Thursday, April 10, 2014
Meikai cameras were actually made by a real camera company in Japan called Tougodo. The first Meikai was the Meikai EL made in 1963. The Meikai EL has about the same capabilities as the Meikai 4351, however being part metal the Meikai EL looks better. It looks like Tougodo continued making cameras at least up until the late 1980's. They also made flashes and other camera accessories.
Comparing the Meikai 4351 with a camera that I wrote about earlier the, Meikai 4353 SSN , showed me that Tougodo was constantly working on improving their line of Meikai cameras. That is if by improve you mean to make your camera be a better fake looking SLR. Judging by the numbers I would guess that the Meikai 4353 SSN is a later version than the Meikai 4351. And the later version Meikai 4353 SSN does look to me more like an SLR. I do wonder if anyone was ever really fooled by these cameras. Although when I think of the kind of people we elect to public office, and the kinds of advertising campaigns that people fall for, I wouldn't be surprised if there were at least a few people who thought these were real SLRs.
Still even if they were fooled they would be, unless seriously deluded, unfooled when they got their first images processed.
And if they wondered why it took so long to finish their roll of film they would be enlightened when they saw images like the one above. Now some cameras like the Meikai 4353 SSN have the tendency at times not to advance the film a full frame on occassion. This often seems to happen near the end of a roll of film. The Meikai 4351 is the only camera that did this through an entire roll of film. Fortunately I only bulk loaded ten frames to test this camera. I am not sure if this is something that the Meikai 4351 does all the time, or if I may have had the film inserted too loosely. Still I would guess that if images like the one above are what you have been seeking from a camera, then the Meikai 4351 might be the answer for you.
I wonder if Tougodo was the company that made a lot of the other fake SLRs that now fill up space in thrift stores and garage sales, or did they just stick to their Meikai brand? If quality is a word that can be used with such cameras I have found some fake SLRs that were better than the Meikai. The Time Camera that I used last summer probably could even be used for real photography under the right conditions. Anyway you have probably now read more on the Meikai 4351 than has been or ever will be written again.