Kowa Model E

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The Kowa E (which appears to have been branded as the Kowaflex E in the USA) was the base model for subsequent Kowa 35mm SLR cameras.

It's a fully manual camera, with an external selenium meter located on the pentaprism housing, and a match-needle pointer in the viewfinder, along with a central split image rangefinder. There's an instant return mirror, and what Kowa claimed (in the camera's instruction manual) to be the world's first instantaneous return (automatic) diaphragm. The lens is a fixed 50mm f/2, and the leaf shutter a Seikosha-SLV with speeds of B and 1-1/500s. The film speed, focus, aperture and shutter speed controls are all around the lens.

Introduced in 1961, this model was replaced by the Kowa SE in 1964.


  • Lens: Lens not removable. Fitted with a Kowa f/2 50mm (6 elements in 4 groups), with an f/4 86mm, and f/4 36mm conversion lenses available, and close-up lenses. In the USA, the conversion lenses appear to have been 71mm and 35mm options.
  • Focus: Pentaprism with condenser, Fresnel lens, and split image rangefinder.
  • Shutter: Seikosha SLV leaf shutter with a range of 1 sec to 1/500th plus B.
  • Meter: External coupled selenium meter on pentaprism housing.
  • Exposure: Fully manual with viewfinder match needle.
  • Film Speed: 10 to 1600 ASA.
  • Flash: M and X contact, and an accessory shoe mounting port on the right side of (i.e. not on top of) the top plate (facing). This was an L shaped bracket, that positioned a cold shoe above the rewind crank.
  • Film Advance: 180° lever.
  • Frame Counter: Automatic count-up and reset.
  • Rewind: Via crank and bottom release button.
  • Size: 143 x 97 x 87mm (W x H x D).
  • Weight: 875g.