Aires 35V

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Aires 35-V

by Karen Nakamura


Overview and Personal Comments

The Aires 35-V looks like the misbegotten love-child of a Leica screw-mount Barnack camera and a Leica M series. It has the characteristic 3 windows and projected framelines of a M-series camera, but the appearance slow-speed shutter dial of a screw mount camera. It's a heavy camera, clearly all steel and brass. No plastic parts here. It weighs a ton and a half.

Oddly (for a rangefinder), the camera has a Seikosha leaf-shutter, but odder still it has an interchangeable bayonet lens mount. The bayonet-mount leaf-shutter is reminiscent of the Voigtlander Bessamatic SLR, but unlike the Voigt, the Aires interchangeable lenses have all their elements in one unit. There is no lens element left in the body behind the leaf shutter. This is because rangefinders have more space in front of the film plane, unlike SLRs which have to have a lens unit. This allows the leaf-shutter to be placed far to the rear, almost where a focal-plane shutter would be. For that reason, I could say that the Aires has a "focal-plane leaf shutter."

1958 was a bad year to put out a high-quality rangefinder. Released in 1954, Leica's M3 was taking the rangefinder world by storm, at the same time most other manufacturers were giving up their RF lines and moving towards SLRs. I don't have a history of Aires Camera, but my guess is that their poured all their R&D yen into the 35-V, only to have the tides turn against them.

The quality of the 35-V is apparent. Solid chrome. A great shutter. The RF doesn't have switching framelines or parallax correction, but has bright projected framelines and accurate focusing. The leaf-shutter can of course synch at all speeds, and the accessory shoe has the rudimentary beginnings of a flash synch capability.

Interesting quirks

Sporting a Leica-inspired form, the camera has what looks like a slow-shutter speed dial on the front right. But that doesn't make sense since it's a leaf-shutter and has the shutter speed dial on the lens mount. What's up?

The "slow-speed-dial" is actually a little dial that switches between D-A-R. The A is for Advance or regular shooting. 'D' is for Double-exposures. And 'R' is for Rewind.

Technical Details

Camera Name
Aires 35-V  
Aires Camera Ind.
Tokyo Japan
Place of Manufacture


Date of Manufacture
Focusing System

Coupled rangefinder
Combined rangefinder/viewfinder
Projected 45mm & 100mm framelines
No parallax correction

Lens Mount

Aires RF Bayonet Mount


Seikosha-MX leaf shutter: 1 sec. - 1/400 sec + B

Metering System

Built-in selenium meter


PC-type flash connection on body left side
M-X switch on bottom
Accessory shoe has proprietary flash connection

Film type / speeds


Battery type
Dimensions and weight

xx W x xx H x xx D mm
xxx g

Retail price


Aires Camera
35mm f/3.2

45mm f/1.5

100mm f/3.5
Place of Manufacture
Serial #
Date of Manufacture
Lens Construction
Lens Mount
Aires RF Bayonet Mount
Focusing range

0.8 meter - infinity
2.23' - infinity
Left focusing (infinity at left)



f/1.5 ~ f/16 (1 stop click stops)
5 aperture blades

Filter Mount

Filter: 49mm threaded

Body Construction
Dimensions and weight
Retail price




About Aires Camera

Aires Camera was one of those post-War Japanese camera manufacturers that sprung up in the 1950s and didn't survive the camera wars of the 1960s. Their first camera came out in 1951 and the last one was the Aires 35-V which lasted until 1962.

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