Rokuwa Stereo Rocca
Some weeks ago, I looked at the Nordetta 3D, for which scant information is available online or elsewhere. There is a long article in Spanish, but more than information on the Nordetta, it is a love poem to the ISO Duplex Super 120. Being tall on curiosity and short on self-control, I bought one on Catawiki. It had arrived in a neat condition and was set aside until its day will come.
Shortly after that, I was at a camera show. On one display, among commonplace cameras, there was a stereo camera that looked like the Duplex Super baby sister. Shelton, who ran the table, was his usual self, abruptly talking to a dozen spectators at once. I didn’t know the model or make but couldn’t attract Shelton’s attention, so I wandered to the next stall.
A day or two later, while researching for another camera, there was that same baby stereo on my screen, now with credentials. Devine intervention, so I had no choice but to drive down to Shelton’s and pick it up.
The Stereo Rocca does resemble the ISO Duplex in a general fashion. It has the same high forehead, twin lenses protruding like squirrel cheeks, and a square/squat body. However, the differences overshadow the similarities. See the image below.
There are several data sources online, mostly copy and paste, with slight contradicting information on maker and image size. Am not sure why the camera makers chose the Rocca banner; as at about the same time, Montanus offered a line of 15 models using that very name. Perhaps the Japanese Rocca makers looked at the Italian connotation, that is well before the Italian camera makers were left in the rear mirror.
The camera follows the ISO Duplex image-registering style. Most stereo cameras in the era took image pairs lengthwise, so the media rolls sideways. Here, the image pair is side to side on the width of the film, resulting in half-size images but twice the shots. Images here are 24x24mm, but as the stereo cameras were not intended to shoot for print, magnifying stereo viewer compensated for that image size. Film loading is from the side, hence the boxy body style.
The body is lightweight, mostly plastic (bakelite?) and some metal. The name is modestly marked below the lenses, and it takes a close look to decipher the italics. A hard-to-purchase, small lever sliding in a half-moon groove cocks the shutters, resembling the Nordetta cocking lever. Between the lenses is the aperture selector, and the shutter speed is a small knurled knob, selecting between T and I, Time and instant. Two flash sync ports are on the side. The back carries two red lenses covered with sliders. On the right side, a lever to release the oppoite side’s cover is marked with O and C. But, assuming the designers did not consult a dictionary; it is also marked ‘Rock’ and ‘Open’ (sic).
A large viewer and the trigger are on top. There were several accessories made to match. To take a single image, cover one lens, and wind the film after two shots.
|Weight||205 gr, Body with lens|
|Class average weight||360 gr, Body with lens|
|Lens mount||Fixed lens|