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Fuji Kogaku Lyraflex

This is another of those cameras with some mystery attached to it. Fuji Kogaku (Fuji Optical Co) is credited by Sugiyama with producing this Lyraflex J model and a similar variant called the Lyraflex F, both in 1941 (the later differs by nameplate, lens surround and a slightly faster shutter only, so far as I can see). It's a nicely-made camera with a quality feel to it, and one would suspect it's one of the better ones the Japanese manufacturers produced after the supply of Rolleis and Ikoflexes from Germany dried up.

This is NOT the well-known Fuji Photo Film company (for this, go to my information page on the Fujicaflex), which now makes digital cameras, but an outfit called Fuji Kogaku Seiki. There is still at least one (very small) company called this still operating today, making precision instruments, but it is said only to have started in 1979 making precision machinery - I wonder if it has some roots in the 1940s business? There also seems to have been a binocular maker of this name into the 1960s, so they may all be connected.

Now an interesting angle. Sugiyama shows two further Lyraflexes, but these are credited to a different company called Katsuma Optical Works in 1953. They are geared-lens models dated 1953 and seemingly a bit cruder and more basic than this earlier one. However, they also have the Terionar lens, so there must be a direct historical linkage - perhaps Fuji Kogaku sold the camera business in order to concentrate on binoculars? If anyone knows more, please let me know!

Taking lens is Terionar 75mm f3.5
Shutter is Fujiko 1 to 1/200

Below the two pictures of my Lyraflex J is a picture from a Japanese auction of a variant model - the Lyraflex F, also from 1941 - chiefly distinguished
by the nameplate design and the styling of the lens surround/escutcheon.