Toko Shashin Windsor 35

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Toko Shashin Windsor 35

Toko Shashin, literally Toko Photo, also known as Toko, was one of many camera makers that appeared in Japan after WWII, catering to the 500,000 GI contingent looking for bring-home souvenirs. Like most other makers, it lasted about a decade from inception to wind down. Click the ‘obscure’ on the breadcrumbs at the top of the page to see some of the rest.

Little is known about the company; a search on Japanese sites returns nothing of substance. The first model is recorded in 1950, and the last in 1957. Allowing three years at the front and end, it looks like the company lasted only twelve years. The company changed its name midway to Windsor, with which name is listed in some of the directories. It seems that Toko was associated with Yamato, sharing the Konair model, and with Taisei, where the TKC logo is embossed on the Kalimar A. About the TKC logo, it was changed to WOC upon the company name change. I do not know what the letters stand for.

Toko / Windsor made a few models and offered them under different names.

The Windsor 35 had several minor variants:

  • Windsor 35 I, with one step on the top cover,
  • Winsor 35 II, same body, different lens assembly, two steps on top,
  • Windsor 35 III same as the II, shutter up to 300.
  • The Super and Delux had 1.9/45 lenses and a speed to 400.
  • The three base models are marked just ‘Windsor’, and carry no serial numbers.

Most Windsor models used Sygmar lenses, believed to have been made by Nippon Kogaku, an early name for Nikon.

The ! and II are described below.

Windsor 35 I

The Windsor 35 I is a compact, relatively heavy, all-metal rangefinder. It subscribes to the same features and style typical to such cameras of the era.

The top carries a knob winder skirted with a frame counter. To set the counter, press the button behind it and try to turn the dial without cracking a fingernail. The winder does not cock the shutter. The early models did not have an accessory shoe, which was added halfway.

The lens barrel is mounted on a square, styled breastplate. An oversized, well-marked focusing dial is closest to the body, assisted by two finger rest pins, sized to match. Two body-mounted limiter pins restrict the dial movement. Next comes the aperture setting scale and a lever over it. The shutter speed selector dial is at the front, B, 1-200. The shutter cocking lever is on top, between the two dials, pulls towards the B mark. The trigger is below the barrel at seven o’clock. The self-timer lever is under the barrel.

The bottom has a well-reinforced threaded tripod mount and a serrated disc marked with an arrow; press and turn to release the rewind clutch.

Inside the chamber is hammertone finished, with an integral take-off pivot and two cogs to guide the film.

As with other models of the time, the camera falls on its nose when left on a straight surface.

Windsor II

The Windsor II is similar in size, with a restyled top structure and an extra step. Assume a design-driven change.

The lens barrel is softened, with a cylindrical focusing dial driven by a single finger rest. The two limiters are still there but moved around. The aperture scale and fin moved slightly aside, and an easier-to-use trigger lever moved from the bottom to the side. It carries over the same specifications, including the unbalanced body.

Camdex list number 19320
Brand Toko Shashin
Model Windsor 35
Value Windsor 35 I
Windsor 35 II
Format 35mm
Introduced 1953
Country Japan
Qty made
Initial price 12,500
Currency Yen
Type Rangefinder
Body material Metal
Mode Manual
Weight 775 gr,  Body with lens
Class average weight 630 gr,  Body with lens
ASA range N/A
Kit lens 3.5/50
Lens make Sygmar
Filter size 28mm
Lens mount Fixed lens
Mount size N/A
Shutter Leaf
Shutter make Velex
Trigger On the lens barrel
Winder Knob
Shutter_cocking Lever on the lens barrel
Light meter None
Lock No
Speeds B, 1-200
Mirror N/A
Viewer Coupled rangefinder
DOF preview No
Exposure lock No
Exposure compensation No
Shoe Cold
External sync M
Timer Yes
Battery, original N/A
Sync speed
Battery, replacement N/An
Battery voltage
Integral flash None
More Grandpa Hank Kelner
Service / repair links See

Windsor 35 I images

Windsor 35 II images

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