View Full Version : MSK Osaka cameras

23-Aug-2017, 19:21
Anyone know about MSK Osaka cameras? How long have they been made?
I feel it is necessary to explain...I know from this forum that they are a moderately priced camera and that they are kind of the same as a Tachihara. I also see people refer to Osaka lenses. However I would like more background if anyone knows about the maker. And if anyone has one... Tell me what you think of it

Thanks. I'm feeling like the queen of dumb questions but I'm really new to this. Thanks for your patience

23-Aug-2017, 23:46
Anyone know about MSK Osaka cameras?

Be sure it is standard size film version.
Check this out: http://www.bromwellmarketing.com/osaka.htm

24-Aug-2017, 07:34
Many of the "Osaka" lenses were made by Congo. Do a seach on this board and you will find discussion about them.

Mark Sampson
24-Aug-2017, 08:02
I seem to remember the Osaka 4x5 camera being available around 1980. As I recall they were similar/identical to the Anba Ikeda cameras... real featherweights. Real information was hard to come by in the pre-internet era... I bought a Hope Tachihara in 1982, and enjoyed using it. it was slightly heavier and had longer bellows than the Ikeda I had seen in a local store. (The Tachi came from a guitar store in LA who were the US distributors then, to give you an idea.) I could have bought a new Deardorff 4x5, had I known that the company was still in business.

Richard Wasserman
24-Aug-2017, 08:31
You can see all the specifications here— http://www.bromwellmarketing.com/osaka.htm

24-Aug-2017, 17:07
hmmm I saw something on ebay that was described as an Osaka and it didn't really look like those. Could it be an older version? How long were they producing cameras?

24-Aug-2017, 17:27
Maybe I should retrack...I just got a field camera that has no nameplate. I posted a picture to the Camera forum trying to see if people recognized it. The people who answered were really helpful, and gave me a lot of good advice on how to work it but we just couldn't come up with a make. It's an English style field camera with a Bausch and Lomb Unicum shutter and since the lens board matches the camera I assumed they were near the same vintage. Now I'm wondering if a previous owner put an antique shutter into a more modern lens board. Recently I was surfing ebay and there was a camera with exactly the same fittings on the back. The metal work looked the same and the shape of the woodwork was similar though some features were different. It was described as an Osaka, and those cameras are a lot more recent than a Unicum shutter! It has book form old style film holders, and Eastman film sheaths, which also threw me. I have no idea just where this camera was made!
I know it really doesn't matter what kind of camera it is or how old it is if it takes good photos...but the sleuth in me can't resist trying to find out what make of camera I have. One thing...if it's a more recent camera, I guess it would be easier to find parts.? maybe?

karl french
24-Aug-2017, 18:24
A lot of Japanese cameras had backs that took book form holders well into the second half of the 20th century. Parts, good luck with that.

25-Aug-2017, 22:09
Thanks everyone. I've been searching on this forum and finding out alot about Osaka/Congo lenses and Tachiharas. It's obvious to me that my camera was used by it's previous owner, but also taken care of. So perhaps it's a bit of a mix... could be an old lens on a newer camera, could be something else. In any event, it takes really good pictures, it's fairly light but is a 5 x 7 so certainly isn't a featherweight. It seems very well constructed and nicely finished. It will be great to take with me for mountain hikes. I'm happy

Tim Meisburger
26-Aug-2017, 03:35
It is very likely an old lens on a newer camera. Cameras are not always sold with lenses, but often with a lensboard, and it is no stretch to imagine the original buyer mounting an old lens on a new lensboard. I think what I am trying to say is that the lens mounted on a camera normally will not tell you anything about the camera body.

26-Aug-2017, 14:48
I see. I guess it will remain a bit of a mystery, and I'm a sucker for a mystery. I like to know the stories behind my cameras. I see more similarity to one of those Indian cameras( name escapes me... Begins with Vag) than a Tachihashi but without a nameplate I'll never know.
Seems I've been looking at photos of cameras long enough. Time to go make images with my undoubtedly very old lens!
Thank you again everyone for your help

Maris Rusis
26-Aug-2017, 15:43
Facts are hard to come by but I'm pretty sure that Osaka cameras were made by Professional Camera Works in Japan. PCW was the alter ego of Tachihara Professional Camera Mfg. who made cameras for anyone who wanted a home brand folding woodie. The first Zone VI and the Calumet Wood Field cameras, like the Osaka, were Tachiharas in disguise. The design of all these cameras is based on a style invented by Michio Tachihara in 1959. There were many colour variations in the wood, bellows, and metal work.

Mark Sampson
26-Aug-2017, 18:41
Mr. Rusis, that would explain a lot.
Nagaoka and Ikeda cameras seem very similar to each other, the most lightweight of their class. Perhaps they, the Calumet Wood-Field and the Osaka were all the same camera under different names?
The first camera labelled a Zone VI is generally considered to be an OEM'ed Wista, with a different bottom plate.
The Tachihara I bought back in '82 had a back that would slide forward and 13" of bellows draw, unlike yet similar to the other cameras under discussion here. A sweet little camera that I used hard for ten years and should have kept.