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Misuzu Shōkai and MSZ logo (1932).

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Ars Camera November 1924

Misuzu Shōkai (i.e. Misuzu Trading Company) was a Japanese distributor, based in Tokyo, Ginza, from 1922 to the mid 2000s.


The company was founded on June 1st, 1922 as simply Misuzu Shōkai (美篶商会). It was selling field and studio cameras in the 1920s (see below), as well as other photographic supplies. It used the brand name CH for various products in the 1920s and 1930s.

The company became K.K. Misuzu Shōkai (㈱美篶商会) on May 16th, 1936. In Spring 1937, it introduced the Midget, Japan's first successful subminiature camera. The company sold other cameras under its own brands, and distributed cameras until 1944; at that date, it had shops in Tōkyō, Nagoya, Sapporo, Ōsaka, Kyūshū and Seoul.

After World War II, Misuzu advertised cameras again from about 1947 to the early 1950s. On June 24th, 1965, it changed its name again to Misuzu Shōkai K.K. (美スズ商会㈱, abandoning the kanji character, whose reading is hard to guess). The company was still in existence in 2004.

Cameras sold by Misuzu Shōkai under its own name[]

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    Ars Camera December 1926

    CH camera, strut folder for Sweet-size plates (about 4×5cm)
  • Lomax and Eaton (6.5×9, early 1930s)
  • Romax plate folder (6.5×9, c.1934)
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    Ars Camera February 1927

    Vest Alex (4×6.5, 1936–8), later sold by Riken as the Vest Olympic
  • Midget (1937)
  • New Midget (1939)
  • New Midget II (1940, again c.1947)
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    Ars Camera November 1927

    New Midget III (1951)
  • Andes Four (4×4, 1941)
  • Semi Lead (4.5×6 folder, 1941–4)

The website of the company said that the Midget was made by Misuzu itself.

Other cameras sold by Misuzu Shōkai[]

As a distributor[]

  • Well Standard and Well Super by Nippon Kōki
  • Semi Leotax by Shōwa Kōgaku (prewar and wartime period)
  • Baby Leotax by Shōwa Kōgaku
  • Alpenflex by Hachiyō Kōgaku Kōgyō

As an authorized dealer[]

  • Vester Klapp by Ginrei
  • Speed Pocket by Kuribayashi
  • Olympus Standard and Semi Olympus II by Takachiho
  • Tsubasa Chrome, Tsubasa Spring and Tsubasa Super Semi by Kigawa
  • Romax (6×6)
  • Baron Six by Chūō Seiki
  • Shinkoh Rabbit by Tougodo (Yamanashi)
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Asahi Camera March 1928

Accessories sold under the CH brand[]

This list is certainly incomplete:

  • CH accessory rangefinder
  • CH self-timer
  • CH flashguns
  • CH tripods
  • CH darkroom accessories
  • CH enlargers, sold with Heliostar 75mm f/6.3, 105mm f/6.3, or Oscar Anastigmat f/5.6 lenses
  • CH Apollo enlarger, sold with Spender Anastigmat 75mm or 105mm f/4.5 lenses

The CH brand was also used on a few cameras (see above).

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Advertisement for the CH Apollo enlarger in Asahi Camera September 1937

References/External Links[]

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April 1936

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CH Sketch tripod

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CH Popular enlarger

All credit goes back to Wikipedia for i do not own any of these information nor the pictures provided in this page