Semi Konter

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Japanese Semi (4.5×6)
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The Semi Konter (セミ・コンター) is a Japanese 4.5×6 folding camera made in 1940–1 and attributed to Mori, which also made the Rollekonter.[1] The name was obviously forged after "Ikonta" (イコンター, ikontā).

Original model

The original Semi Konter is said to be a Nettar copy, with a body release and a folding optical finder.[2] The lens is reported as a U Hitonar 75/4.5 lens and the shutter is said to give T, B, 5–200 speeds.[3] This equipment is nearly the same as on the Rollekonter B. The U Hitonar lens was certainly made by Kajiro Kōgaku (later Gojō then Kokusaku).[4]

Semi Konter II

The Semi Konter II is a copy of the Ikonta. There is a folding optical finder in the middle of the top plate and a body release to the left, as seen by the photographer holding the camera horizontally. The back is hinged to the left and the advance key is at the bottom right.

An advertisement dated March 1941, perhaps inserted by the distributor Hakkōdō,[5] shamelessly stated that the camera was an Ikonta copy: "The Semi Konter II [is] made the same as the Zeiss Ikon Semi Ikonta both in shape and construction ..." ("セミコンターⅡ型はツアイスセミイコンターと形並に機構共に同一にして..."). The f/4.5 lens was described as identical to the lens mounted on the Rollekonter, it is thus a Hitonar or U Hitonar. The shutter gives T, B, 5–250 speeds.

The list of set prices compiled in October 1940 and published in January 1941, mentions a "Semi Konter I" for ¥74 and a "Semi Konter II" for ¥160.[6] This price difference seems excessive given the features of the two models.


  1. Dates and attribution to Mori Seisakusho: Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.336.
  2. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.336.
  3. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.336.
  4. The "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), lens item Lb32, attributes the U Hitonar 75/3.5 lens to Kokusaku.
  5. Advertisement published in Shashin Bunka, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.72. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.336, says that it was inserted by Hakkōdō, written 白光同, surely a typo for 白光堂.
  6. "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku", type 3, sections 4A and 7B.


  • 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 110–1.
  • "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku" (国産写真機の公定価格, Set prices of the Japanese cameras), listing Japanese camera production as of October 25, 1940 and setting the retail prices from December 10, 1940. Published in Asahi Camera January 1941 and reproduced in 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. Pp.108—9. Type 3, sections 4A and 7B.