Welmy Six

The Welmy Six are viewfinder-only 6×6cm folding cameras made by Taisei Kōki. The Mount Six is a name variant of the Welmy Six E, and the Mount Six III is a version with an uncoupled rangefinder.

In 1951, the Welmy Six line was produced in Japan by Taisei Kouki (Koki). Most models have the 75mm f/3.5 triplet under some moniker and basic, limited range, non-self cocking shutters. These budget models don't generally get faster than 1/400.

It can be confusing to keep track of the history of the Welmy. You will find models marked Welmy, Welmy 6, Welmy Six or Welmy VI - including E, L and W versions. There are models made under the manufacturer Taisei Kouki, Taisei Koki, or Nariko. This Nariko version simply has the word "Welmy" in a script font etched into the top of the viewfinder housing and a Nariko name plate on the front. The original leatherette had "Welmy Six" embossed on the back of the camera.

The Welmy Six W includes two viewfinders: a standard glass eye level, and an alternate "right angle" viewfinder which has a slight green hue to the glass - some are yellow or orange. The image is upside down and reversed due to the mirror, and the viewfinder is so small that the photographer is required to put his/her eye up to the eye piece to even make out the image, so it really isn't at waist level.

There is no rangefinder (except on the Mount Six III model) or depth-of-field scale. The distance marking around the lens start at one meter, although the lens can be turned clockwise (if looking down at the lens from behind the eye piece) to what I would guess is around 60 centimeters. The shutter must be engaged prior to pushing the shutter release button which is located on the right side of the viewfinder housing on the top of the camera. The shutter cocking lever is located on the top of the lens housing, as is the aperture selection slider. The aperture range is adequate enough at f/3.5 to 32 (stepless). Shutter speeds range from one second to 1/200 or 1/250 with Bulb and/or Time settings for long exposure and can be selected by turning the knurled ring around the lens barrel to the appropriate speed mark.

Body dimensions are 137 x 100 x 45 (98 when lens out) milimeters, and weights about 600 grams.

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