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Sakura Army

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tefuda (8×10.5cm) Champion | Cherry | Sakura Army | Sakura Honor | Sakura Navy
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3×4 and 4×4, 4×5 and 4×6.5, 4.5×6, 6×6 and 6×9 ->

The Sakura Army Hand Camera (さくらアーミー手提暗函)[1] is a Japanese magazine camera sold by Konishi (predecessor of Konica) from 1907.

Description Edit

The Sakura Army is known by a single illustration, found in an original advertisement and reproduced elsewhere.[2] The camera is shaped as a box, and contains twelve plates in tefuda format (8×10.5cm).[3] The camera has an external exposure counter, whose exact location is unknown.[4] The details of the changing mechanism are unknown too, and no changing lever is visible under the top handle, unlike the other Konishi magazine cameras such as the Cherry, Champion and Sakura Navy. The front plate is almost square and has the lens near the top, surrounded by the two brilliant finders. Other controls are visible, certainly to set the speed and aperture, and a lens cap is attached to the main body by a cord.

The lens is of the Rapid Rectilinear type.[5] The original advertisement observed so far mentions Time and Instant shutter settings only, but this is not incompatible with variable "Instant" speeds.[6] One source reports T, B, 1–100 speeds, the same as on the Champion.[7] The shutter mechanism was actually certainly inspired from that of the Patent Klito mounted on the Houghtons Klito models and giving T, 1–100 speeds. The shutter can be tripped by a button or by a pneumatic bulb, and the pneumatic pipe is visible on the front plate at the bottom right of the lens.[8]

Brief commercial life Edit

The Sakura Army was reportedly released in August 1907.[9] It was priced at ¥35, and was thus the most expensive magazine camera sold by Konishi.[10] It was no longer present in the December 1911 Konishi catalogue, unlike cheaper models such as the Cherry, Champion or Sakura Navy.[11]

Notes Edit

  1. The phrase tesage anbako (手提暗函) is rendered as "Hand Camera" in the Konishi catalogue dated December 1911. In modern sources, it is often translated as "Portable Camera" and the camera is sometimes called "Sakura Army Portable". The Japanese word anbako literally means "dark box"; it was modeled after "camera obscura" and was used for cameras until around the 1910s.
  2. Advertisement reproduced in this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha. The same illustration is reproduced in Sakai, p.17 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10, and in a larger size in this other page of the same website.
  3. Twelve plates in tefuda format: advertisement reproduced in this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha.
  4. Advertisement reproduced in this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha (撮影せる乾板の数は自動器に依り外面より見定められるる等手提カメラ).
  5. Advertisement reproduced in this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha (鏡玉は迅速直線鏡玉を装し).
  6. Time and Instant: advertisement reproduced in this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha (シャッターは定時及び瞬間用に供せられ).
  7. T, B, 1–100: Sakai, p.17 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10.
  8. Tripped by a button or by a pneumatic bulb: advertisement reproduced in this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha.
  9. Lewis, p.18, and chronology from the official company history Shashin to tomo ni hyaku-nen, reproduced in Tanaka, p.94 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10. The date is simply given as 1907 in Sakai, p.17 of the same magazine, and in the chronology at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha.
  10. Advertisement reproduced in this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha.
  11. December 1911 catalogue of Konishi Honten.

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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