Palma Brilliant and Rosko Brilliant
The Palma Brilliant and Rosko Brilliant are Japanese 6×6 pseudo TLR cameras. It is said that they were distributed by Goyō Shōkai around 1955. The Rosko Brilliant was certainly exported to the USA by Rosko. The Oplen Junior appears to be the same camera.
The Palma Brilliant and Rosko Brilliant have the same bakelite body. The central part is shaped like a TLR, with a very large brilliant finder above and a fixed-focus lens below. The film runs horizontally and the film spool containers extend from each side, with the advance knob at the top left and a dummy knob symmetrically placed on the other side. The shape is thus half way between a (pseudo) TLR and a rigid viewfinder camera.
The back is removable, and is locked by spring latches on both sides. There is a window to control the film advance, protected by a flap driven by a lever with OPEN and CLOSE indications. There are two film flanges under the camera, as well as a tripod thread, with the words MADE IN JAPAN embossed nearby.
|User manual of the Rosko Brilliant. images by John Kratz. (Image rights)|
The lens is described as a 70mm f/6.3 in the user manual. Two control wheels are available at the bottom of the front plate: one has 1, 2, 3 aperture settings, respectively corresponding to f/6.3, f/8 and f/11, and the other has B and I (1/25) speed settings. The release button is to the right of the central box. There is a non standard flash shoe on the left, with cordless synch contacts.
The Palma Brilliant Model 2 reportedly takes 120 film. (Despite the name, it seems that there was no model 1.) The brand PALMA is written in big letters at the bottom of the front plate, and BRILLIANT MODEL 2 is written in small letters underneath. The lens rim is black, with the name PALMA BRILLIANT inscribed in white. The knobs at the top have a double row of mills.
|Rosko camera in original box.|
image by John Kratz (Image rights)
The Rosko Brilliant 620 Model 2 takes 620 film and is an export model, certainly distributed by Rosko. The name ROSKO is written at the bottom of the front plate, with BRILLIANT 620 MODEL 2 written underneath. The knobs at the top have a single row of mills, and the lens rim is silver.
|Rosko flashgun with box. image by John Kratz. (Image rights)|
The Rosko was sold in a red box, only marked ROSKO. A black bakelite flashgun, embossed ROSKO on the back, was supplied as an accessory in a similar red box.
- McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). P.365.
- 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. Items 4164 and 4171.