Kowaflex E

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Kowaflex E

1961 saw the first man in space, Yury Gagarin, who had the merit to have a Zorki 4 special edition name after him. Another first happened that year, the first instant-return mirror in an SLR camera. It didn’t go as far as having a focal plane shutter but was an interesting combination of a leaf shutter in an SLR body.

The Kowaflex E, also sold under Kowa E, occupies but a corner in the vintage camera world. Kowa began making cameras a decade after WWII, sort of a me-too after so many camera brands floated at that time. It had lasted for two decades, leaving no legacy. It made a few SLR models, a few compacts, and some large SLRs.

The camera is bulky, not much thought was put into styling. Square shoulders and body, utilitarian look. Baing fully manual, it offers all that had been available in the early ’60s. However, all controls were put in odd locations. The speed dial, B to 500, is hidden under the light meter so one needs to peep there to select it. in front of it is the aperture selector, a tad more visible. The ASA / DIN dial needs pulling a small mushroom handle under the lens and settings within the aperture select dial. Equipped with a 1:2 / 50 as standard.

The camera was replaced after three year’s run by the Kowa SE.

No accessory shoe, but a thread at the side is ready to accept the same. Selenium meter activates a needle in the viewer, no battery is needed.  Flash sync toggle switch and a socket are on the lens mount. Cocking via push lever is sturdy. No luxuries such as self-timer are available.

Kowaflex E current value
Kowa E current value

Kowafflex E user manual

List number 10333
Brand Kowa
Format 35 mm
Model Kowaflex E
Introduced 1962
AKA Kowa E
Country Japan
Type SLR
Body material Metal
Mode Manual
Weight, gr 875 with lens
ASA range 10-400
Kit lens 2.0/50
Filter size 50 mm
Lens mount Fixed lens
Mount size NA
shutter Leaf
Light meter Selenium, external
Winder Lever
Lock No
Speeds B,1,2,4,8,15,30,60,125,250,500
DOF preview No
Exposure lock No
Exposure compensation No
Shoe No
External sync M/X
Sync speed NA
Timer Yes, on sync lever
Battery NA
Battery style None
Battery voltage NA



1 Response

  1. Has anyone ever seen a Stereo Kowa E S. The “S” under the e that is for a Stereo Kit ? A exact fit case with the camera, front lens adapter to put two images on a single 35mm frame. Only difference I saw in the photo was the S under the E. The kit included a Kowa flash and some adapters.

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