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Neat Reflex and Idea Reflex

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Japanese plate SLR cameras (edit)
atom (4.5×6cm) Simplex Reflex | Speed Reflex
meishi (5.5×8cm) Speed Reflex
daimeishi (6.5×9cm) Convex Reflex | Hogo Reflex | Idea Reflex (1932) | Neat Reflex | Simplex Reflex | Speed Reflex
tefuda (8×10.5cm) Idea Reflex (1910 and 1911) | Idea Reflex (1932) | Neat Reflex | Photo Deluxe Reflex | Speed Reflex
nimaigake (8×12cm) Idea Reflex (1910 and 1911) | Sakura Reflex Prano
kabine (12×16.5cm) Idea Reflex (1910 and 1911)
daikabine (13×18cm) Guaranteed Reflex
unknown Hardflex | Leinflex | Photoman Special Reflex
Japanese plate film: monocular, box, folding bed and strut-folding ->
3×4 and 4×4, 4×5 and 4×6.5, 4.5×6, 6×6 and 6×9 ->

The Neat Reflex are Japanese SLR cameras made from 1926 by Rokuoh-sha, the manufacturing branch of Konishiroku.[1] The Idea Reflex is an evolution of the Neat Reflex released in 1932.

(Another Idea Reflex was made in 1910. See the Sakura Reflex Prano and Idea Reflex.)

The Neat Reflex Edit

Description Edit

The Neat Reflex (ニートレフレックス) has a boxy shape, inspired by English models such as the Thornton-Pickard Ruby Reflex, the Marion Soho Reflex or the Houghton Ensign Reflex. The front standard is mounted on a rack-and-pinion device, driven by a knob on the photographer's left; it allows vertical movements controlled by a lever actuated by the photographer's right hand. The lens is recessed inside the front standard and is protected by a flap hinged at the top. The main body has a large viewing hood hinged at the front. There is a focal plane shutter on the rear, wound by a key and controlled by a concentric disc; it reportedly gives T, B, 15–1000 speeds.[2] The manufacturer's name ROKUOH-SHA is inscribed below this winding key. The mirror is raised and the shutter is tripped by a lever on the right. There are strap lugs on both sides of the body. The back is revolving, allowing to take horizontal and vertical pictures.

Versions Edit

The Neat Reflex was first released in 1926 in tefuda size (8×10.5cm).[3] An early advertisement or catalogue entry lists the following Voigtländer lenses: Dynar 150/5.5 (¥195), Heliar 150/4.5 (¥210), Heliar 180/4.5 (¥210) and Heliar 150/3.5 (¥265), and says that the camera could be supplied with Carl Zeiss lenses as well.[4]

The camera was released in 1928 or 1929 in daimeishi size (6.5×9cm);[5] except for the size, it shows little difference from the tefuda model. The lens range was unified around the Tessar and Heliar, in f/4.5 and f/3.5 aperture.[6]

The tefuda model was advertised in the December 1926 issue of Ars Camera. The camera is presented as the "latest model" (最新型), and the following lens options are listed:

  • Dynar 15cm f/5.5, ¥210;
  • Heliar 18cm f/4.5, ¥230;
  • Heliar 15cm f/4.5, ¥240;
  • Heliar 15cm f/3.5, ¥290.

The same camera was advertised again in the September 1929 issue of Asahi Camera,[7] where it is again presented as a "new model" (新型); however the picture shows no difference. The advertisement boasts four main features: the camera's light weight, the self-capping shutter, the long bellows allowing to attach long focal lenses, and the revolving back. It mentions Heliar f/4.5 and Tessar f/4.5 lenses, and says that any other lens can be mounted on the camera. No price is given.

The February 1930 advertisement in Asahi Camera is very similar to the December 1926 advertisement shown above. It again says that the camera is the "latest model" (最新型), but the picture is exactly the same; the same is said of the Idea Spring, for equally unfounded reasons. The text boasts approximately the same features, and mentions Tessar f/4.5, Heliar f/4.5 and Heliar f/3.5 lenses. No price is indicated.

The Idea Reflex Edit

The Idea Reflex (アイデアレフレックス) was a continuation of the Neat Reflex, released in 1932. It has a new shutter control panel, with a knob at the top replacing both the winding key and the speed setting disc, and a lever underneath, perhaps switching from Bulb to Instant settings.[8] It is also said that the range of speeds was extended by the addition of 1/8.[9] The camera was reportedly offered with a Tessar 135/4.5, Heliar 135/4.5 or Heliar 135/3.5 lens in tefuda size, and with a Tessar 105/4.5, Heliar 105/4.5 or Heliar 105/3.8 in daimeishi size.[10]

Notes Edit

  1. McKeown, p.537, classifies the Neat Reflex under "R. Konishi & Co." (certainly after Sugiyama), implying that this is not the same company as the later Konica, but this is a mistake.
  2. Shutter speeds: Tanaka, p.34 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10, Sugiyama, item 2017, Kamera no ayumi, p.104.
  3. Date: Tanaka, p.34 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10, camera list of the R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha website.
  4. Advertisement or catalogue entry reproduced in this page of the R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha website.
  5. 1928: Tanaka, p.34 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10. — 1929: Sugiyama, item 2017, and Kamera no ayumi, p.104.
  6. Tanaka, p.34 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10.
  7. Advertisement in Asahi Camera September 1929, p.A1.
  8. See the picture reproduced in this page of the R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha website, and Tanaka, p.35 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10.
  9. Tanaka, p.35 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10.
  10. See this page of the R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha website. Tanaka, p.35 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10, does not mention the f/3.5 and f/3.8 lenses.

Bibliography Edit

Links Edit

In Japanese:


Konishiroku prewar and wartime cameras (edit)
plate hand cameras stereo hand cameras strut folders box telephoto SLR
Idea (original) | Idea A | Idea B | Idea Snap | Idea No.1 | Idea (metal) | Lily (original) | Lily (horizontal) | Lily (metal) | Tropical Lily | Noble | Ohca | Sakura Palace | Sakura Pocket Prano | Sakura Prano Idea Binocular | Sakura Binocular Prano Minimum Idea | Idea Spring | Korok Champion | Cherry | Sakura Army | Sakura Honor | Sakura Navy Idea Telephoto Idea Reflex (1910 and 1911) | Idea Reflex (1932) | Neat Reflex | Sakura Reflex Prano
rollfilm folders box or collapsible TLR
Pearlette | Special Pearlette | B Pearlette | Pearl (for plates and rollfilm) | Pearl No.2 | Pearl (Year 8) | Baby Pearl | Semi Pearl | Sakura Palace Record | Sakura (box) | Sakura (bakelite) Sakura-flex

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