Japanese Baby (3×4) and Four (4×4) (edit)
folding
3×4 Baby Balnet | Doris | Baby Doris | Baby Germa | Kinsi | Baby Leotax | Loren | Baby Lyra | Baby Pearl | Baby Pilot | Baby Rosen | Baby Suzuka | Walz
4×4 Adler Four | Rosen Four
rigid or collapsible
3×4 Baika | Baby Chrome | Comet | Cyclon | Gelto | Baby Germa | Gokoku | Hamond | Baby Hawk | Kinka Lucky | Lausar | Light | Baby Light | Molby | Mulber | Olympic | Baby Ōso | Peacock | Picny | Ricohl | Rorox | Shinko Baby | Slick | Baby Sport | Tsubasa Arawashi | Baby Uirus | Zessan
3.5×4 Kenko 35
4×4 Alma Four | Andes Four | Anny 44 | Arsen | Balnet Four | Bonny Four | Freude | Kalimar 44 | Auto Keef | Kraft | Letix | Mykey-4 | Olympic Four | Roico | Royal Senior | Seica | Terra Junior | Vero Four | Welmy 44 | Yashica Future 127
unknown
Baby First | Baby Lyra Flex
Japanese SLR, TLR, pseudo TLR and stereo models ->
Japanese 4×5 and 4×6.5, 4.5×6, 6×6 and 6×9 ->

The Loren (ローレン)[1] is a Japanese 3×4 folding camera made by Earth Kōgaku from about 1940.

Sources[edit | edit source]

The Loren is mentioned in the official list of set prices compiled in October 1940 and published in January 1941, for ¥44 with no further detail.[2] It is reportedly featured in a column of the October 1941 issue of Asahi Camera.[3] It also appears in the April 1943 government inquiry on Japanese camera production, which states that the camera was made and distributed by Earth.[4]

Very few surviving examples have been observed so far.[5]

Description[edit | edit source]

The Loren is a vertical folder with a folding optical finder, very similar to the Baby Pearl by Konishiroku (itself inspired by the Baby Ikonta). The advance knob is to the bottom right (as seen by a photographer holding the camera horizontally). The back is hinged to the left. The name LOREN is embossed in the front leather.

The lens is a Loren Anastigmat 50mm f/4.5. It has three elements and was made by Earth.[6] The shutter gives B, 25–100 speeds and was made by Earth too.[7] The name LOREN is inscribed at the top of the shutter plate; the marking at the bottom ends in H KOHGAKU and is certainly EARTH KOHGAKU.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Sugiyama, item 1160, and McKeown, p.253, both call the camera "Baby Loren", but Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.344, gives "Loren", certainly from an original magazine article.
  2. "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku", type 1, section 4A.
  3. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.344.
  4. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), item 174.
  5. One example is pictured in Sugiyama, item 1160, in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.344 (same picture as in Sugiyama), and in Zaisu, p.6 of Camera Collectors' News no.57 ("Zaisu Ikon" is certainly the pseudonym of "Y. Saji" reported as the owner of the camera pictured in Sugiyama). Another example has been observed in an online auction.
  6. "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), lens item Jc2. The document says that the maximum aperture is f/4, perhaps by mistake.
  7. Shutter speeds: "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), shutter item 12-V-7; Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.344; Sugiyama, item 1160. Made by Earth: "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" ("Inquiry into Japanese cameras"), shutter item 12-V-7.

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Original documents[edit | edit source]

  • "Kokusan shashinki no genjōchōsa" (国産写真機ノ現状調査, Inquiry into Japanese cameras), listing Japanese camera production as of April 1943. Reproduced in Supuringu kamera de ikou: Zen 69 kishu no shōkai to tsukaikata (スプリングカメラでいこう: 全69機種の紹介と使い方, Let's try spring cameras: Presentation and use of 69 machines). Tokyo: Shashinkogyo Syuppan-sha, 2004. ISBN 4-87956-072-3. Pp.180–7. Item 174.
  • "Kokusan shashinki no kōtei kakaku" (国産写真機の公定価格, Set prices of the Japanese cameras), listing Japanese camera production as of October 25, 1940 and setting the retail prices from December 10, 1940. Published in Asahi Camera January 1941 and reproduced in 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. Pp.108—9. Type 1, section 4A.

Recent sources[edit | edit source]

  • 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 339. (No advertisement is reproduced for this camera.)
  • 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.253.
  • Sugiyama, Kōichi (杉山浩一); Naoi, Hiroaki (直井浩明); Bullock, John R. The Collector's Guide to Japanese Cameras. 国産カメラ図鑑 (Kokusan kamera zukan). Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1985. ISBN 4-257-03187-5. Item 1160.
  • Zaisu Ikon (座椅子遺恨, probably a pseudonym of Y. Saji). "Besuto sanka (B-1)" (ベスト讃歌[B-1], Vest hymn [B-1]). In Camera Collectors' News no.57 (March 1982). Nishinomiya: Camera Collectors News-sha. P.6.
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