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Walz TLRs

In addition to its two (essentially similar) ranges of TLRs, Walz Trading Co. made/sold 35mm rangefinder cameras. I believe that Walz was probably a manufacturer, although the Pacific Rim Cameras site hints (without clearly stating the reasons for the belief) that it just marketed rebadged models from other makers - particularly Tougodo, which seems extremely improbable to me, as the Walz and Wagoflex designs are fairly distinctive and show no obvious Tougodo characteristics.

Walz seems to have closed or merged around 1960. McKeown lists three Walzflexes as models I, II and IIIA. Sugiyama says I, IIA and IIIA. Neither, however, mentions the metered model I have (see below), which I have found no mention of in any reference work or website - it must be fairly rare! I've tried to unravel this model by model.

If you find any errors on this page or have any camera I might be interested in, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. Click on the small "thumbnail" pictures below to go to larger ones.

Walz Wagoflex (middle period)

This is just like the 1954 version described in McKeown. It has PC synchronisation, but is clearly earlier than the one shown next, which Has Rollei bay mounts.
Lens is Nitto Kogaku Kominar 75mm f3.5
Shutter is Copal 1 to 1/300

Walz Wagoflex (late)

There are three Wagoflexes in Sugiyama, and this isn't any of them! It must be a very late model (1955/56?), with the Rollei-style Bay I filter mounts. Apparently some had Olympus Zuiko lens.
Lens is Nitto Kogaku Kominar 75mm f3.5
Shutter is Copal MX 1 to 1/300

Walz Walzflex I

The difference between the Walzflex and Wagoflex models is really pretty cosmetic. This early one (1955 per Sugiyama) precedes the Bay 1 filter period. (n.b. McKeown has the wrong picture for this model - he has a picture of the model IIA - see below).

Lens is Nitto Kogaku Kominar 75mm f3.5
Shutter is Copal X 1/10 to 1/200

Walz Walzflex II

To me, this clearly is the second model of the Walzflex, differing from the model I in its Bay 1 lens surrounds and improved Copal shutter. However, McKeown says this should be a Copal MX, and I can't see any M-X switch, so I think it's actually an improved Copal X. However, Sugiyama doesn't mention a Model II, just a IIA, but with the MX shutter. As often, I suspect McKeown has lifted his details from Sugiyama, but I think he got them a bit scrambled?
Lens is Nitto Kogaku Kominar 75mm f3.5
Shutter is Copal X 1 to 1/300

Walz Walzflex IIIa

The last of the three models identified by Sugiyama shows some development in about two years. It has a better shutter, Rollei-style Bay I mounts, but the same lens. Quite a decently-built camera in this version.
Lens is Nitto Kogaku Kominar 75mm f3.5
Shutter is Copal MXV 1 to 1/500

Metered Walzflex

This is a very rare camera, of which there are no mentions at all in the literature or on the Web. However, it is identical to the Sears Tower 65 (see my "American" page). Sears bought all its later Tower models from Japanese manufacturers, so my tentative conclusion is that Walz were contracted to make the Tower 65, and badged just a very few in their own name for whatever reason. Perhaps they were left with stock when Sears stopped buying? Either way, I'm glad I spotted it on eBay when other collectors seem to have missed it.
Lens is Walz Camera Co. Walzer 75mm f3.5
Shutter is Copal MXV 1 to 1/500