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Middl 120

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Japanese Semi (4.5×6)
Postwar models (edit)
folding
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The Middl 120[1] (ミドル・120) is a series of Japanese folders, made by Otowa around 1952–3. The first models take 4.5×6 pictures and are horizontal folders with straight diagonal struts, and the last model is a dual-format 4.5×6 and 6×6 folder.

Probable early model Edit

There is a record of a presumably early model with a folding optical finder.[2] It has a flat top plate, in chrome finish, with an accessory shoe on the left end and the advance knob on the right end. The finder in centered, the bed opening button is slightly to the left and there seems to be a body release above the right strut.

The Middl 120-A Edit

Description of the body Edit

The Middl 120-A[3] is a 4.5×6 model.

There is a top housing containing the viewfinder, slightly offset to the right. The accessory shoe is to the left of the finder, and the folding bed release is just in front of it. The shutter release and the advance knob are on the right end and there is a decorative round plate on the left end[4]. The back is hinged to the left and has a single red window at the bottom to control film advance, protected by a horizontally sliding cover.

The camera is engraved Middl and 120-A above the viewfinder, with the OKS logo in front of the top housing. It is also embossed Middl 120 in the back leather. It is reported that the piece of leather covering the back latch is embossed Middl Optical Works.[5]

A Middl 120-A2 is also reported but no detail is available.[6]

Lens and shutter equipment Edit

The Middl 120-A was advertised in the December 1952 issue of Ars Camera[7], with Otowa mentioned as the maker and Mizuno Shashinki-ten as the authorized dealer. The lens was announced as a Seriter 75/3.5, but this focal length has not yet been observed and may be a mistake. The shutter gives B, 1–200 speeds, has a self-timer and is synchronized via an ASA bayonet connector. No marking is visible on the shutter in the advertising picture but it is certainly an NKS.

Some actual examples have a Seriter Anastigmat 80mm f:3.5 lens and an NKS shutter (B, 1–200), identified as such in the speed ring. The shutter plate also has a logo and a small NKS marking at the top, that is not visible in the advertising picture.[8] with a Seriter Anastigmat 80mm f:3.5 and a shutter identified as NKS on the speed rim. The shutter plate of these examples has a logo and a small NKS marking at the top, that seems to be absent from the one pictured in the advertisement.

Another example has been observed[9] with a similar shutter and a lens called Middl (and engraved MiddL with a capital "L").

The Middl 120-Z Edit

The Middl 120-Z is a dual format model, for both 6×6 and 4.5×6. It is offered in an advertisement from the January 1953 issue of Ars Camera[10], with a Seriter 75/3.5 and an NKS shutter having the same features as the one mounted on the previous model. Curiously, this advertisement illustrates the description of the new model with a picture of the Middl 120-A (it is engraved as such on the top). The name Middl Six (ミドルシックス) is also used together with Middl 120-Z. No picture of this camera has yet been observed.

Notes Edit

  1. The name is consistently written this way, with a missing "e". In Lewis, it is called "Middle 120" by mistake.
  2. The only document found is the picture in this page of the AJCC, where it is called both "Middl" and "Middl 120".
  3. McKeown lists this model both under the companies "Middl Optical Works Ltd" (p. 670) and "Otowa Kogaku" (p. 770), with a near duplicate description but the model attributed to Otowa is mistakenly reported as a 6×6.
  4. The decorative round plate has fallen from the example pictured in McKeown, p. 770.
  5. McKeown, p. 670.
  6. Lewis, p. 83.
  7. Reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p. 192.
  8. Example pictured in this page Japan Family Camera and example pictured in McKeown, p. 770.
  9. In this page at je2luz.
  10. Reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p. 192.

Bibliography Edit

Links Edit

In Japanese:

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