Nishida made a number of leaf shutters from the late 1930s to the late 1950s, sold to other camera makers or used on its own cameras.
Wester, #0 size[edit | edit source]
The original Wester shutter was released around 1938, in #0 size. The speeds are engraved in the order 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, B, T. The shutter plate is normally black, with three metal stripes on each side, the aperture scale at the bottom and the name WESTER~MODEL–I or WESTER~MODEL–II at the top. The Model-II has a self-timer, and the Model-I has not. Some examples have the name WESTER. N.S.D. at the base of the speed rim, where the initials "N.S.D." plausibly correspond to the three syllables Ni-shi-da.
Incomplete list of cameras having a Wester Model-I or Model-II (at least on some versions):
- Semi First and First Six
- Auto Semi First
- Weha Six
- National and Ugein
- Olympus Six (postwar)
- Olympus Chrome Six (very early)
- Mamiya Six IIA (war-time)
Northter, #00 size[edit | edit source]
The Northter is the sister model of the Wester, in #00 size. The speeds are engraved in the order T, B, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200. The shutter plate normally has NORTHTER at the top and MODEL–I or MODEL–II at the bottom; again the Model-II has a self-timer, and the Model-I has not. Some examples have an additional WESTER N.S.D. marking at the bottom of the speed rim, thus displaying the two brand names "Northter" and "Wester".
It seems that the Northter was made from about 1940. It is not known if the examples found on postwar cameras were taken from wartime stocks or are a sign that the production resumed after 1945.
Incomplete list of cameras having a Northter Model-I or Model-II (at least on some versions):
- Semi Makinet
- BB Kuri
- National and Ugein
- Wester (wartime 4.5×6)
- Semi Leotax, early postwar
- Gelto, early postwar model
- Apollo and Mikado
Wester and NKK Wester, #00 size[edit | edit source]
At least one advertisement for the Baby Semi First, dated June 1939, mentions a Wester I shutter on that camera. The Baby Semi First cannot accommodate #0 size shutters, and the document perhaps indicates that Nishida's #00 size shutter was first called Wester, only to be renamed Northter a few months later.
After World War II, the company made a newer Wester shutter in #00 size. The speeds are engraved on the rim in the order B, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200. Most examples display the manufacturer's initials N.K.K. (for Nishida Kōgaku Kōgyō) at the base of the rim, and the name WESTER either at the top or at the bottom of the front plate. These shutters are sometimes called "NKK Wester" for that reason. Some examples, specifically made for TLR cameras, are slanted to the side and only have the WESTER name at the base of the rim, with no N.K.K. marking.
Incomplete list of cameras having a postwar NKK Wester or #00 Wester (at least on some versions):
- Semi Leotax
- Semi Leotax DL and R
- Semi Masmy
- Apollo and Mikado
- Semi Proud (postwar)
- Ruvinal and Ruvikon
- Aires Reflex and Airesflex
NKK, #00 size[edit | edit source]
Nishida's shutter offering was later improved by the switch from 1/200 to 1/300 top speed and from an ASA synch post to a PC socket. This version does not display the name "Wester" any more, and was mounted on the late Wester Chrome Six R and on the Super Wester. An upgraded model, with both 1/200 and 1/400 settings, was mounted on the Wester Autorol, and a no-name downgraded model, with just B, 10, 25, 50, 100, 300 settings and no self-timer, was mounted on the Wester S2.
NKK-MXV[edit | edit source]
The NKK-MXV (B, 1–500) was made specifically for the Auto West 35mm rangefinder camera.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- However, one example with self-timer, pictured in Tanimura, p.25 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.11, has the name WESTER~MODEL–I. (Weirdly, the picture is captioned as depicting a Wester Model II.)
- Illustrated on the back panel of a Brochure (1943?) on the Mamiya Six III
- Example pictured in Tanimura, p.25 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.11 (mounted on an unidentified camera).
- Advertisement in Asahi Camera June 1939, reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.87.
Bibliography[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.
- Tanimura Yoshihiko (谷村吉彦). "Wester Six". Kamera Rebyū: Kurashikku Kamera Senka (カメラレビュー クラシックカメラ専科) / Camera Review: All about Historical Cameras no.11, March 1988. No ISBN number. Shirarezaru kamera (知られざるカメラ, special issue on unknown cameras). Pp.25–7.