Orion Coupler

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The Coupler (カプラー) is an adapter to use Contax lenses or Nikon lenses on Leica screw mount cameras, with correct rangefinder coupling, made by Orion Seiki, then Orion Camera and later Miranda Camera, from the late 1940s or early 1950s.


The device was developed by Ōtsuka Shintarō (大塚新太郎), associate of the founder Ogihara Akira (荻原彰), and was the first product by the company.[1][2] It has both the internal and external bayonet mounts, and contains a focusing helical, like that attached to the Contax or Nikon body. Two versions exist, reproducing the different focus settings of the two cameras. They can take all Contax or Nikon mount lenses with a few exceptions, such as the Biogon 3.5cm f/2.8 (prewar and postwar versions) and the Nikkor 3.5cm f/1.8, because of their protruding rear elements.

The distance scale is engraved either in metres or in feet. It is said that the early adapters made for Contax lenses have no marking, whether later ones, made after the release of the Nikon version, are marked Contax Lens; those for Nikon are always inscribed Nikon Lens.[3] Details of other minor variations are described in this page at Cameraquest, which also shows newer reproductions of these adapters, made from 2001 to 2004. It seems that the easier way to recognize an original Orion adapter from a modern reproduction is that the helical threads are visible from the side, on the original models, when they are focused at close distance.[3]


The above Japanese brochure, dated c.1953, shows the Coupler among other Orion products.[4] It gives catalogue numbers 1200A and 1200B, respectively for the Contax and Nikon versions. The device also appears in the English brochure reproduced below, dated c.1954, where it is called Coupler type A (for Contax) and type B (for Nikon).

The above advertisement for the Mirax, Focabell and Supreme lenses, placed by the distributor Matsushima in the June 1955 special issue of Photo Art, lists the Coupler for ¥6,600.[5] This price is not cheap for this type of accessory, and corresponds to an inexpensive folding camera (see other Japanese prices in 1955). The device was still distributed for a few years, and is notably listed in advertisements by Matsushima dated April and July 1958, reproduced below.


  1. Hagiya, p.9 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.64.
  2. Main page of the Miranda Society Japan.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Orion adapters at Cameraquest.
  4. Brochure Mirax & Focabell, Orion Camera's Product's.
  5. Advertisement in the June 1955 special issue of Photo Art, p.22.


Original documents

  • Asahi Camera. Advertisement by Matsushima Shashin-yōhin in July 1958, p.213.
  • Orion Camera. Mirax & Focabell, Orion Camera's Product's. (ミラックスとフォーカベル, Orion Camera's product's.)
  • Orion Camera. Reflex Box for Copy, Close-up, Micro and Tele-photography: Mirax & Focabell. Brochure in English language, c.1954.
  • Photo Art rinji zōkan: Kamera akusesarī zensho (フォトアート臨時増刊・カメラアクセサリー全書, Photo Art special issue: All the camera accessories). June 1955, no.80 of the magazine. Advertisement by the photo department of Matsushima Megane-ten on p.22.
  • Shashin Kōgyō no.72, April 1958. Advertisement by Matsushima Shashin-yōhin on p.317.

Recent sources


In English: