The Petal, originally made by St. Peter Optical Company, appeared on the market in 1947 for 10USD. It has a fixed focus 12mm f/5.6 lens and shutter speeds of B and I. The size of a £2 coin (or a US quarter - 25 cent) and got listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as being the smallest non-medical camera ever produced.
The Sakura Seiki Company produced both a round Petal and an octagonal camera similar to the Evarax made by Petal Optical Company in 1948 or 1949. The Petal Kogaku Camera Company made a round Petal.
It has a fixed-focus 12mm (f/5.6) lens. Speeds could be set at B and I and it produced six, 6mm circular images on a 25mm film disc in a special cassette.
To advance the film, the back is rotated until a number engraved around its circumference aligns with a red coloured dot. The 6mm circular images are on a 25mm disc, which could be cut from standard film with a special cutter.
The cylindrical tube mounted on top of the camera is the eye-level optical viewfinder.
The cameras are engraved "Made in Occupied Japan". This is found on the back of the camera (above) or on the side (below).
Looking inside the back of the Petal, at the top, immediately under the viewfinder, for a round hole cut into a black plate. The round hole is the Petal's image frame. Petal film is circular as are Petal images. A disc of film is loaded by setting it into the camera back and replacing the cover. Rotating the back aligned the round hole with a fresh section of film. The back could be rotated to six positions yielding six frames per disc of film. The film disc is 25mm in diameter (same as a €2 coin or a 2pence coin) and the image is 6mm in diameter.
The camera was sold in a wooden box and had a red ribbon looped though the chain eye next to the view finder. The small polished leather case has a button clip. A film disc cutter was also sold for the camera.
Sakura Seiki Company's Petal is similar to the round Petal but has an octagonal shape.
A camera identical to the octagonal Petal is engraved with the name Evarax A. The Evarax A may have been introduced around the same date as the round model, and can be considered to be the forerunner of the octagonal Petal.
Petal lighter camera (1950)
The Petal is so small it is hardly surprising that it was put into a cigarette lighter, like the Echo 8 but the lens is on the side and not edge of the lighter. It is unlikely that these where factory made.
Last updated 21st October 2003