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Calm Six

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Japanese Six (6×6)
Postwar models (edit)
Aires Viceroy | Angel Six | Aram Six | Astoria Super Six | Atom Six | Balm Six | Baron | Beauty Six (1950) | Beauty Six (1953) | Calm Six | Carl Six | Centre Six | Crown | Crystar Six | Daido Six | Dorima Six | Doris Six | Ehira Six | Elbow Six | First Six | Flora Six | Fodor Six | Frank Six | Fujica Six | Super Fujica Six | Futami Six | Gotex | Grace Six | Kohken Chrome Six | Kyowa Six | Liner Six | Lyra Six | Mamiya Six | Middl Six | Mihama Six | Mine Six | Minon Six | Mizuho Six | Motoka Six | Mount Six | Muse Six | Super Naiku | Ofuna Six | Olympus Six | Olympus Chrome Six | Orion Six | Oscar Six | Pigeon Six | Planet | Please Six | Pluto Six | Poppy Six | Press Van | Proud Chrome Six | Proud Super Six | Renown Six | Ricoh Six | Ruvikon | Ruvinal | Sanon Six | Silver Six | Sisley 1 | Sisley 2 & 3 | Sister Six | Tenar Six | Toho Six | Tomic | Toyoca Six | Ugein Six | Wagen Six | Walcon 6 | Welmy Six | Wester | Windsor Six
rigid or collapsible
Dia Six | Ehira Chrome Six | Enon Six | Flora | Flashline | Fujipet | Harmony | Mikono-6 | Orion | Ponix | Rich-Ray-6 | Shumy | Weha Chrome Six
Japanese 6×6 TLR, pseudo TLR and medium format SLR ->
Japanese Semi (4.5×6) and older 6×9 ->

The Calm Six (カルムシックス) is a Japanese 6×6cm folding camera made by Nippon Kōki in 1955–7.

General description Edit

The Calm Six has a horizontal body with three-part folding struts. The combined range and viewfinder is contained in a top housing. All the models have unit focusing and rangefinder coupling. The advance knob is at the right end, the shutter release is at its usual location next to it, and the folding bed release is on the front door itself. There is an accessory shoe above the top housing. The back is hinged to the left, and the company name NIPPON KOKI is embossed in the leather covering. The company logo NK is embossed in the leather of the front door. On all the models, the shutter has a self-timer and a PC synch socket.

The first generation Edit

Common features Edit

The models of the first generation are recognized by the viewfinder eyepiece offset to the right, as seen by the photographer, and by the small rectangular second-image window at the left end of the top housing. The name Calm is engraved at the front of the top housing.

The original Calm Six Edit

The original Calm Six has an auto-stop advance device, with an exposure counter placed behind the advance knob. The system works for 6×6cm pictures only, and the camera cannot take 4.5×6cm exposures. The release button is interlocked to prevent double exposures. The position of the first exposure is set via start marks on the rollfilm paper backing, and the camera has no red window in the back. A lever is visible on the rear, perhaps used to engage the mechanism when the film is loaded. The body serial number is engraved in front of the accessory shoe.

The original Calm Six was featured in Japanese magazines dated July 1955.[1] In an advertisement in Sankei Camera August 1955, it is presented with a Toko f/3.5 lens and a Copal shutter (B, 1–300) for ¥17,500. The pictures show a focus tab and a film reminding disc above the advance knob.

One actual example of the original Calm Six is pictured in Sugiyama.[2] This camera has a milled focus ring with no tab; it seems to have the film reminding disc on top of the advance knob. Another example has been observed with the same milled focus ring and no film reminder; the advance knob has an arrow at the top to indicate the turning direction, duplicating that already engraved in the top housing itself.[3]

The Calm Six S Edit

Some examples of the Calm Six have the letter S engraved at the front of the top housing, next to the name Calm. This version was presumably called Calm Six S, but this is not confirmed by any original document observed so far. Except for the marking, the Calm Six S looks the same as the original Calm Six, and its distinguishing features are unknown.

At least one example is known with a milled focus ring,[4] and another with a plain focus ring driven by a round tab.[5]

The Calm Six J Edit

The Calm Six J is a simplified version of the Calm Six. It does not have the auto-stop device or exposure counter, and the film advance is controlled via a single red window in the back, protected by a horizontally sliding cover.

The lens is a Calm 8.0cm f/3.5, engraved CALM 1:3.5 f=8.0cm N.K. Opt. Co. The shutter is an Epsilon (B, 1–200), engraved EPSILON at the bottom of the rim.

The Calm Six J was featured in the February 1956 issue of Photo Art, where it was apparently described as dual format (6×6cm and 4.5×6cm), surely by mistake.[6]

Early Calm Six J have been observed with the serial number above the top housing, followed by the letter J.[7] They have a milled focus ring and a black lens bezel. The advance knob does not have a film reminder, but a simple arrow telling the turning direction, which is sometimes repeated on the top housing.

Other examples of the Calm Six J have the letter J engraved at the front of the top housing, next to the name Calm, and have the model year engraved at the top, instead of the serial number. The arrow engraved next to the advance knob has disappeared from the top housing. At least one camera is known with Mod. 1955, no film indicator, a milled focus ring and a black lens bezel.[8] It has been observed with a brown leather case embossed Super Calm Six with the diamond-shaped NK logo of Nippon Kōki. Another camera has Mod. 1956, a film indicator in the advance knob, a plain focus ring with a round tab, and a silver lens bezel.[9]

The second generation Edit

Common features Edit

The second generation models have a different top housing. The viewfinder eyepiece is offset to the left, as seen by the photographer, and the two front windows are square and of an equal size. It seems that the viewfinder has a bright frame inside — this feature is confirmed only for the Calm Six Deluxe II, not for the earlier versions.

All the models have an auto-stop advance device and no red window. The advance knob has a plain top with an arrow indicating the turning direction. The exposure counter is displayed in a small window on the back of the advance knob. There is a small sliding lever on the rear of the top plate, with a red arrow, which is perhaps used to engage the auto-stop mechanism after the position of the first exposure is set by a start mark. The shutter release is surrounded by a cup, and is interlocked with the advance mechanism for double exposure prevention. There is also a film reminder at the left end of the top plate. The focus ring is plain and is driven by a round tab on all observed cameras.

The revised Calm Six Edit

Two examples of the second generation have been observed with a plain Copal shutter (B, 1–300) and a Toko 7.5cm f/3.5 lens made by Tōkyō Kōgaku. The commercial name of this model is unknown. On at least one camera, the name Calm Six is engraved in front of the accessory shoe and the body serial number is inscribed at the rear left. A red marking is added on the right, indicating the position of the film plane.

The Calm Six Deluxe Edit

The Calm Six Deluxe or Super Calm Six Deluxe is similar to the revised Calm Six but has a Copal-MX shutter (B, 1–300) with M/X synch selector. The markings on the top housing have been revised: the name Super Calm Six is engraved in front of the accessory shoe, the word DELUXE is engraved in small capital letters on the right, in front of the film plane indicator, and the body serial number is on the left.[10]

This model was featured in Japanese magazines dated April and June 1956.[11] It is only called "Calm Six Deluxe" in the February 1957 advertisement in Sankei Camera, where it was offered for ¥17,000.[12] The marking on the top plate is not legible in this document.

A few surviving examples are known with the Toko f/3.5.[13] At least one camera has been observed with an S Kominar 7.5cm f/3.5 instead, made by Nittō Kōgaku.[14]

The Calm Six II Edit

The Calm Six II or Calm Six Deluxe II is similar to the Calm Six Deluxe but has a Kominar 7.5cm f/3.5 lens made by Nittō Kōgaku, and perhaps a different finder. It was featured in Japanese magazines dated November and December 1956.[15] The December announcement in Shashin Kōgyō, reproduced below, mentions a bright-frame finder.[16] The price is announced as ¥13,800.

The February 1957 advertisement already cited above gives the name "Calm Six II" (カルムシックスⅡ型), and an unchanged price.[12] The picture shows the name Calm Six in front of the accessory shoe and the Roman number II on the right.

The only surviving example observed so far is pictured in Sugiyama, where it is called "Calm Six Deluxe II"; the above markings are not visible in the picture.[17] * Sugiyama page 78 does NOT consider this camera to be RARE, only two stars rarity.

The last reported mention of the Calm Six Deluxe and Calm Six II is an advertisement dated March 1957.[18] It is said that the company Nippon Kōki went bankrupt in July 1957.[19]

Notes Edit

  1. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.349.
  2. Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 1284.
  3. Example observed in an online auction.
  4. Example observed in an online auction.
  5. Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 1285.
  6. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.381, says that the camera is dual format, probably after the article in Photo Art.
  7. Examples observed in online auctions.
  8. Example observed in an online auction.
  9. Example pictured in this page at Japan Family Camera.
  10. The camera is called "Super Calm Six" in short in Sugiyama, item 1286, but it seems that the pictured example has DELUXE as well.
  11. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.381. This source uses the name "Super Calm Six Deluxe".
  12. 12.0 12.1 Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.233.
  13. Examples pictured in Sugiyama, item 1286, and observed in an online auction.
  14. Example observed in an online auction.
  15. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.381–2.
  16. Column in Shashin Kōgyō December 1956, p.454.
  17. Sugiyama, item 1287.
  18. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.381–2.
  19. Lewis, p.104.

Bibliography Edit

Original documents Edit

Recent sources Edit

Links Edit

In Japanese:

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