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Premier PC-90 favori envoyer Print
Photos by RP text by RP. From the collection of RP
France Version française

Chronology of the Premier brand  New window

Manufactured in Taïwan from Circa 1985 until (After) 1985.
Index of rarity in France : Infrequent (among non-specialized garage sales)
Sold listing on Ebay.com New window
Inventory number: 8340

See the complete technical specifications New window
Premier  PC-90

Premier Camera Co was established in Taiwan in 1983. This camera is one of a popular model that includes the first American TIME/LIFE cameras. A variation with a finger grip exists as the TIME FC-100 and under several other names.

The Premier PC-90 has an “Optical Glass Lens”, whilst other similar cameras have an “Optical Lens” a “Color Optical Lens” or a “New Optical Lens” (all plastic?) There is even a “New Optical Glass Lens”.

In all cases the lens is a meniscus, and probably performs best at its smallest aperture. The various members of the family claim a maximum aperture of 5,6, 6, or 6,3 but the numbers make no sense. The aperture is just “variable”.

We can be reasonably sure that they were all made by Formosa Plastics Corporation (FPC) because the lens/shutter block is identical to other plastic cameras known to have been made by FPC. The four apertures and their weather symbols are essentially the same, the reference to the “50mm lens” is consistent (It isn’t), and many other details.

However there are slight differences to the others of its type. On this one the back is opened by raising the rewind crank, not with a slider in the base; there is a window in the back to see what film is loaded; and the plinth around the hot shoe curves into the top plate instead of forming a straight line.

It was not uncommon for new photographic companies in Taiwan to start by marketing cheap cameras made by FPC. Mikona, and New Taiwan Photographic Corporation (NTPC) did so too. These are distinct from the distributors like Arrow (Meikai), Kalimar, Kinusa, Lavec and Yunon.

The Premier PC-90 was also available with bright yellow top and bottom plates. (The Kalimar MX-1 had bright red top and bottom plates as an option)

This was probably Premier’s third camera of the type. It sold a PC-70 and a PC-80 which were similar but an older model, produced about 1983. The clue to the age of this one may be in the lens number 1985….

Cameras like this filled a demand in the USA for a 35 mm camera that could use electronic flash and be sold cheaply, or given away as a prize or in a promotion. The first were the Tougodu Meikai/Meica cameras made in Japan from 1963. We don’t know what this one cost, but a similar camera was offered in Weekly World News (13 February 1990) for $9.95. (A Kodak Instamatic X-15/15F cost about $15)

(see also nanars TIME FC-100, Ouyama/NTPC and Formosa Plastics Corporation)