Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

Honor S1

The Honor S1 is a line of well built Leica copies of dated design. They were introduced in 1956, by which time their separate viewfinder and rangefinder system, and their knob wind were features abandoned by the industry leaders Nikon and Canon (Leica had abandoned those features in their M series but was still producing them in the IIIg). The other unusual feature was a removable back, similar to that used on the Nikons and Contax cameras. The cameras have two PC style flash plugs on the front of the camera, a film speed reminder in the wind knob, and strap lugs mounted a little forward of the ends of the camera. Otherwise this is a pretty close copy of the Leica III.

They were made in three types:

Type I

Early cameras are marked "Honor Opt." on the top plate. Initially the shutter speeds progressed 20, 40 and 60. Later cameras are marked Zuiho Opt., and the speeds run 25, 50 and 75. The fastest speed on both versions was 500. The baseplate has protrusions for the tripod socket, which is in the center of the baseplate, and at each end. Serial numbers run from 6000 to 64xx for a total of 300-400 cameras. Lenses provided were collapsible 50/3.5 Konica Hexar or 50/1.9 Konica Hexanon.

Type II

Similar to the Type I, but the tripod socket is moved to the end of the camera under the wind knob, and the protrusions on the baseplate have been eliminated. The serial number range has been changed to 700001 to approximately 709xx. Lenses are now the 50/1.9 Konica Hexanon, 50/2 Honor and 50/1.9 Honor. Both of these normal lenses are speculated to have been made by Konica. This version appeared in 1957.

Type III

A handful of cameras with a top speed of 1000 are known. The serial numbers are mixed in with the Type II. It is doubtful that the shutter was designed to run with a speed that high and it's likely that the 1000 speed was not very reliable .

A very late type II.