The Coupler (カプラー) is an adapter to use Contax lenses or Nikon lenses on Leica screw mount cameras, with correct rangefinder coupling, made by Orion Seiki, then Orion Camera and later Miranda Camera, from the late 1940s or early 1950s.
184.108.40.206 09:03, August 14, 2011 (UTC)== Description == The device was developed by Ōtsuka Shintarō (大塚新太郎), associate of the founder Ogihara Akira (荻原彰), and was the first product by the company. It has both the internal and external bayonet mounts, and contains a focusing helical, like that attached to the Contax or Nikon body. Two versions exist, reproducing the different focus settings of the two cameras. They can take all Contax or Nikon mount lenses with a few exceptions, such as the Biogon 3.5cm f/2.8 (prewar and postwar versions) and the Nikkor 3.5cm f/1.8, because of their protruding rear elements.
|Orion Coupler for Nikon lenses, in feet, with original zipped case. Pictures by Zen-Shooter. (Image rights).|
The distance scale is engraved either in metres or in feet. It is said that the early adapters made for Contax lenses have no marking, whether later ones, made after the release of the Nikon version, are marked Contax Lens; those for Nikon are always inscribed Nikon Lens. Details of other minor variations are described in this page at Cameraquest, which also shows newer reproductions of these adapters, made from 2001 to 2004. A new version of the Nikon coupler was being sold on the internet by Nocto in 2011 (see reference below). It seems that the easier way to recognize an original Orion adapter from a modern reproduction is that the helical threads are visible from the side, on the original models, when they are focused at close distance.
|Brochure for Orion products, c.1953 (extract).|
Scans by Jeffrey Felton. (Image rights)
The above Japanese brochure, dated c.1953, shows the Coupler among other Orion products. It gives catalogue numbers 1200A and 1200B, respectively for the Contax and Nikon versions. The device also appears in the English brochure reproduced below, dated c.1954, where it is called Coupler type A (for Contax) and type B (for Nikon).
|Brochure for Orion products, c.1954 (extract).|
Scans by Jeffrey Felton. (Image rights)
|Advertisement by Matsushima in the June 1955 special issue of Photo Art. (Image rights).|
The above advertisement for the Mirax, Focabell and Supreme lenses, placed by the distributor Matsushima in the June 1955 special issue of Photo Art, lists the Coupler for ¥6,600. This price is not cheap for this type of accessory, and corresponds to an inexpensive folding camera (see other Japanese prices in 1955). The device was still distributed for a few years, and is notably listed in advertisements by Matsushima dated April and July 1958, reproduced below.
|Advertisement in Shashin Kōgyō April 1958 and Asahi Camera July 1958. (Image rights).|
- Asahi Camera. Advertisement by Matsushima Shashin-yōhin in July 1958, p.213.
- Orion Camera. Mirax & Focabell, Orion Camera's Product's. (ミラックスとフォーカベル, Orion Camera's product's.)
- Orion Camera. Reflex Box for Copy, Close-up, Micro and Tele-photography: Mirax & Focabell. Brochure in English language, c.1954.
- Photo Art rinji zōkan: Kamera akusesarī zensho (フォトアート臨時増刊・カメラアクセサリー全書, Photo Art special issue: All the camera accessories). June 1955, no.80 of the magazine. Advertisement by the photo department of Matsushima Megane-ten on p.22.
- Shashin Kōgyō no.72, April 1958. Advertisement by Matsushima Shashin-yōhin on p.317.
- Hagiya Takeshi (萩谷剛). "Miranda Sutōrī" (ミランダ・ストーリー, Miranda story). In 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.64, June 2002. ISBN 4-257-13048-2. Miranda no keifu (ミランダの系譜, Miranda genealogy). Pp.9–12.
- The webpage for sales of the Nocto coupler is http://www.nocto.jp/shopdetail/006008000002/order/
- Orion adapters at Cameraquest
- Orion Coupler for Contax lenses among rare items at the Miranda Camera website
- Past sales by Westlicht:
- Orion Coupler for Nikon lenses: lot no.396 of auction no.17 (May 29, 2010)
- Past sales by Tamarkin: