The Konans arrived on the scene in 1950, but were quickly bought out by Chiyoda (Minolta) which saw the potential in the creative design. In fact, not all Konan cameras were made by the Konan Institute. Most models were made by Chiyoda!
The Konan cassette was a two-lobed, metal design with a spring-loaded trap door in the front to expose the film. This allowed cassette changes mid-roll -- very unique. When Chiyoda took over, they redesigned the cassette for use in their later Minolta cameras. The trap door was gone and so was the mid-roll interchangeability.
(1950) -- 25mm (f3.5-16); T, B, 1/25-1/200. This model was a modified version of the Mica Automat. It had a modified lens and shutter. Lens is still fixed-focus. Slip-on filters and even a close-up lens were available. It was available in several colors and coverings, such as chrome, black, green, blue, red and a waffled covering. At the time, Konan Optical was running low on funds and sold the patents to the original camera to Chiyoda Optical (the original name of Minolta). This camera was made by Chiyoda, the early name for Minolta.
(1950) -- 25mm (f3.5-16); T, B, 1/25-1/200. An improved version in that it had flash synch. In all other respects it was the same camera. This camera was made by Chiyoda, the early name for Minolta.
(1950) -- 25mm (f3.5-16); T, B, 1/25-1/200. A Black police version. This camera was made by Chiyoda, the early name for Minolta.
(1952) -- twin 25mm (f3.5-16) lenses. Twin shutters of T, B, 1/25-1/200. This is a rare stereo version of the Konan 16 Automat. Only a few were made -- all by hand. It used two cassettes at once. This camera was made by Chiyoda, the early name for Minolta.
(1955) -- 25mm (f3.5-16); B, 1/25-1/200. An improved model made by the Konan Institute. It was also the last Konan-made model. On all previous Konan and Minolta models, the shutter speed and aperture setting dials were on the top of the camera -- right next to the shutter release. One advantage of this setup is that the dials were covered when the camera was closed. But perhaps the designers felt that it was too easy to unintentionally move the dials when trying to press the shutter release button. Another reason to move the dials to the side of the camera was to facilitate exposure settings without opening the camera. This would be an advantage since opening the camera meant advancing the film. For whatever reason, on this model both dials were moved to the side of the camera. The shutter release was kept on the top.
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