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 ->

The Katei (カテイ)[1] are Japanese cameras using the no-need-darkroom process, advertised by Shashin Bijutsuin in 1930 and 1931.

The Katei was reportedly advertised from October 1930, at the price of ¥1 for a set.[2] The June 1931 advertisement in Asahi Camera was placed by Shashin Bijutsuin, and says that the camera does not need a darkroom (暗室不用).[3] It offers two versions of a box camera equipped with a shutter and supplied with a cable release:

  • a small version (小型) priced at ¥1;
  • a Vest large version (大型ベスト) priced at ¥1.50.[4]

The mention of Vest format for the large version perhaps means that it takes Tougodo's Vest format film, i.e. 3.5×5.5cm.[5] The pictured camera is a simple box, with a brilliant finder at the top, on the photographer's right. It has a handle above the body. The lens is surrounded by a casing shaped as on the Sakura box camera, with a cable release attached under the viewfinder. There is a rectangular nameplate attached to the front side, under the lens. The advertisement says that bellows versions were also available.

At least one surviving Katei camera is known, pictured in McKeown.[6] It is yet simpler than the camera pictured in the advertisement, and perhaps corresponds to the small version. The shutter casing is round and has a simple release lever protruding on the side. The rectangular nameplate at the bottom reads KATEI CAMERA.


  1. The word katei (written 家庭) means "home".
  2. Awano, p.7 of Camera Collectors' News no.317, quoting the book Nihon Shashinshi Nenpyō (日本写真史年表).
  3. Advertisement reproduced in Awano, p.8 of Camera Collectors' News no.315.
  4. The release date of the large version is given as July 1931 by mistake in the chronological table placed in Awano, p.7 of Camera Collectors' News no.317, quoting the book Nihon Shashinshi Nenpyō (日本写真史年表).
  5. Size: Awano, p.2 of Camera Collectors' News no.315.
  6. McKeown, p.456.