See also the Ruvinal folders.
The Ruvinalflex (ルビナルフレックス) is a Japanese 6×6 TLR camera, made from 1953.
The camera was first distributed by Maki Shōji, successor of Eikōdō. The name of the company became Eikōdō again in 1953.
The Ruvinalflex is a copy of the Ricohflex III, with externally geared lenses. The film advance is by a knob on the photographer's right, and it is controlled by a red window. The back and bottom plate open separately. The name Ruvinal flex is inscribed on a nameplate placed above the front plate.
The taking lens is a C Pentagor Anastigmat 80mm f/3.5, same as on the Ruvinal folder. The viewing lens is simply engraved RUVINAL VIEWER 1:3.5 f=80mm and has no serial number. The shutter gives B, 1–200 or B, 10–200 speeds, it always has a self-timer and an ASA synch post.
Advertisements and variations
In an advertisement dated May 1953, the camera was offered for ¥8,000 with B, 10–200 speeds. An advertisement dated November 1953 has a Ruvinalflex A with B, 1–200 speeds for ¥9,500, and a Ruvinalflex B with B, 10–200 speeds for ¥8,200. The two models are similar except for the shutter speeds. The pictured cameras have a plain Ruvinal flex nameplate and no sportsfinder. One actual example of this version has been observed.
On later examples, the nameplate is inscribed MODEL III in small letters under the name Ruvinal flex. This marking was first introduced with no apparent change. The company probably felt that the name "MODEL III" added to the value of the camera. (It is probably for a similar reason that a MOD. III engraving was added to the Ruvinal folder, again with no model II and no apparent change.) An example with no sportsfinder and a MODEL III marking is pictured in Sugiyama. Its shutter is reportedly called R.C.K. and gives B, 1–200 speeds.
The last examples of the camera have an added sportsfinder, and a cross-shaped structure is visible in the viewing hood. This version is pictured in an advertisement dated September 1954, where the Ruvinalflex A and Ruvinalflex B were priced the same as before. The range of speeds for the model B was given as B, 5–200. One surviving example is pictured in this page at Otowa no nigan-refu.
- Date: advertisements and articles listed in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.373. Lewis, p.80, says 1952.
- Shōei Kōgaku: Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.373. Shōei Sangyō: McKeown, p.891. Sugiyama, item 2253, says "Shoei Manufacturing".
- Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.373.
- Advertisement published in Asahi Camera, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p. 209.
- Advertisement published in Asahi Camera, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p. 210.
- Example observed in an online auction.
- Sugiyama, item 2253.
- Advertisement published in Asahi Camera, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p. 210. See also the advertisement dated 1954 reproduced in this page at Shashin-Bako.
- 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. Items 1025–7.
- Lewis, Gordon, ed. The History of the Japanese Camera. Rochester, N.Y.: George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography & Film, 1991. ISBN 0-935398-17-1 (paper), 0-935398-16-3 (hard). P. 80 (brief mention only).
- 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. 891.
- 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. Item 2253.