The Toyoca Ace is a Japanese subminiature camera producing ten 14x14mm images on a roll of 17.5mm film. It was made by Tougodo, certainly in the mid-1960s, and was a stylish, more modern and rectangular version of the Hit cameras. The Hobby 16, Homer 16 and Prince Ruby are name variants of the same camera.
The Toyoca Ace is styled the same as the Bell 14, but it is smaller. It might be an updated version of the Homer No.1. Its internals are made of black plastic. The viewfinder is integrated in the top housing, and the front window is elongated, imitating the rangefinder cameras of the 1960s. The film is advanced by a wheel at the rear, moved by the photographer's left thumb. The rear half of the camera is removable for film loading, together with the spool holders and crude advance mechanism. It is locked by sliding bars at both ends, and has an uncovered square window in the middle.
The lens is fixed-focus and has no marking. Two apertures are available, selected by a small lever controlling Waterhouse stops; according to the instructions, "8 (for shade) and 11 (for bright)". The single speed shutter is everset and runs at about 1/30s.
The camera exists in different name variants, identified by the inscriptions on the side of the viewfinder window and at the top of the shutter plate. These are listed in the following table:
|Type name||Side of the viewfinder||Shutter plate|
|Hobby 16||HOBBY 16||HOBBY 16||MADE IN JAPAN|
|Homer 16||HOMER 16||HOMER 16||stars|
|Prince Ruby||PRINCE||PRINCE RUBY||MADE IN JAPAN|
|Toyoca Ace||TOYOCA||TOYOCA ACE||MADE IN JAPAN|
|With original box, case, and film|
image by Bernard Faure (Image rights)
- ↑ "Toyoca" is certainly the contraction of Toyohashi — Tougodo's hometown — and Camera.
- ↑ User manual of the Toyoca Ace reproduced at [Submin.com].
- ↑ About 1/30: user manual of the Toyoca Ace reproduced at [Submin.com].
- McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). Pp.392, 803 and 932.
- Pritchard, Michael and St. Denny, Douglas. Spy Cameras — A century of detective and subminiature cameras. London: Classic Collection Publications, 1993. ISBN 1-874485-00-3. P.74.
The cameras are not listed in Sugiyama or in Kokusan kamera no rekishi.
- Toyoca Ace, Homer 16 and Prince Ruby at Submin.com; also has English instructions for the Toyoca Ace and German instructions for the Homer 16
- Homer 16 at Sylvain Halgand's www.collection-appareils.fr
- Homer 16 in André Loiseau's blog
- Homer 16 among Hit-type cameras (archived) at Fotomuseet i Osby
- Hobby 16 at Itō Sadanobu's camera collection (archived)