UK: Wrayflex: 1959 (51)-1961:

The British Pioneer:

Wray London had a patent for a special penta prism slr since 1947. But the stage from drawings to production obviously must have been hard, as their first and only PP SLR was produced in 1959 and discontinued in 1961. They did present an slr in 1950, produced from 1951, but with a reduced prism that turned the image sideways and gave a frame of 24x32. The name was Wrayflex 1. Then followed Wrayflex 1a in 1953, the only visible difference being the film counter going to 36 frames, not 44, but giving a normal 24x36 frame. A flash shoe came in 1954, and finally the true penta prism camera Wrayflex II in 1959. 

But during the 10 years of production, only some 2 800 cameras were produced. So, despite a promising start with an impressing patent, the English contribution to the PP SLR history was rather short, and not at all shining. 

Wray of London produced this Wrayflex from 1951 onwards. Strictly, it should not be shown here, though: it is not a true pentaprism. The subject was not seen rightsided. Wray succeeded in making a PP SLR in 1959, but the company had to end production in 1961. Here is a worn sample with sn. 2195. It is believed that the first camera had number 1501. Only some 800 pieces of the first edition was produced, from late 1953 joined by the next model, the 1a, adding some 1600 pieces to the total number. The mount was a M40, thus between the Leica 39 and the Contax/Praktica/Pentax M42. My camera came without lens and the one carefully entered here is only for the sake of the photo.
Not exactly like everybody else! Small prism (not penta prism), asymmetric shape, to mention some of it.
A real PP SLR, the Wrayflex II, produced from 1959 till early 1961. Only up to 350 pieces were produced, as quality problems followed this model. Not of my collection.

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25.06 | 21:36

The official producer was Chinon, according to Alpa sources. But we know that Cosina produced some cameras (and lenses) for Chinon.

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25.06 | 21:23

The ALPA 2000 was a Cosina with M42 mount. I used to own one. Ever wonder why there are ALPA badged M42 lenses on eBay? They are from Cosina too.

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13.05 | 14:20

Sadly not found the Ricoh XR-7 / Sigma SA-1 / Sears KS-2 camera(s) on the site. They could be produced by Cosina as well, but I have no information about this.

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21.04 | 21:14

For an explanation of the penta mirror, please see the page "Some Definitions".
My definition of PP SLR also include the penta mirror cameras.

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