Rokuoh-Sha Type 89 WWII Era Japanese Machine Gun Camera
|February 18, 2013||Posted by Photo GearHead under Cool Gear|
The Rokuoh-Sha machine gun camera is an exceptionally rare and very sought after piece of Japanese military history. It was manufactured by the Konishoruko Camera Company (which later became Konica) during world war two, as a way of training Japanese military airplane machine gunners. The machine gun camera would be mounted on to Japanese military aircraft, in place of the real machine guns, during training flights. The gunners would then fire the machine gun camera at various ground based, or airborne targets — just as if they were firing the real guns. Instead of spraying bullets, however, they were snapping photos. The resulting photographs would later be developed and analyzed in order to determine the gunner’s accuracy. Once the gunners, using the machine gun cameras, achieved sufficient proficiency with the machine gun camera, they would then graduate to the real thing.
Looking at the provided image of this bizarre beast, you might be curious about that yellow-colored, transparent dome you see stop the barrel of the “gun.” Well, during target practice, that space would be occupied by a stop-watch which was rigged to begin ticking away as soon as the trigger was depressed, and stop once the gunner ceased “firing.” Through the use of a prism, the face of the stop-watch would also appear on the images that the machine gun camera captured. Because of this, the length of time that the gunner’s bursts lasted could be accurately recorded, and the gunner could then receive instruction on how to more efficiently control his rate of fire.
The Rokuoh-Sha machine gun camera snaps 18X24mm images, utilizing 35mm film, and is capable of shooting at 10 frames per second – making it a sort of hybrid between a still camera and movie camera. The Rokuoh-Sha begins snapping photos as soon as the trigger is pulled, and doesn’t stop until it’s released… or, the film runs out.
We here at PhotoGearHeads.Com believe that the Rokuoh-Sha Type 89 machine gun camera is most probably the perfect tourist camera for photographers who are going for that real, vintage look when taking photos of all the sites around their favorite tourist destinations. Take it with you on your next trip to historic Washington, D.C.! Imagine the adulation and the looks you’ll get from your fellow tourists (not to mention interested security personnel) when you aim this thing at the White House, or Capital Building in order to snag some super-cool shots! Yes, you’re sure to be the talk of block!
The seller of this item currently has it listed at a price of $3,310.00 USD — which, from what we’ve been able to tell, appears to be at the extremely high-end of normal for this camera. However, the seller is willing to consider offers. This particular unit is reported as being fully operational, and comes with its original box and some accessories — which appears to include some extra film cannisters, mounting hardware, and detachable gun sights. The item has the serial number 5391. The sale can be viewed by following this link.