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12-05-2014, 02:13 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpeedGeezerButler Quote
Here they are side by side. I notice the tiny screws near "1.4" on the aperture ring are in the same location. Are these two the same basic lens? Just curious...

There is some indication that lens barrel parts were sourced from a group of common suppliers by many, many brands. It is the details of the optics and internal construction that differentiate. I was not there, but my understanding of the Japanese camera industry during the 1960s is that the supply chains and manufacturing was pretty fluid with only a few makers doing everything in-house. There was a lot of sharing of parts, design, and manufacturing capacity.

A good example might be the Nikkorex F (later Nikkormat) SLR. It was originally conceived in 1960 as a lower-priced alternative to the Nikon F. Seat belt on? Here are a few bullet points:
  • Originally contracted to Mamiya by Nikon for design and manufacture
  • Originally in Nikon F mount with a Nikkor-branded lens from unknown source
  • Shutter was off-the-shelf Copal Square metal with vertical travel and fast 1/125s flash sync
  • Original tooling and manufacturing was transferred to Ricoh while Nikon continued development of the camera in-house
  • Original Ricoh Singlex was the same as the Nikkorex and had a F-mount Rikenon (!)
  • The same original Singlex was sold by Sears in F-mount under the Tower name
  • Ricoh created the much better Singlex TLS in M42 mount in the mid-1960s based on the Singlex while Nikon released the Nikkormat at about the same time.
  • Both Nikon and Ricoh continued independent development of the platform until the mid-1970s with certain design elements (shutter and details of metering coupling) shared until both lineages were retired.
Nikon fans are dismissive of the clunky Nikkorex (I have handled one...very clunky), but that is the shared history of both the Nikkormat and the Singlex TLS.


Last edited by stevebrot; 12-05-2014 at 02:37 PM.

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