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The Orionflex is a Japanese 6×6 TLR camera of the early 1950s, about which little is known. The camera was not announced or advertised in Japan,[1] and was perhaps made for export only.

Manufacturer Edit

The Orionflex, dated c.1952, is sometimes attributed to a "Kikawa Optical Works",[2] certainly a wrong name for Kigawa Kōgaku.[3] The attribution to Kigawa is perhaps based on the similarity between the main body of the Orionflex and that of the Tsubasaflex.

Description Edit

The Orionflex is an ordinary TLR, with externally geared lenses. The film advance is by a knob on the photographer's right, and is certainly controlled by a red window. The L-shaped back is locked by a latch at the bottom. The plain viewing hood has no sports finder. The name ORIONFLEX is inscribed on a nameplate placed above the front plate.

The camera has Orion Anastigmat 8.0cm f/3.5 lenses. The shutter is unnamed and reportedly gives B, 25–100 speeds; it is synchronized via a pin at the bottom, and tripped by a lever on the side.

The only surviving example observed so far is pictured in Sugiyama.[4]

Notes Edit

  1. The Orionflex is not listed in Kokusan kamera no rekishi.
  2. Sugiyama, item 2207, McKeown, p.465.
  3. Kikawa and Kigawa are both correct readings of 木川. Kanno, p.116, says that "Orion" TLRs were produced by Kigawa, with no further detail.
  4. Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 2207.

Bibliography Edit

  • Kanno Tsunetoshi (管野経敏). "A kara Z no kokusan niganrefu" (AからZの国産二眼レフ, Japanese TLRs from A to Z). In Miryoku saihakken: Nigan refu: Firumu kamera ha e no messēji (魅力再発見・二眼レフ:フィルムカメラ派へのメッセージ, Fascination rediscovery: TLRs: A message to film cameras). Tokyo: Shashinkogyo Syuppansha, 2006. P.116.
  • McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). P.465.
  • 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 2207.

The Orionflex is not listed in Kokusan kamera no rekishi.

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