|Seikosha shutter on a Semi First.|
Picture by eBayer Costellochris. (Image rights)
The first Seikosha is a Japanese leaf shutter made by Seikōsha, the manufacturing branch of Hattori Tokei-ten, in the late 1930s and early 1940s. It was inspired by the German Compur and was released around 1935. It was called "S Seiko" (Sセイコー) in some advertisements.
The original Seikosha only exists in #0 size. Its range of speeds is T, B, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250 and it has a self-timer. The front plate has silver stripes on each side of the lens. Its top part is inscribed SEIKOSHA–TOKYO, sometimes with a serial number engraved underneath. The name SEIKOSHA is repeated under the lens, above the separate aperture scale attached by two screws.
This list is incomplete, and not all the versions of these cameras have a Seikosha shutter:
- Lord (Tōkyō Kōgaku) by Tōkyō Kōgaku
- First and Special First
- First Roll
- First Center
- First Etui
- Semi First and First Six
- Auto Semi First
- New Lily (has a Leo)
- Luxury Pearl (has a Leo)
- Date: the Seikosha is listed in an advertisement for the First, Special First and First Roll dated September 1935, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.85. Lewis says 1935 on p.46. Baird says 1936 on pp.15 and 18 of Kuribayashi-Petri Cameras, but this is at least one year too late. Shunkan o torae-tsuzukeru shattā-ten, p.9, and the corresponding exhibition page say 1932, but this seems implausible.
- Advertisement in Asahi Camera March 1938, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.105.
- Baird, John R. Collectors guide to Kuribayashi-Petri Cameras. Grantsburg, WI (USA): Centennial Photo Service, 1991. ISBN 0-931838-16-9. Pp.15 and 18.
- Kamera no mekanizumu sono I: "Hai! Chīzu" Shunkan o torae-tsuzukeru shattā-ten (カメラのメカニズム・そのⅠ・「ハイ！チーズ」瞬間をとらえ続けるシャッター展, Camera mechanism, part 1 "Cheese!" Exhibition of instant taking shutters). Tokyo: JCII Camera Museum, 2002. (Exhibition catalogue, no ISBN number)
- 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.46.