Highking Camera and Special Camera

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Japanese no-need-darkroom cameras (edit)
box Baby Camera | Camerette | Chitose | Congo Camera | Hit-Go | It | Kamerette | Katei | Maruso Camera | Mikasa-Go | Nymco | Speed-Go | Super Camera | Tougo
folding Baby Camera | Best Camera | Hero-Go | Highking Camera | Katei | Lead-Go | Maruso Camera | Meiko | Midori | Nice-Go | Special Camera | Yuuhi-Go
viewfinder Meikai | Meisupi | Meisupi
SLR Auto Reflex | Baby Reflex | Chitose | Speed-Go Reflex
TLR Light-Go | B Light-Go | Maruso Camera | Meikai | Meisupi
unknown Alps | Lion | Tōkō
Plate cameras: monocular, box, folding bed, strut-folding and SLR ->
3×4 and 4×4, 4×5 and 4×6.5, 4.5×6, 6×6, 6×9 ->

The Highking Camera and Special Camera are Japanese cameras taking 3×4cm exposures and using the no-need-darkroom process.

See also the Special Camera plate folder.


From what appears in the available pictures, the Highking Camera and Special Camera are identical but for the markings on the shutter plate and another minor detail. They are shaped as roll-film folding camera with rounded ends and a handle at the top. The body and the folding bed are made of wood. The standing leg also acts as a latch for the folding bed. The front standard is manually pulled out of the body and slid back and forth by hand on two rails for focusing. There is a distance scale and a brilliant finder on the photographer's left. Prominent metal fittings are visible on the body edges, with two characteristic stripes running on each body side and joining the front and rear body edges.

Special Camera

The Special Camera is known from two examples, pictured in Sugiyama and in McKeown.[1] The shutter plate is inscribed Special Camera at the top and MADE IN JAPAN at the bottom.

Highking Camera

The Highking Camera is known from a single example pictured in Sugiyama.[2] It has an additional metal strip riveted to the front of the body, above the opening of the folding bed. The shutter plate is inscribed Highking Camera at the top and MADE IN Y.S. CO. at the bottom. This is certainly why the camera is attributed to an otherwise unknown "Y.S. Co." in Sugiyama. The name originally intended for the camera was perhaps "Hiking Camera", and "Highking" is perhaps the result of a typo.


  1. Sugiyama, item 4071; McKeown, p.899.
  2. Sugiyama, item 4040.