Kajiro Kōgaku

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Kajiro Kōgaku Kenkyūjo (上代光学研究所, Kajiro Optical Laboratory) was a Japanese optical company. It was founded in July 1939 by Kajiro Hitoshi (上代斉), who previously worked for Miyoshi Kōgaku.[1] The initials K.O.L. (for Kajiro Optical Laboratory) were adopted as the brand name of the lenses. K.O.L. is engraved in the lenses in handwritten style.

The company became Gojō Kōki Seisakusho (五城光機製作所) in 1941, apparently building a new plant.[2] It is said that the old plant and brand names were transfered to Kokusaku Seikō, a camera maker which was already buying lenses for its Auto Keef model.[2] However the relation between the two companies is not yet clearly understood: advertisements mention the two company names "K.O.L. Gojō Kōki Seisakusho" and "Kokusaku Seikō K.K." together,[3] and the April 1943 government inquiry on camera production attributes the K.O.L. lenses to Gojō (五城), Kokusaku (国策) or Tōa Kokusaku (abbreviated 東亜国) with no apparent logic.[4] The address of K.O.L. Gojō in 1944 was Yodobashi Shimo-ochiai 2–969 in Tokyo (東京・淀橋・下落合二ノ九六九), very close to that of Kokusaku.[5]

Activity stopped in 1945, but some time after the company Gojō Kōki was revived as Sun Kōki.[2]

Contents

Lenses

K.O.L. range

An advertisement for the K.O.L. lenses, mentioning both Gojō and Kokusaku, lists the following lenses:[6]

  • K.O.L. Anastigmat f/4.5, 75mm;
  • K.O.L. Anastigmat f/3.5, 60mm and 75mm;
  • K.O.L. Sola f/3.5, 50mm and 75mm, four elements;
  • K.O.L. Gōka[7] f/2.8, 60mm, 75mm and 80mm, four elements;
  • K.O.L. Xebec f/2, 50mm, six elements.

The K.O.L. Xebec is a collapsible lens in Leica screw mount, and has six elements in four groups.[2] It is said that a 50mm f/1.5 lens with seven elements in five groups was developed in 1943, but it was only used for X-ray photography.[2]

Other K.O.L. lens names are as follows:

  • K.O.L. Elmo 75mm f/3.5 (three elements)[8]
  • K.O.L. Keef 60mm f/3.5 (three elements),[9] on the Auto Keef
  • K.O.L. Nōman Trio 75mm f/3.5 (three elements),[10] on the Nōman Flex
  • K.O.L. Special 75mm f/3.5 (three elements), on the Mamiya Six, models I and II[11]
  • K.O.L. Trio 75mm f/3.5 (three elements)[12]
  • K.O.L. Taro Anastigmat 7.5cm f/3.5, on the Taroflex

Others

Confirmed:

Probable:

Cameras equipped

The following list is incomplete. That a particular model is listed should not be taken to mean that all examples were fitted with lenses made by Kajiro, Gojō or Kokusaku.

Notes

  1. Inoue, p.131.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Inoue, p.132.
  3. Advertisement reproduced in Inoue, p.132, and in Hagiya, p.179 of Sekai no Raika renzu; advertisement on p.6 of Nihon Shashin Kōgyō Tsūshin, February 15, 1944, reproduced on p.70 of Hyaku-gō goto jūkai no kiroku.
  4. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras").
  5. Advertisement on p.6 of Nihon Shashin Kōgyō Tsūshin, February 15, 1944, reproduced on p.70 of Hyaku-gō goto jūkai no kiroku.
  6. Advertisement reproduced in Inoue, p.132, and in Hagiya, p.179 of Sekai no Raika renzu.
  7. Inferred from the katakana ゴーカ.
  8. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), lens item Lb29, attributed to Kokusaku.
  9. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), lens item Lb29, attributed to Tōa Kokusaku.
  10. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), lens item Lb30, attributed to Gojō.
  11. [1]
  12. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), lens item Lb7, attributed to Kokusaku.
  13. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), lens item Lb32, attributed to Kokusaku.
  14. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), lens item Lb10, attributed to Gojō.
  15. Chronological order: Inoue, p.132.

Bibliography

  • Hagiya Takeshi (萩谷剛). "Raika to sekai no Raika-yō renzu" (ライカと世界のライカ用レンズ, Leica and other Leica-mount lenses). In Sekai no Raika renzu (世界のライカレンズ, Leica lenses of the world) Part 1. Tokyo: Shashinkogyo Syuppan-sha, 2003. ISBN 4-87956-061-8. Pp.178–88. (Contains a reproduction of an advertisement for K.O.L. lenses, and no other information on the company.)
  • Inoue, Mitsuo (井上光朗). "Shashin renzu no yoake. Renzu-ya Funsenki" (写真レンズの夜明け・レンズ屋奮戦記, Dawn of the photographic lens – Fierce war tales between lens shops). 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.128–132.
  • "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.
  • 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.64, corresponding to the second cover of the February 15, 1944 issue.

Links

In Japanese:

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