Mycroflex

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Japanese subminiature
on paper-backed roll film and round film (edit)
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The Mycroflex (マイクロフレックス) is a Japanese subminiature camera made by Akita Seisakusho and briefly advertised in 1941.

Description

The Mycroflex is a subminiature TLR camera, taking ten exposures on the special rollfilm made for the Guzzi. The nominal exposure size is 20×20mm, but the actual size found on the Guzzi is 18×18mm and the film is reportedly 20mm wide.[1] The camera has the shape of a regular TLR, with a viewing hood and a Mycroflex nameplate at the top. The film is advanced by a knob on the photographer's right, and a smaller cylindrical post is visible on the same side, perhaps a strap attachment. The taking lens is mounted on a focusing helical, certainly driven by a lever at the bottom.[2] It seems that the viewing lens is not coupled to the taking lens and is not used for focusing, the camera being actually a pseudo TLR. The shutter gives B, 25, 50, 100 speeds and has a so-called "security device" (安全装置), perhaps a release lock.[3] The lens is a Mycro Anastigmat f/4.5, certainly the same as on the Mycro.[4]

Documents

The Mycroflex first appears in the official list of set prices compiled in October 1940 and published in January 1941, where it is placed in the same category as the Boltax, at ¥41.[5] The only other documents known so far are an advertisement in Shashin Bunka October 1941 and a column in the December issue of the same magazine.[6] Both documents attribute the camera to Akita Seisakusho, which manufactured the Mycro before 1945, and mention three distributors: Sanwa Shōkai, Mizuno Shashinki-ten and Yamamoto Shashinki-ten. The officially set price is confirmed at ¥41, one roll of panchro film costs ¥0.35 and the Baby process tank is listed at ¥3 (see the Guzzi accessories). The advertisement and the column show the same picture, taken from the front right side.

No surviving example of the Mycroflex is known. It is unclear whether it was actually sold or not; if it was, it was certainly not produced in quantities.

Notes

  1. Nominal size: advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.93; column reproduced in Awano, p.8 of Camera Collectors' News no.277. Actual size: Awano, p.4 of the same magazine.
  2. Focusing helical: advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.93; column reproduced in Awano, p.8 of Camera Collectors' News no.277.
  3. Speed range, "security device": advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.93; column reproduced in Awano, p.8 of Camera Collectors' News no.277.
  4. Lens: advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.93; column reproduced in Awano, p.8 of Camera Collectors' News no.277.
  5. "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku", type 5, section 6B.
  6. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.93; column reproduced in Awano, p.8 of Camera Collectors' News no.277. The column is not mentioned in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.341, an unusual omission in this otherwise very comprehensive source.

Bibliography

  • 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 249.
  • Awano Mikio (粟野幹男). "Gucchī" (グッチー, Guzzi). In Camera Collectors' News no.277 (July 2000). Nishinomiya: Camera Collectors News-sha.
  • "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 6B.

The camera is not listed in Sugiyama.

Links

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