1961 saw the first man in space, Yury Gagarin, who had 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, 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 setting 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 same. Selenium meter activates a needle in the viewer, no battery 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 available.
|Weight, gr||875 with lens|
|Filter size||50 mm|
|Lens mount||Fixed lens|
|Light meter||Selenium, external|
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