Zuihō was a Japanese camera maker in the 1950s

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Honor SL


The Nice subminiature camera, probably made in the late 1940s, is attributed by McKeown to a company called "Zuiho Sokuryo Kiki K.K." or "Zuiho Optical & Measuring Instruments Co., Ltd." (This is shortened to "Zuiho Optical" in some other sources.) The actual Japanese name was perhaps Zuihō Sokuryō Kiki K.K. (瑞宝測量機器㈱) — this means "Zuihō Measuring Instruments Co., Ltd." and makes no mention of optics.

It is perhaps the same company that was later known as Zuihō Kōgaku Seiki K.K. (瑞宝光学精機㈱), based in Kyōbashi, Tokyo, making binoculars and measuring instruments, mainly for export. From 1952, that company took over the production of the Tomy from Ars Seiki Kōgyō. The Tomy was a peculiar 4.5×6cm camera with Z-shaped folded light path, designed by Sakurai Minoru (桜井実) and made until 1953.

In 1956, Zuihō Kōgaku Seiki released the Honor S1, a Leica copy. At the beginning, Zuihō only appeared as the distributor of the camera, which was produced by the newly formed Mejiro Kōgaku Kōgyō, presented at the time as a "brother company".

From autumn 1958, the documents mention Zuihō as the maker and distributor of the Honor, perhaps because it absorbed Mejiro. The company's final camera model was the Honor SL, an improved rangefinder camera released in 1959, which met limited success only.

The company was still active in 1964, certainly as a binocular maker; its CEO Yamada Shizuka (山田静) also presided an association promoting the export of Japanese binoculars (日本双眼鏡輸出振興事業協会).

Camera list[]

  • Nice
  • Tomy
  • Honor S1
  • Honor SL

References/External Links[]

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