New Olympic Kinsi

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New Olympic Kinsi

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New Olympic Semi Olympic 
Riken Semi Kinsi
Riken Kinsi

New Olympic Kinsi

One of the obscure Japanese cameras with many fathers on record, depends on where you look. The model I have on my desk is marked ‘Kinsi’ on the front, ‘The New Olympic Camera Worlks’ on the side latch. The Kinsi is reported to be made by Riken, where it is also named Semi Olympic, Semi Kinsi, and Olympic II. The one I have has a folding viewer. But there is also an identical camera with a tube viewer, under the same name. Also, for good measure, some publications use Kinsi as Kinshi.

New Olympic Camera Works made cameras under its own name between 1934 and perhaps 1941, although the later date could be questionable. After the war, it was presumably taken over by Riken, where the same models appear under that banner. This is typical after owners’ changes, just as Zeiss or Kodak kept using the same product names as their tributaries.

The unit I have is well preserved, considering being 86 years old, although categorized by the seller on Buyee as Junk.   The camera is a smallish affair, lightweight and straightforward, no unnecessary options to fiddle with. The distinct body has sharp creases that give it a different, elegant look. The lens assembly winds out, within an industrial-looking ring. That ring is marked with ‘New Olympic’ and ‘Size 4.5×6 CM’. Speeds are marked in two locations so that settings can be viewed from above or front of the lens. An optical folding viewer and cold shoe are mounted on top. Two blades shutter and aperture are agile. Distance is metric, so assume this model was meant for local consumption.

Note that the shutter button cocks and fires at one press. There is no dedicated shutter trigger.


List number 24063
Brand Olympic Camera
Format 120
Model Semi Olympic
Introduced 1937
AKA Kinsi, Semi Kinsi, Olympic II
Country Japan
Qty made
Initial price 48
Currency Yen
Type Viewfinder
Body material Plastic – Bakelite
Mode Manual
Weight 440 gr,  Body with lens
Class average weight 338 gr,  Body with lens
ASA range N/A
Kit lens 4,5/75
Lens make
Filter size N/A
Lens mount Fixed lens
Mount size N/A
shutter Two laeves
Light meter None
Winder Knob
Lock No
Speeds T, B, 25-150
DOF preview No
Exposure lock No
Exposure compensation No
Shoe Cold
External sync No
Sync speed NA
Timer No
Battery N/A
Integral flash None

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