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Aruba 35

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Japanese Bolta film cameras (edit)
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The Aruba 35 (アルバ35)[1] is a Japanese viewfinder camera taking 35mm film or Bolta film, distributed by Chūō Shashin-yōhin in 1952 and 1953. The camera has been called "Aruba 35 I" in retrospect, to distinguish it from the very different Aruba 35 II.[2]

Manufacturer Edit

The camera was probably made by the same manufacturer as the Sunny, another camera distributed by Chūō Shashin-yōhin and taking regular 35mm film or Bolta film, of which it seems to be a successor.

The camera is attributed to Koike Seiki in many recent sources.[3] This company name appears on the lens rim of the later Aruba 35 II, but the attribution is otherwise unconfirmed.

Description Edit

The camera takes 50 exposures in 24×24mm format on perforated 35mm film, and can also use Bolta film rolls, for 12 exposures only.[4] The film loading system is certainly the same as on the Sunny, with perforated film loaded in a standard cassette and wound into another take-up cassette.[5] The advance knob is at the top left, as seen by the photographer, and there is no rewind knob.

The viewfinder is contained in a small top casing. There is a crescent-shaped window above that casing, on the viewfinder's right, certainly for the exposure counter.

There is a square metal plate attached to the front of the body and supporting the lens barrel. The shutter release protrudes from the upper edge of this square plate. Another lever is visible on the side, perhaps the B and I speed selector. The lens is fixed-focus and its inner rim is engraved 1:10 f=35mm at the top and OPTART at the bottom. (This is the same lens as on the Sunny 24×24mm camera previously distributed by Chūō.) The outer rim is engraved ARUBA at the top and TOKYO K.S.K. at the bottom. (The initials "K.S.K." might stand for Koike Seiki but this is unconfirmed.)

Commercial life Edit

The Aruba 35 was first advertised in December 1952, and was announced in the January 1953 issues of Ars Camera and Photo Art.[6] The advertisement placed the same month in Ars Camera gives the price of ¥1,400.[7] (The only company name mentioned in the document is Chūō Shashin-yōhin.) Advertisements are reported until October 1953.[8]

The camera was probably produced in small quantities, and the only surviving example observed so far is pictured in Sugiyama.[9]

Notes Edit

  1. The Japanese pronunciation is closer to "Alba" but the name "Aruba" is written on the camera.
  2. No evidence has been found that the name "Aruba 35 I" was used by the company at the time.
  3. Sugiyama, item 4192; McKeown, p.536; Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.346.
  4. Advertisement in Ars Camera January 1953, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.117; Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.346; Sugiyama, item 4192.
  5. This is described for the Sunny in McKeown, p.908.
  6. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.346.
  7. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.117.
  8. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.346.
  9. Sugiyama, item 4192.

Bibliography Edit

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