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Minagawa Molby favori envoyer Print
Photos by VB text by VB. From the collection of VB
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Chronology of the Minagawa brand  New window

Manufactured in Japon from Circa 1941 until 0.
Index of rarity in France : Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 2632

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Minagawa Molby

This device is a bit of an enigma.

It is attributed to Minagawa with a manufacturing by Kuribayashi (which later became Petri) on a basis that could be derived from the Roico or the Gokoku of Riken.

The comments refers to a camera taking 3x4cm images on 127 film and the one  displayed in  "The Collector's Guide to Japanese cameras"
shows a camera very similar with the Roico from Riken with a 60mm Anagstimat Rolle optical .

But this particular camera is a 4X4, the counter can count up to 12 views and increments each time the film moves a little more than 4cm
It incredibly looks like a Roico and its optical is engraved Roico.
So the first thing I did after having received it, is to have removed the rangefinder (uncoupled).
With the engraving hidden under it, it becomes clear that this copy is a Roico which has undergone the addition of a rangefinder.

According to, the price lists of Japanese cameras from 1941 show four Molby's models , would there have been 3x4 models and 4x4 models of Molby's ?
Given the mechanical complexity of the change for a low interest, it is unlikely.
Have they all been built on a base Roico? Who built the rangefinder?

Minagawa Molby

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