This camera was given to me by a friend who moved house recently. In the new house were two vintage cameras which she gave to me to check out. Unfortunately, one, a Canonet, was jammed and not working. This was the other one. It wasn’t jammed, but it had not been used for a very long time so I was not sure it was working.
It is a monster of a camera, so heavy. The front trapezium is very art deco. There is very little about this camera on the net. The most I found were sites saying this was the same as the Konair 35 and was released around 1956. The only other information I found was from this great blog which reinforces the fact that it seems to be rare. Really the best place to find information is by looking at the camera.
The shutter speeds go from B to 1/400th of a second. The apertures ring moves smoothly between f1.9 to f22 so you can set the camera partway between the markings. The lever to cock the shutter is between the speed and aperture dials. It is possible to take multiple exposures if you wish. The lens is a 45mm T.K.C. Super Color Sygmar with Velex engraved on the underside. This example also has a dyno sticker on the side with the previous owner’s name. I like that, a connection to the past.
Focusing is done with a second image which on this example was fairly light, but it was still possible to use. Winding on was fairly easy, but rewinding was not. Oh my goodness, rewinding was tough. I had to use quite a bit of effort and I could sense the film scratching. It would need a CLA in the future, or a tiny bit of light oil in the relevant places, if I was going to use it again. But, did it work? It is the rainy season here so blue skies are a little rare and when they do arrive it is super hot.
Yeap, the film is scratched. Some of the shots were taken of students at my school so I have decided not to use them or blur them, but they all came out. Apart from the scratches, the shots have a really nice quality. But ultimately I did not enjoy using this camera. It was far too heavy. To be fair it is a good camera, I just have a weight issue right now. Due to leaving Japan and luggage allowances. The lens was so nice though. And after all this time it still worked. The fact that there was no fungus on the lens in this climate was amazing. It must have been well looked after and stored.
Keep or Sell: I asked the new house owner if it was ok to give the camera to a mutual friend, she said yes. So my camera stealing friend has another camera from me. She likes the fact it has the name on it. It makes it personal and when I said so, she put her hand on her heart. It will be well looked after.