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Seibi-do Rollekonter

Sugiyama identifies the Rollekonter as one of a number of TLRs made in Japan after German exports ceased in 1939, and deliberately mimicking German models. In this case, the name is a typically Japanese meld of "Rollei" and "Ikonta". This camera appears to be a transitional model sitting between the early Rollekonter II (1940) shown in Sugiyama and the A-II model (1941). It has the body, nameplate, logo and style of the former, together with the better shutter and lens of the latter - perhaps it is an "A-I"?.

The shutter is engraved as a Compur-Rapid, and it looks generally authentic; a question-mark is raised in one's mind by the name Kodak also engraved on the other side of the taking lens escutcheon, for no apparent reason. Having said all that, this is a remarkably well-made camera , solid and extremely functional. Although clearly well-used, the paint, leatherette, plating and lenses have survived in remarkably good condition, and the shutter is crisp in action.

The manufacturer is stated in Sugiyama as Seibi-do Co. (Mori Manufacturing). No better information can be found on the Web, where references are very sparse. These cameras seem to be as rare as hen's teeth and I count myself lucky to have found one.

Taking lens is Uhitonar Anastigmat 75mm f3.5
Shutter stated as Compur Rapid 1 to 1/500