A 35mm rangefinder folding camera, Arco 35 Automat was launched in 1955 by Arco Photo Industry.
Established soon after the war in 1946, it started manufacturing photo accessries like free-stop tripod and so on. Then in 1952, it introduced its first camera, Arco 35. While most of cameras on the domestic market were imitations of Leicas, Contaxs, Rolleis and such of foreign manufactures, Arco 35 had a unique structure and got a reputation. On Arco 35 Automat, the unique structure still ramained, and at the same time several operations were automated.
One of the feature on Arco 35 Automat is the focusing mechanism which is took over from Arco 35. On this mechanism, focus is made with the focusing dial at the base of the film rewind knob and turning this dial extends the lensboard and adjusts focus by means of four rack-and-pinions inside the camera body. This mechanism enables the camera to focus as close as 35 cm. in spite of the rangefinder camera.
At the biginning, only Colinar f3.5/50mm lens was fixed on the camera, but after a few month later, G-Colinar f2.8/50mm lens model was also available.
The shutter was change from Seiko-Rapid, which was in Arco 35, to Seiko-MX that had self-cocking mechanism and selectable M, X flash sync. In addition, Arco 35 Automat was the first domestical folding camera that equipped with this shutter. Other improvements from Arco 35 are as follows : The film wind knob was changed to the film wind lever. The rear cover was attached to the camera by means of the hinge while it had to be put off on Arco 35. Finder magnification became 1x. (Although it bacame 1x., the viewfinder was not bright enough and hard to see. For that reason attachment Albada finder was provided with the camera.)
There is an unique accessory named "View Arco" prepared for Arco 35 series. This is the attachment reflex finder, and attaching this to the accessory shoe on the camera enable the camera to be used as a TLR camera. Although the appearance of the camera with View Arco is a kind of different and unique, the viewfinder of View Arco couples with the lensboard movements, and also parallax is corrected automatically. What's more, it has the aperture unit so that depth of field can be seen through it.
(*View Arco are prepared for each Arco 35 and Arco 35 Automat.)
Among the Arco 35 series, there are also Arco 35 Junior (popular version of Arco 35) and Arco 35 Automat D (with f2.4/50mm lens, an upgrade version of Arco 35 Automat).
- First introduced in December, 1955.
- Camera type : 35mm rangefinder folding camera
- Lens : Colinar f3.5/50mm or G-Colinar f2.8/50mm
- Shutter : Seiko-MX
- Shutter speeds : B, 1-1/500sec.
- Viewfinder : direct-view finder
- Finder magnification : 1x.
- Rangefinder : double-image superimposing rangefinder
- Fosucing : rack-and-pinion extension
- Closest focusing distance : 35 cm.
- Shutter charge : self-cocking shutter
- Film winding : by the film wind lever
- Frame counter : automatic-resetting forward-counting frame counter
- Body dimensions : 137 x 98 x 88mm (when lens out)
137 x 87 x 52mm (when lens in)
- Body weight : 680 g.
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