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Hakkōdō

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Hakkōdō (白光堂) or Hakkōdō Shashinki-ten (白光堂写真機店) was a Japanese distributor based in Tokyo. It advertised the Rollekonter 6×6 TLR from 1941 to 1944, and offered rangefinder conversions for 4.5×6 folders in 1943 (see below). Its address at the time was Kōjimachi Iidamachi (麹町飯田町) 2–2.[1] The company survived the war at the same address, and reportedly advertised the Minoriflex TLR in 1951.[2]

A company called the same still exists today (2007), its address is Chiyoda-ku Iidabashi (千代田区飯田橋) 3–1–3, probably the same as in the 1940s.[3]

Rangefinder conversions Edit

An advertisement by Hakkōdō dated October 1943[4] offered rangefinder conversions for 4.5×6 folders. The conversion was available for any Zeiss Ikon model (ツアイスイコン各種), namely the Ikonta and Nettar, as well as for the Semi Lyra, the "new Semi Proud" (新型セミプラウド), the Semi Sport and the Semi Leotax, all of them Japanese copies of the Ikonta or Nettar. The conversion cost ¥95 for the Zeiss Ikon models and ¥75 for the Japanese models, and it was taking two weeks.

The advertisement shows a faintly legible picture of a converted Semi Lyra. The conversion externally looks like the rangefinder unit of the 4.5×6 Super Ikonta, with the folding optical finder above, but there is no pivoting arm attached to the lens standard. The description mentions a new coupling system, which cannot come loose, but the details are unclear.

Notes Edit

  1. Advertisements dated 1941 to 1944 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.106 and 112, here at Nostalgic Camera, here at Xylocopal's photolog and here at Gochamaze website.
  2. Advertisement in Ars Camera February 1946, p.1, and February 1949, p.48. Minoriflex: Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.368 (item 915).
  3. See this directory of photographic shops and other Japanese phonebooks.
  4. Advertisement published in Shashin Bunka, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.112.

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