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Comet (3×4)

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The Comet (コメット) is a Japanese camera taking 3×4cm exposures on 127 film, was distributed by Ueda Shashinki-ten in 1940–1941.

Description of the body Edit

The Comet has a rounded metal body. There is a telescopic tube supporting the lens and shutter assembly. The top plate is removed for film loading, in a style made popular by the Picny and Gelto. It supports the advance knob at the right end, a knob used to open and close the camera, a tubular finder in the middle, a plate engraved COMET, and the accessory shoe at the left end.

Original documents Edit

The Comet was intermittently advertised in Asahi Camera from June 1940 to April 1941.[1] The August 1940 advertisement lists the Comet for ¥55, with a front-cell focusing Lucomar Anastigmat f/4.5 lens and a Comet shutter (25, 50, 100, B, T).[2] In December 1940, the price is quoted as ¥65 and the lens and shutter names are not specified.[3] In January 1941, the price is not even mentioned.[4] The April 1941 advertisement, reproduced below, again lists the camera for ¥65, and says that the lowest speed is 1/5s.[5]

All the advertisements show the same picture. The camera has the name COMET at the top of the shutter plate, and certainly MADE IN JAPAN at the bottom.

The camera also appears for ¥77 in the official list of set prices compiled in October 1940 and published in January 1941, with no further detail.[6] The large difference between this price and that quoted in contemporary advertisements is unexplained.

Actual examples Edit

One surviving example of the Comet is pictured in Sugiyama.[7] It has a front-cell focusing 5cm f/4.5 lens reportedly called Helios Anastigmat, certainly made by Tōkyō Shashin Kōgaku, and an unmarked shutter giving T, B, 5–200 speeds.

Another example is known with a Seica Anastigmat lens, perhaps of f/3.5 maximal aperture, and a Kikō-B shutter, certainly made by Kigawa and perhaps giving T, B, 5–200 speeds.[8]

Similar Helios and Seica lenses were used on the Seica 3×4 camera, perhaps indicating a relation between the two cameras.

Notes Edit

  1. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.336.
  2. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.76.
  3. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.72.
  4. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.77.
  5. Advertisement in Asahi Camera April 1941 reproduced in this page.
  6. "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku", type 1, section 7.
  7. Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 3015.
  8. Example pictured in Onodera, p.16 of Camera Collectors' News no.127.

Bibliography Edit

  • Asahi Camera. Advertisement by Ueda Shashinki-ten in the April 1941 issue, no page number.
  • 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. Item 108. (See also the advertisements for items 129 and 136.)
  • "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku" (国産写真機の公定価格, Set prices of the Japanese cameras), listing Japanese camera production as of October 25, 1940 and setting the retail prices from December 10, 1940. Published in Asahi Camera January 1941 and reproduced in 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. Pp.108—9. Type 1, section 7.
  • Onodera Eiri (小野寺英里). "SNK to Kigawa to Taisei to Fujikō to" (SNKと木川と大成と富士光と, SNK, Kigawa, Taisei, Fujikō, etc.). In Camera Collectors' News no.127 (January 1988). Nishinomiya: Camera Collectors News-sha. Pp.15–20.
  • 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 3015.

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