Simplex Reflex

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Japanese plate SLR cameras (edit)
atom (4.5×6cm) Simplex Reflex | Speed Reflex
meishi (5.5×8cm) Speed Reflex
daimeishi (6.5×9cm) Convex Reflex | Hogo Reflex | Idea Reflex (1932) | Neat Reflex | Simplex Reflex | Speed Reflex
tefuda (8×10.5cm) Idea Reflex (1910 and 1911) | Idea Reflex (1932) | Neat Reflex | Photo Deluxe Reflex | Speed Reflex
nimaigake (8×12cm) Idea Reflex (1910 and 1911) | Sakura Reflex Prano
kabine (12×16.5cm) Idea Reflex (1910 and 1911)
daikabine (13×18cm) Guaranteed Reflex
unknown Hardflex | Leinflex | Photoman Special Reflex
Japanese plate film: monocular, box, folding bed and strut-folding ->
3×4 and 4×4, 4×5 and 4×6.5, 4.5×6, 6×6 and 6×9 ->

The Simplex Reflex (シンプレックスレフレックス) is a Japanese SLR distributed and perhaps made by Kyūreidō in the late 1920s and early 1930s. It was made available in two formats: a larger model in the daimeishi size (6.5×9cm) and a smaller model in the atom size (4.5×6cm). No surviving example is known so far.

Daimeishi model

The daimeishi model has a boxy shape, and the front standard is mounted on a rack-and-pinion device, certainly driven by a knob on the photographer's left. This rack-and-pinion configuration was inspired by English models such as the Thornton-Pickard Ruby Reflex, the Marion Soho Reflex or the Houghton Ensign Reflex. It seems that vertical movements are allowed by sliding a plate in the front standard, locked by a wheel. The lens is attached to a removable lensboard, protected by a flap hinged at the top.

The main body is inspired by the Ernemann Simplex Ernoflex, and this certainly explains the name "Simplex Reflex". The viewing hood is hinged at the front and has a logo embossed on the leather covering. The focal plane shutter gives 20–1000 speeds and is controlled by various knobs and levers visible on the right, arranged the same as on the Simplex Ernoflex.[1] A table, certainly for the shutter speeds is attached to the right side of the body, and there are strap lugs on both sides.

The daimeishi model was advertised alone in the June 1926 issue of Ars Camera. It was supplied with six plate holders and one film pack holder, for ¥70 without a lens and for ¥150 with a Krauss Tessar 105mm lens. In the February 1927 issue of Ars Camera, the larger model is advertised as meishi-size (normally 5.5×8cm), but it seems that Kyūreidō used the words meishi and daimeishi indifferently for 6.5×9cm format. The picture is the same as in the June 1926 advertisement. The following options are listed:

In the March 1928 issue of Asahi Camera, the larger model is listed again as meishi-size. The following options are listed:

Atom model

The atom model is a downsized version of the daimeishi model. Its shutter has Time and Bulb settings.[2]

It was already listed in the February 1927 advertisement in Ars Camera, with the following options:

The March 1928 advertisement in Asahi Camera shows a picture of the camera and lists the following options:

The same options appear in the May 1929 advertisement in Asahi Camera. The advertisements in the same magazine in July, August and September 1929 and in February 1930 have the same options at different prices:


  1. Speeds: advertisement in Ars Camera June 1926.
  2. Catalogue extract reproduced in Morishita, p.70 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.22.
  3. The lens name is written in katakana only: ルオー.


The Simplex Reflex is not listed in Sugiyama.