The Semi Elega is a vertical folder copied from the Ikonta, with the typical folding struts. There is a folding optical finder in the middle of the top plate and an advance knob at the bottom right, as seen by the photographer holding the camera horizontally. The back is hinged to the right and the back latch is covered by a leather handle. The name ELEGA is embossed in the front leather.
The camera has an unusual feature: there is a ground glass in the back for focusing preview. It is unknown if this feature works only when there is no film in the camera, which would not make it very useful, or if it also includes a system to set the film apart during the focusing preview. Some sort of control is visible in the middle of the bottom plate, perhaps for that purpose.
The Semi Elega was offered in three versions in an advertisement dated June 1938:
- Elega Anastigmat f/4.5 lens, D shutter (¥53);
- Elega Anastigmat f/4.5 lens, B shutter (¥70);
- Isco f/4.5 lens, Prontor II shutter (¥98).
The B shutter certainly corresponds to a Rulex B (1/5 low speed) and the D shutter to a Rulex D (T, B, 25–150), both made by Neumann & Heilemann. A version is also reported with a Lausar 75/4.5 lens and a Rulex D shutter.
No surviving example of the Semi Elega has been observed so far.
- Dates: advertisements listed in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.334.
- Advertisement published in Asahi Camera, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.60.
- The shutters are listed as Rulex in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.334, which mentions T, B, 5–250 speeds for the Rulex B, a range of speeds which is implausible at that date.
- Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.334.
- 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. Item 30.
The Semi Elega is not listed in Sugiyama.