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Ostenflex

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Japanese 6×6 TLR
Prewar and wartime models (edit)
6×6cm Elmoflex | First Reflex | Kiko Flex | Lyra Flex | Minoltaflex | Minoltaflex Automat | Minoltaflex military prototype | Nōman Flex | Ostenflex | Prince Flex | Ricohflex (original) | Ricohflex B | Rollekonter | Roll-o-Frex | Rorter Ref | Rorterflex | Sakura-flex | Simpuflex | Starflex | Taroflex | Valflex | Yokusanflex
Postwar models and other TLR ->
Pseudo TLR and medium format SLR ->
Other Japanese 6×6, 4.5×6, 3×4 and 4×4 ->

The Japanese government inquiry listing camera production as of April 1943 has an Osuten Refu (オステンレフ), listed among TLR cameras.[1] All the TLRs mentioned in this document are called "Ref" (レフ) instead of "Flex" (フレックス), for example the Elmoflex is listed as the "Elmo Ref" (エルモレフ) and the Minoltaflex as the "Minolta Ref" (ミノルタレフ). The name Ostenflex, from the German word Osten meaning East, is conjectural only.

The document mentions an Osten (オステン) shutter giving 1–300, B speeds and made by Tōa Kōki.[2] The lens is given as a three-element Grimmel 75/3.5 made by Fujita Kōgaku Kikai, the same as on the Semi Gelto and Gelto Six.[3] Unfortunately, the name of the maker and distributor are missing from the listing, but the lens and shutter equipment seems to point at Tōa Kōki.

The camera is not listed in the official list of set prices compiled in October 1940 and published in January 1941.[4] It was thus not yet produced at the time.

No surviving example and no picture has been observed so far.

Notes Edit

  1. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), item 122.
  2. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), shutter item 18-R-12.
  3. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), lens item Lb6.
  4. "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku".

Bibliography Edit

This camera is not listed in Sugiyama or in Kokusan kamera no rekishi.

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