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Flora Six

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Japanese Six (6×6)
Postwar models (edit)
folding
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 ->

See also the Flora 6×6cm prototype made by "n.m.k." in the second half of the 1940s.

The Flora Six (フロラ・シックス) is a Japanese folding camera taking 6×6 and 4.5×6 exposures, made by Kyōwa Kōki in 1953.[1] Two models are known, the Flora Six II and Flora Six III. Before them, there was perhaps a model I, but this is unsure.[2]

The Flora Six II Edit

Description Edit

The Flora Six II is the first known model. The overall aspect is similar to the Olympus Chrome Six, but for the folding struts which are inspired by the Ikonta.

The top and bottom plates are chrome finished; the layout of the controls is the same as on the Olympus. There is a tubular finder in the middle, a body release to the right, an accessory shoe and folding bed release to the left. The advance knob is at the top left and has an arrow indicating the winding direction. There is a decorative film flange at the top right.

The back is hinged to the right and has two red windows protected by sliding covers, marked 4.5X6 and 6X6 and again designed after the Olympus models. It seems that the finder has translucent plastic strips indicating the field of view for 4.5×6cm pictures.

The names MODEL II and FLORA–6 are engraved on the top plate, to the right of the viewfinder. The folding struts have a KYOWA logo, and the same logo is repeated on the front of the leather case.

The shutter is a K.O.K. giving B, 1–200 speeds. It has a self-timer and is synchronized with an ASA bayonet post. It has five blades, was subject of the Japanese utility model (実用新案) no.14147 and was certainly made by Kyōwa itself.[3]

The lens is a Techonar 75mm f/3.5; the lens marking KYOWA KŌKI TECHONAR apparently indicates that it was made by the company too. The lens was apparently named after Tekona (手児奈), the name of a character of the Man'yōshū (万葉集) poem living in Katsushika (葛飾), where the Kyōwa company was located.[4]

Late version : KYOWA KŌKI TECHOL 1:3.5 f=75mm lens number 25xxx

Documents and actual examples Edit

The Flora Six II was advertised in Japanese magazines from June to December 1953.[5] The October 1953 advertisement in Asahi Camera gives no price, and mentions Sanwa Shōkai and Yamato Shōkai as authorized dealers.[6]

Surviving examples have been observed with lens numbers in the 19xxx to 22xxx range.[7]

The Flora Six III Edit

The Flora Six III has a different top housing and 1/300 top speed. The viewfinder is enclosed in the top housing, the advance knob, shutter release, folding bed release and accessory shoe are placed above the top housing, at the same location as on the model II. The model name is engraved above the viewfinder.

The Flora Six III was presented in an advertisement dated May 1953,[8] this is the only picture observed so far and no record of a surviving example has been found.

Notes Edit

  1. Date: advertisements and articles listed in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.363.
  2. This page by Terasaki Haruhisa mentions a Flora Six I, but this is perhaps a guess.
  3. Five blades and utility model number: advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.177.
  4. This page by Terasaki Haruhisa.
  5. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.363.
  6. Advertisement in Asahi Camera October 1953, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.177.
  7. Examples pictured in Sugiyama, item 1301, in this page by paul67, and observed in online auctions.
  8. Advertisement in Asahi Camera May 1953, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.178.

Bibliography Edit

Links Edit

In Japanese:

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