An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff
Seiki Kogaku Hansa Canon/Original
Although the Hansa Canon has no revolutionary
features, it is one of the most historically significant cameras, putting it in
the company of the original Leica. It was the first precision 35mm camera to be
produced in Japan. Although Nippon Kogaku had produced camera lenses in small
numbers before, this marked their entrance into the production of camera lenses.
Nippon Kogaku, of course, became Nikon. This was the beginning of the Japanese camera
industry that would one day dominate the world. This camera is the beginning of
the miracle that would find a tiny camera company founded by a doctor with no
photographic experience that would grow to become the largest camera
manufacturer on the face of the Earth.
Just for clarification, the Hansa Canon and the
Canon Original are the same camera. Seiki Kogaku sold most of these cameras
through Omiya Trading Co, and these cameras carry the Hansa name above the Canon
name on the top. Cameras sold directly were not so marked. Other than the
difference in engraving, the cameras are identical and were built concurrently.
The bottom of the focusing helical with Nippon
Kogaku engraved, along with a mount number.
The lens mount compared to that of the Zeiss Contax. Nippon Kogaku designed the
mount, and would later used a similar one (actually a copy of the Contax mount) on their rangefinder
cameras after the
second world war.
The camera serial number is stamped inside the