Japanese plate cameras, folding bed (edit)
No.0 (4×5cm) Alpha | Sweet | Pony Sweet | Taishō-shiki
atom (4.5×6cm) Monarch | Need | Palma
meishi (5.5×8cm) Eagle | Idea A | Idea B | Idea Snap | Idea No.1 | Iris | Lily (horizontal) | Pearl No.3 | Special Camera | Venis | X
daimeishi (6.5×9cm) Apollo | Arcadia | Crite | Special East | Eaton | Elliotte | First | First Etui | Gold | Happy | Hope | Idea No.1 | Idea (metal) | Kinka | Kokka | Lily (horizontal) | Lily (metal) | Tropical Lily | Lloyd | Lomax | Masnette | Mikuni | Need | Nifca Klapp | Nifca Sport | Ohca | Palma | Peter | Prince | Prince Peerless | Proud | Romax | Rosen | Rubies | Sirius | Sun | Super | Tokiwa | Venus | Weha Idea | Weha Light
tefuda (8×10.5cm) Eagle | Idea A | Idea B | Idea No.1 | Idea (metal) | Iris | Lily (original) | Lily (horizontal) | Lily (metal) | Palma | Pearl No.3, No.4 | Minimum Pearl | Special Pearl | Sakura Palace | Sakura Pocket Prano | Star | Tokiwa | Weha
nimaigake (8×12cm) Eagle | Idea | Idea Binocular | Sakura Prano | Sakura Binocular Prano | Star Premo
hagaki (8×14cm) Eagle | Noble | Pearl No.3, No.4 | Star
kabine (12×16.5cm) Idea | Noble | Sakura Prano | Star Premo
Japanese plate film: monocular, box, strut-folding and SLR ->
3×4 and 4×4, 4×5 and 4×6.5, 4.5×6, 6×6 and 6×9 ->

For iris, the light-control device in a lens, see Diaphragm

The Iris[1] are Japanese plate folders sold on mail order by Ōsaka Shashinki Shōkai in the 1920s.

Original Iris[]

The original Iris (アイリス號) is known from a single advertisement reproduced in this page of the R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha website. It was available in meishi size (5.5×8cm). It is described as patterned on the cameras made by the American company "Chester".[2] However no such company is known, and this is certainly a mistake for Rochester: the Iris is very similar to the Pocket Premo made by this company.

The camera shown in the illustration has single extension bellows, a simple front standard, a brilliant finder attached to the folding bed on the photographer's left, simple folding struts and a handle at the top. However the illustration seems to be a close copy of a drawing of the Pocket Premo C, and it is perhaps not a faithful representation of the Iris.[3] The text mentions the pneumatic release and describes the camera as a pocket model. The pneumatic release is said to have been improved in 1921 (Taisho year 10), and the advertisement was certainly published around that date. The shutter is mentioned as a Gem (セーヱム).[4]

The camera was supplied with three double-sided plate holders in different versions, some of which were called the same:

  • No.1 (一號), ¥9;
  • No.2 (二號), ¥12;
  • No.3 (三號), ¥15;
  • Special (特號), ¥20;
  • Special (特號), ¥30;
  • Special (特號), ¥40.

New Iris[]

The New Iris (新アイリス號) is also known from a single advertisement.[5] It was available in meishi (5.5×8cm) and tefuda (8×10.5cm) size.

The description again says that it was patterned on the cameras made by the American company "Chester", certainly the same misprint for Rochester.[6] The illustration shows double extension bellows driven by a small wheel on the photographer's right, a U-shaped front standard allowing vertical and perhaps horizontal movements, a brilliant finder at the top with a bubble level on the side, and a handle above the main body.

The text describes a "Z shutter", with 1/25 and 1/50 settings, apparently containing Waterhouse stops, and a two-element lens. An additional illustration shows a Kodak shutter inscribed KODAK BOARD BEARING SHUTTER, giving 1/50, T, B, 1/25 settings. The inscription is highly dubious, and is probably an erroneous transcription of "Kodak Ball Bearing Shutter" by the Japanese drawer who made the illustration. The shutter was available separately for ¥8.50. The lens is called "Z77", perhaps because it has f/7.7 maximal aperture. It was offered separately for meishi size, at ¥3, and for tefuda size, at ¥3.50.

The camera itself was supplied with three plate holders, in the following versions:


  1. The name has only been observed in Japanese characters (アイリス), and the Roman spelling "Iris" is hypothetical only.
  2. The text reads: "米国チェスター会社式にして".
  3. The drawing of a Pocket Premo C is reproduced at the bottom of this page of the R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha website.
  4. The Gem shutter is probably the same as described in this page of the R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha website.
  5. Advertisement reproduced in Morishita, p.70 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.22.
  6. The text reads: "米国チェスター会社の製品と同式にして".



In Japanese: