Tone

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Japanese subminiature
on paper-backed roll film and round film (edit)
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20mm film Guzzi | Mycroflex | Top
round film Evarax | Petal | Sakura Petal | Star
unknown Hallow | Lyravit | Tsubasa
cine film see Japanese cine film subminiature
110 film see Japanese 110 film

The Tone (トーン) is a Japanese subminiature camera taking 14×14mm exposures on 17.5mm film, made in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Contents

Description

The Tone has a better finish than most other Hit-type cameras. The top housing covers the whole length of the camera, and contains an eye-level finder in the middle and a waist-level finder on the right, as seen by the photographer. The name Tone is engraved above the eye-level finder, together with the mention PAT. and a TOKO logo.

The film is advanced by a knob at the top left, as seen by the photographer. The advance knob is engraved MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN on some examples, but not all. The back is hinged to the left and is locked by a sliding button on the right. It contains a single red window, protected by a sliding cover. The camera has no tripod thread.

The shutter gives 25, 50, 100, B speeds, selected by an index at the top. It is cocked by a lever on one side, and tripped by the release lever on the other. The lens is a Tone Anastigmat 25mm f/3.5. It is focused from infinity to 3ft by turning the front cell, an unusual feature on a Hit-type camera. The aperture is set from 3.5 to 11 by an index at the bottom.

The case is made of brown leather, embossed Tone at the front. The original box is red or blue, inscribed Tone CAMERA.[1]


Origin and commercial life

The Tone is attributed in some sources to Tōyō Kōki or "Tōyō Kōki Seisakusho".[2] This name is sometimes translated as "Toyo Optical Co.",[3] and the attribution to "Toyo Kogaku" is surely a wrong back translation.[4]

The camera itself has a TOKO logo engraved at the top, presumably for Toyo Koki. This is very close to the TOKO logo found on the Mighty, another dual-finder Hit-type camera made by Tōkō Shashin, and this has led to the misconception that the Tone and Mighty were made by the same manufacturer.[5]

Some sources say that the Tone was released in 1948.[6] In August 1949, the Tone was available in the USA for $9.95.[7] The camera was advertised in Japanese magazines from October 1949 to May 1950.[8] The May 1950 advertisement in Asahi Camera was placed by the trading company Tōshin Bōeki, certainly the camera's distributor, and does not mention the manufacturer's name.[9] It gives the price of ¥1,700 for the camera with case, and ¥1,950 including the shipping fees and a pack of six film rolls.

Notes

  1. Original boxes pictured in this page at Submin.com.
  2. "Tōyō Kōki K.K.": Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.355. "Tōyō Kōki Seisakusho": this page at Kikaishiki kamera no susume.
  3. "Toyo Optical Co.": Sugiyama, item 5148.
  4. "Toyo Kogaku": McKeown, p.933.
  5. For example in McKeown, p.933.
  6. Released in 1948: Sugiyama, item 5148, McKeown, p.933.
  7. Original receipt reproduced in this page at Submin.com.
  8. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.355.
  9. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.150.

Bibliography

Links

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In Japanese:

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