Friday, September 24, 2010

Machine Gun Camera

The 35mm WWII, Japanese Type 89 “Rokuoh-Sha” Machine Gun Camera

This is a very rare and highly sought after collectible, a Japanese Machine Gun Camera made during World War II. The official name of the camera is the Type 89 Rokuoh-Sha made by Konishoruko Manufacturer Company, later to become Konica.

This camera has a fascinating history in that it was used to train Japanese machine gunners during WWII. The camera would be mounted inside or outside the plane. When inside it is manned by the gunner, and outside it would be controlled remotely by cables. The camera takes 18x24mm pictures on 35mm cine film loaded in 2.5m strips. The Type 89 camera was said to be used to train gunners on the famed Zero fighter plane, the pilots would do in-air target practice with the camera recording accuracy. The film would then be processed and reviewed before true in-air combat (once pilots mastered the Type 89 camera with improved kills through target practice, the real thing was then mounted on the aircraft and said pilot was sent into battle).

This camera is an amazing piece of history that is essentially priceless for a collector of unique cameras or WWII memorabilia.

Rokuoh-sha machine gun camera type 89 with sights, case. BGN, $3,520. Find it here.


- Michael Reese