Royal Camera Royal 35

Last modified date

Comments: 0

Royal Camera Royal 35

Here is another camera maker that was established in Japan in the post-war years, mainly to cater to the spending habits of the 450,000 GI posted there. There is little information about it, just enough to see its name as a supplier to numerous camera distributors with a precious few models sold under its own name. The official company name was Daiou Shashin Kogaku, or short as DSK, which was marked on some rebranded models.

In the printed guides, DSK or Royal camera is hardly mentioned, and online, it is impossible to dig for any meaningful information as there are too many entries containing Royal, Camera or both, not the least of which are Robot Royal. It reminds me of when I was looking for online information about the Taron camera and was flooded with information about one Taron Egerton. There are two articles worth reading about the Royal Camera company, by Mike Eckman and Colin Clark, and both proclaim no information.

Known models appeared between 1950 and 1957, but there is no clear information regarding the company closure date. The model list below is peppered with data from different sources, I can only hope that there are no overlapping models. Other than the first model that looks like the early Altix, all models are similar and strongly resemble the Contax or Nikon S cameras. Two models seem to share a platform with other makers: the Royal 35 I with the Picny B, and the Luxall / Torca with the Neoca 35 models.

Royal Camera made rangefinders only, with several degrees of sophistication. Some models are known to exist by name only, where no supporting information or images are available. The Torca / Luxall model is revierwed under Brumberger 1651.

For the collector, these models are worth looking into. They are well-made cameras, although functionality is a toss of the dice. Not many are offered for sale, most at ridiculous asking prices. When you find one at a reasonable price, I suggest to get it.


Royal 35

Marked only Royal in cursive, I see no difference between it and the Royal 35S, so I assume that the names were meant for different markets. It is a well-built camera, modestly specced with 2.8/50 lens and unnamed Shutter, B, 1-300. Oddly, the speed selector is a small dial at the front, where you would expect the slow-speed dial. A nice touch, which seems common to all Royal models, is two cogs that drive the film rather than pull by the take-off spool. A threaded ring around the trigger comes off and could be mistaken for a trigger lock. Straight forward to operate, no manual needed.

Royal 35-M / Wirgin 19E

Introduced in 1957, two years after the Royal 35, it was also sold as the Wirgin 19E as a part of the Wirgin post-war reconstruction. Here is a camera that aims higher. It has a faster lens, a 1.9/45, and a Copal MXV shutter that goes up to 500. A Selenium meter with a German-style flap is easy to read and use. It has a simple cue system:

  • For a bright scene, close the flap, and the red dot on it will be up, so use the red chevron on the light meter dial.
  • With a dim scene, open the flap, the green line on it is visible, so use the green chevron on the meter dial.
  • A pin by the shoe is marked in the manual as an “Exclusive meter amplifier joint”. I don’t know what it means; I would guess it is a stop for a shoe-mounted external light meter. Corrections are welcomed.
  • A tiny screw head, marked ‘0’ surrounded with two arrows, is said to be “Zero adjustment screw”. It moves the meter needle, but the adjustment should be against something, which explanation is missing.

All controls are positioned on the lens barrel. Closest to the body is the focusing dial, followed by the aperture dial, a synch selector on the side, and the speed selector dial at the front end.

The Wirgin 19E shows its heritage with the Royal Camera logo modestly embossed on the front skin and boldly on the lens cover.

When I looked at the Brumberger 1651, I was impressed by its cosmetic and mechanical condition. It seems it had a loving owner, as the 35-M here is in poor condition, the Shutter is dead, and the glass is a fungi farm. However, I later realized I also have a lovely Wirgin 19E, which is almost the same camera, so my faith in the Royal Camera brand has been revived.


Same camera See
List number 32059 18499 18497 36694
Brand Wirgin Royal Camera Royal Camera Brumberger
Model Wirgin 19 E Royal 35M Royal 35 Brumberger 1651
Manual Butkus
Value Wirgin 19 E Royal 35M Royal 35 Brumberger 1651
Format 35mm 35mm 35mm
Introduced 1957 1955 1951
AKA Skylark E, Ogicon 35E, Ogicon 35E Torca
Holiday II
Country Germany Japan Japan Japan
Qty made
Initial price
Type Rangefinder Rangefinder Rangefinder
Body material Metal Metal Metal
Mode Manual Manual Manual
Weight 680 gr,
Body with lens
660 gr,
Body with lens
670 gr,
Body with lens
640 gr,
Body with lens
Class average weight 660 gr,  Body with lens 660 gr,
Body with lens
660 gr,
Body with lens
ASA range 12-800 50-400
memo only
memo only
Kit lens 1.9/45 2.8/50 3.5/45
Lens make Tominor Tominon Tominor Brumberger
Filter size 40.5mm N/A N/A N/A
Lens mount Fixed lens Fixed lens Fixed lens
Mount size N/A
Shutter Leaf Leaf Leaf
Shutter make Copal MXV
Light meter Selenium, uncoupled None None
Winder Lever Lever Lever Lever
Lock No No No No
Speeds B, 1-500 B, 1-300 B, 1-300
Mirror N/A N/A N/A
Viewer Rangefinder Rangefinder Rangefinder
DOF preview No No No
Exposure lock No No No
Exposure compensation No No No
Shoe Cold Cold Cold
External sync X/M X X
Sync speed
Timer Yes,
No Yes,
Battery, original N/A N/A N/A
Battery, replacement N/A N/A N/A
Battery voltage N/A N/A N/A
Integral flash None None None
Service / repair links See
More Mike Eckman
Colin Clark
Yashica sailor boy

Ryal Camera model list

Royal 35 I 1950Picny B
Royal 35M DeLux 1957Skylark E, Ogicon 35E, Wirgin 19E
Hiyoca 1957Royal 35P
Luxall 1957Torca, Royal 35P
Mark S2 1957
Ogikon 35 E 1957Ogino Royal 35LE
Ogikon 35 E Deluxe 1957
Royal 35 1955Ogicon 35E
Royal 35 LE 1957
Royal 35M 1957Wirgin 19 E
Royal 35F
Royal 35P 1957Unicorn 35
Royal 35S 1955
Torca 1957Luxall, Royal 35P, Brumberger 1651, Hanimex Holiday II
Unicorn 35

Royal 35 images

Royal 35-M and Wirgin 19E images


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment