Talk:Okada and Daiichi

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Waltax attribution

I don't think there's any doubt that all the postwar Waltax models came from Daiichi. (The questions are: What were Okada, Walz, and Daiichi, and how were they interrelated?) -- Hoary 20:25, 27 May 2006 (EDT)

I have not yet seen a definitive proof, such as an ad or a Daiichi marking on a Waltax, while I have already seen a good proportion of postwar Waltax (with top housing) wearing Okako markings. (McKeown illustrates the Daiichi Waltax with a camera wearing a "Waltax Okako" logo and with another marked OKAKO in big letters on the shutter plate, so I was not particularly convinced.) If you have seen some definitive proof, such as an ad by Daiichi marketing the Waltax, please tell me. What is sure is that the Zenobia and postwar Waltax are essentially the same camera. But this is only the beginning and I have not researched too far for the moment. --Rebollo fr 06:51, 28 May 2006 (EDT)
I was busily scanning ads for the Waltax a short time ago (guess why!), and sure enough they don't mention Daiichi. Instead, they name the sales company, 東洋写真機材. So it's certain that Daiichi didn't market the cameras (at least within Japan); the question is of which company supplied them to 東洋写真. Okada can't have simply turned into Daiichi, because of the Walz complication: on p. 75 of The History of the Japanese Camera (a handsome book published in the US in 1991, very well informed but alas not without misprints), we read: "Okada Kogaku, later Daiichi Optical, made the Waltax Senior...." We read on p. 104 that Waltz (sic) went bankrupt in April 1961, suggesting something about the end of the company; unfortunately nothing is written about its beginning. -- Hoary 08:54, 28 May 2006 (EDT)
There is the additional complication of the Daiichi Kikō 第一機工 company, maybe unrelated to the postwar Daiichi Kōgaku. All this is very intricate, and needs more work. I have added in the Walz page a mention of the bankruptcy date, could you please add the full reference of the book in the sources. --Rebollo fr 09:21, 28 May 2006 (EDT)
You're raising some excellent points. Sorry, right now I can't comment. Still, I've added the reference. Incidentally, I first heard of this book very recently, and quickly and cheaply located a copy via ABE. (I also got The Evolution of the Japanese Camera, which isn't bad but is nowhere near as good as, and is rendered unnecessary by, this History.) -- Hoary 11:35, 28 May 2006 (EDT)
Thank you for this reference, I will try to locate one myself. I am also trying to locate a copy of your book of ads, but I can't find it anywhere. By the way, thank you for the scanning effort! --Rebollo fr 12:35, 28 May 2006 (EDT)

Some comments

In the page: "There was surely some reason to change the brand names of the camera, lens and shutter all at once."

"A change of brand name of the shutter could easily mean a change of shutter, and as we know companies were frequently changing their choice of shutters at around that time - often simply because of trouble ensuring supplies of shutters": SGML comment added by Hoary on June 26, 2006.

Sure. But in this case we see all three changes almost simultaneously, with no change in the specifications. The camera name changes from Waltax to Zenobia and all the Okako markings disappear (they are confirmed by wartime ads to have been used as an acronym of Okada Kogaku: 岡光 or オカコー). Exactly at the same time the lens name is changed from Kolex to Hesper, with the same focal length, aperture and number of elements. The shutter name changes a little bit earlier, from Dabit-Super to D.O.C.-Rapid, with no change in the specs, externally exactly the same. Usually a shutter change is noticeable by small details like the position of the winding lever or other subtle changes, here only the marking differs, as far as I can tell from pictures.
It looks like a company selling its designs without selling the trademarks, or a company losing the right to use its brand names. An early Zenobia ad even states that it is an improved version of the Waltax, probably to reassure the customers.
--Rebollo fr 20:54, 25 June 2006 (EDT)