Mycro

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The Mycro (マイクロ) is a Japanese subminiature camera, released in 1939. It was made by Akita Seisakusho and distributed by various companies until 1945. After World War II, it was exclusively distributed by Sanwa Shōkai, and the maker's name was Mycro Camera Co. Ltd. by the mid-1950s.

Contents

General description

The Mycro takes ten 14×14mm exposures on unperforated 17.5mm film, the same as its competitor the Midget, which was released two years earlier in 1937. The Midget and Mycro were certainly the first still cameras in the world to use this type of film, certainly obtained by slicing 35mm film in two.[1] After World War II the same format was adopted by Tougodo's Hit and a host of similar "Hit-type" cameras, most of which were more cheaply made and had lesser features than the Midget and Mycro.

All the Mycro models have the same main body made of pressed metal. The lens and shutter assembly is mounted on a tube at the front. The lens is a fixed-focus 20mm f/4.5, and the aperture is set from 4.5 to 11 by an index placed under the barrel. The shutter has B, 25, 50, 100 settings selected by an index at the top, and the release lever is on the shutter casing itself. The film is advanced by a knob at the top left, as seen by the photographer. The back is hinged to the left and contains a single red window to control the advance.

Original model

Description and variations

The original Mycro has a tubular finder attached to the middle of the top plate, and a round film flange on the right. The red window on the back is uncovered and surrounded by a round metal frame. The back latch consists of a small sliding button. The shutter is everset and is tripped by a lever actuated by the photographer's right hand. The name Mycro is inscribed at the top of the shutter plate, above the lens.

Many variations are known on the original Mycro; these are detailed in this page at Mycro.jp and in this page at Submin.com. Two different markings exist on the right film flange, either a stylized A and a cross, or the words MYCRO T.A.Co. The letter "A" certainly stands for the manufacturer Akita, and "T.A." might correspond to the initials of the founder. Different lens markings are found, either 1:4.5 F=20mm at the bottom of the shutter plate and nothing on the lens rim, or F=20mm on the shutter plate and MYCRO ANASTIGMAT 1:4.5 on the lens rim. The latter might be a late variation, adopted before the release of the New Mycro. The back latch is either attached to the main body or to the back itself. Finally, some examples have a black painted finder instead of the regular chrome plated part, perhaps because of a shortage of raw materials during wartime.

History and documents

The Mycro was first announced in the new products column of the June 1939 issue of Asahi Camera.[2] In this document, the camera is attributed to the distributor Sasaki Shōten and the price is given as ¥18.50. The description states that the lens has four elements, maybe using the Rapid Rectilinear formula. It also mentions a "security device" on the shutter, actually a release lock; this is the S setting visible on the speed scale on some cameras. These two features are also repeatedly mentioned in advertisements.

The first advertisement for the camera appears in the October 1939 issue of Asahi Camera.[3] It takes two full pages and basically contains the same information, but does not state a price. The camera is pictured with and without its dedicated hood, and one of the pictures is unintentionally reversed. The company names are Mycro-sha on one side, and the distributors Sasaki Shōten and Yamamoto Shashinki-ten on the other. Mycro-sha might be the original name of the manufacturer; this name only appears in this particular advertisement.[4]

The November 1939 advertisement in Asahi Camera, placed by Yamamoto and Sasaki alone, consists of a single page. It gives the price of ¥18.50, case included.[5] A similar advertisement dated December clearly shows the A logo on the right film flange.[6] In addition to the advertisements placed by Yamamoto and Sasaki, the Mycro was also independently advertised by Matsuzaki Shashinki-ten from about that time.[7]

The November 1940 advertisement in Asahi Camera, placed by Tōyō Shōkai and Yamamoto Shashinki-ten, does not mention Sasaki any more.[8] The Mycro is presented together with the Light 4×6.5cm camera, at an unchanged price. The Mycro appears in the official list of set prices compiled in October 1940 and published in January 1941, for ¥19.[9]

Advertisements mentioning the manufacturer Akita Seisakusho and the distributor Sanwa Shōkai first appeared in Summer 1941.[10] The August advertisement in Asahi Camera shows the manufacturer's name together with that three distributors: Sanwa Shōkai, Mizuno Shashinki-ten and Yamamoto Shashinki-ten; that in the November issue shows Akita's name alone.[11] On both months, the price is given as ¥19, and the catch phrase is "An ultra-small camera unique in the world" (世界唯一の超小型).

Akita's name disappeared from the advertisements in 1942, and Sanwa emerged as the main distributor.[12] In an advertisement dated September 1942, the camera is priced at ¥22.50 and the catch phrase is "Very small and delicate, as a jewel" (最小にして精緻、珠玉の如き); this phrase would be used consistently for years, until about 1950.[13] The April 1943 government inquiry on Japanese camera production lists the Mycro as made by Akita and distributed by Sanwa.[14] It also says that the lens has three elements and was made by Kigawa; this might mean that the actual lens scheme changed at some time.[15]

The original Mycro was advertised by Sanwa till late 1944 or early 1945.[16] In February 1944, the price was ¥25.64, it was ¥30.70 in September, reflecting the high inflation of the time.[17]

New Mycro

Description

The New Mycro (新型マイクロ) has a new top housing containing the viewfinder and extending to the right; this new styling was surely inspired by the New Midget (released in 1939). The shutter is now set by a small lever actuated by the photographer's left hand, and the rest of the body is unchanged.

The name MYCRO and the word PATENTS are engraved above the viewfinder. The shutter plate reads MYCRO at the top and F=20mm at the bottom, and the lens rim is sometimes engraved MYCRO ANASTIGMAT 1:4.5.

Evolution

The New Mycro was released in late 1944. The wartime model has a plain decorative knob above the top housing on the right, and always has the engraving on the lens rim. It appears in advertisements by Sanwa Shōkai in the September and November issues of Shashin Kagaku, where the price is given as ¥48.20.[18] This model seems particularly rare, but at least one surviving example is known, pictured in this page at Mycro.jp.[19]

The postwar model has a lesser finish. It lacks the decorative knob on the right, weld is used for the top housing and viewfinder eyepiece, and the engraving on the lens rim is absent on most cameras. There are disparities in the metal plating: nickel plating is applied on the top and bottom surfaces, or on the viewfinder housing alone, whereas the lens barrel is normally chrome plated. Other minor variations are known: the advance knob has different milling patterns and sometimes has an arrow engraved at the top,[20] the red window frame is either chrome or black, the camera's inside is either painted black or left in metal finish, etc.

Advertisements for the camera appeared as early as January 1946 in Ars Camera, the first photographic magazine issued in Japan after the end of the war. In those dated January to July, placed by Sanwa Shōkai, the camera is listed together with the Auto Keef, and is indifferently called "Mycro Camera" (マイクロカメラ) or "Mycro Camera New" (マイクロカメラ新型).[21] The advertisement in Kohga Gekkan July 1947 seems to show the New Mycro again, shortly before the switch to the next model.[22] (In the documents, the name "Mycro New" (マイクロ新型) is sometimes used instead of "New Mycro".)

Transitional model

The New Mycro was followed by a transitional model, easily recognized by the SANWA SHOKAI marking under the lens. This model has a new spring-loaded back latch, replacing the sliding button inherited from the original model. It also has no frame around the viewfinder's front window, and an all-nickel finish.

The advertisement in Kohga Gekkan October 1947 shows a picture of the transitional model, which is still called "Mycro New" (マイクロ新型) in the document. The pictured camera has a milled lens rim with some engravings, and is marked Mycro PATENTS MADE IN JAPAN at the top. On the actual examples observed so far, the lens rim has no marking and is either milled or plain, and the MADE IN JAPAN mention is not always present on the top engraving.[23] One source says that the camera was sold for ¥800 around 1947–8,[24] but this was a period of high inflation for Japan, and the prices did not remain stable for long.

Mycro I

Description and variations

The mainstream Mycro model, or Mycro I, appeared in late 1947 or early 1948. It has the same back latch and viewfinder as the transitional model, and normally has an all-chrome finish. The lens rim is engraved MYCRO UNA 1:4.5 F=20mm; Una is a brand of Sanwa, already used for various accessories. The new model is easily recognized by the SANWA CO. LTD. inscription below the lens, together with a logo formed by the letters S and WWW inside a circle. (Though it is not its original meaning, the company name Sanwa can be taken for "three W" in Japanese, hence the "WWW".)

Many variations are known, but their chronology is unclear, and it seems that some variants were made simultaneously (notably the stars and lines on the shutter plate).[25] The camera was maybe produced at various locations by different subcontractors of Sanwa, and this might explain some of the variations. Here is a list of the most important variations (a more detailed account with pictures is provided in this page at Mycro.jp):

  • the shutter plate either has two lines or a star on each side of the lens;
  • the markings on the shutter plate are either printed (giving a flat aspect) or stamped (showing some relief);
  • the advance knob is either small with an attach pin at the center, or large with an arrow engraved above;
  • the top housing is either engraved Mycro PATENTS or Mycro PATENTS MADE IN JAPAN;
  • the back latch sometimes has MADE IN JAPAN or MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN engravings (MADE IN JAPAN was presumably added for export only);
  • the hinge has either three or five sections;
  • the shutter speeds are either in the order 25, 50, 100, B or in the order 100, 50, 25, B;
  • the leatherette has various grain patterns;
  • the red window usually has a sliding cover, but it is absent on some examples, presumably the earliest ones.



In addition to these production variants, some cameras have a diamond-shaped engraving at the top right containing the Roman letters CPO or the equivalent katakana characters シピオ. These markings were applied to the cameras sold at the Post Exchange shops of the US military bases in Japan. In the US territory itself, the Mycro was perhaps distributed by the company Mycro Camera Co., Inc. based in New York, as indicated by the markings observed on original boxes.[26]


The lens and shutter assembly of the Mycro is easily interchanged, giving birth to non original variants. This is probably the case of the camera pictured in this page at submin.com with a Hope Anastigmat f/4.5 lens and a Sugaya Model II shutter taken from a Hope or Myracle subminiature camera.

Commercial life

The Mycro I was a large commercial success. One source says that the monthly production reached 2,000 units around 1947 and 15,000 units around 1948, and that 35,000 cameras were exported in the year 1948 alone.[27] In March 1948, the distributor Sanwa Shōkai organized a special contest for pictures taken with the Mycro; this was the first photographic contest held in Japan after 1945.[28] In November 1948, it also organized an exhibition of photographs taken with the Mycro in the Mitsukoshi department store.[29]

In Japanese advertisements dated 1948 and early 1949, the camera is pictured with the small advance knob.[30] The shutter plate indifferently has the two stars or four lines. The name used for the camera is either "New Mycro" (新型マイクロ), "Mycro New" (マイクロ新型) or plainly "Mycro" (マイクロ).

Advertisements dated late 1949 and early 1950 show the large advance knob.[31] In advertisements and articles dated May 1950, the camera is priced at ¥1,550.[32] In June and July 1950, the uncoated model is called "Mycro Ordinary" (マイクロ普及型) and is priced at ¥1,250, along with the Mycro II with a coated lens (see below).[33] The last known advertisement for the uncoated model is in the January 1951 issue of Asahi Camera, where the camera is called "Mycro Camera I" (マイクロカメラⅠ); the price has fallen to ¥850, certainly to dispose of the stock.[34]

Mycro II

The Mycro II (マイクロⅡ型) differs from the previous model by the adoption of lens coating. It is easily recognized by the words COATED LENS added under the lens, above the company name. Various sources say that the coated lens of the Mycro II was made by Asahi Kōgaku (predecessor of Pentax); one of these states that the Asahi company led by Matsumoto Saburō (松本三郎) was supplying "25,000 lenses per month" to Sanwa Shōkai, and that "at peak time, the lens elements for the Mycro camera were polished and coated in the Asahi factory at daytime and then brought to Mr. Matsumoto’s house at night to have them glued together with optical balsam".[35]

Two versions of the Mycro II exist: the early version has no other difference from the Mycro I; the late version has a new type of back latch consisting of a sliding bar, and a cable release thread added to the side of the shutter casing.[36] All the Mycro II have the stamped shutter plate with two stars; the markings above the viewfinder are either Mycro PATENTS or Mycro PATENTS MADE IN JAPAN, perhaps depending on the intended market — export or domestic.

The earliest mention of the Mycro II is in the June 1950 advertisement in Ars Camera, where it is listed at ¥1,550, ¥300 more than the uncoated model; however the illustration still shows the Mycro I.[37] The July 1950 advertisement in Asahi Camera gives the same price and shows a picture of an early Mycro II.[38] In the January 1951 issue, emphasis is made on the newer Mycro Super 16 (see below), and the "Mycro Camera II" (マイクロカメラⅡ) is listed at ¥1,400, ¥250 less than the new model.[39] The Mycro II is no longer pictured, but it is supposed that the features of the late version were introduced after the release of the Super 16.

Mycro Super 16

Description and variations

The Mycro Super 16 (マイクロスーパー16) is a redesigned model using perforated 16mm film in special cassettes instead of the paper backed 17.5mm film.[40] The new exposure format is 10×14mm instead of 14×14mm, and the viewfinder is now rectangular. The body shell remains the same, but the top housing and advance system are modified, and a tripod socket is added under the camera. The newer top housing is flatter and covers the whole length of camera, extending to the left under the advance knob. The red window is of course suppressed, and an exposure counter disc is added to the right of the viewfinder. The exposure counter has twelve graduations, with 0, 3, 6 and 9 indications, and is driven by a sprocket visible inside the camera above the exposure chamber, facing a slit in the pressure plate. The film magazines used within the camera allow to take 14 exposures,[41] so that the exposure counter makes more than one full turn. The back latch and cable release thread are the same as on the late Mycro II.

Most examples have an auto-stop advance mechanism, unlocked by a small lever placed behind the top cover, to the right of the viewfinder eyepiece. At least one example is known without this lever; it presumably has manual film advance, relying on the position of the exposure counter.[42]

Most of the Mycro Super 16 observed so far have the same shutter plate and lens rim as the Mycro II: the shutter plate has two stars, the name Mycro, the words COATED LENS and SANWA CO. LTD., and the logo of Sanwa, all inscribed in silver on a black background, and the lens rim is silver with an unfilled engraving MYCRO UNA 1:4.5 F=20mm. However at least two examples have a silver shutter plate with a pair of black lines on each side of the lens and black markings: Mycro at the top and 1:4.5 F=20mm COATED at the bottom.[43] They have an all-black lens rim with no marking, and the word IMPORT engraved on the tripod socket; on of them also has MADE IN JAPAN stamped in yellow ink on the bottom plate.

Commercial life

The Mycro Super 16 appears in Japanese advertisements and articles dated September 1950 to June 1951.[44] The October 1950 advertisement in Ars Camera shows a picture of the camera with a flashgun attached to the tripod thread.[45] However no synch cable appears in the picture, and no synch post is visible on the examples observed so far. No price is given in the documents dated late 1950 seen so far, probably indicating that the camera was not yet commercially available;[46] an advertisement dated January 1951 still states that the Mycro Super 16 and Mycro synchro flash gun "will be released soon" (近く[...]新発売致します).[47] The advertisement in Asahi Camera January 1951 gives the price of ¥1,650 (case included), ¥200 more than the Mycro II.[48] All the documents show the black shutter plate, and none explicitly mentions auto-stop advance.

It seems that the Mycro Super 16 is rarely found in the USA or in Japan, but various examples have turned out in Sweden for some reason, perhaps because it was exported to Northern Europe.[49]

Mycro IIIA

The Mycro IIIA was the last model in the Mycro line, switching back to the original 17.5mm paper backed rollfilm. It was not advertised in Japan, and was made for export only, where it was reportedly released in November 1953.[50] It has the same top housing as the Mycro Super 16, but it lacks the exposure counter and again has a covered red window in the back, similar to that of the Mycro I and II. The name Mycro IIIA is engraved in the top housing above the viewfinder.

The early version re-used excess parts from the Super 16, which certainly proved a commercial failure. It notably has a rectangular viewfinder window and a rectangular exposure chamber giving 10×14mm exposures. It also has the same back latch sliding downwards, and the same black shutter plate with two stars as the regular Super 16.

The middle version is easily recognized by the pair of lines drawn on each side of the lens, replacing the two stars. It also has a square viewfinder window, a square exposure chamber giving 14×14mm exposures, and a new back latch sliding upwards instead of downwards.

The late version is the most common. It has a silver shutter plate inscribed Mycro at the top and MYCRO CAMERA COMPANY. LTD. at the bottom, with the Una logo under the lens. Some examples, certainly the very last ones, have a serial number engraved on the advance knob. Numbers are known from 12xxx to 33xxx, but it is not known if they were attributed as a single consecutive sequence. At least one example is known with a plain silver shutter plate, merely engraved Mycro with no other marking.[51]


At this late period, Mycro Camera Co., Ltd. was the name of the manufacturer, as is clearly stated in at least one edition of the English user manual.[52] There is no explicit mention of Sanwa Shōkai any more, but the Una brand, found in the Una logo and the Mycro Una lens name, clearly indicates that the company was still implicated in the distribution of the Mycro IIIA. The late version was not only exported to the United States but also to Germany, and a German edition of the user manual was printed.[53]

The vogue for subminiature cameras using 17.5mm film was reaching an end by the mid-1950s, and the long-lived Mycro camera line disappeared without leaving any descent.

Accessories

Many accessories were made for the Mycro subminiature.

Case

The case for the original Mycro is made of brown leather and embossed Mycro at the front; it curiously does not fully cover the top plate when shut. In advertisements dated 1939–40, the price quoted for the original model includes the ever-ready case, whereas it is listed separately in advertisements dated 1941 onwards, after the system of officially set prices was adopted.[54] It cost ¥1.90 in 1941–2, ¥2.60 in early 1944 and ¥3 in late 1944 (keeping at about one tenth of the camera price).[54]

The cases for the New Mycro and subsequent models have a more classical shape. They are normally embossed Mycro at the front. Some cases are embossed DIST. BY Mycro CAMERA CO. INC. N.Y. N.Y.; these were also used by the US distributor Mycro Camera for the Myracle, another subminiature camera made by Sugaya. Some cases have no hole on the back for the red window, these were made for the Mycro Super 16. Other variations exist, many of which are detailed in this page at Mycro.jp.

In late 1944, the case for the New Mycro was priced at ¥3, the same as that for the original model.[55] The price ceased to appear in the publications of the early postwar period.[56] It seems that two types of original boxes were made at the time of the Mycro I and II, for the camera with and without its leather case.[57] When the prices appeared again, the case was most often included in the price quoted for the camera.[58] However at least one advertisement dated late 1950 also lists the leather case separately, at ¥200.[59]

A zip case was also made around 1950. The camera is held by a spring-loaded metal part fixed to the bottom of the case, similar to the tripod adapter (see below).[60] The zip case was priced at ¥240 in late 1950.[61]

Hood and filter

The lens hood for the original Mycro is black and comes with a built-in yellow filter. It appeared at the same time as the camera, and was sold for ¥1.80 in 1939–40 and for ¥2.60 in early 1944.[62]

The hood and filters became chrome-plated at some time, certainly after the release of the New Mycro. Some were made with nickel plating instead, perhaps in the early postwar period, at the time of the postwar New Mycro and transitional Mycro with SANWA SHOKAI marking.

The hood with filter is mentioned in most postwar documents, initially with no mention of a price.[63] In late 1950 and early 1951, it was available for ¥80.[64]

A very small leather case was also made for the hood, attached to the strap of the main case. It was available for ¥60 in late 1950.[65]

Tripod and tripod adapter

The Mycro has no tripod thread, except for the Super 16 model. An adapter is necessary to attach the camera on a tripod. It looks like a metal clip, holding the camera's bottom, and exists in nickel and in chrome finish.[66] The adapter was sold alone, or together with a small dedicated tripod, from about 1947.[67] In late 1950 and early 1951 the tripod was available for ¥180, adapter included.[68] At about the same time, a tripod case was available for ¥70.[69] The tripod was also sold alone for the Mycro Super 16.[70]

Film

The film used in the Mycro is the same as that introduced for the Midget in 1937. In 1940–1, "chrome" and panchro film was available, at respectively ¥0.30 and ¥0.40 per roll.[71] In 1944, only panchro film was offered, at a slightly higher price.[72]

After 1945, the film usually distributed by Sanwa Shōkai was the Minori panchro film.[73] In late 1950, it was priced at ¥25 per roll, and Sakura Panchro F was also available at ¥30 per roll.[74]

Film processing tank

The Baby process tank (ベビー現像タンク) introduced by Sanwa Shōkai in mid-1939 for the Guzzi was also offered as an accessory for the Mycro. It was priced at ¥3 in 1941–2 and at ¥4.44 in early 1944.[75] It can take 20mm Guzzi film as well as 17.5mm Mycro film (see Guzzi).

A presumably different film processing tank was offered in 1950–1, at ¥450.[76] It might take 16mm as well as 17.5mm film, for the Mycro Super 16.

This postwar processing tank might be the one pictured in this page by Nigel Richards. It consists of an elongated box containing three inserts, surely to develop three film rolls at a time.

Enlarger

The Myclar I box-shaped enlarger is presented in this page at Mycro.jp. It is not unlike the enlarger released in 1938 for the Midget camera. No document mentioning this accessory has been observed so far.

The Myclar II (マイクラーⅡ型) is a full-fledged enlarger made by Sanwa Shōkai.[77] It takes the same lenses as the Snappy subminiature camera.[78]

Advertisements dated 1949 mention an enlarger for Mycro film, but do not give the exact model name.[79] The name Myclar II has been observed in advertisements dated late 1949 to early 1951, and the item was priced at ¥2,800 in 1950–1, about twice the price of the Mycro camera itself.[80]

Nega album

The "nega album" (ネガアルバム) is a storage box containing various processed films, quite similar to the "negative cover" offered in the late 1930s for the Midget.[81] It was priced at ¥25 in late 1950.[82]

Original box

A variety of original boxes for the Mycro are presented in this page at Mycro.jp, including some sets containing the Mycro camera and various accessories.

Notes

  1. Sugiyama, p.70, says that the film was "made by slitting 35mm cine film (prior to being perforated)".
  2. Column reproduced in Awano, p.4 of Camera Collectors' News no.274.
  3. Advertisement reproduced in Awano, p.5 of Camera Collectors' News no.274.
  4. Awano, p.2 of Camera Collectors' News no.274, says that Mycro-sha is only mentioned in the October 1939 advertisement in Asahi Camera.
  5. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.93.
  6. Advertisement by Yamamoto and Sasaki on p.25 of Nihon Shashin Kōgyō Tsūshin December 15, 1939, reproduced in Hyaku-gō goto jūkai no kiroku, p.59.
  7. Advertisement by Matsuzaki on p.9 of Nihon Shashin Kōgyō Tsūshin December 15, 1939, reproduced in Hyaku-gō goto jūkai no kiroku, p.43. Awano, p.3 of Camera Collectors' News no.274, says that Matsuzaki advertised the Mycro in Asahi Camera from January 1940 to February 1941, but shows a reproduction of an advertisement reportedly dated October 1939 on p.6, perhaps by mistake.
  8. Advertisement reproduced in Awano, p.7 of Camera Collectors' News no.274.
  9. "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku", type 5, section 6A.
  10. Awano, pp.2–3 of Camera Collectors' News no.274.
  11. Advertisements reproduced in Awano, p.8 of Camera Collectors' News no.274.
  12. Awano, pp.2–3 of Camera Collectors' News no.274.
  13. Advertisement in Asahi Graph September 23, 1942, reproduced at Gochamaze. The phrase still appears in an advertisement dated December 1950 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.183.
  14. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), items 185–6.
  15. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), lens item I1.
  16. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.341, lists advertisements as late as January–February 1945, but it is unclear whether they are for the original Mycro of for the New Mycro.
  17. Advertisement on the fourth cover of Nihon Shashin Kōgyō Tsūshin, February 15, 1944, reproduced in Hyaku-gō goto jūkai no kiroku, p.78, and advertisement in Nihon Shashin September 1944, reproduced in Awano, p.9 of Camera Collectors' News no.274.
  18. Advertisements reproduced in Awano, pp.9–10 of Camera Collectors' News no.274.
  19. The wartime model is not pictured in Awano's comprehensive articles on the Mycro in Camera Collectors' News no.274–6. The examples pictured in Sugiyama, item 5006 (where it is called "Mycro II"), and in this page at Submin.com are presented as wartime models but are probably dated postwar instead.
  20. Variations in the advance knob shown in this page at Submin.com.
  21. Advertisements in Ars Camera January to July 1946, reproduced in this page (there was no issue dated June). The February advertisement is also reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.132 and in Awano, p.4 of Camera Collectors' News no.275.
  22. Advertisement reproduced in Awano, p.5 of Camera Collectors' News no.275.
  23. See the pictures in this page at Mycro.jp.
  24. Lewis, p.62.
  25. Awano, p.3 of Camera Collectors' News no.275. Sugiyama makes a distinction between an early model (item 5098) and a late model (item 5099), but this is unsupported by the available advertisements.
  26. Boxes pictured in this page at submin.com, and observed in an online auction.
  27. Lewis, pp.62 and 64.
  28. Lewis, p.64.
  29. Lewis, p.64.
  30. Advertisement in Ars Camera February and March 1948 reproduced in Awano, p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.275; advertisement on the fourth cover of Nihon Shashin Kōgyō Tsūshin April 20, 1948, reproduced in Hyaku-gō goto jūkai no kiroku, p.86; advertisement in Ars Camera February 1949, p.67, reproduced in this page.
  31. Advertisement on p.67 of Photo Art December 1949 reproduced in this page; advertisement in Asahi Camera December 1949 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.182; advertisement in Ars Camera May 1950 reproduced in Awano, p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.275.
  32. Advertisement on p.99 and column on p.47 of Photo Art May 1950, both reproduced in this page; advertisement in Ars Camera May 1950 reproduced in Awano, p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.275.
  33. Advertisement in Ars Camera June 1950 reproduced in Awano, p.7 of Camera Collectors' News no.275; advertisement in Asahi Camera July 1950 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.183.
  34. Advertisement in Asahi Camera January 1951 reproduced in Awano, p.7 of Camera Collectors' News no.275. It is not listed in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.365, an exceptional omission in an otherwise comprehensive source.
  35. Quote from an article by Peter Jonkman in Spotmatic no.27, reproduced in this page of the Asahi Optical Historical Club. This page and this page at Mycro.jp also state that the lenses were supplied by Asahi Kōgaku.
  36. For a comparison of the two versions, see this page at Mycro.jp. The late version is pictured in Sugiyama, item 5100, and in McKeown, item 870. Awano speculates on p.4 of Camera Collectors' News no.276 that the late version would make a perfect candidate for an hypothetical "Mycro III" coming between the II and the IIIA, but the use of this designation is not confirmed so far.
  37. Advertisement reproduced in Awano, p.7 of Camera Collectors' News no.275.
  38. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.183.
  39. Advertisement reproduced in Awano, p.7 of Camera Collectors' News no.275.
  40. Special cassettes: see the pictures in this page at Mycro.jp and in this page at Submin.com.
  41. Column in Ars Camera October 1950 reproduced in Awano, p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.276; advertisement in Asahi Camera December 1950 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.183.
  42. Example pictured in this page at Mycro.jp.
  43. Examples pictured in this page at Mycro.jp and in this page at Submin.com.
  44. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.365.
  45. Advertisement reproduced in Awano, p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.276.
  46. Advertisement and column in Ars Camera October 1950, reproduced in Awano, p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.276; advertisement in Asahi Camera December 1950 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.183.
  47. Advertisement on the fourth cover of Nihon Shashin Kōgyō Tsūshin January 10, 1951, reproduced in Hyaku-gō goto jūkai no kiroku, p.98.
  48. Advertisement reproduced in Awano, p.7 of Camera Collectors' News no.275.
  49. The Mycro Super 16 does not appear in McKeown or in Sugiyama, and Awano, p.2 of Camera Collectors' News no.276, says that it is very rare (何故か非常に現物が少ないカメラです). However examples of the Mycro Super 16 were offered in four past auctions by the Swedish auction house LP Foto: no.2 (lot no.159), no.12 (lot no.387), no.21 (lot no.361) and no.28 (lot no.377), and pictures appear in two websites in Swedish language, at [www.le-loberg.se and www.fotomuseetiosby.nu.
  50. The Mycro IIIA is not listed in Kokusan kamera no rekishi. Awano, p.3 of Camera Collectors' News no.276, says that the only Japanese document mentioning the Mycro IIIA is the 1956–7 Camera Annual by the Nihon Shashinki Kōgyō Kai, which gives the release date.
  51. Example pictured in Pritchard, p.77.
  52. English user manual reproduced in Awano, p.7 of Camera Collectors' News no.276.
  53. German user manual reproduced in this page at submin.com.
  54. 54.0 54.1 Advertisements dated October 1939 to November–December 1944 reproduced in Awano, pp.6–10 of Camera Collectors' News no.274, in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.93, in Hyaku-gō goto jūkai no kiroku, pp.43, 59 and 78, and here at Gochamaze.
  55. Advertisements dated September to November–December 1944 reproduced in Awano, p.9–10 of Camera Collectors' News no.274.
  56. The ever-ready case is mentioned, with no price given, in advertisements dated July 1947 to July 1950 reproduced in this page, in Awano, pp.5–7 of Camera Collectors' News no.275, in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.182–3, in Hyaku-gō goto jūkai no kiroku, p.86, and here at Nostalgic Camera.
  57. See the original boxes in this page at Mycro.jp.
  58. Advertisements dated May 1950 to January 1951 reproduced in Awano, pp.6–7 of Camera Collectors' News no.275 and in p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.276, and in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.183.
  59. Advertisement dated October 1950 reproduced in Awano, p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.276.
  60. See the pictures in this page at Mycro.jp.
  61. Advertisement dated October 1950 reproduced in Awano, p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.276.
  62. Column in Asahi Camera June 1939 reproduced in Awano, p.4 of Camera Collectors' News no.274 (first appearance of the Mycro in the documents); advertisements dated November 1939 to November 1940 reproduced in Awano, p.7 of the same magazine, in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.93, and in Hyaku-gō goto jūkai no kiroku, pp.59 and 78.
  63. Advertisements dated July 1947 to December 1950 reproduced in this page, in Awano, pp.5–7 of Camera Collectors' News no.275, in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.182–3, and here at Nostalgic Camera.
  64. Advertisement dated October 1950 and January 1951 reproduced in Awano, p.7 of Camera Collectors' News no.275 and p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.276.
  65. Advertisement dated October 1950 reproduced in Awano, p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.276.
  66. See the pictures in this page at Mycro.jp.
  67. Advertisements dated July 1947 to July 1950 reproduced in this page, in Awano, pp.5–7 of Camera Collectors' News no.275, in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.182–3, and here at Nostalgic Camera.
  68. Advertisements dated October 1950 and January 1951 reproduced in Awano, p.7 of Camera Collectors' News no.275 and p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.276.
  69. Advertisement dated October 1950 reproduced in Awano, p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.276.
  70. Advertisement dated December 1950 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.183.
  71. Advertisements dated November 1940 to September 1942 reproduced in Awano, pp.7–8 of Camera Collectors' News no.274, and here at Gochamaze.
  72. Advertisements dated February to November–December 1944 reproduced in Awano, pp.9–10 of Camera Collectors' News no.274, and in Hyaku-gō goto jūkai no kiroku, p.78. The price is ¥1.54 in February and ¥0.63 from September to December (one advertisement says ¥6.3, surely by mistake).
  73. Advertisements dated July 1947 to July 1950 reproduced in this page, in Awano, pp.5–7 of Camera Collectors' News no.275, in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.182–3, in Hyaku-gō goto jūkai no kiroku, p.86, and here at Nostalgic Camera.
  74. Advertisement dated October 1950 reproduced in Awano, p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.276.
  75. Advertisements dated August 1941 to February 1944 reproduced in Awano, p.8 of Camera Collectors' News no.274, in Hyaku-gō goto jūkai no kiroku, p.78, and here at Gochamaze.
  76. Advertisements and articles dated October 1950 to January 1951 reproduced in Awano, p.7 of Camera Collectors' News no.275 and p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.276, and in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.183.
  77. Made by Sanwa: see the nameplate pictured in this page at Mycro.jp.
  78. See the pictures of a Myclar II equipped with an Optor 25mm f/3.5 lens pictured in this page at Mycro.jp.
  79. Advertisements dated February to December 1949 reproduced in this page and in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.182.
  80. Advertisements and articles dated December 1949 to January 1951, reproduced in this page, in Awano, pp.6–7 of Camera Collectors' News no.275 and p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.276, in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.183, and here at Nostalgic Camera. The advertisement dated December 1949 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.182, mentions a specific enlarger, but it is not certain if this is the Myclar II or a previous model.
  81. See the pictures in this page at Mycro.jp.
  82. Advertisement dated October 1950 reproduced in Awano, p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.276.

Bibliography

Original documents

  • Ars Camera. Advertisements by Sanwa Shōkai in January 1946 (second cover), February 1946 (third cover), March 1946 (third cover), April 1946 (third cover), May 1946 (third cover), July 1946 (third cover), and February 1949 (p.51).
  • "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. Items 185–6.
  • "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku" (国産写真機の公定価格, Set prices of the Japanese cameras), listing Japanese camera production as of October 25, 1940 and setting the retail prices from December 10, 1940. Published in Asahi Camera January 1941 and reproduced in 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. Pp.108—9. Type 5, section 6A.
  • 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. Advertisements on pp.43 and 59, corresponding to pp.9 and 25 of the December 15, 1939 issue, on p.78, corresponding to the fourth cover of the February 15, 1944 issue, on p.86, corresponding to the fourth cover of the April 20, 1948 issue, and on p.98, corresponding to the fourth cover of the January 10, 1951 issue.
  • Photo Art. Advertisements by Sanwa Shōkai in December 1949 (p.67) and May 1950 (p.99).
  • Photo Art December 1949. "Ōru kokusan kamera" (オール国産カメラ, All of Japanese cameras). Pp.34–41.
  • Photo Art May 1950. "Kokusan kamera" (国産カメラ, Japanese cameras). Pp.42–7.

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