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Kowa - Kalloflex

Kowa Kalloflex Automat KII

The Kalloflex was the first camera made by Kowa, who went on to be better known for a series of quirky Kowa Six and 66 SLRs sort-of competing with Hasslelblad et al, one of which is also pictured right. The Kallo name was used until 1960, when Kowa became the norm, with a sizeable range of 35mm rangefinders ('50s/'60s) and SLRs ('60s/'70s). Later cameras were regarded as rather cheap and unreliable. Perhaps Kowa reacted to the slow sales of the Kalloflex because of its high cost for the quality offered?

The Kalloflex was a revelation for a first-time Japanese camera and is widely regarded as one of the top five Japanese TLRs. It's beautifully made with a combined winder lever and focus knob on the right for ease of handling. It has aperture/speed view windows above the viewing lens like Rolleiflexes, big aluminium slab sides, and feels like it's hewn from solid billet. One of the nicest TLRs around. This one is the last (of three) models and the second Automat in the brief production run of two years.

Taking lens is Prominar 75mm f3.5
Shutter Seikosha-MX 1 to 1/500
Also shown on a linked page (click the picture) is my Kowa Six -it's not a TLR, but I added it in here for interest as one of the earliest of the MF SLR's - a rather eccentric variation on the Hasselblad formula

Kowa Kalloflex KII

Kowa Six