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Japanese no-need-darkroom cameras (edit)
box Baby Camera | Camerette | Chitose | Congo Camera | Hit-Go | It | Kamerette | Katei | Maruso Camera | Mikasa-Go | Speed-Go | Super Camera | Tougo
folding Baby Camera | Best Camera | Hero-Go | Highking Camera | Katei | Lead-Go | Maruso Camera | Meiko | Midori | Nice-Go |New Type- Unknown maker| Special Camera | Yuuhi-Go
viewfinder Meikai | Meisupi | Meisupi
SLR Auto Reflex | Baby Reflex | Chitose | Speed-Go Reflex
TLR Light-Go | B Light-Go | Maruso Camera | Meikai | Meisupi
unknown Alps | Lion | Tōkō
Plate cameras: monocular, box, folding bed, strut-folding and SLR ->
3×4 and 4×4, 4×5 and 4×6.5, 4.5×6, 6×6, 6×9 ->

The Chitose (ちとせ)[1] are Japanese cameras using the no-need-darkroom process, advertised by Shibundō in 1931.

Original document Edit

It is said that the Chitose first appeared in July 1931.[2] An advertisement dated that month in Kagaku Omocha (科学玩具, a magazine whose title means "Scientific Toys") shows various models, described below.[3] All of them can take pictures with no need for a darkroom (暗室不要).

Chitose New Camera Edit

The simplest model is the Chitose New Camera (ちとせ新型カメラ). It is a simple box camera, sold ¥1 as a set with accessories. The set is pictured in the advertisement, and certainly contains the camera, one bottle of developer, one bottle of fixed, two processing trays, some film and some printing paper. The camera itself is a small box, certainly having a viewfinder at the top, on the photographer's left.

Chitose Reflex Camera Edit

The Chitose Reflex Camera (ちとせレフレックスカメラ) is an SLR model, sold at ¥2.20 alone, and at ¥3 as a set. The pictured camera has a box-shaped body, with a viewing hood hinged to the top of the front side. A crescent-shaped plate is attached to the front, above the lens. The camera is very similar to the surviving Baby Reflex pictured in Sugiyama.[4]

The Chitose Reflex certainly takes the same film stock as the Chitose New. The following list of accessories is given, presumably valid for both models:

  • a dozen units of film, ¥0.40;
  • twenty printing papers, for natural light, ¥0.10;
  • a dozen printing papers, for artificial light, ¥0.10;
  • one bottle of developer fluid, ¥0.20;
  • one bottle of fixer, ¥0.30.

Chitose Vest Camera Edit

The Chitose Vest Camera (ちとせベストカメラ) is a larger box camera, whose film size is 36×67mm.[5] It is offered for ¥2 alone, and for ¥3 as a set. The list of accessories is as follows:

  • ten units of film, ¥0.50;
  • a dozen printing papers, for natural light, ¥0.25;
  • a dozen printing papers, for artificial light, ¥0.10;
  • one bottle of developer fluid, ¥0.20;
  • one bottle of fixer, ¥0.30.

Notes Edit

  1. The word chitose (千歳) means "one thousand years".
  2. Advertisement reproduced in Awano, p.10 of Camera Collectors' News no.317. Advertised from July 1931: p.7 of the same source, quoting the book Nihon Shashinshi Nenpyō (日本写真史年表).
  3. Advertisement reproduced in Awano, p.10 of Camera Collectors' News no.317.
  4. Sugiyama, item 4025.
  5. The dimensions are given as 1 sun 2 bu (一寸二分) and 2 sun 2 bu (二寸二分).

Bibliography Edit

  • Awano Mikio (粟野幹男). "Tougō kamera (4)" (トウゴーカメラ[4], Tougo cameras [4]). In Camera Collectors' News no.317 (November 2003). Nishinomiya: Camera Collectors News-sha. Pp.7–12.
  • 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. Item 4025 (on the Baby Reflex, similar to the Chitose Reflex).

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