Sunday, September 11, 2011

Handmade cameras by Kensuke Hijikata

Somedays ago while hunting for handmade panoramic cameras in the internet I came across this interesting post in . The post mentions a Japanese photographer and cameramaker who built a 24x72 panoramic camera made out of two fused bodies of  Konica 35 rangefinder, and which was featured in the March 1998 issue of Popular Photography magazine.

The post didn't mention about the cameramaker but I was able to get the copy of the magazine from my local library and found the cameramaker to be Kensuke Hijikata.

Kensuke Hijikata is a Tokyo based professional photographer/cameramaker who have fabricated more than 100 cameras, including a 4x5 TLR. He also established a handmare camera club which has grown up to 60 members. At the time of reporting he was making 4-5 cameras per year.

Pictures of four of his handmade cameras (along with pictures taken by them) were presented  in the Pop Photo article, including the 24x72 Konica based panoramic. The other cameras were a 6x7 with 80mm Schneider Xenar with a movable groundglass finder,an interchangable lens double railed 6x9 and another interchangable lens close focusing 6x9 technical camera. He named his brand of cameras as 'Kentax'.

The panoramic camera Kentax 2472 was equiped with a helicoid mounted 47mm Super Angulon. He also made his own viewfinder.

I was not able to find much information about Kensuke Hijikata over the internet, except for this site which is in Korean and mentions some of the cameras made by the Handmade Camera Club members. Use a suitable google translator to decipher it if necessary. It mentions about a very uncommon 110 film based panoramic camera( the only other subminiature format panoramic camera I know is the Viscawide)

I found another link that tells about  two mirror based pano cameras he designed which can use 4x5 or medium format film. Thanks to the original poster in the Yahoo Cameramakers Group.

I'll try to post the pictures of the cameras mentioned once I'm through with the copyright issues.