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The Rulex is a series of leaf shutters made by the Japanese company Neumann & Heilemann in the late 1930s and early 1940s. They exist only in #0 size. Except on counted occasions, all the Rulex shutters are identified as made by "Neumann & Heilemann", even after the company was absorbed by Fujimoto in 1937. It is said that rebadged Rulex shutters were also supplied to other camera makers, but none has been identified for sure.[1]

The name "Rulex" also applies to a German shutter model dating from the 1920s.

Versions Edit

Three versions of the Rulex were offered, called Rulex A, B and D, respectively with 1s, 1/5 or 1/25 slow speed. Most are everset, but it is said that some late versions were made with a setting lever.[2]

Range of speeds of the Rulex A:

  • 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, B, T from early 1935;[3]
  • 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, B, T from late 1939;[4]
  • 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 150, 300, B, T from early 1941.[5]

Range of speeds of the Rulex B (there are inconsistencies in the original advertisements):

  • 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 150, B, T from early 1935;[6]
  • 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, B, T from late 1936;[7]
  • 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, B, T in early 1941 (unconfirmed).[8]

Range of speeds of the Rulex D:

  • 25, 50, 150, B, T from early 1936.[9]

Shutter plate design Edit

The shutter plate of the Rulex is always the same whatever the camera on which it is mounted. Two different designs are known.

The early shutter plate is marked Neumann & Heilemann or NEUMANN & HEILEMANN PATENTS PENDING in small characters at the top and RULEX in fancy letters at the bottom. It has the NH logo of Neumann & Heilemann on the right. The aperture scale consists of a separate crescent-shaped plate screwed to the bottom.

The late shutter plate is marked NEUMANN–HEILEMANN at the top and RULEX at the bottom in regular capital letters. There are three decorative stripes on each side of the lens and the NH logo on the right. The aperture scale is directly inscribed at the bottom on most examples.

Cameras equipped Edit

Listing of a camera here should not be taken to mean that all examples of the camera were fitted with Rulex shutters. The words "early" and "late" correspond to the shutter plate design.

camera observed advertised
Adler A late design: 5–200 _
Semi Chrome A _ early: 5–150[10]
Collex late: 1–200 _
Condor folders _ late: 1–250, 1–300, 5–150, 5–200
Semi Dymos _ unknown type
Semi Elega _ as the "B" and "D" shutters
First plate folders early: 1–200 early: Rulex A and B
First Center _ late: Rulex A and B
First Etui _ early: 1–200, 5–150
First Roll early: 1–200 _
Semi First and First Six early: 5–200 Rulex A, B and D
Gold plate folders _ 5–150, 25–150
Hope plate folders _ early
Kinka plate folders early: 1–250 Rulex A
Kinka Roll _ Rulex A
Kokka _ early: Rulex A and B
Semi Lester early: 1–200 early: Rulex A, B and D
Super Makinet Six early: 5–150
late: 1–200
early: Rulex A, B and D
late: Rulex A, B and D
National and Ugein late: 1–200, 1–250 (reported) early: Rulex A, B and D
unknown: 1–200, 1–250, 1–300, 5–200, 5–250
Semi Olympus early: 1–200
(OLYMPUS marking on top)
Rulex A
Prince plate folders early _
Proud plate folders early _
Semi Proud early: 5–150, 5–200, 25–150
late: 1–250, 5–200
early: Rulex B and D
late: Rulex A and B
Super Semi Proud _ late: Rulex A and B
Reex _ reportedly
Semi Rody _ late: 1–300, 5–200
Super plate folders _ early: Rulex A, B and D
Venus _ unknown type
Victor folders late: 25–150 early: 1–200, 5–150, 25–150
late: Rulex A, B and D
Auto Victor _ late: Rulex A
Zeitax _ late: 5–200

Notes Edit

  1. Rebadged Rulex: Tanimura, p.97 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.12.
  2. Setting lever: Tanimura, p.97 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.12.
  3. Advertisement for the First Etui dated April 1935 reproduced in Baird, p.61. — Advertisement for the Kinka dated July 1935 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.67. — Advertisements for the Super Makinet Six published in Asahi Camera from September 1936 to April 1937, and advertisements for the same dated April 1937 and February 1939 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.74 and 94. — Advertisement for the Victor dated October 1937 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.84. — Advertisements for the National dated December 1937, June 1938 and June 1939 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.81.
  4. Advertisements for the Semi Condor and New Semi Condor dated November 1939 and June 1940 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.72. — Advertisement for the National dated February 1940 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.81.
  5. Advertisements for the New Semi Condor dated January 1941 and March 1942 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.72–3. — Advertisement for the Semi Rody dated February 1941 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.106. — Advertisement for the Ugein dated March 1941 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.99.
  6. Advertisement for the First Etui dated April 1935 reproduced in Baird, p.61. — Advertisements for the Super Makinet Six published in Asahi Camera in September and October 1936. The advertisement for the same dated February 1939 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.74, is certainly anomalous. — Advertisement for the Victor dated October 1937 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.84. — Advertisement for the Semi Condor dated November 1939 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.72.
  7. Advertisements for the Super Makinet Six published in Asahi Camera from November 1936 to April 1937, and advertisement for the Super Makinet Six dated April 1937 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.94. — Advertisements for the National dated December 1937, June 1938, June 1939 and February 1940 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.81. — Advertisement for the Semi Condor on p.15 of Nihon Shashin Kōgyō Tsūshin, December 15, 1939, reproduced on p.49 of Hyaku-gō goto jūkai no kiroku. — Advertisements for the New Semi Condor dated June 1940, January 1941 and March 1942 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.72–3. — Advertisement for the Semi Rody dated February 1941 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.106.
  8. Advertisement for the Ugein dated March 1941 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.99.
  9. Advertisement for the Gold plate folder dated March 1936 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.71. — Advertisement for the Victor dated October 1937 reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.84.
  10. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.70, unusually showing the name Semi Chrome at the top of the shutter plate (the picture is perhaps retouched).

Bibliography Edit

  • Asahi Camera (アサヒカメラ) editorial staff. Shōwa 10–40nen kōkoku ni miru kokusan kamera no rekishi (昭和10–40年広告にみる国産カメラの歴史, Japanese camera history as seen in advertisements, 1935–1965). Tokyo: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1994. ISBN 4-02-330312-7.
  • Baird, John R. Collectors guide to Kuribayashi-Petri Cameras. Grantsburg, WI (USA): Centennial Photo Service, 1991. ISBN 0-931838-16-9.
  • Kamera no mekanizumu sono I: "Hai! Chīzu" Shunkan o torae-tsuzukeru shattā-ten (カメラのメカニズム・そのⅠ・「ハイ!チーズ」瞬間をとらえ続けるシャッター展, Camera mechanism, part 1 "Cheese!" Exhibition of instant taking shutters). Tokyo: JCII Camera Museum, 2002. (Exhibition catalogue, no ISBN number) P.19.
  • Nihon Shashin Kōgyō Tsūshin (日本写真興業通信). Hyaku-gō goto jūkai no kiroku (百号ごと十回の記録, Ten records, every hundred issues). Tokyo: Nihon Shashin Kōgyō Tsūshin Sha (日本写真興業通信社), 1967. No ISBN number. Advertisement on p.49, corresponding to p.15 of the December 15, 1939 issue.
  • Sugiyama, Kōichi (杉山浩一); Naoi, Hiroaki (直井浩明); Bullock, John R. The Collector's Guide to Japanese Cameras. 国産カメラ図鑑 (Kokusan kamera zukan). Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1985. ISBN 4-257-03187-5.
  • Tanimura Yoshihiko (谷村吉彦). "Neumann & Heilemann: kieta ashiato, Minoruta setsuritsu to sono ato no karera wo otte" (Neumann & Heilemann 消えた足跡・ミノルタ設立とその後の彼等を追って, On the traces of Neumann & Heilemann at the founding of Minolta and afterwards.) Kamera Rebyū: Kurashikku Kamera Senka (カメラレビュー クラシックカメラ専科) / Camera Review: All about Historical Cameras no.12, October 1988. No ISBN number. Minoruta kamera no subete (ミノルタカメラのすべて, special issue on Minolta). Pp.96–9.

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