Kalimar Kolt 44

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Kalimar Colt 44 / Hoei Anny 44

Paying tribute to the Kalimar brand, I pulled two identical cameras off the shelf, the Kalimar 44 and the Anny 44. Both are the same, just different name tags. Kalimar also sold the same camera under Kalimar 44. The 44 mark was popular with other camera models, relating to the frame size of 4x4cm, on #127 film. Most sources cite the manufacturer as Hoei, while one suggests Toyosaka Sangyo made it as Anny Junior.

There is little information about Kalimar and even less about Hoei. My database lists cameras made between 1957 and 1967 under various variants of the Anny and Ebony names. I would guess Hoei did not have a clear business plan, as the format offering was spread over #828, 35mm, Bolta, #127 and 35mm half frame. The naming convention was as creative, with the company name spelling floating between Hoei and Howay, and one model crowned as a Super Delux.

The camera is plain, even for 1960. It is mentioned that the camera is modelled after the Contax / Nikon S style. If I remove my glasses and squint hard, there is a resemblance, but there it ends. The camera cannot be cheaper than it is, and Kalimar would have been desperate to enlist such quality to its rank.

The first hint of a camera’s quality is its weight. This camera seems to float in the air. There is no substance; it is made of thin punched metal and plastic. It is so thin it can be used as a cymbal. Using #127 film, there is only one knob on top, a trigger button and a sync port. A slider-covered red lens for the frame sequence is on the back.

The front has two square frames made to resemble the Contax. One is the viewer, which looks large, but the back lens does not deliver, and the other has a red flap, that slides by a lever above it. This lever locks the trigger, showing red in this window. The shutter is a plain homemade disk with a hole that passes by the lens. The single speed is not specified, but it is probably around 50. The aperture setting can be confusing, with different f suggestions for B&W and colour media at bright and dull lighting conditions. The lens is 1.8/50; I wouldn’t hold my breath for more specs.

Quality is questionable. One camera operates perfectly, but the skin peels all over. The other is sluggish but looks clean. Perhaps one was used, and the other kept in a drawer till donated to a charity store, where I got it.

For the collector, it is a pass unless you look for a straight flush hand of Kalimar models.

List number 10804
Brand Kalimar
Model Colt 44
Manual Buktus
Value Colt 44
kalimar 44
Anny 44
Format 127
Introduced 1963
AKA Hoei Anny 44, Kalimar 44, Anny Junior.
Country USA
Qty made
Initial price
Type Viewfinder
Body material Metal
Mode Manual
Weight 250 gr,  Body with lens
Class average weight 475 gr,  Body with lens
ASA range N/A
Kit lens 1,8/50
Lens make Hoei
Filter size N/A
Lens mount Fixed lens
Mount size N/A
Shutter Disc
Shutter make
Light meter None
Winder Knob
Lock No
Speeds 50
Mirror N/A
Viewer Viewfinder
DOF preview No
Exposure lock No
Exposure compensation No
Shoe Cold
External sync Yes
Sync speed NA
Timer No
Battery, original N/A
Battery, replacement N/A
Battery voltage N/A
Integral flash None
Service / repair links See camerlog.com
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