Rorox and Shinko Baby
The Rorox is a Japanese camera taking 3×4cm exposures on 127 film. It is known from two examples pictured in McKeown. It was certainly made during the war by Shinkō Seiki, and the Shinko Baby was probably a name variant.
Two examples of the Rorox are known. Both have a metal body and a telescopic tube supporting the lens and shutter assembly. The advance knob is at the right end of the top plate and there is an accessory shoe at the left end.
Single finder, front-cell focusing
The first example has an eye-level finder contained in a small prismatic housing offset to the left. The accessory shoe is supported by a small stepped part attached to the left end of the top plate. The name ROROX and the format 3X4 are engraved on the top plate, to the right of the viewfinder. Something else is engraved too, perhaps the serial number.
It seems that the back is fixed and that film is loaded through the bottom plate.
The shutter gives T, B, 5–200 speeds and it is tripped by a lever on the shutter housing. The shutter plate is marked ROROX at the top and something beginning with PATENT at the bottom. The front-cell focusing lens is engraved ROROX ANASTIGMAT 1:4.5 F=5.0cm N°0002. The serial number certainly indicates that the camera is a prototype.
Dual finder, unit focusing
The second example has a focusing helical at the base of the telescopic tube. The advance knob is the same but it is mounted on a conical base protruding from the top plate. The eye-level finder, in the middle of the top plate, is contained in a top housing extending to the left end, that also contains an additional brilliant finder and supports the accessory shoe. The name ROROX 3x4 SHINKO is engraved on the top plate between the viewfinder and the advance knob.
It seems that the back is removed together with the bottom plate for film loading.
The shutter gives T, B, 5–200 speeds. The shutter plate is marked SHINKO at the top and SHINKO SEIKI in small letters at the bottom. There is a logo on the right whose meaning is unclear. The release lever is on the shutter housing itself.
The lens is engraved Shinko-Anastigmat 1:4.5 f=50mm N°2729 and the aperture scale is above the shutter housing.
The Shinko Baby
The April 1943 government inquiry on Japanese camera production mentions a camera called Shinko Baby. Its features exactly correspond to the Rorox: it takes 3×4cm exposures, has a telescopic tube, a Shinko 50/4.5 three-element lens and a Shinko (5–200, T, B) shutter. The document says that the body, lens and shutter were made by a company called Shinkō, and that the camera was distributed by Yamashita.
- "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. Item 161.
- 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). Pp.860 and 891.