Ofuna Optical Company - ???

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by peter_naylor|1, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. I bought a 1950s era enlarging lens at a Camera Swap-Meet last weekend,
    marked "f3.5 E-Ofunar 8 cm - Ofuna Opt Co". I don't usually collect such old
    enlarging lenses, but this one attracted my interest as it's the first time
    I've ever seen any lens from Ofuna of Japan. Previously, all I knew was that
    they had supplied (along with Zunow, Soligor and Arco) preset lenses for the
    famed Orion Miranda T 35mm SLRs c. 1955. Now at last I've seen one in the
    flesh, or should I say more accurately chromed brass, because it's a very
    heavy little lens for its small size.

    Delving into the history of Ofuna has been frustrating. There's
    nothing about them in the Lens Vade Mecum, only one entry in Kadlubek's Lens
    Katalog and that's for the aforementioned Ofunar lens for the Miranda T, plus a
    couple of entries in the latest McK's showing them as makers of the "Ofuna Six"
    120 folder in 1954, and the "Ofunaflex" TLR in 1953, both of which had f3.5 7.5
    cm Ofunar lenses. Googling came up one helpful but negative entry, in that
    neither of those two cameras was actually made by Ofuna - they just had
    them "bought in" and fitted with their own lenses. One other entry mentioned
    that they also made binoculars. That's about the sum total of information I
    could come up with.

    Can anybody supply any other details about the Mysterious Ofuna
    Optical Company, such as whether they supplied lenses to other Japanese camera
    makers? Even their address and dates of operation would help! TIA from PN.
     
  2. http://www.camerapedia.org/wiki/Ofuna

    Also, is one of these your lens???

    http://image.blog.livedoor.jp/united3arrows/imgs/8/b/8b2d5ed9.jpg
     
  3. Ofuna Optical Inst Co., Ltd. 659, Dai, Kamakura-Shi, Kanagawa (Kanagawa)
    (067) 2161-3 K. Asukada
     
  4. Thanks, David And Curt - that's exactly the information I needed. BTW, David, yes - my enlarging lens looks just like the one in the centre of the Ofuna advert page you supplied the link to. The only difference I can make out is that mine is an "f3.5 8 cm E-Ofunar" whereas the one in the advert reads "f3.5 7.5 cm E-Ofunar". Mine has a s/no of 29292, but unfortunately the 7.5 cm one in the advert doesn't show its s/no, so I can't make any presumptions which might have come earlier. McK's has both those two cameras marketed by Ofuna as having "f3.5 7.5 cm Ofunar" lenses, ie the same specs as the enlarging lens in the pic.

    I haven't taken my lens apart, because it's in very nice condition and I believe in Leaving Well Alone. However, the very convex shape of the coated front element looks classic Tessar-ish.
     
  5. I need an Ofunaflex.
     
  6. I NEED a KW box reflex for 120 rollfilm.

    In fact the number of cameras I need coincides exactly with the number of cameras I want. Oddly, this is a considerably higher figure than the number of cameras my wife thinks I need, which hovers around 2 or 3, along with the lens that "makes [her] look skinny"
     
  7. Gene, yes, you need an Ofunaflex. If anybody can coax that indefinable "ofunavision" look out of a piece of film, it's you. I look forward to an ofunavisual feast in due course.
     
  8. "If anybody can coax that indefinable "ofunavision" look out of a piece of film, it's you."

    It's already been done.

    http://madam3.web.fc2.com/photo/G670326.html

    "In March of 1967, a certain party was kind enough to give me a TLR. An Ofunaflex with a 75mm f/3.5 Ofunar. I really enjoyed looking down into the viewfinder, but later I noticed that I had taken a lot of low-angle shots. ... We had many pets running around our sunny yard, and I recently found some negatives from that period and present them here."

    ...

    I didn't have a lot of spending money in my high school and college days, and only took about a roll a month. I used the same Microfine developer I was using for 35mm, and completely exauhsted the 4-roll life of 600 ml of solution. Since I was leaving partially used developer on the shelf for extended periods, the fourth roll often failed to develop well. The last shot here is from one such roll. I really learned well that Microfine doesn't last two months.
    While the shots on this page were my first experience with a TLR, and are little more than test shots, that these negatives remained are due to my having met with such a fine camera."
     
  9. FWIW, Ofuna made some good quality binoculars. For $4 at a yard sale I picked up a very grungy 6x30 "Fully Hard Coated" "Tower"-branded binoculars. In smaller print is "Ofuna". When I got them all four exposed glass surfaces were caked with dirt/grunge, but there was no haze on the inside, unlike most cheap old binoculars. After cleaning off the external optical surfaces, I found the Ofuna/Tower binoculars to be very sharp, flare-resistant and well-aligned.

    I also did some "Googling" on Ofuna/Tower binoculars, and could not find much info. They evidently made several different models, and in sale/auction listings they are quite inexpensive.
     

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