image by bokuwanihongasuki (Image rights)
The Monade Flex is a plain copy of the Ricohflex. It has externally geared lenses for focusing, and the distance scale and depth-of-field indications are engraved on the upper lens. The viewing hood contains a large magnifying lens. The film is advanced by a knob on the photographer's right. The advance is controlled by a red window in the back, protected by a vertically sliding cover. The exposure chamber comes out together with the spool holders for film loading. The nameplate reads Monade Flex in fancy script.
The lenses are 80mm f/3.5; the taking lens has MONAR ANASTIGMAT and a serial number, and the viewing lens has just MONAR and no number. The shutter has B, 1–200 speeds, a self-timer and an ASA synch post. The release lever is attached to the shutter casing itself, and the aperture scale is screwed to the main body under the shutter.
The brown leather case has the name Monadeflex embossed at the front, written as a single word.
Commercial life and variations
The Monade Flex was featured in the May 1953 issue of Ars Camera but nothing else is known of its commercial life. The observed lens numbers are in the 12xxx and 13xxx range. Some have the name MONAL inscribed on the speed ring and others have NKS; the overall aspect of the shutter is otherwise identical and the Monal is perhaps a disguised NKS.
- Asahi Camera (アサヒカメラ) editorial staff. Shōwa 10–40nen kōkoku ni miru kokusan kamera no rekishi (昭和10–40年広告にみる国産カメラの歴史, Japanese camera history as seen in advertisements, 1935–1965). Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1994. ISBN 4-02-330312-7. Item 962.
- Sugiyama, Kōichi (杉山浩一); Naoi, Hiroaki (直井浩明); Bullock, John R. The Collector's Guide to Japanese Cameras. 国産カメラ図鑑 (Kokusan kamera zukan). Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1985. ISBN 4-257-03187-5. Item 2197.