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The Asahi Seimitsu 35mm stereo is an unnamed prototype of stereo camera, taking pairs of 24×24mm exposures on 35mm film. It was made around 1951 by Asahi Seimitsu, dependent company of Riken Kōgaku Kōgyō (later Ricoh) in charge of camera development at the time.
The prototype was designed by Fujimoto Sakae (藤本栄), main designer of Asahi Seimitsu, who was much interested in stereo photography. (He later designed the Ricoreo 16, another stereo prototype taking 16mm film.) It was made of parts salvaged from other cameras, and was not really ready for production. The camera was among the earliest 35mm projects made by Riken's camera division Asahi Seimitsu after World War II, before the 1953 Ricolet.
The camera has an elongated body with round edges. The tubular viewfinder, certainly taken from some 6×6cm folding camera, is in the middle of the top plate. The film is advanced by a knob at the right end, and rewound by a smaller knob at the opposite end. The advance mechanism automatically stops at each exposure, and is manually unlocked by a sliding button next to the advance knob. There is an exposure counter inside the top plate, visible through a crescent-shaped window, situated where one would expect a release button.
The back is removable together with the bottom plate and body ends. It is locked by a key in the middle, with O and C indications. The bottom plate has film flanges at both ends, and that on the right contains the tripod thread. It is said that parts of the back were taken from a Gokoku or Ricohl camera.
The dual shutter unit is an old dial-set Compur, taken from a stereo camera of the 1920s, perhaps a Rietzschel Kosmo-Clack. The coupling of the shutter winding, aperture setting and shutter release is built in this unit. The lenses are Olympus Zuiko C. 4cm f/3.5, taken from a pair of Olympus 35 cameras, and focused by turning the front element.
- ↑ Orima and Akiyama, p.79 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.14.
- ↑ Orima, p.46 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.27.
- ↑ Orima, p.46 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.27, on a suggestion by Hagiya Takeshi.
- Orima Isamu (織間勇). "Rikō de tsukurareta 2-dai no sutereo-kamera 35mm-han to 16mm-han yō magajin shiyō no shisakuki" (リコーで作られた2台のステレオカメラ35mm判と16mm専用マガジン使用の試作機, Two stereo cameras made by Ricoh: a 35mm prototype and a 16mm prototype using special magazines). Kamera Rebyū: Kurashikku Kamera Senka (カメラレビュー クラシックカメラ専科) / Camera Review: All about Historical Cameras no.27, December 1993. No ISBN number. Stereo World (ステレオワールド). Pp.46–7.
- Orima Isamu (織間勇) and Akiyama Hideaki (秋山日出明). "Shisaku nomi de yo ni denakatta Rikō no kamera-tachi" (試作のみで世に出なかったリコーのカメラたち, Experimental-only Ricoh cameras, which were never released). Kamera Rebyū: Kurashikku Kamera Senka (カメラレビュー クラシックカメラ専科) / Camera Review: All about Historical Cameras no.14, October 1989. No ISBN number. Rikō kamera no subete (リコーカメラのすべて, special issue on Ricoh). Pp.79–81.