The Minoltacord was Chiyoko's first TLR with rapid-focusing lever. The film is wound by a lever, and the Minoltacord has an automatic frame counter. Winding the film does not cock the shutter and there is no double exposure prevention mechnism. These two features were added in 1955 in the improved Minoltacord Automat camera.
The Minoltacord had a slightly faster viewing lens, f/3.2 compared to f/3.5 for the taking lens. The lenses were 3-element taking lens Chiyoko Promar SIII 1:3.5 75mm and 3-element viewing lens Chiyoko View Promar 1:3.2 75mm, both together focusable by means of the lever under the lens board. It was available with a Seikosha shutter which offered speeds from 1 sec. to 1/500 sec., and also with a slower Citizen shutter with speeds from 1 sec. up to 1/300 sec., which had a self timer. Unlike later Chiyoko TLRs, this model did not have a bayonet mount, but instead had a 36mm thread on both lenses. The camera weighed 1 kg.
The Minolta Autocord had a 4-element taking lens and was only available in the version with the slower Citizen shutter. It weighed 970g.
image by rebollo_fr (Image rights)
image by Masaaki Morikawa (Image rights)
- Minoltacord in the 70th anniversary Minolta poster, reproduced at Photoclub Alpha
- Minoltacord serial number 86209, with Citizen shutter, sold at the 24th Westlicht Photographica Auction, on 23 November 2013.