Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff


Chiyoca Shoki was a camera store in Tokyo, and they contracted with Reise Camera Co. to produce Leica copies bearing their name. In 1951 they introduced the Chiyoca 35, a copy of the Leica Standard model. It came fitted with a 50/3.5 Hexar that was converted from an enlarging lens. This was a very low production camera, and it was replaced in 1952 by the Chiyoca 35 IF, the only difference was the addition of flash synch posts to the front. Neither of these models were serial numbered.

In 1952 the IF was superceded by the IIF, which had a coupled rangefinder, and was basically a copy of the Leica II, but with the addition of flash synch to the front. The first version of this model has two posts on the front, which are combined into one plug on the second. Lenses offered at this point are the Reise QC and Lena QC, both collapsible 50/3.5's.

In 1954, to avoid confusion with Minolta's trademark Chiyoko (and possible lawsuits?), they changed both the name of the company and the cameras to ChiyoTax. Sometime during production, the upper case "T" in the middle of the name was replaced with a lower case. Other changes were made at this time, including the addition of a film reminder in the wind knob.

In 1955 Chiyotax cancelled their remaining orders for the Chiyotax camera, and the remainder were marked Chiyotax, and Riese Camera Co. Ltd. In 1956, the trade name was discontinued, and Chiyoca and Chiyotax became history.

Chiyoca/Chiyotax Cameras