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The Sun is a Japanese subminiature taking 14×14mm pictures on 17.5mm paper backed rollfilm, made in the late 1940s or early 1950s by an unknown company.
The Sun has a characteristic trapezoidal body, whose shape is reminiscent of the Exakta, just like Konishiroku's Snappy subminiature. It only has a waist-level finder placed immediately above the lens, making it look like a twin-lens reflex. The lens actually has fixed focus and aperture, and the camera qualifies at most as a pseudo TLR.
Various controls are visible on the top plate. The most prominent ones are the advance knob at the photographer's left and the shutter release on the right. Some disc is visible at the far right, with the letter S and an arrow pointing to the front; its use is currently unknown. A button or switch is also visible to the left of the viewfinder, again for an unknown purpose. The back is hinged to the left and has a spring-loaded latch on the right.
The camera is identified by a SUN logo engraved at the front of the viewfinder. The taking lens is only engraved SANKO and 35mm, with no mention of the maximal aperture. If the indicated focal length is accurate, this would effectively give a telephoto effect, equivalent to the use of an 85mm lens on a 24×36mm camera.
The manufacturer of the Sun subminiature camera is currently unknown. The Sanko lens name might correspond to a Sankō company, or come from the way the loanword "Sun" is spelled in Japanese katakana: サン (san, Sun), combined with 光 (kō, optics), hence "Sanko".
The similarly named Sun B subminiature camera has a trapezoidal body too, somewhat reminiscent of that of the Sun. The two cameras might be related, or this might be a coincidence.
- McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). P.907.
- Pritchard, Michael and St. Denny, Douglas. Spy Cameras — A century of detective and subminiature cameras. London: Classic Collection Publications, 1993. ISBN 1-874485-00-3. Pp.59–60.