The “Rangefinder Renaissance”. A very interesting rangefinder câmera using interchangeable Leica screw mount. Made by Phenix Câmera of Guang-Zhou to mark the 50th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China on 1st October 1949. JG is the tranliteration of the abbreviation for “founding the state” and 50 is for the number of years.


JG is the same camera Yasuhara T981 available in Japan just in 1998. The câmera hás a TTL exposure meter and a mechanical selftimer. The viewfinder is 1:1 life-size , hás parallax compensation andthe body hás a red covering leather.

Its clever constrution is very simple and its body is the same od the already produced Phenix DC -303, with te same Copal focal plane shutter (1-1/2000). The rangefinder was taken from Phenix -205 itself borrowed from Seagull -205 as its own photographic lens 2.8/50 to which was built a new M39 Leica mount.

Pictures of cameras enclosed for comparison.








In the same meantime it was built the  T- 012 camera that also received two names: Phenix and Yasuhara.

(above). Down under the three camera types






YASUHARA 50mmF2.8 mounting variation





These are the SLR Phenix models

Basic component layout, body and construction taken from Yashica SLRs.





Pearl River S-201

Zhu Jiang SLR. Topo f chinese SLRs, with removable pentaprism and Minolta mount.



A 50 some years old Soviet Fed has an old man's charm. It is married to a 20+ years younger Chinese 28/2 cine lens. An unhappy old German lens is looking at them with a sore heart.



Sao Mao Lanjian




SAOMAO China SM 950 8x29cm





These interesting new Sao Mao cameras are based in  No. 1 Panoram Kodak, manufactured by Eastman Kodak Company of Rochester, New York USA ,in 1904.  Takes panoramic views covering a 112 degree angle on special 80mm film size similar to the old 122/126 type roll film which now reappeared specially for those câmeras..  Each exposure measures 8x29 cm.  This wide angle photograph is created by a lens that swings through a 180 degree arc.

Plastic bodied au lieu of original’s Kodak wooden body; 6.3/130mm fixed focus lens. Two equivalent shutter speeds; 1/50 and 1/100s

Courtesy from Scott Bilotta .  



No. 1 Panoram Kodak Camera




VK 50R and VK 70R lenses



Not only panoram cameras from 1904, these lenses are slight more modern, but also taken from Kodak  old school. A 50mm f4.5 lens and a 70mm f5 lens.  These non-automatic lenss come in M42 mount to be adapted in a variety of SLR and RF cameras with changeable lenses Those lenses are new replicas of respectively The 828 f/6.3 Kodak Bantam models of 1935; and the 127  Vest Pocket Kodak Anastigmat f/8 lens of 1913. These lenses are chroma corrected doublets wit a great field curvature purposely added for equal sharpness in any distance with the optimized hyperfocal fixed diaphragm.


VK 50 and VK 70 have now focusing mounts and manual convenctional íris diaphragms and its focal lengths are 52 and 72mm. They are intendes for soft focus effect photography.






Corrected doublet schematics










Real Focal lengths



Diaphragm Scale

F4.5 –6 –8 –11 –16

F5 – 6 – 7 – 9 – 11



0.6‚ kg

Filter size



Patent Year



Max. Resolution*





Picture taken with VK50R Diaphragm F4

Picture taken with VK50R Diaphragm F11



Picture taken with VK70R Diaphragm F5

Picture taken with VK70R Diaphragm F8


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