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Japanese Semi (4.5×6)
Postwar models (edit)
Apollo | Semi Blond | Semi Crystar | Daido Semi | Doris | Semi Frank | Semi Gelto | Semi Golder | Karoron | Karoron RF | Kely | Kiko Semi | Korin | Kuri | BB Kuri | Lark | Semi Leotax | Semi Leotax DL / R | Lo Ruby | Semi Lord | Luck | Semi Lyra | Semi Masmy | Middl 120 | Semi Mihama | Mikado | Million Proud | Semi Minolta III | Semi Minolta P | Semi Oscon | Semi Pearl | Pearl I–III | Pearl IV | Petri | Petri RF | Petri Super | Pioneer | Semi Proud | Semi Rocket | Rocky Semi | Rosen | Ruby | Shinkoh Rabbit | Semi Sport | Tsubasa Semi | Union Semi | Union Model U | Walcon Semi | Waltax | Semi Wester | Zenobia
rigid or collapsible
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Prewar and wartime models ->
Japanese SLR, TLR, pseudo TLR and stereo models ->
Japanese 3×4 and 4×4, 4×5 and 4×6.5, 4.5×6 and older 6×9 ->

The Luck[1] (ラック) is a Japanese 4.5×6 folding camera, made in 1951 and 1952 by Fujimoto.

Description Edit

The Luck is a vertical folder, with in-curving folding struts. The viewfinder is contained in a top housing, placed to the right when the camera is held vertically by the photographer — the reverse of the usual arrangement. The top housing has an accessory shoe and a flush knob at each end, the left one is the advance knob and the right one is a rotating depth-of-field scale. The main release is placed at the top of the folding bed, actuated by the right-hand index finger; the same configuration would later appear on the Pearl IV. The name LUCK is engraved above the top housing, together with the serial number. The FT logo of Fujimoto is engraved on the folding struts — FT are the initials of Fujimoto Tōjirō (藤本藤次郎), the founder of the company.[2]

The shutter is an NKS (B, 1–200, self-timer), synchronized via two pins placed at the bottom. The lens is a four-element Adonis 7.5cm f/3.5 made by Fuji Shashin Kōki.[3]

Documents Edit

The Luck was featured in the October 1951 issue of Camera Fan and in the December 1951 issue of Asahi Camera.[4] In an advertisement dated February 1952,[5] the Luck was offered for ¥14,000 — case extra ¥1,100. In this advertisement, the company name is given both as Fujimoto Shashinki Seisakusho (藤本写真機製作所) and as Fujimoto Camera Works (藤本カメラワークス); the latter is probably a dummy name (see Camera Works). The distributor was Kashimura Yōkō. The advertisement also shows the FT logo, as well as a reproduction of a lens rim, with lens number 27891.

Variations Edit

Two different types of top housing are known on the Luck. At least one example has the viewfinder offset to the right (as seen by the photographer) and the accessory shoe placed to the left, next to the advance knob.[6] Others have the viewfinder offset to the left and the accessory shoe placed to the right, next to the depth-of-field scale.[7]

All the known lens numbers are in the 27xxx range (27309, 27731, 27891 and 27902). The two first digits probably stand from Shōwa year 27, i.e. 1952. Incidentally, the only body number observed so far (2732) also has these first two digits.

Notes Edit

  1. It is called "Semi Luck" in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, item 990, in Sugiyama, item 1323, and in McKeown, p.331. The advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.205, the official Fujimoto history page and the article by Tanimura, pp.50–1 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.11, based on an interview of Takahashi Kenzō, simply call it "Luck".
  2. FT initials of Fujimoto Tōjirō: Tanimura, p.51 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.11.
  3. Tanimura, p.51 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.11, from an interview of Takahashi Kenzō. Kawamata, p.80 of Supuringu kamera de ikou, gives the same information.
  4. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.371. The 1950 date indicated in the Fujimoto official history page is one year too early.
  5. Advertisement published in Asahi Camera, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.205.
  6. Example pictured in Tanimura, p.51 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.11 (lens no.27309).
  7. Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 1323 (lens no.27731), example belonging to the Fujimoto company and pictured in Supuringu kamera de ikou, pp.78–80 (body no.2732, lens no.27902), and example pictured in the February 1952 advertisement.

Bibliography Edit

Links Edit

In Japanese:

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