The Maruso Refe is a box shaped camera, and can be described as a box or a pseudo TLR. The body is made of sheet tin. The advance knob is on the photographer's right hand. The release lever is to the right of the lens and there is a B and I (Bulb and Instant) selector on the left. There is a large brilliant finder at the top, and strap attachments on both sides of the body.
The lens is a fixed-focus meniscus, allowing pictures from 2m to infinity. A close-up attachment was available for pictures at 60cm distance. The lens plate is written Maruso Refe at the top and MADE IN JAPAN at the bottom.
History and documents
The camera was featured as a new product in the October 1950 issue of Asahi Camera, reproduced below. In this document, the camera is called "Semi Ref" (セミーレフ) and attributed to Marusō Kōgaku. The price was set as ¥850, with extra ¥100 for the close-up attachment. The camera was supplied to inns selected by the Japan Travel Bureau, where it was rented to the clients for ¥200 a day.
|Announcement in Asahi Camera October 1950. (Image rights)|
- Attribution to Marusō Kōgaku: column in Asahi Camera October 1950, p.120. The attribution to "Maruso Trading Co." in Sugiyama, item 4155, is certainly a confusion.
- Sheet metal: column in Asahi Camera October 1950, p.120. Tin: Sugiyama, item 4155.
- Column in Asahi Camera October 1950, p.120.
- Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.354.
- Sugiyama, item 4155.
- Asahi Camera October 1950. "Shinseihin memo" (新製品, New products memo). P.120.
- 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 578. (Unlike most other cameras covered in this book, no advertisement is reproduced.)
- 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 4155.