I bought this camera based on the name, for this time in history it seemed perfect. The example I managed to get hold of was in great condition.
On first inspection, it seemed to work as it should. Though the simple shutter fired when the camera was in a landscape position, but it struggled in the portrait one. The shutter type was very similar, if not the same as those found in box brownies. On the lens barrel you have the choice of ‘I’ for instantaneous or ‘B’ for bulb. This is also like a brownie. Unlike the brownies, there is a small choice of apertures f8, f11, f16, and f22. There is no focusing, it is fixed. The front of the lens says the focal distance is 45mm. The interesting thing for me is the shape of the pressure place, how curved is that?
And that is the extent of my knowledge. When searching for this camera on the internet, I found nothing but an entry in a museum.
I did see a few sale descriptions saying the camera was made in Japan by the KSK company. With that information I can deduce the camera was released around 1950 as that company seemed active in the late 40s and early 50s.
UPDATE: Canny Cameras has reviewed this camera since I posted this and he says this is probably wrong. Have a read of his review here as he has a better example and a box with the manufacturers name Japina Corporation which was active between 1964-68.
With the style of shutter, the shutter speed is probably around 1/50th at the very most.
I loaded mine with a roll of 24 exposure Kentmere 100 and took it to Blackpool. The film counter had to be set manually, which I duly did. Once the counter reached 27 I became a little worried. Had I not loaded it properly, had it become loose inside the camera, was it just not advancing?
I decided to stop using it and switch to another camera for the rest of the day. I tried to rewind the film, but that also felt strange. It was a bit loose and didn’t seem to wind back enough. Upon arriving home, I put the camera in a dark bag and tried to remove the film manually. Once the back was open I found the film had rewound, or maybe it had never “wound” in the first place.
After the development process, I found all was good with the film. The camera had worked to a fashion, but the counter was advancing too quickly.
On the whole I have to say…this camera is a big pile of poo. It is by far the worst camera I have ever tried, even worse than the Ful-vue and that is saying something. I absolutely hated this camera and will not be using it again. Even the throw of the winder is ridiculously large, a full 270 degrees!
Here are my results. They did not improve my opinion.
Now I feel the camera really does suit its name. If you are in the UK and would like this camera, send me a message and I will send it to you free of charge…I want rid of the corona!