NKK Super Wester

If it has bellows, you can talk about it here.
scott
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NKK Super Wester

Post by scott »

Hi, all -

Haven’t been around much. Haven’t shot film in over a year now. Starting to get back into, maybe. We’ll see.

Anyway, have a trip to Ireland and Scotland coming up later this year. Originally had intended to 3D print a 4x5, but logistics are prohibitive. Moved to bringing my YashicaMat, which has been good on European trips in the past. Tangentially, gifted a Konica I to a friend of my daughter. Looked them up on eBay to see what the current market is, and found this, an NKK Super Wester. Kind of obscure Japanese folder from the mid 50s that seems to have been designed to live in the same market segment as the Super Isolette. This one for have the auto film spacing, but is unit cell coupled rangefinder, and from the very few posts I can find, is pretty decent. Decided it was a good option for the trip. Got a decent price; it gets here Monday. Focus is “stiff” - I’m assuming similar solidified grease issues as with Agfas. Will likely poll y’all when the time comes, has been at least a decade since I worked on such. Some hopefully basic shutter cleaning otherwise. Welcon 75/3.5 lens. Anyone know anything about this thing?

Anyway, just a heads up, hoping to be back in the fold a bit more. Hope everyone is well.

Scott


P C Headland
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Re: NKK Super Wester

Post by P C Headland »

I've looked at these a few times but never actually bought one. Been tempted many times...

I'm curious to see how you find it.
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Re: NKK Super Wester

Post by Brazile »

Glad you're back, Scott.

Robert
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Re: NKK Super Wester

Post by scott »

P C Headland wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2024 3:44 am
I've looked at these a few times but never actually bought one. Been tempted many times...

I'm curious to see how you find it.
Thanks, PC. I'm actually really excited about it. First time I've actually been excited about photography, well, in a long time. Will be posting photos next week.
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Re: NKK Super Wester

Post by scott »

Brazile wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2024 7:23 am
Glad you're back, Scott.

Robert
Thanks, Robert, I appreciate that.
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Re: NKK Super Wester

Post by Julio1fer »

If the bellows are in good condition it should be a decent folder, not bad at all for travel photography.
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Re: NKK Super Wester

Post by scott »

Just for reference, these are some of the seller photos of the camera. I will update tomorrow when I have it in hand.
ImageImage
titrisol
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Re: NKK Super Wester

Post by titrisol »

Looks really good!
Nishida made good cameras according to the experts, the Super Wester looks great, and uses a Nishida Shutter
http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Wester_6%C3%976_folders

Maybe the infamous Mr. Lynch can make a bellows for you if it needs to be replaced
If you can't fix it with a hammer... you got an electrical problem
even duct tape can't fix stupid.... but it can muffle it (SilentObserver)
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scott
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Re: NKK Super Wester

Post by scott »

Okay! As promised, some pictures of the New Toy:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

First impressions: It's stout. I'm used to Anscos - have had a bunch of Speedexes, some Jsolettes. This is much more robust. Not the thin pressed metal that those cameras use. It's more on the line of a Super Isolette/Speedex. The seller said that the helical could use a bit of lubrication. I read this as "frozen helical". Pleasant surprise - the focus works! It does need some lube, but it's very serviceable as-is, not even exactly stiff. Most of the threads are accessible with the lens extended; that's where I'll start with that. It's a coupled rangefinder, and the spot, while pretty small, has good contrast. The viewer doesn't seem to scratch my glasses, a bonus. I shined the brightest light I have (which will, on a clear night, illuminate at least 17% of the new moon's disk) into the bellows in a dark room. I find zero pinholes. Another win. The shutter, with speeds from 1 to 1/300 plus B, stutters below 1/25. Should clean up nicely enough. The release on the door needs a little coaxing - it opens slowly, but opens without prying. Will see if a little cleaning and lubing improves it. Dual format, but shooting 645 requires a loose mask which, from what little I can find on this camera, is almost always lost. Will eventually see if I can figure out dimensions and 3D print something. The lens is pristine, and somehow, coated. I pulled the front cell and it's heavy. Every example that I can find of every camera NKK made has a Wescon lens. This one has a Welcon. I have not seen a single reference to this lens. I'm hoping I got the NKK Solagon equivalent. Aperture is a little stiff, but again, totally usable as is. There's no film advance like in the Super Speedex, but I'm okay with a red window (or in this case, windows). Less to fail. There are a couple very small tabs of leather (yes, real leather) that need a spot of Elmers to tack them back down. But looks good - no corrosion or tears. It's really in stellar shape. I'm hoping I scored on this one.

Also comes with a nice, though fairly dry, ever-ready case. Needs a new strap, and a whole ton of Bick 4. The front panel is attached; I'm probably going to look for someone local who can replace the strap and maybe convert or remove the front so I don't have to fidget with it.

I've posted on Photrio and RFF (and here) about this camera, and no one has any information on it. I need to start scouring the interwebs
to see if I can find out more about it. Not real hopeful on that one, though.

I bought this for a trip we're taking to Ireland and Scotland later this year. I think it's going to be perfect for that. Very excited!
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Re: NKK Super Wester

Post by titrisol »

Camera-wiki has almost nothing on your camera. I edited the page to note that it is a dual format camera using a mask.
A japanese website with info on it seems to have little (https://clacamera.exblog.jp/4390193/)

Nishika (NKK) made shutters and optics for others as well.
If you can't fix it with a hammer... you got an electrical problem
even duct tape can't fix stupid.... but it can muffle it (SilentObserver)
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