See also the Heil Four, a possible name variant of the Olympic Four II.
The Heil (ハイル) are Japanese 4.5×6 folders made and sold from 1941 by Riken Kōgaku Kōgyō (today Ricoh). The name "Heil", also found on a variant of the Olympic Four, was clearly used to demonstrate Japan's alliance with Germany. During the war period, Riken often used such names (on the Adler cameras), or other "patriotic" names, which remind sinister times.
The Heil is a vertical folder, copy of the small version of the Baldax for #00 shutters. There is a folding optical finder in the middle of the top plate, and a button on the right to release the folding bed. The advance knob is at the bottom right and the tripod screw in the middle of the bottom. The back is hinged to the left. The name Heil is embossed in calligraphic letters in the front leather.
The official list of set prices compiled in October 1940 and published in January 1941, already mentioned a "Heil" (¥74) and a "Heil C" (¥88), certainly corresponding to the two versions described below. The same two models also appeared in a similar price list dated November 1941.
The original Heil (or "Semi Heil") has the typical Balda struts and no body release. The back latch is covered by a leather handle. It has an everset shutter giving T, B, 5–200 speeds. The shutter plate is inscribed HEIL at the top and has an AKK logo on the right (certainly for Asahi Kōgaku Kōgyō). The lens is a Ukas Anastigmat 75mm f/4.5 with a black bezel. The aperture scale is at the bottom of the shutter plate.
This model is pictured in an advertisement dated February 1941 for the Riken range. It seems that it was featured in a column of the September 1941 issue of Asahi Camera. It is mainly known by one surviving example, pictured in various sources, easily recognized by the non-original accessory shoe added to the back latch. The camera pictured in Sugiyama as an "Adler III" is exactly similar, except for the standing leg. It does not correspond to the original pictures of the Adler III, and is certainly another example of the Heil.
The Heil C (ハイルＣ型) has the same body but it has flimsier struts like the Nettar, a body release and a new type of back latch without the leather handle.
The Heil C was offered for ¥101 in an advertisement by Doi Shōten dated January 1942, with an Ukas Anastigmat 75/4.5 lens and a setting shutter giving T, B, 1–200 shutter. The shutter plate is black and is certainly written ROICO III in white letters. The 200–1, B, T speed settings are inscribed in that order on the shutter plate itself. The lens has a silver bezel and the aperture scale is on top of the shutter housing. One actual example of this model has been observed.
- Ukas Anastigmat 75/4.5 lens, T, B, 25–200 speeds (the low speed is barely legible) for ¥85;
- Ukas Anastigmat 75/3.5 lens, T, B, 1–200 speeds for ¥101 — case extra ¥7.60.
The mention of an f/3.5 lens for the same price as the f/4.5 model of the previous advertisement is probably a mistake. In the advertising picture, the camera has a Ukas Anastigmat 75mm f/4.5 lens together with a Roico III shutter giving T, B, 1–200 speeds. The speed settings are engraved on the shutter rim in the T, B, 200–1 order, and the name ROICO III is inscribed at the bottom of the rim. One actual example of this model is pictured in this page of the AJCC website.
The government inquiry compiled in April 1943 mentions a "Semi Heil" with a Ukas 75/4.5 three-element lens made by Riken and a Roico III shutter. The shutter is curiously attributed to Asahi Musen, a dependent company of Riken, whereas the Roico and Roico I shutters are attributed to Riken in the same document.
An example of the Heil C is pictured in McKeown with a different folding optical finder, whose rear part folds above the front part, and a smaller body release. It has a Wester Anastigmat 75/3.5 lens and a Buick Model-1 shutter giving T, B, 150, 100, 50, 25 speeds, marked BUICK MODEL–1 at the top of the shutter plate. This lens and shutter equipment is perhaps not original.
- Made by Riken: advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.83. This page of the Ricoh official website says the contrary, certainly by mistake.
- "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku", type 3, sections 4A and 6A.
- "Kamera no kōtei kakaku kanpō happyō", November 1941, type 3, sections 4A and 6A.
- This version is called "Semi Heil" in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.338, Tanaka, pp.17–8 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.14, Sugiyama, item 1071, and this page of the Ricoh official website. No original advertisement has yet been observed and the official designation of the camera is unknown.
- Advertisement in Gakusei no Kagaku, reproduced in the Gochamaze website (archived).
- Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.338.
- Example pictured in Tanaka, pp.17–8 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.14, Sugiyama, item 1071, and this page of the Ricoh official website (archived).
- Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 1030.
- Advertisement in Asahi Camera, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.83. See also this advertisement dated 1942 reproduced in Nostalgic Camera by Toshio Inamura.
- Example observed for sale by a Chinese dealer.
- Advertisement in Asahi Graph (July 29, 1942), formerly reproduced in Gochamaze website (archived).
- "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), item 52.
- "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), shutter items 18-P-4, 18-P-19 and 18-P-20.
- McKeown, p.833, calls the camera "Semi Heil".
- 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 173–4.
- "Kamera no kōtei kakaku kanpō happyō" (カメラの公定価格官報発表, Official announcement of the set prices of the cameras), November 1941. Extract of a table listing Japanese camera production and setting the retail prices, reproduced in "Bebī Semi Fāsuto 'Kore ha bebī wo nanotta semi-ki da'" (ベビーセミファースト"これはベビーを名乗ったセミ機だ", Baby Semi First, 'this is a Semi camera called Baby'), an article by Furukawa Yasuo (古川保男) in Camera Collectors' News no. 277 (July 2000). Nishinomiya: Camera Collectors News-sha. P. 27. Type 3, sections 4A and 6A.
- "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. Item 52.
- "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 3, sections 4A and 6A.
- 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.833.
- 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 1071.
- Tanaka Masao (田中政雄). "Rikō kamera no nagare" (リコーカメラの流れ, Evolution of the Ricoh cameras). Kamera Rebyū: Kurashikku Kamera Senka (カメラレビュー クラシックカメラ専科) / Camera Review: All about Historical Cameras no.14, October 1989. No ISBN number. Rikō kamera no subete (リコーカメラのすべて, special issue on Ricoh). Pp.8–11.
- Tanaka Masao (田中政雄). "Senzen no kamera 2: Supuringu kamera" (戦前のカメラ2・スプリングカメラ, Prewar cameras 2: folding cameras). Kamera Rebyū: Kurashikku Kamera Senka (カメラレビュー クラシックカメラ専科) / Camera Review: All about Historical Cameras no.14, October 1989. No ISBN number. Rikō kamera no subete (リコーカメラのすべて, special issue on Ricoh). Pp.16–9.
- Pages of the Ricoh official website:
- Heil C and sample picture at the AJCC website
- Advertisements reproduced in the Japanese camera page and camera company page (archived) of the Gochamaze website (archived) :
- Advertisement for the Heil C dated 1942, reproduced in Nostalgic Camera, a page of old Japanese advertisements by Toshio Inamura
|Asahi Bussan and Riken prewar and wartime cameras ( )|
|rigid or collapsible|
|Vest Adler | Gokoku | Semi Kinsi | Letix | Olympic | New Olympic | Regal Olympic | Semi Olympic | Super Olympic | Vest Olympic | Riken No.1 | Ricohl | Roico | Seica | Zessan|
|Semi Adler | Adler III | Adler A | Adler B | Adler C | Adler Four | Adler Six | Gaica | Heil | Kinsi||Chukon Ref||Ricohflex | Ricohflex B|