Shumy and Harmony
image by John Bosko (Image rights)
The Shumy and the Harmony are inexpensive 6×6 viewfinder cameras made in Japan, probably at the end of the 1950s. They are attributed to Chūō Shashin-yōhin (probably the distributor) or to Daitoh Optical Co.
Note: the word Harmony is also found on the nameplate of the Light Super, a name variant of the Kowa Kid.
The Shumy and Harmony have a plastic body with metal top and bottom parts. They were probably the successors of the Ponix, to which they are quite similar except for the top housing containing the viewfinder and the position of the advance knob on the top right. In particular the Harmony exactly corresponds to the description of the Super Ponix announced in Japanese magazines in 1958.
Like for the Ponix, the top plate is removable together with the exposure chamber and spool holders to load the film. The release button is attached to the main body part, above the front plate. The film advance is driven by a knob at the top right (as seen by the photographer), and controlled by a single uncovered red window in the middle of the back. The exposure chamber is curved to compensate the aberrations of the meniscus lens. All the models have an accessory shoe at the top left, a PC synch post attached to the front of the body, above the lens, and a tripod socket at the bottom.
The Harmony is the most expensive version, with speed, aperture and distance controls. It has a clear-coloured front plate and shutter face. The speeds are set by an index at the top right of the lens barrel (as seen from the front), with B, F (Fast) and S (Slow) positions. The aperture is set by another index at the top left, with three positions: BRIGHT OR SNOW OR SAND, SUN and HAZY SUN. The lens is focused by turning the front ring. The distance scale is inscribed under the lens, in metres and in feet.
The name HARMONY is inscribed on the front plate, above the lens barrel. The front plate is also written MADE IN JAPAN at the bottom.
image by OZBOX (Image rights)
The Shumy has a fixed-focus lens. It was probably named after the word shumi (趣味), meaning "hobby" in Japanese. Some examples have an all black lens barrel, written MADE IN JAPAN at the bottom, and a black front plate with the name SHUMY inscribed in white and a striated lower half. They have the same speed settings as the Harmony but have no aperture control. Others are exactly similar to the Harmony, but for the name SHUMY inscribed on the front plate.
The Flashline is a name variant of the Shumy. The only visible difference is that the front plate is marked FLASHLINE at the top.
- 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). Pp.206 and 240.
- 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. Items 4145 and 4176.
These cameras are not listed in Kokusan kamera no rekishi.