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Japanese 35mm focal plane VF and RF (edit)
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The Teica (テイカ) is a Leica copy made by the Japanese company Teikoku Kōgaku (later called Zunow), about which very little is known. The name Teica was certainly constructed from Teikoku and Camera, similarly to "Leica", "Konica", "Yashica" and many others.

The camera appears in a single article by Sakurai Minoru (桜井実) in the September 1951 issue of Photo Art.[1] No picture is provided, and the original text is as follows:

又一般アマチュアには全々知られて居ない帝国光学からテイカ(Teica)というライカDⅢそっくりのカメラが生まれました。レンズは元日本光学の技師浜野氏の設計によるもので、ズノウ(Zunow)と言い1:1.2 f=50ミリというF1.5の倍の明るさのある驚異そのものの如き明るいレンズが付き、続いて1:1を出すそうですが、レンズも1:1に成りますとライカのボディではファインダーが覗けませんので小書「国産カメラの選び方」で提案しました(56頁)。

The description says that the camera is a copy of the Leica III, equipped with a Zunow 50/1.2 lens designed by Hamano Michisaburō (浜野道三郎), former employee of Nippon Kōgaku.[2] (This may be the first appearance of the name Zunow in the press.) The text goes on saying that further development of an f/1 lens was planned, but that it would surely block the viewfinder's field of view.

No other detail is known, and no surviving example of the Teica has been found so far. It is almost certain that the camera did not go past the prototype level.

Notes Edit

  1. Sakurai, p.91 of Photo Art September 1951. This is the only article mentioned in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.355.
  2. See Zunow for Hamano Michisaburō.

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. Item 609.
  • Sakurai Minoru (桜井實). "Kōkyū kokusan kamera no jōzu na erabikata" (高級国産カメラの上手な選び方, How to choose a high-end Japanese camera). In Photo Art no.27, September 1951. Pp.89–93.


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