Semi Elega

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The Semi Elega is a Japanese 4.5×6 folding camera, advertised in 1937 and 1938 by the company Elega.[1]


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:[2]

  • 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.[3] A version is also reported with a Lausar 75/4.5 lens and a Rulex D shutter.[4]

No surviving example of the Semi Elega has been observed so far.


  1. Dates: advertisements listed in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.334.
  2. Advertisement published in Asahi Camera, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.60.
  3. 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.
  4. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.334.


The Semi Elega is not listed in Sugiyama.