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It's a Bird, It's a Plane
It's Mighty Camera!!
Probably the first commercially successful Japanese cameras produced after W.W.II were tiny midget "toy" cameras such as this MIGHTY. At the time, the Japanese were understandably hard pressed to produce anything with their burned out industrial base. These simple to make Midget cameras, also known as HIT cameras after the most popular of their kind, used paper backed 17.5mm film. Amazingly enough, they would really take pictures. They were also undeniably cute and easily sold to American servicemen. HIT cameras could often be found at the back of various comic and science magazines, for about $5. Kids loved them, even if they seldom had the expertise to develop the film and actually produce a picture. Most of these cameras are marked "Made in Occupied Japan," relics of General MacArthur's stewardship.
My own midget favorite is the fabulous MIGHTY produced by Toko Photo Works in 1947. Not content to make an average midget, the MIGHTY has a host of "professional" features:
A choice of shutter speeds, either "instantaneous" or "bulb"
25/4.5 fixed focus lens
A choice of three f/stops, 4.5, 6.3, or 8
A Waist Level finder as well as a direct finder
A "Pro" square lens shade
A "Pro" Gadget bag to carry the camera, the lens shade, the telephoto lens, and extra film
A "Pro" red deluxe finish, certainly a rarity in this type of camera
14x14mm Format, I wonder if this is where Victor Hasselblad got the idea for square format? hmm.
And the icing on the cake, a "MIGHTY TELEPHOTO LENS 2X 4.5" Surely this would make any Pro sit up and take notice.
The fabulous MIGHTY TELEPHOTO clamped onto the fixed normal lens. You guessed it, larger than life size.
Here we see the pro gadget bag, and the not so quick loading film cassette. Note the hole in the cassette insert to allow viewing of the frame number on the paper backing through the little red window.
The 35mm film cartridge gives you an idea of the diminutive size of the MIGHTY CAMERA. Everything packaged away in the gadget bag is smaller than a pack of cigarettes -- and a lot less dangerous!!
Revised: November 25, 2003 . Copyright © 1998-2002 Stephen Gandy. All rights reserved. This means you may NOT copy and re-use the text or the pictures in ANY other internet or printed publication of ANY kind. Information in this document is subject to change without notice. Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.