The Beauty Lightomatic is a series of 35mm rangefinder cameras made by Beauty Camera from 1959 to 1963. The early Lightomatics helped pioneer integral coupled metering, following the Mamiya Elca, Minolta Autowide and Konica S, made possible by their use of the Copal SV series of shutters.
List of versions:
- Beauty Lightomatic or Beauty LM
- Beauty Lightomatic II
- Beauty Lightomatic III, Lightmatic III and Beauty Lite III
- Beauty Lightmatic SP
It is sometimes said that the "Lightomatic LM" is a name variant of the Lightomatic II, but this is perhaps a mistake. A Beauty LM2 is also reported.
The Beauty Lightomatic or LM Edit
|Pictures by J Hopper (Image rights).|
|Beauty LM||Electronic Meter||Advance lever must be pulled out to unlock camera|
The 1959 Lightomatic featured:
- Coupled selenium meter with rounded match-needle meter window on top. Lens barrel aperture and shutter speed settings electro-mechanically coupled with meter, and film speed indexed ASA 6-800 as well from lens barrel scale. Note that symbols that rotate right of meter window are only film reminders.
- Brightline etched at eyepiece lens with automatic parallax correction
- Copal-SV shutter with speeds: B, 1sec to 1/500s, M and X flash synchronization and self timer. Shutter speeds can be interlocked with aperture.
- Beauty-S or Canter-S 45mm / f1.9 lens, with 6 elements in 4 groups and 5 aperture blades.
The Beauty Lightomatic was developed from the Beauty Super L.
The Beauty Lightomatic II Edit
The 1960 Lightomatic II featured:
- Cosmetic restyle and improvement of Lightomatic / LM chassis.
- Addition of brightline finder window at front panel.
- Coupled selenium meter with squared match-needle window on top, and magnified match-needle window seen in finder.
- Copal-SV shutter with speeds B, 1sec to 1/500s.
- Biokor-S 45 mm / f1.9 lens with 5 aperture blades. Rotation for focusing is opposite from earlier lenses.
And again the advance lever must be pulled out to unlock shutter release.
|Pictures by Goodimages. (Image rights)|
The Beauty Lightomatic III, Lightmatic III and Lite III Edit
|Picture by Howard Somerville. (Image rights)|
|Picture by Novato Dia a Dia. (Image rights)|
The Lightomatic third generation was introduced by Beauty Camera in 1961. These were engraved Lightomatic III, Lightmatic III or Beauty Lite III (in script font). The metering arrangement was significantly revised and featured:
- Coupled selenium meter in lens barrel with ringed receptor surrounding lens at front, following the Okaya Lord Martian innovation.
- Copal-SV shutter with speeds: B, 1sec to 1/500s.
- Biokor-S 45 mm / f1.9 lens with 5 aperture blades.
The last camera made by Beauty Camera was the 1963 Lightmatic SP.
- Asahi Camera (アサヒカメラ) editorial staff. Shōwa 10–40nen kōkoku ni miru kokusan kamera no rekishi (昭和10–40年広告にみる国産カメラの歴史, Japanese camera history as seen in advertisements, 1935–1965). Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1994. ISBN 4-02-330312-7. Items 1476–7 and 1479–81.
- McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). Pp.113–4.
- Sugiyama, Kōichi (杉山浩一); Naoi, Hiroaki (直井浩明); Bullock, John R. The Collector's Guide to Japanese Cameras. 国産カメラ図鑑 (Kokusan kamera zukan). Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1985. ISBN 4-257-03187-5. Items 3129–30 and 3132–3.
- Beauty Lightomatic in Mediajoy's Guide to Classic Cameras (follow the "Next" links at the bottom of the page to have illustrated instructions of use)