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Minagawa Molby favori envoyer Print
Photos by VB text by VB. From the collection of VB
France Version française

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