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The Hamond (ハモンド) is a series of Japanese novelties combining a pair of binoculars and a camera taking 3×4cm exposures on 127 film. They were advertised by Marusō in the first half of 1939 and were perhaps sold until the war.

General description

The Hamond has a prism-shaped metal body, with a tube supporting the lens and shutter assembly. The oculars are contained in the body between the film spools and the exposure chamber, so that the eyepieces protrude from the camera's top plate. There is a folding optical finder in the middle. Film is advanced via a key placed at the bottom right of the body, as seen by the photographer. The back is hinged to the left and contains two uncovered red windows. The name HAMOND is normally embossed in the leather covering at the front.

The lens and shutter units remind those of the Baby Chrome. They were perhaps provided by Kigawa, and the camera body was perhaps assembled there too. The shutter plate is marked WING PATENT at the top, with a logo perhaps depicting a pair of wings, and HAMOND at the bottom. The name "Wing" is akin to the "Tsubasa" name used by Optochrom on many products (tsubasa means "wing" in Japanese).

Versions and commercial life

The camera was first advertised in the January 1939 issue of Asahi Camera.[1] The document, reproduced below, gives patent no.242254 and lists two versions of the camera.[2] These differ by the lens and shutter equipment and by the magnification of the binoculars:

  • Hamond B: Macold f/4.5 lens, Hamond shutter, 25, 50, 100, T, B speeds, 5× magnification, ¥37;
  • Hamond Junior: Macold f/6.3 lens, Hamond shutter, 25, 50, 100, B speeds, 3× magnification, ¥25.

The advertisement also mentions a third version with f/3.5 lens, announced as "available in March" (三月発売).

The Hamond Junior was soon renamed Hamond A — this name first appears in the April issue of Asahi Camera.[3] The June advertisement in the same magazine lists the Hamond A (¥27) and Hamond B (¥37), and still mentions the f/3.5 version as "available soon" (近日発売).[4] The last reported advertisement is dated July of the same year.[5]

The Hamond appears in the official list of set prices compiled in October 1940 and published in January 1941, in two versions called "Hamond A" (¥32) and "Hamond D" (¥60) with no further detail.[6] The name and price might suggest that the Hamond D was the f/3.5 version previously announced.

Actual examples

Very few surviving examples of the Hamond are known. The camera pictured above is a Hamond Junior or Hamond A. It has a fixed-focus Macold 50mm f/6.3, with a silver rim, and B, 25, 50, 100 speeds. (A similar camera is pictured in Sugiyama.)[7]

The camera pictured below is a Hamond B. It has a fixed-focus Macold Anastigmat 50mm f/4.5, with a black bezel, and T, B, 25, 50, 100 speeds. Its built-in binoculars has focusing ability, controlled by a knob placed under the camera. (A similar camera is pictured in held by the JCII collection and pictured in this page.)

Another version is pictured in Sugiyama. It is not documented elsewhere, and is perhaps a prototype. It has a different folding finder, lower binocular eyepieces, and no HAMOND embossing at the front. Its shutter gives B, 25, 50 speeds. Its lens is a New-Gold 50mm f/8; the silver rim with NEW-GOLD marking is similar to that of the Baby Chrome. That particular example has lens no.1013, a very low number in a sequence certainly starting at 1000 or 1001.


  1. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.339.
  2. Advertisement in Asahi Camera January 1939, p.A70, also reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.84.
  3. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.339.
  4. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.84.
  5. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.339.
  6. "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku", type 1, sections 2 and 5.
  7. Sugiyama, item 4037.


Original documents

  • Asahi Camera. Advertisement by Marusō in January 1939, p.A70.
  • "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 2 and 5.

Recent sources

  • 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 180–1.
  • 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.55 (brief mention only).
  • 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 4037–8.


In Japanese: