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Shinkoh Rabbit

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Japanese Semi (4.5×6)
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The Shinkoh Rabbit (シンコーラビット) is a Japanese 4.5×6 folding camera, made between 1952 and 1954 by Tougodo.

General description Edit

The Shinkoh Rabbit is a vertical folder, but the viewfinder is to the right when the camera is held vertically by the photographer, it is the reverse of the usual arrangement. The viewfinder is contained in a top housing, which also supports the advance knob, the bed opening button and the accessory on the left, the shutter release and a decorative round part on the right.

Early model Edit

An example is pictured in McKeown[1] with straight folding struts. It is said to be stamped "Model 52" on the bottom. This is probably for the year 1952, and thus it would be an early model. The front leather is embossed Shinkoh and the front of the top housing is engraved Rabbit. The lens is a Bio-Congo 75/3.5 by Yamasaki and the shutter is a synchronized NKS with B, 1–200 speeds.

The early model dated 1952 is said by Kokusan kamera no rekishi to have a Seriter[2] 75/3.5 lens and an SRS shutter with B, 1–200 speeds.[3]

Improved model Edit

Advertisements in the January 1953 issue of Ars Camera[4] and in the January and April 1953 issue of Asahi Camera[5] show a version with differing folding struts, called the Shinkoh Rabbit Improved (シンコーラビット改良型). There is also a minor variation in the viewfinder trim, and the Rabbit marking in front of the top housing has been replaced by another marking above the viewfinder. The lens is a hard coated Giyoko[6] 75/3.5, and the shutter is a synchronized SRS (presumably for Shinkoh Rabbit Shutter) with B, 1–200 speeds and a self-timer. The company names that appear in the advertisements are Shinkō Shōji — this looks like a distributor's name but its role is not precised — and K.K. Tōgōdō, better known in the West as Tougodo. In the April advertisement, three authorized dealers are mentioned: Misuzu Shōkai, Chūō Shashin-yōhin and Kuwata Shōkai. The logo that appears in these three advertisements in SR at the bottom of a stylized rabbit head, recognizable by the two ears pointing upward!

The advertisement in the May 1953 issue of Asahi Camera[7] call the camera Semi Rabbit Improved (セミラビット改良型). The lens is now a Shinkoh[8] 75/3.5 and the shutter is unchanged. In addition to the name of Shinkō Shōji and of the three authorized dealers, the maker is mentioned to be the company Tōgōdō Sangyō Y.K., presumably the manufacturing branch of Tougodo.

An advertisement in the July 1953 issue of Asahi Camera[9], by the seller Hayashi Shōkai, offers the camera for ¥10,500, calling it Shinkoh Rabbit again.

A variant with a Seriter[10] 75/3.5 lens and Pronto S shutter is said to appear in the book Kamera Zukan by Sugiyama and Naoi.[11]

Notes Edit

  1. McKeown, p. 891.
  2. Inferred from the katakana セリター.
  3. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p. 353.
  4. Reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p. 205.
  5. Reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p. 200.
  6. The name is written in katakana: ギョコー or ギヨコー depending on the advertisement, but it is written GIYOKO in Roman letters on the lens rim.
  7. Reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p. 205.
  8. Inferred from the katakana シンコー and from the markings of the early version pictured in McKeown, p. 891 but the actual lens marking is unknown.
  9. Reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p. 184.
  10. Inferred from the katakana セリター.
  11. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p. 353.

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