The Sakura Binocular Prano (さくら双眼プラノ) is a Japanese stereo camera made from 1907 by Rokuoh-sha, the manufacturing branch of Konishi (predecessor of Konica). It was succeeded by the similar Idea Binocular (アイデア双眼) in 1909.
The Sakura Binocular Prano is a derivative of the Sakura Prano, taking two nimaigake-size (8×12cm) plates for each stereo exposure. The body is very similar to that of the single-lens camera, itself copied from the Rochester Pony Premo, but it is longer to accommodate the two exposure frames. The camera has double extension bellows driven by a small wheel on the photographer's right. The straight folding struts are maintained in position by a screw. The front standard consists of various parts assembled to form a rectangle, and allows vertical and perhaps horizontal movements. The brilliant finder is attached to the top of the lensboard, above the right-hand lens.
The Sakura Binocular Prano was the first Japanese stereo camera, released in 1907. Original documents reportedly mention Bausch & Lomb Symmetrical f/8 lenses and an Automatic (T, B, 1–100) shutter by the same company. It is said that two versions were available, called No.4 (¥98) and No.6 (¥135). Among the single-lens models, it seems that the Sakura Prano No.6 differs from the No.4 by its triple extension bellows, and this is probably true of the stereo models as well.
The only surviving example of the Sakura Binocular Prano known so far reportedly has Bausch & Lomb Extra Rapid lenses. The main body is leather-covered wood, and the inside of the folding bed and other apparent wood parts are varnished.
The Idea Binocular was a renaming of the Sakura Binocular Prano, released in 1909. It seems that the catalogue entries for this model were illustrated with the exact same drawing as for the Sakura Binocular Prano. A catalogue by Ueda Shashinki-ten dated 1909 has the Idea Binocular No.4, priced at ¥98 with a Symmetrical lens and an "Auto" shutter, both made by Bausch & Lomb.
- The name "Prano" is sometimes written "Plano" by mistake. The two spellings would be pronounced the same in Japanese, but "Prano" is confirmed by an advertisement reproduced in this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha.
- Many sources say that nimaigake corresponds to 4×5in, but the actual measurements given in this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha do not confirm this.
- Date: Sakai, pp.18 and 23 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10, this page of the Center of the History of Japanese Industrial Technology and this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha.
- Sakai, p.18 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10.
- Sakai, p.18 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10.
- Date: this page and this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha. Kikuoka, p.28 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10, says January 1914 but this is a mistake.
- Compare the drawings reproduced in Sakai, p.18 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10, and in Kikuoka, p.28 of the same magazine.
- Catalogue extract reproduced in this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha. The "Auto" shutter name is hardly legible.
- December 1911 catalogue of Konishi Honten, p.11.
- Kikuoka, pp.28 and 31 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10. The table on p.31 seems to imply that No.4 is in nimaigake-size and No.6 is in kabine-size, and that the camera has Extra Rapid lenses by Bausch & Lomb.
- Kikuoka Sei (菊岡清). "Konica history 3. Meiji 41-nen – Taishō 12-nen." (Konica history 3. 明治41年–大正12年. From Meiji year 41 (1908) to Taishō year 12 (1923).) 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.10, September 1987. No ISBN number. Konishiroku kamera no rekishi (小西六カメラの歴史, special issue on Konishiroku). Pp.24–32.
- Konishi Honten. Saishin Shashin Kikai Mokuroku (最新写真器械目録, Latest catalogue of photographic apparatus). Published on December 18, 1911. Recent reprint.
- Lewis, Gordon, ed. The History of the Japanese Camera. Rochester, N.Y.: George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography & Film, 1991. ISBN 0-935398-17-1 (paper), ISBN 0-935398-16-3 (hard). P.18.
- Sakai Shūichi (酒井修一). "Konica history 2. Meiji 36-nen – 40-nen." (Konica history 2. 明治36年–40年. From Meiji year 36 (1903) to Meiji year 40 (1907).). 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.10, September 1987. No ISBN number. Konishiroku kamera no rekishi (小西六カメラの歴史, special issue on Konishiroku). Pp.16–23.
- Sakai Shūichi (酒井修一). "Sakura Sōgan Purano Anbako" (さくら雙眼プラノ暗函, Sakura Binocular Prano Camera). 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.10, September 1987. No ISBN number. Konishiroku kamera no rekishi (小西六カメラの歴史, special issue on Konishiroku). P.23.
- 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 6002.
- Sakura Stereo Prano in the Camera database of the Center of the History of Japanese Industrial Technology
- Pages of the R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha website:
|Konishiroku prewar and wartime cameras ( )|
|plate||hand cameras||stereo hand cameras||strut folders||box||telephoto||SLR|
|Idea (original) | Idea A | Idea B | Idea Snap | Idea No.1 | Idea (metal) | Lily (original) | Lily (horizontal) | Lily (metal) | Tropical Lily | Noble | Ohca | Sakura Palace | Sakura Pocket Prano | Sakura Prano||Idea Binocular | Sakura Binocular Prano||Minimum Idea | Idea Spring | Korok||Champion | Cherry | Sakura Army | Sakura Honor | Sakura Navy||Idea Telephoto||Idea Reflex (1910 and 1911) | Idea Reflex (1932) | Neat Reflex | Sakura Reflex Prano|
|rollfilm||folders||box or collapsible||TLR|
|Pearlette | Special Pearlette | B Pearlette | Pearl (for plates and rollfilm) | Pearl No.2 | Pearl (Year 8) | Baby Pearl | Semi Pearl | Sakura Palace||Record | Sakura (box) | Sakura (bakelite)||Sakura-flex|