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Japanese 6×6 TLR
Postwar models (A–L)
Aires Automat | Airesflex | Aires Reflex | Akumiflex | Alfaflex | Alpenflex | Amiflex | Autoflex | Beautyflex | Bikor-Flex | Bioflex | Copenflex | Cosmoflex | Crown Flex | Crystar Flex | Dorisflex | Easternflex | Echoflex | Eicaflex | Elbowflex | Elegaflex | Eleger Reflex | Elicaflex | Elizaflex | Elmoflex | Firstflex | Fodorflex | Fujicaflex | Geltoflex | Graceflex | Halma Auto | Halma Flex | Hobiflex | Honorflex | Isocaflex | Itohflex | Kalloflex | Kallovex | Koniflex | Krimsoflex | Larkflex | Laurelflex | Luminaflex | Lustreflex | Lyraflex
Prewar and wartime models and postwar models (M–Z) ->
Other TLR, pseudo TLR and medium format SLR ->
Other Japanese 6×6, 4.5×6, 3×4 and 4×4 ->

The Larkflex is a little known Japanese 6×6 TLR, made in 1953–4.

Description of the body Edit

The Larkflex is a regular copy of the Rolleicord. The front plate moves back and forth for focusing. The film advance and focus knobs are on the photographer's right, and the focus knob is probably surrounded by a depth-of-field scale. There is a magnifying lens and a sportsfinder in the viewing hood. The name LARK FLEX is inscribed on a stepped nameplate above the front plate. This nameplate is V-shaped, probably to suggest the silhouette of a bird viewed from the front.

The camera has Lark 80/3.5 lenses and an NKS shutter (B, 1–200, with a self-timer). The release button is placed at the bottom of the front standard, it is actuated by the left-hand fingers. The synch post is buried in the front standard, between the two lenses, on the same side as the release button.


The Larkflex was featured as a new product in Japanese magazines dated September and October 1953, and it was advertised from May to August 1954 in Sankei Camera.[1] It was offered for ¥16,000 in the May advertisement.[2]

No actual example has been observed so far, and the above description is based on the advertisement's text and picture.

Maker Edit

The May 1954 advertisement cited above[3] shows the company name Lark Camera Seisakusho (ラークカメラ製作所, Rāku Kamera Seisakusho). Some sources attribute the Larkflex to "Toyo" or "Tōyō Kōki" (東洋光機), and some specify that it was distributed by "Tōyō Shōkai" (東洋商会).[4] The Larkflex might share some parts or even the main body casting with models made by Tōyō Seiki Kōgaku, such as the Elbowflex or Princeflex. However this is hard to tell from the single small picture observed.

Notes Edit

  1. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.371.
  2. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.202.
  3. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.202.
  4. Lewis, p.82 says that "two Toyo cameras were introduced [in 1953], the Larkflex and the upgraded Elegaflex." Kanno gives Tōyō Kōki (東洋光機) as the manufacturer of the Larkflex, distributed by Tōyō Shōkai (東洋商会). Takeuchi, p.189, also gives Tōyō Kōki as the manufacturer.

Bibliography Edit

  • 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 976.
  • Kanno Tsunetoshi (管野経敏). "A kara Z no kokusan niganrefu" (AからZの国産二眼レフ, Japanese TLRs from A to Z). In Miryoku saihakken: Nigan refu: Firumu kamera ha e no messēji (魅力再発見・二眼レフ:フィルムカメラ派へのメッセージ, Fascination rediscovery: TLRs: A message to film cameras). Tokyo: Shashinkogyo Syuppansha, 2006.
  • Lewis, Gordon, ed. The History of the Japanese Camera. Rochester, N.Y.: George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography & Film, 1991. ISBN 0-935398-17-1 (paper), ISBN 0-935398-16-3 (hard). P.82 (brief mention only).
  • Takeuchi Jun'ichirō (竹内淳一郎). "Nihon kamera no hinshitsu kōjō to yushutsu kensa" (日本カメラの品質向上と輸出検査, The quality improvement and export testing of Japanese cameras). Keizaigakubu kenkyūjo kiyō (経済学部研究所紀要) 33 (Nihon University, 2003), pp.163–94. Available here.

Links Edit

In Japanese:

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