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Kankyu

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Japanese Semi (4.5×6)
Prewar and wartime models (edit)
folding
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Postwar models ->
Japanese SLR, TLR, pseudo TLR and stereo ->
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The Kankyu is a 4.5×6 folding camera, extremely similar to the Nettar (515) by Zeiss Ikon, and about which very little is known.

Origin Edit

The name "Kankyu" is perhaps related to the Japanese department store Kankyū Hyakkaten. The camera, dating from the late 1930s or early 1940s, was certainly made in Japan, and was certainly not a rebadged Zeiss Ikon: it would have been unwise for a Japanese company of the time to stick its own name on such a prestigious imported product.

Description of the body Edit

The Kankyu is a vertical folder, with a folding optical finder in the middle of the top plate and an advance key at the bottom right — as seen by a photographer holding the camera horizontally. The shutter release is to the left of the viewfinder and the folding bed release is to the right. The back is hinged to the left and the back latch consists of a long sliding bar. There are two red windows to control the film advance, protected by a horizontally sliding common cover. The name Kankyu is embossed in the front leather.

Surviving example Edit

Only one surviving example of the Kankyu has been observed so far.[1] It has a Prontor II shutter (175–1, B, T) and an Isco-Anastigmat 7.5cm f/4.5 by Schneider, engraved Schneider–Kreuznach and Jsco–Anast. 1:4,5 F=7,5cm with no visible serial number. A rather long linkage cam is visible between the body release mechanism and the shutter release itself.

Notes Edit

  1. Example observed in a Japanese online auction.

Bibliography Edit

The Kankyu is not listed in Kokusan kamera no rekishi or in Sugiyama, and appears in none of the sources consulted so far.

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