastigmat f/4.5 lens, Gelto III shutter, ¥65.

A confusing feature of the early Gelto D III is that the shutter plate is still marked GELTO–III. The last advertisement observed for a Gelto D III with GELTO–III marking is dated August 1938, and the marking has become GELTO–DIII in September and October 1938.[15] The price rose together with the marking change, to ¥69, ¥78 and ¥88. It seems that the markings on the focusing scale were changed simultaneously, the 2/3 and 1/2 fractions being replaced by 0.75 and 0.5 decimal numbers. Most available pictures said to show a "Gelto III" actually show a Gelto D III with GELTO–III shutter markings.[16]

The first examples of the Silver Gelto D III are marked GELTO on the front, at the same place as the GELTO embossed in the leather of the black model. This marking is present in advertisements at least until December 1938, perhaps also in March 1939.[17] It is visible in an example pictured in Sugiyama.[18] In August 1940[19] this marking has disappeared and the Silver Gelto was also offered with f/4.5 lens, for ¥79, while the other prices were unchanged. It seems that the name "D III" was dropped from the camera name, but it was still inscribed on the shutter plate.

Renaming and Licht shutter: the Gelto A and B

The Gelto range was reorganized in late 1940 or early 1941. A new model was introduced with a Licht shutter giving T, B, 25, 50, 100 speeds, made by Seikōsha. (Seikōsha was the manufacturing branch of Hattori Tokei-ten, the main distributor of the Gelto.) This model was called Gelto B (ゲルトB型) with f/4.5 lens and Gelto BII (ゲルトBⅡ型) with f/3.5 lens.[20] The shutter plate is marked LICHT at the top and SEIKOSHA at the bottom, and there is a self-timer lever attached to the front.

The model with Gelto shutter was still offered as the Gelto A (ゲルトA型) with f/4.5 lens and Gelto AII (ゲルトAⅡ型) with f/3.5 lens. It seems indistinguishable from the previous Gelto D III. All four versions were available in black or silver finish, the black model now being called Black Gelto (ブラックゲルト).

The whole range appears in the official list of set prices compiled in October 1940 and published in January 1941: the Black Gelto A, Black Gelto B, Silver Gelto A and Silver Gelto B for ¥77, the Black Gelto AII, Black Gelto BII, Silver Gelto AII and Silver Gelto BII for ¥88.[21] The same list also mentions the S Black Gelto for ¥95 and the S Chrome Gelto for ¥125 (see below) but these did not appear in advertisements before January 1942.[22]

In an advertisement dated May 1941, the range was as follows:[23]

  • Black Gelto A, f/4.5 lens, Gelto shutter, ¥72;
  • Black Gelto AII, f/3.5 lens, Gelto shutter, ¥82;
  • Black Gelto B, f/4.5 lens, Licht S shutter, ¥72;
  • Black Gelto BII, f/3.5 lens, Licht S shutter, ¥82;
  • Silver Gelto A, f/4.5 lens, Gelto shutter, ¥77;
  • Silver Gelto AII, f/3.5 lens, Gelto shutter, ¥88;
  • Silver Gelto B, f/4.5 lens, Licht S shutter, ¥77;
  • Silver Gelto BII, f/3.5 lens, Licht S shutter, ¥88.

The model with Licht shutter cost the same as the corresponding model with Gelto shutter, despite its more limited features.

Introduction of the S Gelto

The S Gelto has auto-stop film advance and an exposure counter. The mechanism is contained in a small housing situated under the advance knob and extending to the viewfinder, which is now closer to the middle of the top plate. The back contains a single red window at the left, covered by a horizontally sliding cover, to set the position of the first exposure.

The new model was already in the late 1940 official price list, as said above. It appeared in advertisements in early 1942, and it seems that the Gelto B and BII disappeared at about the same time. The S Gelto is contemporaneous to the Semi Gelto S 4.5×6 folder, equipped with auto-stop advance too. It was first advertised with the f/4.5 lens in black finish, called S Black Gelto (S型ブラックゲルト). In an advertisement dated February 1942,[24] the Gelto range was as follows:

  • Black Gelto A, f/4.5 lens, ¥84;
  • Silver Gelto A, f/4.5 lens, ¥90;
  • Black Gelto AII, f/3.5 lens, ¥96;
  • Silver Gelto AII, f/3.5 lens, ¥103;
  • S Black Gelto, f/4.5 lens, ¥111.

The same models and prices appear in an advertisement dated January 1943[25] but the A and AII names were abandoned.

The more expensive version with f/3.5 lens, called S Chrome Gelto (S型クロームゲルト), was featured in an advertisement dated March 1943,[26] where the prices were as follows:

Only one example of the S Chrome Gelto has been observed so far, with a Grimmel f/3.5 lens and a Gelto-II shutter, marked GELTO–II at the base of the speed rim.[27] It has chrome top and bottom plates and a leather-covered body, this surely corresponds to the "chrome" instead of "silver" finish. At least one further example of the wartime Gelto D III (or A) has been observed with the same finish; its covering has a GELTO embossing and is therefore original.[28]

The government inquiry of April 1943 lists three versions of the Gelto: the S Chrome Gelto, the Black Gelto A and the Silver Gelto AII.[29] The S Chrome Gelto is registered with a "Gelto II" shutter giving T, B, 1–300 speeds, copy of the Compur whereas the ordinary Gelto shutter is of the Prontor type.[30] No example of this shutter has been observed so far.

Gelto auxiliary rangefinder

Two different models of Gelto accessory rangefinders are known, mounted on the accessory shoe.

A Gelto auxiliary rangefinder (ゲルト専用距離計), having round endplates and engraved GELTO at the rear, appears in advertisements dated December 1938 and March 1939.[31] The latter advertisement shows the name Tōa Kōki, it thus seems that the rangefinder was made by the company. Its price was ¥16.50.

A Gelto rangefinder (ゲルト距離計) was offered by the distributor Matsuzaki Shashinki-ten in 1941. It has a different shape, with no round endplates, a rectangular window for the viewfinder and a round second-image window. A nameplate engraved GELTO is screwed to the front.[32] In an advertisement perhaps dated February 1941,[33] it was offered in two versions, one for the Gelto and another for the Arsen, both priced at ¥16.50. It is not known what is the difference between the two (perhaps it is the nameplate), and it seems that this accessory can be mounted on any camera.

Rangefinder conversions

Rangefinder conversions were offered for the Gelto in 1943 and 1944. An advertisement dated February 1943[34] issued by the company Sankō-sha offered a conversion called Suzuki coupled device (鈴木連動装置). The conversion cost ¥53 and was said to take ten days. It consists of a separate range- and viewfinder contained in a housing that covers all the top plate except the advance knob. An example of the converted camera is pictured in Sugiyama,[35] with the marking SUZUKI'S AUTO FOCUS above the rangefinder housing.

An advertisement dated July 1943[36] by the same company Sankō-sha presented a new version with a combined range- and viewfinder sharing the same eyepiece. The conversion was available for the Gelto A, S Gelto, Arsen, Roico and Molby (the latter already has a rangefinder but it is uncoupled and not combined with the viewfinder). It cost ¥65 and was said to take 20 days.

This certainly corresponds to the Cyclon rangefinder, observed on examples of the Gelto and Arsen with a nameplate marked auto CYCLON focus screwed above the viewfinder. (In Japan at the time, the word "auto-focus" was used for "coupled-rangefinder".) This conversion is quite elaborate. The accessory shoe is removed and the top plate is fixed to the body. A hole is cut into the body and then a rod protrudes with a cam piece attached. This is moved by a cam follower that’s been inserted into the focus mount. The view in the finder is colored orange with a clear rangefinder spot. The bottom plate is detachable and is locked in place by the same key that is normally found above the camera.

An advertisement dated October 1943[37] offered the same conversion again, called Auto-focus device (自動焦点装置). Strangely enough, the pictured camera was a converted Gelto but the only cameras listed were the Molby, Vero Four, Picny and Boltax. The conversion was priced at ¥40 for the Boltax and ¥65 for all the others. The name Sugaya Kōki Seisakusho was mentioned, it was certainly the company which made the conversion kits. Two distributors were cited: Sankō-sha and Matsuzaki Shashinki-ten. It is likely that the conversions were made in the distributor's workshop.

An advertisement dated May 1944[38] issued by Matsuzaki Shashinki-ten offered the same conversion at ¥81 for the Gelto, Arsen, Vero Four, Roico and Molby and at ¥67.50 for the Boltax.

The New Gelto

The New Gelto certainly came next, in the late wartime or early postwar period, despite what is said in some sources (see a discussion of the dating below).[39]

Description

The construction of the New Gelto differs from that of the regular wartime model. The top plate is fixed, and the back is removable together with the bottom plate for film loading. Under the camera, the tripod screw is in the middle of the bottom plate, and is surrounded by the opening lever, with O and L positions (presumably for Open and Locked). The name and serial number appear on the top plate, in place of the locking key of the prewar and wartime cameras.

The New Gelto has only been observed with shutters marked GELTO–DIII, identical to the prewar shutters. However one example has been reported with a Lead-Rapid shutter to 1/500.[40] (The Lead-Rapid was made by Yamato and mounted on the Semi Lead. The Yamato-Rapid shutter made by the same company is known to have been mounted on the Semi Gelto during the war.)

The aperture is f/4.5 or f/3.5 depending on the particular examples. The lens is usually marked Anastigmat Grimmel and F=5.0cm on a black bezel, the same as the wartime lenses. One example (pictured in this page) is known with a much older lens, marked Anastigmat Grimmel and F=50mm on a silver bezel.[41]

Evolution

Early New Gelto examples have chrome top and bottom plates and a leather-covered body.[42] The front leather is embossed GELTO and the endplates are leather-covered too. There is a single red window in the back, on the left, protected by a horizontally sliding cover, smaller than the cover of the S Gelto. This camera was presumably made after 127 film became sold in Japan with a series of numbers from 1 to 16.

On the first examples, the name NEW GELTO is directly engraved on the top plate, inside a logo reminding a lens scheme.[43] The serial number is engraved below, preceded by Nr. These markings must be read with the camera directed towards you, the reverse of the usual arrangement.

On later examples,[44] there is a wing-shaped nameplate, with a similar NEW GELTO logo drawn over a circle and marked 3-4 at the top. The serial number is engraved below, on the same nameplate, with a prefix. This plate is attached by two screws which seem to be placed like the screws holding the locking key on the prewar cameras. It is likely that the top plates were taken from old stocks of parts and that the nameplate was there to hide the hole for the locking key.

Late New Gelto examples have the same coarse patterned silver finish as the prewar and wartime Silver Gelto.[45] It seems that the endplates are marked GELTO (on the left side) and TOAKOKI SEISAKUSHO (on the right side). The back has two red windows, protected by separate covers, similar to the red windows of the prewar and wartime models. At least one example of the silver New Gelto is known with the Cyclon rangefinder conversion.[46]

Dating

No original advertisement or article mentioning the New Gelto has been found so far, and accurate dating is impossible. The lens markings and shutter equipment are sure indications that the camera went after the top-loading models and before the regular postwar models described below, perhaps in the late wartime or early postwar period.

The early examples of the New Gelto make an extensive use of specific parts. This probably indicates that the New Gelto was designed as an all-out replacement of the regular Gelto, perhaps around 1943 or 1944, at a time when the production was not yet too disorganized and the company was still able to plan a new model. The later examples draw more and more on stocks of parts, adopting first the top plates, then the twin red window covers of the top-loading model, probably an indication of the growing difficulties encountered in late wartime or immediate postwar Japan.

Further hints point to a late wartime origin. For example the single red window of the early New Gelto probably fitted the 127 film stock sold in wartime Japan, with numbers on the paper backing for both 4×6.5cm and 3×4cm format (see for example the evolution of the Tsubasa Chrome dual-format cameras, whose number of red windows went from two to one in the late 1930s or early 1940s). The existence of a rangefinder-converted camera might be another hint: Cyclon rangefinder conversions were offered in the late wartime years, and it is unlikely that this business continued after 1945.

Postwar Gelto

The production of the Gelto was resumed after the war with a newer back-loading model. It is probable that this model was entirely made from new parts. The top plate is fixed, and the back and bottom plate are removable. They are locked by a lever at the top, replacing the opening key of the prewar model. The position and shape of the red windows is similar to the top-loading cameras. Under the camera, the tripod screw is in the middle of the bottom plate and the serial number is no longer visible.

All the cameras have a Grimmel 5cm f/3.5 lens, whose engraving differs from that of the earlier models. The lens numbering sequence was reset, perhaps at no.1000. It is not known if the lenses were still provided by Fujita Kōgaku Kikai or if a different supplier was approached.

Early cameras, various shutters

The later Gelto cameras have a lever on the top plate to open the back. It seems that the lens number sequence was reset, perhaps at no.1000. It is probable that these models were entirely made from new parts, unlike the New Gelto. The position and shape of the red windows is similar to the prewar cameras.

The early cameras have an uncoated lens, marked Grimmel Anastigmat 1:3.5 f=5cm Nr.xxxx, and a variety of shutters. The endplates are marked GELTO on the left and TOAKOKI SEISAKUSHO on the right.

Very early examples (with lens number in the 2xxx range) are known with Northter shutters made by Nishida and giving T, B, 1–200 speeds. The shutter plate is marked NORTHTER at the top and MODEL–I or MODEL–II at the bottom: the Model II has a self-timer and the Model I has not. The following variations have been observed:

  • Model II, WESTER. N.S.D. on the speed rim, coarse-patterned silver finish;[47]
  • Model I, plain speed rim, bare metal finish;[48]
  • Model I, plain speed rim, black leather covering.[49]

Later examples have NKS shutters giving B, 1–200 speeds, sometimes with a self-timer. From this point, all the examples observed have a new fine-grained silver or golden finish. Here are the known variations:

Type Shutter plate Speed rim Self-timer
top bottom
1[50] GELTO NEW PARAGON SHUTTER・TOA OPTICAL CO. NKS TOKYO no
2[51] GELTO NEW PARAGON SHUTTER・TOA OPTICAL CO. NKS no
3[52] GELTO nothing NKS no
4[53] nothing nothing NKS–TB yes

Later cameras have Lotus shutters giving T, B, 1–200 speeds, with a self-timer and a characteristic release lever on the side.. The maker of these shutters is unknown (a Lotus shutter has been reported on a Ruvinal folder). The speed rim is engraved LOTUS, and the shutter plate normally has the "Gelto and Paragon" markings; however at least one example has a plain white shutter face, perhaps because of a missing part. The lens numbers are usually in the 10xxx, 11xxx and 12xxx range, and the shutter has no flash synchronization.[54] One isolated example, pictured in this page, has the anomalous six-digit lens number 122001 and flash synchronization via a pin at the bottom.

The oldest postwar advertisement known so far to mention the Gelto is in Nihon Shashin Kōgyō Tsūshin April 20, 1948.[55] It was placed by Taiyōdō, which is presented as the distributor of Gelto products (ゲルト製品販売店). The picture shows a typical postwar model, but no detail is visible. Three models are mentioned, differing by the shutter features: Model 1 (1型) has 5–150 speeds, Model 2 (2型) has 1–200 speeds, and Model 3 (3型), has 1–200 speeds and a self-timer. Another advertisement by Taiyōdō, in Kohga Gekkan May 1948, also briefly mentions the "Silver Gelto".[56]

Regular production, Gelto-DIII shutter

At some point, the company resumed the production of the Gelto shutter, giving T, B, 5–250 speeds and marked GELTO–DIII at the bottom.[57] There is no evidence that the camera itself was called "Gelto DIII". In an advertisement dated July 1952, the camera was named simply "Gelto" and the shutter was described as a K.S.S. giving T, B, 5–250 speeds (the meaning of K.S.S. is unknown). The company name was Shinwa Seiki, probabaly a renaming of Tōa Kōki, and the distributor was Mizuno Shashinki-ten. At some time, the TOAKOKI SEISAKUSHO marking disappeared from the right endplate and was replaced by a second GELTO marking.[58] This is probably explained by the company's name change. Some examples have Made in Occupied Japan engraved on the red window cover plate.[59]

After some time, the camera was sold with a coated lens, marked Grimmel C. 1:3.5 f=5cm No.xxxxx with a red "C".[60] The body has a fine-grained silver finish and both edges are marked GELTO. The postwar Gelto with Gelto shutter and coated lens is the most common variant. The Gelto shutter gained flash synchronization a short time before the end of the production. Some have a single pin at the bottom right and others have an ASA synch post at the bottom.[61]

A few examples made during this period have a different synchronized shutter. On one of them, the shutter plate is simply marked MODEL–III at the bottom. The shutter gives B, 1–200 speeds and has a self-timer and a synch pin at the bottom right.[62] A similar shutter has been observed on a Ruvinal folder. On another example, the shutter is unmarked and gives B, 1–200 speeds, with a synch pin at the top right.[63]

Notes

  1. It is possible that the camera was named after the German first name Gerd: the German pilot Gerd Achgelis won the aerobatics world championship in 1934, 35 and 36 and he was probably quite famous at the time. Niimi (114) states that it comes from the German Geld ("money"). Both Gerd and Geld become ゲルト (geruto) in Japanese phonology.
  2. Dates: Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.336 and 351. Release date: see below.
  3. Sugiyama, items 3017–8.
  4. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), lens items Jb2 and Jc6.
  5. The transition occurred between lens numbers 17334 and 21829.
  6. Most sources say 1936: Sugiyama, items 3017–8, McKeown, p.921 (obviously from Sugiyama), various websites. However Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.336, mentions advertisements from 1937, and says that the camera was featured in the new products column of the January 1937 issue of Asahi Camera.
  7. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.336, says that the red window covers were introduced on the Gelto D III.
  8. January: advertisement published in the 10 January 1937 issue of Shūkan Asahi. February: advertisement published in the 21 February 1937 issue of Sunday Mainichi. Both are reproduced in the Gochamaze website. March: advertisement published in Ars Camera, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.70.
  9. No.1 shutter: example pictured in Sugiyama, item 3017. No.2 shutter: example pictured in this page at Asacame.
  10. Advertisement published in the 20 June 1937 issue of Sunday Mainichi, reproduced in the Gochamaze website.
  11. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.336.
  12. The silver "Gelto III" mentioned in Sugiyama, item 3019, and McKeown, p.921, are probably the Gelto D III with GELTO–III shutter marking mentioned below.
  13. Advertisement published in Asahi Camera, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.70.
  14. Advertisement published in the 8 June 1938 issue of Asahi Graph, reproduced in the Gochamaze website.
  15. August and October: advertisements published in the 10 August and 12 October 1938 issues of Asahi Graph, reproduced side by side in the Gochamaze website. September: advertisement published in Asahi Camera, scans observed in an online auction.
  16. This is certainly true of the example pictured in Sugiyama, item 3019, which is a Silver Gelto D III; and also perhaps the case for the example pictured in McKeown, p.921.
  17. December 1938: advertisement published in the 21 December 1938 issue of Asahi Graph, reproduced in the Gochamaze website. March 1939: advertisement published in Asahi Camera, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.70.
  18. Sugiyama, item 3019.
  19. Advertisement published in Asahi Camera, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.70.
  20. Sugiyama, item 3018, and McKeown, p.921, both say that the model with Licht shutter is called "Gelto I" and was introduced in 1936, but this is a mistake.
  21. "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku", type 1, sections 7 and 8B. The Silver Gelto AII is called "Silver Gelto II", certainly a typo.
  22. "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku", type 1, sections 9 and 10. Dates of the advetisements: Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.336.
  23. Advertisement published in Shashin Bunka, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.70.
  24. Advertisement published in Shashin Bunka, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.70.
  25. Advertisement published in Kagaku Asahi, reproduced in the Gochamaze website.
  26. Advertisement published in Kagaku Asahi, reproduced in the Gochamaze website.
  27. Small picture observed in the website of a Japanese dealer.
  28. Example observed in an online auction.
  29. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), items 135–7.
  30. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), shutter item 18-Q-2. The Arsen shutter (item 18-P-28) is listed as of the Prontor type, and the regular Gelto shutter is manifestly identical.
  31. December 1938: advertisement for the Gelto D III, published in Asahi Graph (21 December 1938), reproduced in the Gochamaze website. March 1939: advertisement published in Asahi Camera, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.70. Only the latter has a picture.
  32. Example observed in an online auction.
  33. Advertisement published in 1941 and reproduced in Nostalgic Camera, a page by Toshio Inamura.
  34. Advertisement published in Shashin Bunka, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.111.
  35. Sugiyama, item 3021.
  36. Advertisement published in Shashin Bunka, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.111.
  37. Advertisement published in Shashin Bunka, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.112.
  38. Advertisement published in Shashin Kagaku, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.112.
  39. McKeown, p.922, says that the New Gelto is the last postwar model, made after the "Gelto DIII", but this is probably a mistake.
  40. Example reported by a dealer.
  41. Example observed in an online auction, body no.3469, lens no.11843.
  42. Examples observed in online auctions, among which are no.2667, 2722, 3469 and 3920; see also the example pictured in this page at Asacame. The lens numbers observed are mostly in the 23xxx or 24xxx range, except the example mentioned above with lens no.11843.
  43. Examples observed in online auctions, no.2667 and 2722.
  44. Examples observed in an online auctions, among which are no.3469 and 3920.
  45. Example pictured in McKeown, p.922 (no.5218). Example observed in an online auction (no.5053).
  46. Example observed in an online auction. The Cyclon nameplate is missing from the top.
  47. Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 3065, lens no.2096. An example with a Northter II is also reported as lot no.376 in this Charles Leski auction, with lens no.3456.
  48. Example pictured in this page, lens no.2121, and example pictured here in Rick Soloway's Flickr space, lens no.2521.
  49. Example pictured in McKeown, p.921, lens number in the 25xx or 26xx range.
  50. Example pictured in McKeown, p.921, lens no.6521, and example pictured in this page at Asacame, lens no.6838. The example pictured in this page at Tak's Page, with a four-digit lens number, has a missing shutter plate.
  51. Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 3066, four-digit lens number.
  52. Example pictured in this page, lens no.8084, and example observed in an online auction, lens no.10320.
  53. Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 3067, lens no.10063.
  54. Examples observed in online auctions. Plain shutter plate: lens no.10xxx; "Paragon" shutter plate: lens no.11891, 12164.
  55. Advertisements on p.6 of Nihon Shashin Kōgyō Tsūshin April 20, 1948, reproduced on p.84 of Hyaku-gō goto jūkai no kiroku.
  56. Advertisement reproduced in Awano, p.5 of Camera Collectors' News no.239.
  57. Lowest observed lens number with the Gelto shutter: no.5810. The next observed example has lens no.12001.
  58. The transtition occurred between lens no.14204 and no.15587.
  59. Example observed in an online auction, lens no.15587.
  60. Highest observed lens number with an uncoated lens: no.17237 (see this camera pictured at Sylvain Halgand's site). Lowest observed lens number with a coated lens: no.17481. (Uncoated lens no.30547 has been reported in an online auction but this is dubious.)
  61. Single pin: example pictured in Sugiyama, item 3068, lens no.26895. ASA post: examples observed in online auctions, lens number from 25760 to 32523. See the pictures at Photo Shop Saito.
  62. Example observed in an online auction, lens no.24639.
  63. Example observed in an online auction, lens no.31070.

Bibliography

  • 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 93–8 and 504. (See also the picture on p.13.)
  • 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. (Shows a reproduction of an advertisement in Kohga Gekkan May 1948 mentioning the Gelto.)
  • "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" (国産写真機ノ現状調査, Inquiry into Japanese cameras), listing Japanese camera production as of April 1943. Reproduced in Supuringu kamera de ikou: Zen 69 kishu no shōkai to tsukaikata (スプリングカメラでいこう: 全69機種の紹介と使い方, Let's try spring cameras: Presentation and use of 69 machines). Tokyo: Shashinkogyo Syuppan-sha, 2004. ISBN 4-87956-072-3. Pp.180–7. Items 135–7.
  • "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku" (国産写真機の公定価格, Set prices of the Japanese cameras), listing Japanese camera production as of October 25, 1940 and setting the retail prices from December 10, 1940. Published in Asahi Camera January 1941 and reproduced in 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. Pp.108—9. Type 1, sections 7, 8B, 9, 10.
  • 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.921–2.
  • Niimi Kahee (新見嘉兵衛). Kamera-mei no gogen sanpo (カメラ名の語源散歩, Strolls in the etymology of camera names). 2nd ed. Tokyo: Shashin Kōgyō Shuppansha, 2002. ISBN 4-87956-060-X.
  • Nihon Shashin Kōgyō Tsūshin (日本写真興業通信). Hyaku-gō goto jūkai no kiroku (百号ごと十回の記録, Ten records, every hundred issues). Tokyo: Nihon Shashin Kōgyō Tsūshin Sha (日本写真興業通信社), 1967. No ISBN number. Advertisement on p.84, corresponding to p.6 of the April 20, 1948 issue.
  • 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 3017–21 and 3065–8.
  • Zaisu Ikon (座椅子遺恨, probably a pseudonym of Y. Saji). "Besuto sanka (hoi 3)" (ベスト讃歌[補遺3], Vest hymn [appendix 3]). In Camera Collectors' News no.99 (September 1985). Nishinomiya: Camera Collectors News-sha. P.4.

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