Wikia

Camerapedia Wiki

Tougodo folding cameras

5,978pages on
this wiki
Talk0
Japanese no-need-darkroom cameras (edit)
box Baby Camera | Camerette | Chitose | Congo Camera | Hit-Go | It | Kamerette | Katei | Maruso Camera | Mikasa-Go | Speed-Go | Super Camera | Tougo
folding Baby Camera | Best Camera | Hero-Go | Highking Camera | Katei | Lead-Go | Maruso Camera | Meiko | Midori | Nice-Go |New Type- Unknown maker| Special Camera | Yuuhi-Go
viewfinder Meikai | Meisupi | Meisupi
SLR Auto Reflex | Baby Reflex | Chitose | Speed-Go Reflex
TLR Light-Go | B Light-Go | Maruso Camera | Meikai | Meisupi
unknown Alps | Lion | Tōkō
Plate cameras: monocular, box, folding bed, strut-folding and SLR ->
3×4 and 4×4, 4×5 and 4×6.5, 4.5×6, 6×6, 6×9 ->

See also the postwar Toyoca Six 6×6 folder and Toyoca B35 35mm folder.

Tougodo made a number of folding cameras in the 1930s, using no-need-darkroom film sheets.

The Tougo No.4 or Tougorette Edit

The first folding camera made by the Tougodo company was the No.4 (四号) or Tougorette (トーゴーレット).[1] It mainly known from an advertisement in the Japan Photographic Society Annual (日本写真会年鑑, Nihon Shashinkai Nenkan) published in February 1932.[2] In this advertisement, the Tougorette is offered as a set for ¥5. The camera probably takes the same film types as the Tougo No.1, No.2 and No.3 presented in the same advertisement, namely the "Vest-size" (ベスト判, 3.5×5.5cm) and "small Vest-size" (小ベスト判, 3.3×4.8cm) film, but this is not known for sure.[3] The Vest-size and small Vest-size film were respectively renamed no.3 (3号) and no.4 (4号) in 1934, but it is not known whether the Tougorette was still available at the time.[4]

The illustration of the February 1932 advertisement shows a strut-folding camera, certainly made of metal. The front plate is mounted on scissor struts and has a brilliant finder at the top, on the photographer's left. A cable release is attached behind the front plate. There is a handle at the top of the main body. The markings around the lens are barely legible; they seem to read TOUGO-DO at the top and MADE IN JAPAN at the bottom. The words Tougo Camera are inscribed at the bottom of the front plate, and there is some logo at the top, opposite the brilliant finder.

The Nice-Go Edit

The Nice-Go (ナイス号) or Nice was Tougodo's cheapest folding camera, reportedly available in 1934.[5] An undated catalogue extract gives the price of ¥3.80.[6] The Nice is mentioned as taking no.3 or no.4 film, the same as the Mikasa-Go and Hit-Go box cameras;[7] the use of numbers for film size indicates that the document were published between 1934 and 1937.[4]

The Nice-Go is shaped as a regular plate folder, with a handle at the top. It has a flimsy front standard made of pressed metal, sliding on two rails, with a brilliant finder attached on the photographer's left. The lens has a fixed aperture. The shutter is mentioned as a Tougō Meirō (トウゴーメイロー) in the catalogue extract cited above[6] and the O, I, B settings are selected by a small index at the top. The shutter plate has a red Tougodo logo red at the top, and the words Nice and TOUGO CAMERA WORKS at the bottom.[8] One surviving example is pictured in Sugiyama.[9]

The Yuuhi-Go Edit

The Yuuhi-Go was reportedly available in 1934 for ¥5.80,[10] but no original document has been observed so far. The camera is said to take the same no.3 and no.4 film as the Nice-Go.[11]

One surviving example is pictured in Sugiyama.[12] It is shaped as a rollfilm camera with rounded edges but obviously does not take rollfilm. The front standard consists of a simple sheet of pressed metal, as on the Nice-Go, and has a brilliant finder at the top, on the photographer's left. The shutter is externally similar to that of the Nice-Go, with O, I and B settings. Three aperture settings are available (1, 2, 3), selected by an index at the bottom of the shutter plate. The name TOUGO YUUHI-GO is inscribed below the lens.

The Lead-Go and Hero-Go Edit

The Lead-Go (リード号)[13] and Hero-Go (ヒーロー号)[14] were reportedly available in 1934 for respectively ¥8.80 and ¥15.[10] They are said to be shaped as regular plate folders,[10] and to take meishi-size (名刺判) no-need-darkroom film (actually 5×7cm), later renamed no.7 (7号) film.[4]

An advertisement by Tougodo in Asahi Camera July 1934 shows a Tougo camera shaped as a plate folder, sold as a set for ¥15.[15] The model name is not given, but Awano identifies this camera as a Hero-Go.[16] The advertisement says that the camera is in meishi format, presumably corresponding to Tougodo's own meishi-size film, not to the regular meishi-size plates (5.5×8cm). It also mentions the presence of a shutter and a diaphragm, and says that the f/6.3 lens is made of two elements in flint and crown glass.

An unidentified Tougo camera shaped as a plate folder is pictured in Sugiyama.[17] It has a U-shaped front standard, with a brilliant finder on the photographer's left. The shutter has O, I, B settings set on a dial at the top. The lens has a diaphragm, and the aperture range goes from f/8 to f/32.[18] The name TOUGO is inscribed on the speed-setting dial, and the Tougodo logo appears on the shutter plate. Sugiyama says that this camera takes the same film as the Nice-Go and Yuuhi-Go.[19] However the camera looks larger than the Nice-Go, and the proportions do not fit: this unidentified Tougo camera might actually take the larger 5×7cm no-need-darkroom film instead. It is quite similar to the camera advertised in July 1934 and identified by Awano as a Hero-Go, but has lesser features, and might thus correspond to the Lead-Go.

The Meiko series Edit

The Meiko (メイコー) series reportedly appeared around 1936–7, and replaced all the other models except for the cheaper Mikasa-Go, Hit-Go and Nice-Go.[20] The cameras were sold with a Meiko pack holder (明光パックホルダー) containing three film sheets; larger film packs for six film sheets have been mentioned too.[21] The film pack darkslide is inscribed PATENT MEIKO PACK and has the Tougodo logo.[22] The name Meiko comes from the kanji compound 明光, meaning "bright light", certainly to remind that the film can be processed in daylight.

Many Meiko cameras are known to exist, either from the catalogue extracts reproduced in Awano's articles, or from the surviving examples observed so far. All the models seem to have an all-metal body and incurved folding struts.

The Meiko A Edit

The Meiko A (メイコーカメラA) takes 3.5×5.5cm film, called A-size (A判) film after 1937.[23] It is shaped as a plate folder and appears to be an upgraded version of the Nice-Go. There is a brilliant finder on the photographer's left and a handle at the top of the main body. The camera has O, I, B shutter settings and 1, 2, 3 aperture settings. The shutter plate has the words PATENT SHUTTER at the top, Meiko A at the bottom and the Tougodo logo on the right.

A catalogue extract gives the price of ¥5 and mentions a meniscus lens (単玉), a shutter and variable aperture. The illustration shows a simple front standard made of pressed metal, the same as on the Nice-Go or Yuuhi-Go.

The Meiko A pictured in Sugiyama has a more solid U-shaped front standard, patterned after that of the larger Meiko models, and is a presumably later example.[24] The folding "Meiritto" presented in the same source looks very much like the Meiko A pictured in the catalogue cited above.[25] Sugiyama says that it has a larger format;[26] however the proportions do not fit, and this camera is certainly based on the early Meiko A. It is either a name variant called "Meiritto", or more probably a camera whose lens and shutter unit was replaced by that of a Meiritto viewfinder camera. The shutter has O, I, B settings, and the lens reportedly has a diaphragm running from f/8 to f/32.[27] The shutter plate is inscribed Meiritto at the top and PATENT SHUTTER at the bottom

The Meiko B Edit

The Meiko B (メイコーB or メイコーカメラB) takes the same 3.5×5.5cm A-size film.[28] It is an evolution of the Yuuhi-Go, from which it differs mainly by newer rounded folding struts, the same as on the Meiko A, and by the addition of a folding sports finder on the side. It takes Meiko film packs; it is not known whether this feature required a modification of the back or not. Two catalogue extracts showing the Meiko B are reproduced in Awano's articles.[29] They say that the lens has multiple elements (複玉) made of flint and crown glass, and has 75mm focal length. It has a diaphragm certainly running from 8 to 32.[30] The shutter is called Meiro (メイロー) and certainly has O, I, B settings;[31] the shutter plate is inscribed PATENT SHUTTER with Tougodo's logo at the top, and MEIKO B at the bottom. The price is given as ¥7 in the earlier catalogue extract, and as ¥11 in the other.

The Meiko C Edit

The Meiko C (メイコーカメラC or メイコーC号) takes 5×7cm B-size (B判) film.[32] It is shaped as a regular plate folder, and looks like a larger version of the Meiko A, with the U-shaped front standard. The shutter is a Meiro (メイロー);[33] it has O, I, B settings and a silver rim. The shutter plate is black, inscribed PATENT SHUTTER with Tougodo's logo at the top, and Meiko C at the bottom. The lens has f/8 aperture, and the aperture scale goes to f/32.[34]

The early Meiko C have the same folding struts as on the Meiko A and B. At least one example is known with the brilliant finder only.[35] It has something embossed in the top handle, perhaps TOUGO. In a presumably early catalogue, the camera appears with the same sports finder as on the Meiko B. This document says that the lens is an Anastigmat made of multiple elements (複玉, i.e. more than two) in flint and crown glass.[36] (The words "Flint Crown" are perhaps inscribed on the lens rim itself.)[37] The price is given as ¥10.

The late Meiko C have larger folding struts forming two arcs. At least two examples are known with a simple sports finder, whose front part is made of a bended rod.[38] Yet another type of sports finder, made of sheet metal, appears in a catalogue extract. In this document, the lens is called Tougo Anastigmat (トウゴーアナスチグマット) and it seems that the lens rim is a larger, chrome plated part.[39] The price is given as ¥15.

The original box for the Meiko C is yellow and red with white markings: MEIKO CAMERA and C inside a rectangle.[40]

The Meiko E Edit

The Meiko E (メイコーカメラE) is an upgraded version of the Meiko C. (There was perhaps no "Meiko D".) It has a larger brilliant finder and a wireframe finder hinged to the front standard, with a rectangular eyepiece on the rear. It also differs by the wider f/6.8 lens, and by the addition of focusing ability, with a distance scale on the photographer's left.

This model is only known from a catalogue extract reproduced in Awano's articles.[41] The illustration shows the same type of folding struts as on the Meiko A and B and early Meiko C, perhaps corresponding to the early cameras only. The features are described the same as for the Meiko C, with a Meiro shutter and an Anastigmat lens made of multiple elements (複玉) in flint and crown glass. The maximal aperture of the lens is f/6.8, and the price is given as ¥15. The distance scale is called "feet-meter" (フィートメータ).[42] The shutter settings are selected by an index, as on the Meiko C. The shutter plate has Meiko E at the top and Tougodo's logo at the top right; the marking at the bottom is illegible.

The Meiko F Edit

The Meiko F (メイコーカメラF) is very similar to the Meiko E, from which it mainly differs by the lens aperture: f/6.3 instead of f/6.8. The shutter settings are selected by turning the shutter rim, instead of moving an index. The shutter plate is slightly different too: it has PATENT SHUTTER and Tougodo's logo at the top, and Meiko F at the bottom, the same configuration as on the Meiko C.

A catalogue extract showing the Meiko F is reproduced in Awano's articles, perhaps from the same catalogue as that showing the Meiko E.[43] The features are described the same, and the price is given as ¥20, five yen more than the model E. The illustration shows the older type of folding struts.

A camera reported as a Meiko F is pictured in McKeown.[44] It has dual-arched folding struts, the same as on the late model C, and presumably corresponds to a late example. It is said to have a "Flint Crown" f/8 lens, but this is perhaps a mistake. Another example has been observed with the newer folding struts and a Tougo Anastigmat 100mm f/6.3, engraved TOUGO ANASTIGMAT F=6.3 100mm on the rim. It has the name Meiko embossed in the top handle. This example was coming in its original box, in light grey with red markings: MEIKO CAMERA and an F inside a circle.[45]

The Meiko K Edit

The Meiko K (メイコーK) was the most expensive model. It is only known with the newer folding struts. It mainly differs from the Meiko F by the upgraded shutter, giving T, B, 25, 50, 100 speeds with a self-timer. The shutter plate is inscribed PATENT T.M SHUTTER at the top, and MEIKO K at the bottom, with Tougodo's logo on the right. The lens is the same Tougo Anastigmat 100mm f/6.3 as on the Meiko F.

A catalogue extract showing the Meiko K is reproduced in Awano's articles, giving the price of ¥30.[46] At least one surviving example has been observed.[47]

The Meiko No.1 Edit

The Meiko No.1 (メイコー1号) was perhaps the successor of the Meiko A. It is only known from a catalogue extract reproduced in Awano.[48] The document says that the camera takes A-size film, and gives the price of ¥7.50. The illustrated camera looks identical to the Meiko A pictured in Sugiyama, with the newer front standard. It only differs by the shutter plate markings, reading Meiko I at the top and PATENT MEIKO SHUTTER or perhaps PATENT MEIRO SHUTTER at the bottom, with Tougodo's logo on the right.

The "Meiko No.1" (メイコー1號) appears for ¥11 in the official list of set prices compiled in October 1940 and published in January 1941.[49] This document also has the "Meiko No.2" (メイコー2號), "Meiko No.3" (メイコー3號) and "Meiko No.5" (メイコー5號) for ¥31, certainly corresponding to larger Meiko models.[50] No further detail is given about these.

Notes Edit

  1. All the documents observed so far have the name in katakana script (トーゴーレット), and the Roman spelling "Tougorette" is hypothetical only.
  2. Advertisement reproduced in Awano, p.8 of Camera Collectors' News no.317.
  3. Awano, p.2 of Camera Collectors' News no.315. The film size table compiled by Awano does not mention the Tougorette.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Awano, p.2 of Camera Collectors' News no.315.
  5. Available in 1934: Awano, p.1 of Camera Collectors' News no.314.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Catalogue extract reproduced in Awano, p.2 of Camera Collectors' News no.314.
  7. Sugiyama, item 4079, mentions 4×6cm glass plates, probably by mistake.
  8. Tougodo logo in red: example observed in an online auction.
  9. Sugiyama, item 4079.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Awano, p.1 of Camera Collectors' News no.314.
  11. Awano, p.2 of Camera Collectors' News no.315. Sugiyama, item 4077, again mentions 4×6cm glass plates, probably by mistake.
  12. Sugiyama, item 4077.
  13. The name has been seen in katakana script (リード号) only, and the Roman spelling "Lead-Go" is a mere guess.
  14. The name has been seen in katakana script (ヒーロー号) only, and the Roman spelling "Hero-Go" is a mere guess.
  15. Advertisement reproduced in Awano, p.8 of Camera Collectors' News no.315.
  16. Awano, p.8 of Camera Collectors' News no.315.
  17. Sugiyama, item 4078.
  18. Aperture range: Sugiyama, item 4078.
  19. Sugiyama mentions "4×6cm glass plates" for item 4078, the same as for the Nice-Go (item 4077) and Yuuhi-Go (item 4079). In the case of the Nice-Go and Yuuhi-Go, this is presumably a mistake for 3.5×5.5cm no-need-darkroom film.
  20. Awano, p.1 of Camera Collectors' News no.315.
  21. Meiko pack holders for three film sheets: catalogue extracts reproduced in Awano, pp.2–6 of Camera Collectors' News no.314. Pack holders for six film sheets: Awano, p.1 of Camera Collectors' News no.315.
  22. Catalogue illustrations reproduced in Awano, pp.2, 4 and 5 of Camera Collectors' News no.314.
  23. Awano, p.2 of Camera Collectors' News no.315. Sugiyama, item 4081, mentions 4×6cm glass plates by mistake.
  24. Sugiyama, item 4081.
  25. Sugiyama, item 4080.
  26. Sugiyama mentions "6.5×9cm glass plates and sheetfilm" for item 4080, the same as for the Meiko C (item 4082). In the case of the Meiko C, this is presumably a mistake for 5×7cm no-need-darkroom film.
  27. Diaphragm from f/8 to f/32: Sugiyama, item 4080.
  28. Catalogue extract reproduced in Awano, p.3 of Camera Collectors' News no.314, mentioning A-size (A判) 3.5×5.5cm film.
  29. Catalogue extracts reproduced in Awano, p.3 of Camera Collectors' News no.314.
  30. The aperture scale is faintly visible in the catalogue pictures reproduced in Awano, p.3 of Camera Collectors' News no.314.
  31. The shutter settings are faintly visible in the catalogue pictures reproduced in Awano, p.3 of Camera Collectors' News no.314.
  32. Catalogue extract reproduced in Awano, p.4 of Camera Collectors' News no.314, mentioning B-size (B判) 5×7cm film. Sugiyama, item 4082, mentions 6.5×9cm glass plates, probably by mistake, and this is repeated in McKeown, p.930.
  33. Catalogue extracts reproduced in Awano, p.4 of Camera Collectors' News no.314, Sugiyama, item 4082, McKeown, p.930.
  34. F/8 aperture: catalogue extracts reproduced in Awano, p.4 of Camera Collectors' News no.314, Sugiyama, item 4082, McKeown, p.930.
  35. Example observed in an online auction.
  36. Catalogue extract reproduced in Awano, p.4 of Camera Collectors' News no.314: レンズはフリント・クラウン複玉アナスチグマット.
  37. The lens is called "Flint Crown" in Sugiyama, item 4082, and McKeown, p.930, perhaps for that reason.
  38. Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 4082, and example pictured in this page at Asacame. The folding Tougodo pictured in Lewis, p.43, is a late Meiko C too, but the details of the sports finder are unknown.
  39. Catalogue extract reproduced in Awano, p.4 of Camera Collectors' News no.314.
  40. Picture of the original box in this page at Asacame.
  41. Catalogue extract reproduced in Awano, p.5 of Camera Collectors' News no.314.
  42. The word フィートメータ might conceivably be interpreted as "feet" and "metres", saying that the distance scale is engraved in both units, but this is not the case in the surviving Meiko F (whose catalogue entry reads the same), and "feet-meter" is more plausible.
  43. Catalogue extract reproduced in Awano, p.5 of Camera Collectors' News no.314.
  44. McKeown, p.930.
  45. Example observed in an online auction.
  46. Catalogue extract reproduced in Awano, p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.314.
  47. Example observed in an online auction.
  48. Catalogue extract reproduced in Awano, p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.314.
  49. "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku", type 9, section 5.
  50. "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku", type 9, section 6.

Bibliography Edit

Links Edit

In Japanese:

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki