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Japanese Semi (4.5×6)
Postwar models (edit)
folding
Apollo | Semi Blond | Semi Crystar | Daido Semi | Doris | Semi Frank | Semi Gelto | Semi Golder | Karoron | Karoron RF | Kely | Kiko Semi | Korin | Kuri | BB Kuri | Lark | Semi Leotax | Semi Leotax DL / R | Lo Ruby | Semi Lord | Luck | Semi Lyra | Semi Masmy | Middl 120 | Semi Mihama | Mikado | Million Proud | Semi Minolta III | Semi Minolta P | Semi Oscon | Semi Pearl | Pearl I–III | Pearl IV | Petri | Petri RF | Petri Super | Pioneer | Semi Proud | Semi Rocket | Rocky Semi | Rosen | Ruby | Shinkoh Rabbit | Semi Sport | Tsubasa Semi | Union Semi | Union Model U | Walcon Semi | Waltax | Semi Wester | Zenobia
rigid or collapsible
Semi Dak | Semi Hobix | Super Semi Plum | Rocket Camera | Tomy
Prewar models ->
Japanese Six (6×6)
Postwar models (edit)
folding
Aires Viceroy | Angel Six | Aram Six | Astoria Super Six | Atom Six | Balm Six | Baron | Beauty Six (1950) | Beauty Six (1953) | Calm Six | Carl Six | Centre Six | Crown | Crystar Six | Daido Six | Dorima Six | Doris Six | Ehira Six | Elbow Six | First Six | Flora Six | Fodor Six | Frank Six | Fujica Six | Super Fujica Six | Futami Six | Gotex | Grace Six | Kohken Chrome Six | Kyowa Six | Liner Six | Lyra Six | Mamiya Six | Middl Six | Mihama Six | Mine Six | Minon Six | Mizuho Six | Motoka Six | Mount Six | Muse Six | Super Naiku | Ofuna Six | Olympus Six | Olympus Chrome Six | Orion Six | Oscar Six | Pigeon Six | Planet | Please Six | Pluto Six | Poppy Six | Press Van | Proud Chrome Six | Proud Super Six | Renown Six | Ricoh Six | Ruvikon | Ruvinal | Sanon Six | Silver Six | Sisley 1 | Sisley 2 & 3 | Sister Six | Tenar Six | Toho Six | Tomic | Toyoca Six | Ugein Six | Wagen Six | Walcon 6 | Welmy Six | Wester | Windsor Six
rigid or collapsible
Dia Six | Ehira Chrome Six | Enon Six | Flora | Flashline | Fujipet | Harmony | Mikono-6 | Orion | Ponix | Rich-Ray-6 | Shumy | Weha Chrome Six
Prewar models ->

For the prewar and wartime Semi Proud folders, see Semi Proud.

The Proud postwar folders are Japanese 4.5×6 and 6×6 cameras made by Sumida, certainly a successor of the prewar Proud company. All are horizontal folders with straight diagonal struts, and all seem to share the same basic body, maybe made a little longer for the 6×6 models.

The 4.5×6 models Edit

The Semi Proud Edit

General description Edit

The Semi Proud (セミプラウド) is a 4.5×6 model. It is nearly identical to the late variant of the Apollo and Mikado, made by the same company. It has a simple viewfinder enclosed in a top housing. The advance knob is at the right end of the top plate, as seen by the photographer. Next to it are the body release and a small hole turning white or red, acting as a double exposure prevention indicator. There is an accessory shoe on the left of the viewfinder, with the folding bed release just in front of it. The left end of the top plate has a round film flange. The viewfinder window itself is surrounded by a metal plate attached by two screws.

The back is hinged to the left and has a single red window near the bottom, protected by a cover horizontally sliding under a metal plate. Most examples have a long metal plate engraved SUMIDA OPTICAL WORKS, as on the late Apollo and Mikado, but some examples, presumably late ones, have a shorter plate with no engraving. The back leather is embossed Semi Proud and a KSK logo is embossed in the leather of the folding bed (perhaps for Kabushiki Kaisha Sumida Kōki).

Most examples of the Semi Proud have a metal part above the shutter housing, containing a brilliant finder on one side. Most are engraved Proud and Model, 50 above the viewfinder, but at least one is known with Mod,1950 instead, and examples are reportedly engraved "Model, 51".[1] These model names obviously refer to the year 1950 or 1951, and the camera is often called "Proud Model 50" for that reason.

Original documents Edit

The Semi Proud was advertised in the April 1950 issue of Ars Camera with the brilliant finder, a Pioter 75/3.5 coated lens and a shutter giving B, 1–200 speeds.[2] The advertisement indicates that the camera was "suitable for export" (輸出適格品). It was still mentioned in later advertisements for the Million Proud until mid-1951, for example in November 1950 and in May 1951.[3]

A camera called Proud 120 was announced in the May 1950 issue of Ars Camera with a 75/3.5 lens and an NKS shutter (B, 1–200).[4] It is probably the Semi Proud by another name.

Actual examples Edit

Here are the lens and shutter combinations observed so far:

  • Pioter Anastigmat 7.5cm f/3.5 lens, NKS shutter (B, 1–200) reported;[5]
  • Pioter Anastigmat 7.5cm f/3.5 lens, KSK Proud shutter (B, 1–200);[6]
  • Proud Special 7.5cm f/3.5, KSK Proud shutter (B, 1–200);[7]
  • Ricoh Anastigmat 7.5cm f/3.5, NKS shutter (B, 1–200);[8]
  • Wester Anastigmat 7.5cm f/3.5 lens, NKK Wester shutter (B, 1–200);[9]
  • Wester Anastigmat 7.5cm f/3.5 lens, Proud shutter (B, 1–200);[10]
  • Wester Anastigmat 7.5cm f/3.5 lens, KSK Proud shutter (B, 1–200).[11]

All the shutters give B, 1–200 speeds and are synchronized via a pin protruding from the bottom right of the shutter housing. On the KSK Proud, the shutter plate is inscribed PROUD at the top and SUMIDA OPTICAL WORKS at the bottom, and the speed rim is engraved KSK at the base.

A hybrid camera is pictured in this page. It has nearly all the features of a Semi Proud, with no brilliant finder, but it is engraved Proud and MILLION above the viewfinder, the same as the Million Proud described below. The shutter is a Synchront, synchronized via a PC connector, the same as on the Proud Chrome Six.

The Million Proud Edit

First models Edit

The Million Proud (ミリオンプラウド) is a simplified version of the Semi Proud, with a grey plastic top housing, no double exposure prevention and no brilliant finder. The top housing is styled after the Ansco Titan or Ansco Standard Speedex. The leather of the folding bed again has the KSK logo.

The camera was advertised in the November 1950 issue of Ars Camera,[12] where it was offered for ¥4,300 with a Pioter 75/3.5 lens and a Million shutter, synchronized and giving B, 25, 50, 100, 150 speeds. The slogan says that the Million Proud is "the camera that's suddenly jumped to the top dog position as the definitive Semi: a camera to give to a million photographers" (100万人の愛好者に贈る一躍王座を占めたセミ判決定版). In the advertising picture, the top housing is only delineated by a drawing. It shows no accessory shoe but two symmetrically placed knobs; the right one is the advance knob and the left one is certainly a fake. No actual example has yet been observed in this configuration; it maybe never existed but for that drawing.

In an advertisement dated May 1951,[13] the camera is presented as the Million Proud II (ミリオンプラウドⅡ型). The lens is given as a coated Millioner 75/3.5 and there is a choice of two shutters:

  • Proud 2, giving B, 5–200 speeds, with self-timer and synchronization;
  • Proud 1, giving B, 25, 50, 100, 150 speeds, with synchronization.

The picture shows an accessory shoe at the left end of the top housing, instead of the fake knob visible in the earlier advertisement, and this might be the distinguishing feature of the model II. Another possibility would be that the name Million Proud II only applies to the version with 5–200 speeds, the other one being the Million Proud I.
All the examples of the Million Proud observed so far have a 75/3.5 lens and flash synchronization via a pin at the bottom of the shutter. They show the following variations:

Camera Lens Shutter Top housing
speeds top bottom rim
Million Proud[14] Pioter unknown MILLION PROUD nothing unknown unknown
Million Proud[15] Millioner Anaston B, 10, 25, 50, 100, 150[16] MILLION PROUD nothing SKK Proud and MILLION
Million Proud[17] Proud Special B, 25, 50, 100, 200 PROUD SUMIDA OPTICAL WORKS KSK MILLION only

New model Edit

The Million Proud was replaced in early 1953 by a new model with the same name (ミリオンプラウド).[18] The top housing is much lower, with a tubular finder protruding in the middle. The accessory shoe is on the left, close to the finder, and the advance knob is on the right end. The camera was advertised in January 1953[19] for ¥5,200 with a Millioner 75/4.5 coated lens and a synchronized shutter giving B, 25, 50, 100 speeds. It was only advertised on that month, even if it appeared in Japanese magazine columns throughout the year 1953.[20] No example has been observed yet, and it is not certain if it was actually sold.

One source mentions a "Million Proud IV", equipped with a coupled rangefinder and released in 1953,[21] but no other mention of this camera has been found yet and it is perhaps a confusion with the Proud Super Six, first announced in January 1953 as the Proud Chrome Six IV.

The 6×6 models Edit

The Proud Chrome Six Edit

Description Edit

The Proud Chrome Six (プラウドクロームシックス),[22] released in 1951,[23] is a dual format version of the Semi Proud, taking 6×6cm and 4.5×6cm pictures. It is not known if the main body had to be enlarged to accommodate the wider exposure chamber. The main change is in the back, which has two red windows, one above the other, protected by a sliding cover. There is a small lever, switchable from the 6X6 to the 6X4.5 position and moving another cover, to block the red window that is not in use. This device is contained under a metal plate engraved PAT. PEND. and was advertised as an innovative feature.[24]

The top housing is exactly the same as that of the Semi Proud, except for the format of the viewfinder and the Proud CHROME SIX marking. The brilliant finder above the shutter housing is also similar to that of the Semi Proud. The leather on the folding bed is embossed with the KSK logo.

All the variants have a front-cell focusing 75/3.5 coated lens, B, 1–200 speeds, a self-timer and a synch pin at the bottom of the shutter.

Documents and actual examples Edit

In an advertisement dated October 1951,[25] the Proud Chrome Six was offered with a Bio-Congo lens, made by Yamasaki, and a KSK shutter made by Sumida itself.

Here are the lens and shutter combinations observed so far:

  • Proud Special lens, KSK shutter;[26]
  • K.S.K. Opton Hocter lens, Synchront shutter;[27]
  • Bio-Congo lens, Synchront shutter.[28]

The shutter plate of the Synchront is inscribed PROUD at the top and SUMIDA OPTICAL WORKS at the bottom, whereas the name SYNCHRONT is engraved at the base of the speed rim.

The Proud S Six and Proud Chrome Six II Edit

The October 1951 advertisement cited above says that a Proud S Six (S型シックス) would appear soon.[25] It is not known if this camera corresponds to the Proud Chrome Six II, to the Proud Super Six or to another ill-fated project. Here is the list of lenses announced:

The Proud Chrome Six II (プラウドクロームシックスⅡ型), released in early 1952, has a modified top housing.[29] The viewfinder is offset to the right and its window is surrounded by a metal frame attached by two screws, with four small pins indicating the 4.5×6 field of view. The advance knob is larger and flatter than that of the original Chrome Six, and there is a film indicator above the left knob. The folding bed release is situated in front of the accessory shoe, as in the previous model. There is a brilliant finder above the shutter housing, in a metal casting exactly similar to the previous model.

The Proud Chrome Six II appears in an advertisement dated January 1952,[30] with a Bio-Congo 75/3.5 lens by Yamasaki and the Synchront shutter. This model was also announced with a Nittō Kominar 75/3.5 lens.[31]

The only example observed so far is pictured in McKeown, the shutter is a Synchront and the lens is reported as a K.S.K. Opton Hocter.[32]

The Proud Chrome Six III and IIIA Edit

The Proud Chrome Six III and IIIA (プラウドクロームシックスⅢ型 and ⅢA型), made in 1952 and 1953,[33] have an uncoupled rangefinder, set by a wheel falling under the left thumb. The round rangefinder window is situated under the accessory shoe. The folding bed release is now situated on the bed itself, probably because it otherwise got in the way of the rangefinder. The film indicator has only three settings: PANCHRO and CHROME usually in black[34] and COLOR in red. The top housing itself is marked Proud III CHROME SIX above the finder and the serial number is engraved in front of the accessory shoe.

The Proud Chrome Six III usually has a front-cell focusing S-Congo 7.5cm f/3.5 lens by Yamasaki, engraved K.Yamasaki S-CONGO 1:3.5 F=7.5cm No.XXXXX in black on a chrome bezel, with a red "S" on the early examples. The shutter is a Synchront giving B, 1–200 speeds, synchonized and equipped with a self-timer. The aperture scale is on top of the shutter housing. The shutter plate is marked PROUD at the top and SUMIDA OPTICAL WORKS at the bottom, and the speed rim is engraved SYNCHRONT. This lens and shutter equipment appears in an advertisement dated November 1952.[35]

The early examples of the Proud Chrome Six III have a brilliant finder above the shutter housing like the original Chrome Six, but the part sustaining this finder is different.[36] Some of these early examples are known with a Kominar f/3.5 lens made by Nittō Kōgaku.[37]

The later examples lack this brilliant finder but still have a metal part above the shutter housing, whose purpose is unknown. At a later time, the original synch pin situated at the bottom right of the shutter housing (as seen from the front) was replaced by an ASA bayonet post.[38] Minor variations are noticeable in the aperture scale (black or chrome) and in the shape of the aperture index, but too few examples have been observed for any pattern to be detected.

The Proud Chrome Six IIIA only differs by the lens and shutter equipment. The lens is a front-cell focusing Tri-Lausar 8cm f/3.5 by Tomioka, engraved TOMIOKA Opt. Co. TRI-LAUSAR 1:3.5 f=8cm No.XXXXX, usually in white on a black bezel; the shutter is an NKS giving B, 1–200 speeds, synchronized and having a self-timer. This model has only been observed with no brilliant finder and with an ASA synch post.[39]

The Proud Chrome Six IV or Proud Super Six Edit

The next model has a coupled rangefinder and unit-focusing lens. The top housing is similar to the Chrome Six III but the rangefinder window is rectangular, the viewfinder window has lost the surrounding metal frame and the distance-setting wheel on the back has presumably disappeared. The lens and shutter assembly is mounted on a focusing helix.

This camera was announced in the January 1953 issue of Ars Camera as the Proud Chrome Six IV (プラウドクロームシックスⅣ型) with a Zuiko lens and a Seikosha shutter.[40] It was briefly advertised as the Proud Super Six (プラウドスーパーシックス) in the April 1953 issue of Asahi Camera.[41] The lens is a four-element Tessar-type Congor[42] 75/3.5 the shutter is an NKS (B, 1–200, self-timer), synchronized via an ASA bayonet post.

No example of the Proud Super Six has yet been observed, and it is not known if it was actually sold.

Notes Edit

  1. Mod,1950: example observed in an online auction. "Model, 51": Sugiyama, item 1408, McKeown, p.907.
  2. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.172.
  3. Advertisements published in Ars Camera (November 1950) and Asahi Camera (May 1951), reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.172. The last advertisement reported on p.362 of the same source is dated July 1951.
  4. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.362.
  5. Example pictured in this page.
  6. Example observed in an online auction.
  7. Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 1408, reportedly called "Model, 51".
  8. Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 1407.
  9. Example observed in online auctions, with Model, 50 or Mod,1950 engravings.
  10. Example observed in an online auction, with a short plate on the back.
  11. Example pictured in McKeown, p.907, with no brilliant finder.
  12. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.172.
  13. Advertisement published in Asahi Camera, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.172.
  14. Example observed in an online auction.
  15. Example observed in an online auction.
  16. 1/10 speed barely legible.
  17. Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 1351, and example pictured in this page.
  18. Date: advertisements and articles listed in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.362.
  19. Advertisement published in Photo Art, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.173.
  20. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.362.
  21. Lewis, p.83.
  22. This model is called "Proud Six II" by mistake in Sugiyama, item 1409.
  23. Date: advertisements and articles listed in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.362.
  24. Advertisement for the Proud Chrome Six dated October 1951 and reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.173.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Advertisement published in Camera Fan, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.173.
  26. Examples reported in online auctions (the shutter name not visible in the pictures).
  27. Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 1409; example pictured in this page at Mediajoy's Guide to Classic Cameras, the lens and shutter are visible in this other page.
  28. Examples reported in online auctions (the lens and shutter names are not visible in the pictures).
  29. Date: advertisements and articles listed in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.362.
  30. Advertisement published in Asahi Camera, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.173.
  31. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.362.
  32. An example of the Proud Chrome Six II is pictured in McKeown, p.907.
  33. Dates: advertisements and articles listed in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.362.
  34. Other units have CHROME in black and PANCHRO in green, like the unit at J. Noir's collection
  35. Advertisement published in Shashin no Kyōshitsu, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.173.
  36. Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 1410, in McKeown, p.907, and examples observed for sale.
  37. Example pictured in this article, and example reported in an online auction.
  38. An example with no brilliant finder and a synch pin is pictured in this page at Madam's Ichirizuka site. An example with an ASA synch post is pictured in Proud Chrome Six III at Pleasure Classic Lenses, but the picture is very small. Others have been observed in online auctions.
  39. Examples observed in online auctions.
  40. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.358. Announcement appearing in the January 1953 issue of Kokusan Camera Announce.
  41. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.173.
  42. Name inferred from the katakana コンゴール.

Bibliography Edit

Links Edit

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In Japanese:

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