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Super Makinet Six and Neure Six

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Japanese Six (6×6)
Prewar and wartime models (edit)
folding
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Postwar models ->
Japanese 6×6 TLR, pseudo TLR and medium format SLR ->
Japanese Semi (4.5×6) and older 6×9 ->

The Super Makinet Six is a Japanese 6×6 strut folder, made by Umemoto and sold by Kikōdō from 1936 to 1939.[1] The Neure Six is a derivative of this.

General description Edit

The camera has a folding body, with scissor struts at the top and bottom of the front standard. The main body is made of die-cast alloy and the casting process itself was subcontracted to the company Tanaka Daikasuto (田中ダイカスト, meaning Tanaka Diecast).[2]

At least on the expensive versions of the Super Makinet Six, there is a wheel on the right hand side of the front plate, driving the scissor struts and moving the whole lens standard back and forth for focusing. (This is the same system as on the Makina; the resemblance of the names is certainly not coincidental.) The distance is indicated by an index moving along a scale at the top of the front plate. The shutter release is directly mounted on the shutter housing. There is a retractable leg behind the front standard, allowing the camera to stand vertically on a table.

The camera is dual format and can take 6×6 or 4.5×6 exposures by way of an internal mask. The folding optical finder is in the middle of the top plate and has two bars indicating the field of view for 4.5×6 pictures.

The advance knob is at the top right. The back is hinged to the left and contains two red windows at the top for 4.5×6cm exposures, probably protected by horizontally sliding covers. There is an exposure counter at the right of the back, used for 6×6cm exposures. It consists of a disc graduated from 1 to 12 driven by a feeler roller. This device is probably contained under a triangular-shaped cover.[3]

The Super Makinet Six Edit

The Super Makinet Six (スーパーマキネットシックス) was distributed by Kikōdō, which used the "Super" brand name for various cameras. The front leather is embossed MAKINET on one side and SUPER on the other. The leather case is embossed MAKINET SIX at the front.

The camera was featured in the new products column of the February 1936 issue of Asahi Camera.[4] In advertisements dated September 1936 onwards, two versions were listed:[5]

  • Radionar f/4.5 lens, Rulex A shutter, 1–200 speeds (¥65);
  • Lausar f/4.5 lens, Rulex B shutter, 5–150 speeds until October 1936, 5–200 later (¥58).

Some advertising pictures are heavily retouched. One of them shows no focusing control at all, neither the focusing wheel and distance scale characteristic of the strut-focusing model, nor the movable lens element that would be expected on a possible front-cell focusing version, and only faintly shows the two bars in the finder.[6] A later one shows the focusing wheel but not the distance scale.[7]

In an advertisement dated May 1937[8] an ordinary model (普及型, fukyūgata) was presented as "coming soon" with a Super Anastigmat f/4.5 lens and a Rulex D shutter. It was regularly listed from the following month and was available for ¥40.[9] For some reason, the ever-ready case for the Rulex D version was usually listed separately from the case for the other versions and priced differently.[10] It is not entirely clear if this ordinary model had unit focusing via the scissor struts or had front-cell focusing.

The Super Makinet Six was featured again in the new products column of the September 1937 issue of Asahi Camera, but it is not known if this was because of the release of the ordinary model or for some other reason.[11]

The three same versions were offered for slightly higher prices from October 1937: Radionar and Rulex A for ¥73, Lausar and Rulex B for ¥65, Super and Rulex D for ¥46.[12] (The version with Rulex D was still called "ordinary model" in June 1938 but not in February 1939.) The camera was not mentioned in the official list of set prices compiled in October 1940 and published in January 1941, presumably because it was no longer in production.[13]

Two examples of the Super Makinet Six are pictured in Sugiyama. One has the Lausar and Rulex B combination.[14] It has a black viewfinder and the older style of Rulex shutter plate. The other has the Radionar and Rulex A combination.[15] It has a chrome viewfinder and the newer style of Rulex shutter plate. The Radionar lens is engraved Neumann & Heilemann, and was perhaps assembled by that company from imported optical elements.

The Neure Six Edit

The Neure Six (ノイレシックス, noire shikkusu: "Neu" is pronounced as in German) is similar to the Super Makinet Six. The only difference is that the focusing is done by turning the frontmost lens element instead of moving the front plate with the scissor struts. (This was perhaps also true for the Super Makinet Six "ordinary model".) The front leather is embossed NEURE SIX on one side and SUPER on the other.

The Neure Six was obviously made by the same maker as the Super Makinet Six. It is not known for sure if it was distributed by Kikōdō, but the presence of the brand "Super" on the camera and of the name "Super Neure Six" (スーパー・ノイレシックス) at one place in an advertisement might indicate that this was so.[16]

The camera was only briefly advertised at the end of 1937.[17] One advertisement is dated November 1937 and contains some inconsistencies about the camera name.[18] In the advertisement's title, the model is called ノイレシックス in katakana characters and "Nuire-Six" in stylized Roman letters. The latter conflicts with what is written on the camera itself even as it is shown within this advertisement: perhaps the designers of the advertisement were not aware of the exact name of the camera. In the text, the camera is called either ノイレシックス (Neure Six) or スーパー・ノイレシックス (Super Neure Six). The advertisement does not mention the ability to take 4.5×6cm exposures but the camera has the two bars in the viewfinder delimiting the field of view for this format.

The camera is pictured with a Rulex shutter by Neumann & Heilemann and a front-cell focusing lens. The following lens and shutter combinations are listed (the shutter name is not mentioned and only the version is given as A, B, D, but the illustration shows a Rulex):

shutter Rulex A Rulex B Rulex D
lens
Neure Anastigmat f/4.5 ¥60 ¥52 ¥43
Neure Anastigmat f/3.5 ¥70 ¥62 _
Anastigmat Radionar f/3.5 ¥80 _ _

The only company name given by the November 1937 advertisement is "Ein Camera Works" (this is inferred from the katakana アイン・カメラ・ウオークス) and was based in Osaka.[19] However, the terse description in Asahi Camera's list of new products, which mentions without comment that it is close in design to the Super Makinet Six, attributes it to "Neure Camera Works" (ノイレ・カメラ・ウオークス).[20] Like other prewar names ending in "Camera Works", it was certainly crafted for advertising purpose only and was not the name of an actual company.

The Neure Six was featured prominently within an advertisement dated December 1937 for Daiichi Kamera-ten (第一カメラ店), an Osaka retailer of new and used cameras; the postal savings account and telephone numbers provided for Ein Camera Works in the other advertisement are the same as those provided for Daiichi in this one, but the address is different.[21] It is plausible that the name Ein Camera Works was crafted after Daiichi Kamera-ten: daiichi means "number one" in Japanese and ein means "one" in German.

The list of lens and shutter combinations given by the December 1937 advertisement slightly differs from the above, perhaps because of a mistake:

shutter Rulex A Rulex B Rulex D
lens
Neure Anastigmat f/4.5 _ ¥60 ¥43
Neure Anastigmat f/3.5 ¥70 ¥62 _
Anastigmat Radionar f/3.5 ¥80 _ _

One surviving example is known with a Radionar f/3.5 (no.187707) and a Rulex A (1–200, B, T) with the early type of shutter plate, both made by Neumann & Heilemann.[22]

Another surviving example of the Neure Six, with body number N1422, is pictured in the Umemoto history page. It has a Fuji-ko Anastigmat Terionar 75mm f/4.5 lens (made by Fuji Kōgaku) and an Elka C shutter giving T, B, 25, 50, 100 speeds. It suffered major damage and repair, and the lens and shutter equipment is probably not original.

Notes Edit

  1. Its manufacture by Umemoto has not been found in any original document but is confirmed by the Umemoto company history edited by Umemoto Akio, grandson of Umemoto Kinzaburō, the founder of the company. Some sources attribute the camera to Tomioka by mistake: Sugiyama, items 1170–1, McKeown, p.928. (One version of the camera has a Lausar lens from this manufacturer.) Dates: advertisements mentioned in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.341. Some advertisements call it the "SUPER MAKINETSIX" or even "SUPERMAKINETSIX", one or two words rather than three.
  2. Private communication to User:Rebollo_fr by Umemoto Akio, grandson of Umemoto Kinzaburō, the founder of the Umemoto company.
  3. The description of the back is based on pictures of the Neure Six currently held by the Umemoto company. These pictures are visible in small format in the Umemoto history page. The red window and exposure counter covers are missing on that particular example.
  4. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.341.
  5. Advertisements published in Asahi Camera from September 1936 to April 1937. See for example the advertisement published in Asahi Camera April 1937, p.A80, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.94.
  6. Advertisement published in Asahi Camera April 1937, p.A80, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.94.
  7. Advertisement published in Asahi Camera February 1939, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.74.
  8. Advertisement published in Asahi Camera May 1937, p.A60.
  9. Price: see for example the advertisement published in Asahi Camera August 1937, p.A82, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.94.
  10. It was listed separately but priced the same (¥8) in a February 1939 advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.74.
  11. "Atarashii kikai to zairyō", Asahi Camera September 1937, p.523.
  12. Advertisement published in Asahi Camera October 1937, p.A68. See also the advertisements published in Asahi Camera June 1938 and February 1939, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, pp.74 and 75. The advertisement dated February 1939 gives 1/150 as the top speed of the Rulex B but this seems to be a mistake.
  13. "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku".
  14. Sugiyama, item 1170.
  15. Sugiyama, item 1171.
  16. Advertisement published in Asahi Camera November 1937, p.A70, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.81.
  17. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.341.
  18. Advertisement published in Asahi Camera, p.A70, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.81.
  19. The address indicated in the advertisement was Ōsaka-shi Minami-ku Andōjibashi-dōri 4–62 (大阪市南区安堂寺橋通四ノ六二).
  20. "Atarashii kikai to zairyō," Asahi Camera November 1938, p.821.
  21. Daiichi Kamera-ten advertisement: Asahi Camera, December 1937, p.A38. Daiichi's address is given as Ōsaka-shi Minami-ku Shinsaibashi Kitazume (大阪市南区心齋橋北詰) with no further detail.
  22. Example pictured in Hibi, p.65 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.8.

Bibliography Edit

Original documents Edit

  • Advertisements in Asahi Camera for the Super Makinet Six:
    • September 1936, p.A78; October 1936, p.A90 (the two appear to be identical);
    • November 1936, p.A76; December 1936, p.A64; January 1937, p.A66; February 1937, p.A57; March 1937, p.A66 (the five are very similar to each other);
    • April 1937, p.A80;
    • May 1937, p.A60;
    • June 1937, p.A76;
    • August 1937, p.A82;
    • September 1937, p.A82;
    • October 1937, p.A68.
  • Advertisements in Asahi Camera for Kikōdō (including the Super Makinet Six): March 1938, p.A62; April 1938, p.A70; May 1938, p.A68; June 1938, p.A70 (the April and May advertisements mention the Super Flex Baby as coming soon).
  • Advertisement in Asahi Camera for the Neure Six: November 1937, p.A70.
  • Advertisement in Asahi Camera for Daiichi Kamera-ten (第一カメラ店) of Osaka (including the Neure Six): December 1937, p.A38.
  • "Atarashii kikai to zairyō" (新しい機械と材料). Asahi Camera September 1937, p.523. Brief notice of the Super Makinet Six (which does not explain why months had elapsed since it was first advertised).
  • "Atarashii kikai to zairyō" (新しい機械と材料). Asahi Camera November 1937, p.821. Brief notice of the Neure Six.

Recent sources Edit

Links Edit

In Japanese:


Umemoto cameras
6×6 strut folders 4×4 SLR 4.5×6 folder
Super Makinet Six | Neure Six Super Flex Baby Semi Makinet | Rocky Semi

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