Walcon 6

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Japanese Six (6×6)
Postwar models (edit)
folding
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rigid or collapsible
Dia Six | Ehira Chrome Six | Enon Six | Flora | Flashline | Fujipet | Harmony | Mikono-6 | Orion | Ponix | Rich-Ray-6 | Shumy | Weha Chrome Six
Japanese 6×6 TLR, pseudo TLR and medium format SLR ->
Japanese Semi (4.5×6) and older 6×9 ->

The Walcon 6[1] is a Japanese 6×6 folding camera with uncoupled rangefinder, sold and probably made by Walz in 1955. It is dual format, taking both 6×6 and 4.5×6 exposures.[2]

For the Walcon or Walcon Semi 4.5×6 folder, see Walcon Semi.

Description

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 lens and shutter are the same as on the Walcon Semi: a front-cell focusing Kominar 7.5cm f/3.5 and a Copal with B, 1–300 speeds, self-timer and F synchronization via a PC socket.

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.

Advertisements

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.[3] It mentions auto-stop film advance and double exposure prevention but says nothing of 4.5×6 exposures.

Versions

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,[4] 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.[5] 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.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.215.
  4. Examples pictured in Sugiyama, item 1427, and observed in an online auction.
  5. Examples pictured in Sugiyama, item 1428, in this page at Kan's Room, and observed in an online auction.

Bibliography

Links

In Japanese: