Chris's camera pages



Topcon R

Tokyo Kogaku Topcon R 35mm SLR camera
The Topcon R was made by Tokyo Kogaku from 1957 to 1960.

This is a large and quite heavy SLR camera weighing in at 0.935 kilos (around two pounds) with the 5.8cm f/1.8 standard lens. You can see just how big it is here in these pictures of a Topcon R beside a Pentax K camera of the period.

Perhaps one of the most noteable things about the camera at the time it was marketed, was that the Topcon utilises the same lens mount as that used by Ihagee on it's Exakta and Exa cameras. As a result, Exakta lenses will mount on the Topcon, and this would have helped ease it into the hands of photographers who already owned Exakta-fit lenses.

The shutter release arm on the Topcon is on the right, instead of on the left as it is on the Exaktas.

The shutter is the conventional cloth horizontal-running focal plane type with speeds from 1 to 1/1000 second. The faster speeds, those from 1/30 to 1/1000, are set on the main dial, with the slower speeds being set on a sector shaped dial below it.
Tokyo Kogaku Topcon R 35mm SLR camera
It should be noted that main the shutter speed dial rotates when the shutter is released, and this feature can be a liabilty with some cameras as the shutter can be prevented from running correctly should a photographer inadvertently touch the rotating dial with the tip of a finger. On the Topcon however, with the shutter release button being on the front of the body, all stray fingers and thumbs are kept well away from rotating dial.

The camera prism finder is removable with a waist-level finder available as an alternative.

Topcon R instruction manual on Mike Butkus's excellent website.

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