image by Erica Sayuri (Image rights)
For the Walcon or Walcon Semi 4.5×6 folder, see Walcon Semi.
The Walcon 6 is a horizontal folding camera, with three-part struts inspired by the 6×6 Ikonta. It has a top housing covering all the top plate, with the viewfinder in the middle. Above the viewfinder there is an accessory shoe and a Walcon 6 engraving.
The uncoupled rangefinder has a separate eyepiece on the left — as seen by the photographer — and small rectangular windows on both sides. The distance setting knob is vertically oriented and protrudes from the top housing, on the right of the viewfinder, thus falling under the right index finger. The shutter release is on the right and has a threaded hole for a release cable. The folding bed release is symmetrically placed at the left end of the finder housing.
The film advance knob is at the left end, and there is a fake knob at the right end, with a film reminder at the top.
The back is hinged to the right and has a single red window near the top, protected by a horizontally sliding cover. The position of this red window indicates that it is used for 4.5×6 exposures.
The Walcon 6 was featured as a new product in Japanese magazines dated March and April 1955, and advertised from March to June 1955. The March 1955 advertisement in Camera Mainichi lists the camera for ¥13,000. It mentions auto-stop film advance and double exposure prevention but says nothing of 4.5×6 exposures.
Two versions of the Walcon 6 have been observed. The first version (called "Walcon Six I" in Sugiyama) has an advance knob with a low profile, same as pictured in the March 1955 advertisement cited above. There is no visible exposure counter or film advance indicator and no sliding button on the rear. The position of the red window indicates that it cannot be used for 6×6 exposures, and there is probably a simple auto-stop advance device, unlocked each time the shutter button is pressed, hence providing double exposure prevention. However the way to set the first exposure and to disengage the device for 4.5×6 exposures is unknown.
The second version (called "Walcon Six II" in Sugiyama) has an exposure counter dial around the base of the advance knob and a small hole showing a white or red dot whether the film is wound or not. This was probably introduced because the use of an auto-stop advance without exposure counter was found too inconvenient. This version also has a sliding button on the rear, next to the rangefinder eyepiece, whose use is unknown.
- Unlike most Japanese 6×6 cameras of the time, the name is written "Walcon 6" instead of "Walcon Six", and a katakana version (such as ワルコン・シックス) has not been observed yet.
- This is mentioned in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.375, and confirmed by the position of the red window in the back. However some points about film advance remain unclear.
- Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.215.
- Examples pictured in Sugiyama, item 1427, and observed in an online auction.
- Examples pictured in Sugiyama, item 1428, in this page at Kan's Room, and observed in an online auction.
- Asahi Camera (アサヒカメラ) editorial staff. Shōwa 10–40nen kōkoku ni miru kokusan kamera no rekishi (昭和10–40年広告にみる国産カメラの歴史, Japanese camera history as seen in advertisements, 1935–1965). Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1994. ISBN 4-02-330312-7. Items 1059.
- Sugiyama, Kōichi (杉山浩一); Naoi, Hiroaki (直井浩明); Bullock, John R. The Collector's Guide to Japanese Cameras. 国産カメラ図鑑 (Kokusan kamera zukan). Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1985. ISBN 4-257-03187-5. Items 1427–8.