Camera Identification Help

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by lou_meluso, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. Hi All: I have this Japanese Leica clone I'm trying to find information about. Does anybody know what this is? Any info about the body and/or lens would be greatly appreciated. It seems well made and works well. Thanks
  2. It only has one separate window for the rangefinder, suggesting that they have integrated the range-and viewfinder together so both can be seen in the same view. That's pretty innovative for a thread-mount, and I'd say that makes this camera something more than just a clone. It looks like they started with a Leica IIIb and improved on it.
  3. Hi, the camera is made in China, per the marking on top of the camera.
  4. This is Chinese clone of Zorki-3 LOL
  5. I appreciate the continued information.
    Gordon- Thanks for that link. It appears to be the first model, only 2500 were ever made (no strap lugs). Interesting. A rare bird perhaps. Interesting graphics, too. Anyone read Chinese?
  6. That's one of my dream cameras that I really, really hope to find on a flea market table for $50 some day. Not likely, but it could happen.
  7. My American-born Chinese wife says that the top two characters (at the bases of the two triangles to the left of the serial number) are Chinese for "Shanghai" (or, literally, "on the sea" -- presumably the city was named for its coastal placement). The same two characters appear at the start of the bottom line of writing. But that's all she can read of the text.
  8. Jody, I hope you find it someday.
    Craig, Please thank the Mrs. for the translation.
  9. Louis, I'm a first generation "ABC", or American born Chinese. Unfortunately, I never learned to read the language. However, I had my Mom do a translation. The two characters in the logo on the top plate read "Shanghai." The two characters of the second row read "China." The third row reads "Shanghai Camera Factory." As Craig noted, the first two characters in the third row are the same as in the logo. Camera is represented by the next four characters. The last character translates as factory or workshop.
    According to the information on the PrimeLens site, the strap lugs were omitted on the second and third models of the 58-II (i.e., the first model was the only one that had the lugs). Since the accessory shoe on yours has four screws, it's probably the the second model.
  10. Correction: "Camera is represented by the next three characters.
  11. Thanks so much, Gordon and a tip-o-the-cap to your Mom for her kind assistance.
  12. It's similar to the Canon screw mount cameras (and different from the screw Leicas) in having a combined V/F and R/F. I suppose rarity makes it more desirable and more expensive. A user will be harassed by the absence of strap lugs.
  13. Having, obviously, too much time on my hands this morning, I played around with Google Translate and found some interesting data that (as expected) basically agrees with what Gordon posted. (I'm sure his mom knows Chinese way better than any computer!)
    Google gives this character-by-character translation of the bottom line:
    上 on
    海 sea
    照 photo
    相 with
    机 machine
    厂 factory
    Thus, one might rather literally translate it as, "Photo-machine factory by the sea", or more idiomatically, "Shanghai camera factory."
    If you ask Google to translate the three characters for "photo with machine" together, it turns them into "camera", as Gordon says.
    This leaves us with two remaining characters for "China", which literally mean "middle kingdom." This reflects the ancient Chinese view of themselves as the center of the world (not at all an uncommon attitude in any time or place; the USA certainly seems to see itself as the center of the universe these days), an oasis of civilization surrounded by ocean, impassable mountains, and Mongol barbarians (from whom they isolated themselves by the simple but ambitious tactic of building the Great Wall).
  14. I guess Craig isn't the only one with time to kill today. My mom came to the US in 1949. Since then, written Chinese characters have been sort of simplified and modernized. When my mom saw the characters for "camera", the first words out of her mouth were something like "picture machine." When I suggested the word "camera" she concurred. She didn't recognize the character for factory at first, but looked it up in her Chinese-American dictionary. This is one of those characters that has been simplified so much she didn't recognize it.
  15. This is one handsome camera tell you that much!
  16. Folks, I am Chinese born/raised in Hong Kong. One more translation here:
    Look at the 2nd picture which shows the top plate. The little Chinese character next to the crane near the film counter is 倒 which means reverse "R". Obviously, used for film rewinding. Whether it is a copy cat of Russian or Deutch counterpart, it was an effort of the Chinese Communist in those days to demonstrate their ability in light industry.
  17. This is the Shanghai 58-II. Interesting leica copy.

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