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Mikono Flex

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Japanese 6×6 TLR
Postwar models (M–Z)
6×6cm
M–Z
(edit)
Magniflex | Malcaflex | Mamiya C | Mananflex | Manonflex | Marioflex | Metascoflex | Middl Flex | Mikono Flex S, P | Minolta Autocord | Minoltacord | Minoltaflex Automat prototypes | Minoltaflex II, III | Minoriflex | Molforeflex | Monade Flex | Morrisflex | Nikkenflex | Nikoflex | Ofunaflex | Olympus Flex | Oplenflex | Oriflex | Orionflex | Osiroflex | Pigeonflex | Princeflex | Prince Junior | Prinz Auto | Prinz Flex | Rectaflex | Ricohflex III–VII, Super, Holiday, Million | Ripeflex | Rolex | Ruvinalflex | Sanonflex | Selcaflex | Silverflex | Starflex | Superflex | Toyocaflex | Tsubasaflex | Tubasaflex | Veri Flex | Wagoflex | Walzflex | Welmyflex | Yashica-A, B, C, D, E, 635 | Yashica-Mat, EM, LM, 12, 24, Mat-124 | Zenobiaflex
Prewar and wartime models and postwar models (A–L) ->
Other TLR, pseudo TLR and medium format SLR ->
Other Japanese 6×6, 4.5×6, 3×4 and 4×4 ->
Japanese pseudo TLR (edit)
Prewar and wartime models
4.5×6 Hansa Rollette Ref | Roll Light Ref | Union Ref
4×4 Pilot Ref (4×4)
3×4 Alma Baby Ref | Baby Ref | Baby Roll Ref | Chukon Ref | Clover Baby Ref | Mario Ref | Pilot Ref | Prince Baby Ref | Truth
Postwar models
6×6 Cometflex | Dox New Six | Elliotte | Flex-O-Cord | Honestflex | Koniken | Mikono Flex C | Oplen Junior | Palma Brilliant | Rionflex | Rosko Brilliant | Topflex | Vesterflex
4.5×6 Binox | Maruso Refe
4×4 Herlight
Japanese true TLR ->
Japanese 6×6, 4.5×6, 3×4 and 4×4, 4×5 and 4×6.5 ->

The Mikono Flex (ミコノフレックス) are Japanese 6×6cm TLRs, made in 1952–3 by Kojima Kōgaku Seiki. Three models exist: the Mikono Flex S and P are true TLRs with externally geared lenses whereas the Mikono Flex C is a fixed-focus pseudo TLR.

Description Edit

Common features Edit

All the Mikono Flex models share the same side-loading bakelite body. The right-hand sideplate is removable together with the exposure chamber for film loading. It is locked by a key on the photographer's left, with O and L indications for Open and Lock. There are simple strap lugs on both sides, and a characteristic row of five parallel depressions running on the body sides and back. The name Mikono Flex is written in front of the viewing hood.

The Mikono Flex C Edit

The Mikono Flex C is the cheapest model. It has a fixed-focus f/16 taking lens, whose rim is engraved MODEL–C and COATED B–1. The shutter reportedly gives B, 25, 50 speeds. The viewing hood consists of a simple flap and the advance knob is a small bakelite part.

The Mikono Flex P and S Edit

The Mikono Flex P is a more advanced model. It has externally geared lenses attached to the front standard; these are three-element Mikono Anastigmat 80/3.5.[1] The shutter is reportedly called Mikono-Rapid and gives B, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200 speeds.[2] The setting lever and release lever are directly placed on the shutter casing, the aperture scale is placed on the front plate, on one side of the lens, and the flash synch post is buried at the bottom of the front standard. The advance knob is a heavier metal part containing a film reminder. The red window in the middle of the back has a vertically sliding cover, and there is an accessory shoe on the photographer's left.

The Mikono Flex S is the same as the P with B, 1–200 speeds and a self-timer.[3]

Commercial life Edit

The three Mikono Flex models were announced in Japanese photographic magazines dated October and November 1952 and February 1953, but only the Mikono Flex P and C were advertised, in April and June 1953.[4] The June advertisement in Shashin Salon gives the price of ¥8,300 for the P and ¥3,200 for the C, case included.[5] The Mikono-6 and Mikono-35 were announced in the same advertisement.

Surviving examples and name variants Edit

Various examples of the Mikono Flex P have been observed, but none of the Mikono Flex S.[6] The only surviving example of the Mikono Flex C observed so far is pictured in Sugiyama.[7]

At least some examples of the focusing Mikono Flex were sold under the name Flex-O-Cord, probably for export only. One of these is pictured in McKeown, where the shutter name is reported as MRS.[8] The same source mentions advertisements for a Flex-O-Cord II which does not seem to differ significantly.

Notes Edit

  1. Three elements: advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.190. Mikono Anastigmat name: Sugiyama, item 2180.
  2. Mikono-Rapid name: Sugiyama, item 2180.
  3. Features of the Mikono Flex S: Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.367.
  4. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.367.
  5. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.190.
  6. Mikono Flex P: example pictured in Sugiyama, item 2180, example pictured in Watakushi no ni-gan-refu kamera-ten, p.30, example pictured in this page of the AJCC, and example observed in an online auction.
  7. Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 4163.
  8. McKeown, p.536.

Bibliography Edit

Links Edit

In Japanese:

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