The Seagull camera - history
The Shanghai Seagull Camera Co Ltd is part of Seagull Digital & Image Co., Ltd. located in Shanghai, China, and is the largest camera manufacturer in that country. The present company grew out of an organisation which dates back to 1958 called the Shanghai General Camera factory.
Seagull camera is currently involved in the production of traditional film, digital and stereo cameras. One of its best known products is the Seagull-4 twin lens reflex modelled on the Franke and Heidecke Rolleiflex and Rolleicord cameras produced in Germany since the 1930s for medium format photography enthusiasts.
The Seagull 4A-105 is an entry level camera with a coated 3 element Cooke triplet type Hai-ou (or Haiou) picture taking 75 mm, f/3.5 lens while the 4A-107 features a 75 mm, f/3.5 four element coated lens in three group lens. Both these models and the lower priced 4B types are soldily made cameras with cast metal chassis and black painted brass furniture. The 4A-107 was available as a limited edition in red and gold finish. Both this and the standard model have an automatic crank film wind and the 107 enables users to see aperture and shutter settings in a top of body window.
Shanghai Camera have also made many other roll film models including the bellows folder Seagull 203 and 205 with coupled rangefinder based on the Zeiss Super Ikonta III and IV. A number of 35mm format cameras, essentially copies of Leica film cameras, have also been produced. These include the Shanghai 58 - 1, a copy of a Leica IIIf, and Shanghai 58-II model c, b and d from 1958 to 1963.