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Japanese Field Cameras

Japanese kabine-format field cameras were the mainstay of photographers at the nation's Shinto shrines providing portraits of visitors attending ceremonial events ¶¶¶. In addition, smaller tefuda-sized units were also manufactured

Overview

The collapsible single- and double extension cameras, based on British designs, were produced by a range of manufacturers, chiefly Asanuma Shōten (浅沼商店), but also Konishi Honten (小西本店), Funahashi, Okuhara, Oriental Shashin (オリエンタル写真), Tachihara (タチハラ写真機製作所) and others.

Table 1 Japanese Field Cameras

kabine
(カビネ)
5114079054_06b537e044_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg
Konishi Honten (Osaka & Tokyo) KABINE B CAMERA KABINE C CAMERA KABINE D CAMERA KABINE E CAMERA
5161499732_da2e3747ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg
Asanuma Shōkai King Kansha-Gō KABINE G CAMERA KABINE H CAMERA KABINE I CAMERA KABINE K CAMERA
tefuda
(手札)
6555776787_280b818890_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg
M. Funahashi & Co (Osaka) TEFUDA B CAMERA TEFUDA C CAMERA TEFUDA D CAMERA TEFUDA E CAMERA
images by Dirk HR Spennemann (Image rights)


Lenses

The design of the cameras remained stable from the turn of the nineteenth century until World War II. Initially a range of lenses was utilised, subject to the penchant of the individual photographer, coupled with the range of offerings by the camera maker or distributor. Documented are, inter alia, ¶¶¶

In the 1930s, the primary lenses for the kabine-format cameras were 21cm barrel lenses fitted with a slip on Thornton-Pickard-type rouleau shutter usally mounted in front of the lens. In addition to imported German, esp. Zeiss, as well as French lenses (e.g. TCW "Modelar distributed by Tokyo Camera Works), a number of Japanese lens manufacturers carried 21cm offerings to service the demand:

Of these, the Congo and Hexar lenses are the most common.

Tripods

The cameras have a tripod base that allows slipping in three individual legs

add images, but reshoot them first

Distinguishing Characteristics

Front Standard

The front standard of a field camera requires two key movements to allow the camera being folded and two movements to allow for vertical adjustment. To allow the full collapse of a field camera into its transport position, the front standard needs to be folded back, but the lens board needs to be swivelled forward. To allow for vertical adjustment of the optical axis, the camera needs to allow the lens board be moved upwards (shift) and swivelled back or forward (tilt). To allow for reliable outcomes, the photographer requires the ability to lock the front standard in place in it's desired position. Moreover, the lens cannot remain in place when the camera is collapsed. It can either be unscrewed from its flange on the lens board, or the entire lens board can be removed. A number of engineering solutions exist for all these requirements, which provide for distinguishing features. In addition, the metal work (brackets, screws an knobs) exhibits variations in design.

7772384158_60bf43048c_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg
Konishi Honten (Osaka & Tokyo) KABINE B CAMERA KABINE C CAMERA KABINE D CAMERA KABINE E CAMERA
7772364542_c65a5617f9_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg
Asanuma Shōkai King Kansha-Gō KABINE G CAMERA KABINE H CAMERA KABINE I CAMERA KABINE K CAMERA
images by Dirk HR Spennemann (Image rights)

Hinge of Rear Standard

5114093332_f35657268a_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg
Konishi Honten (Osaka & Tokyo) KABINE B CAMERA KABINE C CAMERA KABINE D CAMERA KABINE E CAMERA
7772406646_e257b9da51_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg
Asanuma Shōkai King Kansha-Gō KABINE G CAMERA KABINE H CAMERA KABINE I CAMERA KABINE K CAMERA
images by Dirk HR Spennemann (Image rights)

Focussing Screen

5113485677_c3d0699046_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg
Konishi Honten (Osaka & Tokyo) KABINE B CAMERA KABINE C CAMERA KABINE D CAMERA KABINE E CAMERA
5160900069_82e7758290_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg
Asanuma Shōkai King Kansha-Gō KABINE G CAMERA KABINE H CAMERA KABINE I CAMERA KABINE K CAMERA
images by Dirk HR Spennemann (Image rights)

Focussing Screen Corners and Hinge

7772385176_585de16a6c_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg
Konishi Honten (Osaka & Tokyo) KABINE B CAMERA KABINE C CAMERA KABINE D CAMERA KABINE E CAMERA
5161527770_1141a0ae74_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg
Asanuma Shōkai King Kansha-Gō KABINE G CAMERA KABINE H CAMERA KABINE I CAMERA KABINE K CAMERA
images by Dirk HR Spennemann (Image rights)

Focussing Screen Lock

7778484748_d38cbc194c_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg
Konishi Honten (Osaka & Tokyo) KABINE B CAMERA KABINE C CAMERA KABINE D CAMERA KABINE E CAMERA
7778485230_1620a9b553_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg
Asanuma Shōkai King Kansha-Gō KABINE G CAMERA KABINE H CAMERA KABINE I CAMERA KABINE K CAMERA
images by Dirk HR Spennemann (Image rights)

Tripod plate

reshoot the images in non-collapsed state with grey paper between bellows and bottom plate
5113520597_a7c21568e3_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg
Konishi Honten (Osaka & Tokyo) KABINE B CAMERA KABINE C CAMERA KABINE D CAMERA KABINE E CAMERA
5160906119_557947f6d0_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg
Asanuma Shōkai King Kansha-Gō KABINE G CAMERA KABINE H CAMERA KABINE I CAMERA KABINE K CAMERA
images by Dirk HR Spennemann (Image rights)

¶ ¶ ¶ CRITERION

5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg
Konishi Honten (Osaka & Tokyo) KABINE B CAMERA KABINE C CAMERA KABINE D CAMERA KABINE E CAMERA
5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg 5261261985_379e93d2ef_m.jpg
Asanuma Shōkai King Kansha-Gō KABINE G CAMERA KABINE H CAMERA KABINE I CAMERA KABINE K CAMERA
images by Dirk HR Spennemann (Image rights)

Camera movements

Collapsing a field camera

5114108788_438f06c6a7_m.jpg 5114109342_1015664394_m.jpg 5113514031_8ea28b2d77_m.jpg 5114114816_0077d7d924_m.jpg
5114115366_fde2fc6862_m.jpg 5113515859_6e533350a9_m.jpg 5114116496_2be357cac5_m.jpg 5114117072_692dcfe684_m.jpg
Collapsing a Konishi Field Camera
images by Dirk HR Spennemann
 (Image rights)

Expansion

7778860356_4cc23d5878_o.jpg 5161517088_58bc951b3a_m.jpg 5161517946_490a4321fd_m.jpg
Expansion on a Asanuma Field Camera
images by Dirk HR Spennemann
 (Image rights)


Lensboard Shift

5161517088_58bc951b3a_m.jpg 5160916469_3ecb82dc0b_m.jpg 5160917351_e749b627e0_m.jpg
Expansion on a Asanuma Field Camera
images by Dirk HR Spennemann
 (Image rights)
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