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Motoca 35

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The Motoca 35 (モトカ35) is a Japanese viewfinder camera for 35mm film, made by Kashiwa Seikō in 1948–49.

Description Edit

The Motoca 35 has a rounded die-cast body, shaped as a Leica screwmount camera but with no rangefinder. The viewfinder is contained inside the top casing, offset to the left as seen by the photographer. The name Motoca is engraved at the top, in front of the accessory shoe. There are strap lugs at both ends of the body.

The frame size is 24×32mm, and the camera nominally takes 40 exposures.[1] The film is loaded through the bottom plate, as on the Leica. The advance knob is at the right end of the top plate, and its base is surrounded by the exposure counter. The shutter release is placed close to the camera's back, and is surrounded by a milled ring, which certainly rotates to unlock the film rewind, as indicated by the arrow engraved on the top plate behind the part. The rewind knob is at the left end, and is certainly extractable.

The shutter is not of the conventional focal-plane type with cloth curtains. It is described as a "sector shutter" in Sugiyama,[2] and a contemporary advertisement says that it "moves as a fan" and "combines the advantages of the focal-plane and central shutters".[3] The speed selector is sitting on a step of the top casing, another feature styled after the Leica, despite the different mechanism. The speed range is reported as B, 20–300 or B, 25–300, depending on the source.[4]

The lens has an unspecified interchangeable mount.[5] The standard lens is a coated Motoca Lunar Anastigmat 45mm f/3, certainly not collapsible.[6] Its close focusing distance is reported as 1/3m, but its actual distance scale looks to be engraved in feet.[7] It seems that no other interchangeable lens was made for the camera.

Commercial life and known examples Edit

The Motoca 35 was announced in Kohga Gekkan in September 1948, and was advertised in Japanese magazines from September 1948 to August 1949. The February 1949 advertisement in Kohga Gekkan mentions the maker's name Kashiwa Seikō and the distributor's name Smart Shop Sha, and gives no price.[8] The camera was still featured in the December 1949 issue of Photo Art listing the current Japanese production.[9] This document gives the price range as ¥10,000–15,000.[10] The pictured camera has lens no.100x (perhaps 1002), and is certainly among the first produced.

At least one surviving example is known, pictured in Sugiyama, with lens no.1066.[11] It seems likely that only very few Motoca 35 were produced, maybe no more than a hundred.

Notes Edit

  1. Frame size: column in Photo Art December 1949, p.39, reproduced in this page. Number of exposures: advertisement in Kohga Gekkan February 1949, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.201.
  2. Sugiyama, item 3515.
  3. Advertisement in Kohga Gekkan February 1949, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.201: フォーカルとコンパーの長所を取って生れ扇型の運動に革新的性能を有するモトカシャッター.
  4. B, 20–300: column in Photo Art December 1949, p.39, reproduced in this page. B, 25–300: Sugiyama, item 3515.
  5. Sugiyama, item 3515.
  6. Coated: advertisement in Kohga Gekkan February 1949, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.201.
  7. Focusing down to 1/3m: column in Photo Art December 1949, p.39, reproduced in this page. Distance scale in feet: example pictured in Sugiyama, item 3515.
  8. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.201.
  9. Photo Art December 1949, p.39, reproduced in this page.
  10. The price range is indicated by the letter "D".
  11. Sugiyama, item 3515.

Bibliography Edit

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