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Accura reflex housing

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The Accura reflex housing was made in Japan from 1958 by Swallow Seiki.

Early announcement Edit

The reflex housing commonly known as the Accura was announced as a new product in the February 1958 issue of Shashin Kōgyō.[1] In the document, the manufacturer is mentioned as Swallow Seiki, the device is merely called "Reflex Housing" (レフレックス・ハウジング), and the price is ¥10,000. The device is pictured on a Leica camera with a collapsible 50/2 lens. Three main uses are described: with a 50mm standard lens, to take close-up pictures down to 12cm (1.2×), with a special short-barrel 105mm lens, to take pictures from 3ft to infinity, or with close-up rings — the use of a bellows, though obvious, is curiously not mentioned. (The minimum distances are certainly given as typical examples, and do not imply that Swallow actually provided specific lenses for use on the reflex housing.)

It is not known if the device was effectively sold in Japan, by Swallow Seiki or a separate distributor. All the examples found so far have the Accura brand, applied by an unknown Western distributor.

Description Edit

The Accura reflex housing consists of a mirror box and interchangeable finders.

Common features Edit

The main mirror box has an all black hammertome finish, and is inscribed ACCURA at the front. The mirror control mechanism is covered by a cylindrical part on the right, with a serial number, an SW logo, and the word Japan. The release lever protrudes at the front of the cover, and there is a male thread at the top, to attach a cable coupling the mirror box with the camera's shutter release. The device has two tripod threads, at the bottom and on the right.

The Accura reflex housing has only been observed in Leica screw mount, and has another 39mm screw mount at the front. The film-to-flange register is certainly the same as on the Leitz PLOOT or Visoflex I.

The mirror box has a bayonet mount at the top, surrounded by a black and chrome knurled row, to attach a viewfinder.

Versions Edit

At least two versions of the Accura reflex housing are known, mainly differing by their incompatible viewfinder attachments.

The example no.5631, pictured below, has a silver ACCURA marking and a silver plate on the mirror mechanism cover. The coupling cable shown in the pictures is presumably original, and has a thread at the end which can be plugged onto the shutter button of Leica cameras and certainly Leica copies (though coupling problems have been reported by the owner, specifically with Leotax cameras).

The device comes with an eye-level finder, which reminds the Leitz PAMOO right-angle magnifier for the Visoflex I. It has a peculiar spherical shape, with a large facet at the front, displaying a large roman numeral III and the name ACCURA. It contains a single mirror, and provides a vertically reversed image, meaning that people will look upside down. The viewing screen is reportedly fairly bright, with reasonable vignetting.

The example no.5700, pictured below, has no silver filling in the front ACCURA engraving, and has an all black cover for the mirror mechanism. This reflex housing comes with a loupe finder, shaped as a cylindrical chimney with a magnifying lens at the top.

Notes Edit

  1. Column in Shashin Kōgyō February 1958, p.112.

Bibliography Edit

Links Edit

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