The Hongmei HM-1 (Hongmei, 红梅, means 'red plum') is a self-erecting folding camera for 6x6 cm, or by means of hinged masks, 4.5x6cm images on 120 roll-film. It was made by the Changzhou Camera Factory in Changzhou, in eastern China, and is a copy of the Seagull folding cameras made not far away in Shanghai.
On the top plate, the camera has an advance lever for fast film advance, though it still has red windows for each format. The shutter release button is also on the top plate. Most examples seen also have a hot shoe (but not all, as illustrated below). A Galilean viewfinder is integrated into the top housing.
The lens is a coated 75 mm f/4.5 three-element type, with front-element focusing down to 1.5 metres. The leaf shutter is synchronised for flash, with a PC socket even on examples without a shoe. It has speeds from 1/10 to 1/200 sec plus 'B', and a delayed-action control. In most examples of the camera, the front plate of the shutter has the Changzhou factory's name in Chinese characters.
|HM-1 without a hot shoe|
image by Dirk HR Spennemann (Image rights)