Tomiyama

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Tomiyama Seisakusho Co. Ltd (富山製作所 ㈱)[1] is a small-volume Japanese camera and photo-accessory (tripods) maker, best known for its Art Panorama (アートパノラマ) series of 120 rollfilm panorama cameras. Prior to the production of the Art Panorama units, Tomiyama had produced a number of specialised camera bodies, fitted with lenses sourced from Mamiya and Yamazaki. Among these was the Art-Flex 4x5, one of the largest TLR manufactured. The production of Tomiyama's camera line-up ended in about 2001.[2] Today the company still produces specialised studio camera supports.


Contents

Art Panorama Cameras

The first model to be introduced was the Art Panorama 240, which appeared in 1978 followed by the Art Panorama 170 in 1980 and the Art Panorama 120 soon after. All production of these panorama cameras ceased in about 2001.[2] Overall production was very low, with the Art Panorama 170 being the most common model.[3] According to the Japanese Wikipedia entry, the manufacture of the camera occurred on a demand ('made-to-order') basis,[4]making it difficult to acquire overseas.[5]

Art Panorama 120

The Art Panorama 120 (アートパノラマ 120) is a 6x12cm format model introduced in August 1982.[4] It was commonly sold with a Mamiya Sekor-P f5.6/75mm.[6] The camera uses standard 120 rollfilm, which results in six exposures of 6x12 format. Unlike the 170 and 240 models, the Art Panorama 120 camera has a fixed lens cone, with a Mamiya Press bayonet mount., allowing the user to attach a range of lenses. Focussing is via the lens itself. Two cold shoes for mounting accessories, such as extra bubble levels or viewfinder for the respective lens, are fitted on the top. The camera has a lug on the right front that allows a cable release to be fitted as a stationary release. To the right of the lens mount is the heraldic company logo, clearly emulating the logo of Linhof. The camera has a fully removable rear cover and frame counting is by means of a red window on the back. The film advance is by means of a knob on the upper left of the body.

Art Panorama 170

The Art Panorama 170 (アートパノラマ 170) is a 6x17cm format model introduced in April 1980.[4][7]

The camera uses standard 120 rollfilm, which results in four exposures of 6x17 with a 3:1 aspect ratio or 6 exposures if a 6x12 mask is used. The camera has a fully removable rear cover, as well as a slide that exposes a focussing screen. The film advance is by means of a knob on the upper left of the body. Frame counting is by means of a red window on the back (for 6x17: frames 3, 6, 9, 12 for 6x12" frames 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12). Focusing is effected by bellows extension of a front board and visual distance estimation using a large focusing knob mounted at the bottom right. The knob is marked off with a distance scale (1.5m - ∞ for 90mm). The focusing screen, which can be extracted from the back, allows to focus and to take a picture as close as 50cm.[8].

The camera has a large, centrally mounted tubular viewfinder. A small bubble level is mounted in front, which can be seen when looking through the viewfinder. Two cold shoes for mounting accessories, such as extra bubble levels or rangefinders, are fitted on either side. The camera has a lug on the right front that allows a cable release to be fitted as a stationary release.

The camera comes normally fitted with a Nikkor SW f4.5/90mm, f8/90mm or a Schneider-Kreuznach / Caltar Super Angulon MC f8/90mm, all giving an about 100 deg. view angle. The Nikkor is commonly set in a Copal shutter with speeds B, 1-1/500sec. Other 90mm lenses used are Fujinon SWD f5.6/90mm, SW f8/90mm, the Topcon f5.6/90mm and the Yamasaki Congo f6.3/90mm. Other lens formats can be fitted on different lens cones, from 75mm (100 deg. view angle) to 120mm (70 deg. view angle). The camera body measures 270 x 180 x 115mm (w x b x h) and has a bellows system that can be expanded to ¶¶mm. With a standard 90mm lens the camera weighs about 2300g.


Models

Two models of cameras are known, distinguishable by minor details:
Art Panorama 170–I (1979)[9]which lacks the lug to hold the cable release in place and shows a chrome trim of the shims that hold the interchangeable lens cone in place, as well as chrome cold shoes.[10] The camera name is printed in white on the front of the view finder. The standard lens for the first model was the Fujinon SW f8/90mm.
Art Panorama 170–II (1984)[11] which posseses the lug for the cable release and has a clack trim of the shims for the fastening the lens cone. The viewfinder is unmarked. The standard lens for the second model was the Nikkor SW f8/90mm and later the Nikkor SW f4.5/90mm.
The latter model has two sub-variants, distinguishable by the appearance of the removable back:

  • an early version introduced, that has a square metal plate surrounding the film counter window stating the formats and the required frame numbers. The serial number is stamped on a separate tag (with blue surrounds) that is screwed to the back of the body near the base.[12]
  • a later version that also carries the make of the camera, the manufacturer[13] and the serial number, which is stamped into the large plate.


Art Panorama 170 back

From May 1983 Tomiyama also manufactured a removable Art Panorama 170 back for 4x5 view cameras (with a Graflock system).[14]

Art Panorama 240

The Art Panorama 240 (アートパノラマ 240) is 6x24cm format model in August 1978.[4][15]

The camera uses 120 rollfilm, which results in 3 exposures of 6x24 or four exposures if a 6x17 mask is used. The camera has a fully removable rear cover, as well as a dark slide that exposes a focussing screen. The film advance is the same as with the Art Panorama 170. Film counting is by means of a red window on the back (for 6x17: frame nºs 3, 6, 9, 12 for 6x24 frames 3, 7, 11). Like the Art Panorama 170 this mode has bellows focussing for close-ups.

Variants

Two models of cameras are known, distinguishable by minor details:
Art Panorama 240–I (1978) which lacks the lug to hold the cable release in place and shows a chrome trim of the shims that hold the interchangeable lens cone in place. The top of the camera shows four could shoes, two set in line with the lens and two set at 45 deg. angles. The camera name is 'ART" is located where the logo is placed in the later models, while the heraldic logo is located on the bottom left of the lens board.[16]

Art Panorama 240–II (1984) which posseses the lug for the cable release and has a clack trim of the shims for the fastening the lens cone. The top of the camera shows two cold shoes.

Other Cameras

Before releasing the Art Panorama series, Tomiyama produced the :

  • Art View 4x5.

and three large TLRs:

  • Art-Flex 8x10 TLR fitted with two Fujinon-W f6.7/250mm lenses set in a Copal shutter.[17]
  • Art-Flex 4x5 TLR ('Color-Flex'), measuring 6 3/4" x 4" x 7 1/2" and weighing 5 3/4 lbs. Fitted with two Fujinar-W f6.3/150mm lenses in a Seikosha-SLV shutter.[18]
  • Art-Flex 6x9 TLR.

as well as a series of specialised camera bodies:

  • Art Four Lens Camera (アート・四眼装置), a four-lens (4x Congo f4.5/105mm) passport camera released in August 1975 using Polaroid land film type 105, type 107, type 108 as well as 4x5 sheet film in Polaroid 545 holder[4]
  • Art Passport (アート・パスポート), a twin lens (2x Congo f4.5/105mm) passport camera released in February 1979 using Polaroid land film type 52, type 58 as well as 4x5 sheet film in Polaroid 545 holder[4]
  • Art License & Passport (アート・ライセンス&パスポート), relased in July 1983, for drivers license photos on 36 × 46mm positive film land use type 665, type 667, type 669, a, FP3000B Fuji FP100 film using a Polaroid 405 holder[4]

all of which were manufactured in very small numbers.

Other Photographic Products

In addition, Tomiyama produced the Art Stand series of heavy studio camera stands:[19]

  • Art Stand, single-column camera stand on a three-wheel dolly with one two-way head[20]
  • Art Stand Anthony, dual-column camera stand on a four-wheel dolly with two three-way heads[21]
  • Art Stand Junior-II, single-column camera stand on a three-wheel dolly with two three-way heads[22]
  • Art Stand Junior-III, single-column camera stand on a three-wheel dolly with two three-way heads and two equipment trays; dimensions: 162 cm tall, arm span 65cm, dolly width 65cm.[23]
  • Art Stand Pro 33, single-column camera stand on a three-wheel dolly with side-arm to accept single head[24]
  • Art Stand Pro 55, single-column camera stand on a three-wheel dolly with side-arm to accept two heads[25]
  • Art Stand Pro 55D, single-column camera stand on a three-wheel dolly with side-arm to accept two heads[26]
  • Art Stand Pro 77, single-column camera stand on a three-wheel dolly with side-arm to accept three heads[27]
  • Art Stand Pro 77D, single-column camera stand on a three-wheel dolly with side-arm to accept two heads[28]
  • Art Stand Pro 77S, single-column camera stand on a three-wheel dolly with side-arm to accept three heads, weight 42kg[29]

References and Links

Notes

  1. Occasionally also referred to as Toyama (same Kanji) and erroneously also as Miyama.—Address: Tomiyama Seisakusho K.K., 4-3-1, Matsushima Edogawa-Ku, Tokyo 132-0031, Japan.—Given the Japanese penchant for allusion, it is unlikely to be a coincidence that Mt. Tomiyama is one of the four great viewpoints of Matsushima, a city in the Miyagi District, Japan.
  2. 2.0 2.1 According to Tomiyama Seisakusho factory information, as reported in this discussion thread.—A phone call to the company in March 2013 yielded a reply that the company had not produced Art Panorama cameras 'for 20 years.'
  3. The serial numbers range from 127xxx to 628xxx for the Art Panorama 170; the Art Panorama 240 is on record for 200xxx to 210xxx, while the Art Panorama 120 is documented for 032xxx, 072xxx and 132xxx (all based on auction records and other web imagery). At present there is no clear pattern to the numbers, but is quite possible that only the last three digits have any semblance of reality. It is estimated that around 2,000 units were ever built.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Entry Toyama / 富山 Japanese Wikipedia.—Sugiyama (item 6042, p. 297) gives 1981.
  5. This corroborated by contemporary sources that commented that camera was "in very limited production, with sporadic availability" (Dave Howard, Medium Format Panoramic Cameras. Rangefinder Magazine, October 1999.
  6. Retail price in Singapore in 1984: Sin$ 1.950 ('Art Panorama Series Cameras 120 & 170.' The Straits Times 21 July 1984, p. 27).
  7. Sugiyama (item 6041, p. 297) gives 1979.—At the time of introduction it sold for ¥ 258,000 (Media Joy Camera Review Art Panorama 170).—Documented retail price in Singapore in 1986 'about Sin$3,000' ('Taking in the I-o-n-g view.' The Straits Times, 27 July 1986, Page 12).
  8. Note that the focus cannot be checked once the film has been loaded.
  9. Sugiyama (item 6041, p. 297).
  10. Depicted as such the cover of the sales leaflet (see in an on-line auction at Yahoo Japan February 2013).
  11. Sugiyama (item 6043, p. 297).—See also: 'Art Panorama Series Cameras 120 & 170.' The Straits Times 21 July 1984, p. 27.
  12. sn 127009, seen on the Chinese auction site Fengniao (February 2013).
  13. "Manufactured and sold by Tomiyama Seisakusho Co. Ltd".
  14. Tomiyama Art Panorama 170 holder (トミヤマ・アートパノラマ170 ホルダー)
  15. Sugiyama (item 6040, p. 297) gives 1977.—Reviewed in Davies Maes, Nancy (1982) Specialty cameras providing special photographs. Chicago Tribune 31 October 1982, p. J15.—Retail price in Singapore in 1986: Sin$4,000 ('Taking in the I-o-n-g view.' The Straits Times, 27 July 1986, Page 12).
  16. Price at release ¥240,000. Depicted in: National Museum of Nature and Science Tokyo
  17. Art-Flex 8x10, lot 518 of Westlicht Photographica Auction nº 18, 4 December 2010.—alternate page at artfact.com
  18. Art-Flex 4x5 Cameraquest site.
  19. The name tags of the older Art Stand studio stands ('Anthony' and 'Junior' also have a logo that shows the letters PCV in front of larger T.
  20. Seen in a Yahoo Japan auction, March 2013.
  21. Seen in a Taiwan auction, March 2013.
  22. Seen in a Yahoo Japan auction, March 2013.
  23. Seen in a Yahoo Japan auction, March 2013.
  24. Seen in a Taiwan auction, March 2013.
  25. Aspherical World Blog at foxfoto.exblog.jp .
  26. Toueido.
  27. Seen in a Yahoo Japan auction, March 2013.
  28. Toueido.
  29. Seen in a Yahoo Japan auction, March 2013.

Publicity

Links

Bibliography

Davies Maes, Nancy (1982) Specialty cameras providing special photographs. Chicago Tribune 31 October 1982, p. J15
Howard, Dave (1999) Medium Format Panoramic Cameras. Rangefinder Magazine, October 1999.
Meehan, Josef (1988) Superwide. Popular Photography Jan-Mar issue, 1988, pp. 56–61; 82-83

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