Japan: TOPCON: 1958-1978:

The number three Japanese PP SLR was a Tokyo Kogaku Topcon R of 1957. From day one, Topcon based their strategy on high end sturdy and innovative quality cameras that would last. Even today, some 50 years after the Topcon peak, these old cameras not only function, but gives the impression of high quality. The R was produced until 1959, then succeded by the RII. While the R had borrowed both mount and auto diaphragma from the external PAD system of Exacta, the new RII came with an internal system, like Edixa, Pentax and most others.

Although Pentax had shown a sensational light meter system Through The Lens at Photokina in 1960, it took four years before they produced it. In the meantime, Topcon became worlds first to launch a TTL camera for sale. The camera was the Topcon RE Super. But customers had been waiting for the Spotmatic from Pentax, and when it came, it swept across the world like a storm, leaving Topcon and the rest behind. Perhaps the design of the RE Super wasn't as sexy as that of the Spotmatic. Anyway, in spite of innovations and high quality, Topcon did not sell accordingly. Their last quality camera came in 1973, the Super DM. After that, Topcon produced some less advanced cameras like the Uni, until the company decided to stop camera production from 1978.

The Topcon company, dating back from 1932, still exists with branches all over the world, producing medical products, laser products and GPS systems, among other things.

1957: Topcon R:

Topcon was looking forward, and was Japans number three to launch a PP SLR in 1957. High quality, interchangeable prism and the external Pressure Activated Diaphragm, PAD, were among its features. Note the green shutter button on the lens wing, connected to the aperture in the lens. To be able to focus at full opening one had to push the silver handle under the N in Topcon. When pushing the green trigger, the lens would go back to preset opening. A system first introduced by Ihagee Exakta in '54. Topcon made very good lenses themselves, but used the same mount as Exacta, thereby making the variety of lenses even bigger. Size: 156x98x50mm. Sn. 159955.
Flash F or X to be selected with a switch on top plate in stead of the usual front plate solution. Slow speed handle under high speed, like Miranda.

1963: Topcon RE Super:

While Pentax was spending time to find the right solution for their new baby shown in '60, Topcon came up with their system in time to be number one on the market. The year was 1963, and the name of the first production TTL SLR was Topcon RE Super. Their system was a bit different from Asahis, and based on average metering. RE Super featured a metering at full aperture opening, it had an interchangable finder and presented a variety of lenses and extras. Weight:774gr. Size: 147x97x50 mm. Sn. 4603773
Tokyo Kogaku RE Auto-Topcor lens, 58/1,8. Topcon lenses were also of high quality.
Topcon made quality cameras, but the design was a bit edgy and not so attractive. In spite of the fact that Topcon was at ahead technologically, most pros chose Nikon. While the masses were waiting for Pentax...
Rather unusual base plate layout. From right to left: battery compartment, back door opener, on/off switch, tripod support, rewind button and opening for winder.

Daniel 20.02.2015 17:04

I own a very nice condition Super DM with 50mm f:1.8 Topcor, original Autowinder and holster. I also reside in Norway, if you're interested contact me by email.

| Svar

Nyeste kommentarer

02.11 | 16:32

Thank you! I should have said around 500000. Also remember that sometimes a top plate was broken and had to replace it with a spare one numbered differently.

01.11 | 20:18

I think your SN indications for the S1 may be a little off. I just picked up a chrome one with SN 527384.

09.08 | 09:58

I do not know that model code. Please check for model name.

08.08 | 20:58

Hi I have a Konica Minolta code 3739740 please advise if there are film strips available for this camera? I'd appreciate the help. Thank you