Kalloflex

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The Kalloflex Automat was a twin-lens reflex produced by Kowa Optical Works, in two versions beginning in 1954.[1]

Its unique feature was a focusing knob concentric with the film-advance crank, both operated by the photographer's right hand. Kowa also opted to use a convex glass lens atop the focusing screen, rather than the more common flat fresnel lens.

The Kalloflex was positioned at the top of the price spectrum for Japanese TLRs, advertised in US photography magazines circa 1957 at a list price of USD $119.50, despite its absence of a light meter. (A Yashica Mat of the time, also with crank wind and a 4-element Lumaxar lens, listed for USD $75.50.)[2]

Kalloflex advertisements proudly boasted that its four-element, 75mm f/3.5 Prominar taking lens had "an amazing resolving power of 125 lines per millimeter wide open.[3] While the claim sounds dubious, the camera did gain respect among photographers as "the poor man's Rolleiflex."


Notes

  1. 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).
  2. Popular Photography magazine (USA) Volume 41 No. 1, July 1957. "Twin Lens Roundup" pgs. 64-69.
  3. Popular Photography magazine Volume 41 No. 1, July 1957. pg. 47.

Bibliography

  • Watakushi no ni-gan-refu kamera-ten (私の二眼レフカメラ展, Exhibition of twin lens reflex cameras). Tokyo: JCII Camera Museum, 1992. (Exhibition catalogue, no ISBN number.) P.29.

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