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The Minolta Memo was a fixed-lens 35mm viewfinder camera introduced by Chiyoda Kōgaku Seikō in September 1949[1], featuring:

  • First Minolta 35mm camera using full-frame 24mm x 36mm film format.
  • Rounded Bakelite plastic body. First released with a plastic winding lever.
  • Bottom trigger-winding lever, that both advanced film and cocked the shutter.
  • Shutter button would remain depressed after firing. Winding would release the shutter button back up.
  • Chiyoko Rokkor 50mm / f4.5 lens, with 3 elements in 3 groups. Focusing from 1 meter to infinity.
  • Konan leaf shutter with speeds B, 1/25sec, 1/50sec and 1/100sec[2]. No flash synchronization.

The Memo was the first Japanese camera with lever winding and the first with bottom trigger-winding, and thought to be the first camera in the world with such winding[3]. Unfortunately, as initially introduced the plastic winding trigger broke easily. This defect led the Memo to another distinction: being the first Minolta widely recalled by the manufacturer. The recall caused the Memo to become one of the rarest Minolta cameras.

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In English:

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<references \>

  1. JCII/Lewis, ed. "The History of the Japanese Camera" p65.
  2. Scheibel, A.R. and J. "Minolta Kameratechnik" 1978, p33.
  3. Sugiyama/Naoi "The Collectors Guide to Japanese Cameras", code 3430, p186. Note that the Leica M3 was introduced five years after the Memo.
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