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The Tianjin Camera Factory was a camera factory in China. The factory was founded in the late 1950s[1][2] The factory's first camera was the July First (Qiyi), a folding camera copied from a Mamiya Six. Only 40 examples were made. It is often described as 'the first camera of the New China'; however, the Beijing Dala Precision Machinery Factory had already made a trial number of Zorki copies in 1955.[3]

Tianjin's Chenguang SLR is a simplified copy of the Russian Start. The Eastar cameras may have been the company's only top-sellers with a production of some tens of thousands.

It is not clear when the factory stopped working. The Eastar S2 was (according to many websites) made until about 1990.



  1. Flickr member Jun Peng states the factory was founded in 1958, by eight existing workshops which up to then made wooden cameras; in this discussion about the Easter TLR camera
  2. Collector Wang Guosheng stated in an article in People's Daily that the July First was made in 1956, in which case the factory must have been in existence by then: An antique camera collector in Tianjin at People's Daily Online.
  3. Web article Chinese old cameras at digi.163.com (in Chinese)
  4. Eastar S3 at Antique Camera Museum (in Chinese)
  5. Eastar EF-35 II at Antique Camera Museum (in Chinese)