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 ->

The Lily (リリー) are Japanese plate folders made by Rokuoh-sha, the manufacturing branch of Konishi or Konishiroku (predecessors of Konica). This page is about the original tefuda-size vertical model introduced in 1909, called Lily Hand Camera (リリー手提暗函),[1] then Lily No.1 (リリー壹號) after the introduction of the Lily No.2.

For the horizontal models, see Lily (horizontal). For the later metal and tropical models, see Lily (metal and tropical).


The vertical Lily has a mixed construction with a wooden main body and a metal folding bed.[2] The bellows have double extension, driven by a knob on the photographer's right. The front standard is made of various metal parts assembled together, instead of the single U-shaped part found on later models. It allows vertical and horizontal movements. There is a brilliant finder atop the left branch of the front standard, and a bubble level is normally attached to it. The name Lily is inscribed on a round plate attached to the left-hand side of the body.

Commercial life[]

The Lily was reportedly introduced in January 1909.[3] An advertisement for the Lily Hand Camera (リリー手提暗函) dated that year lists the following lens and shutter combinations:[4]

A black leather case was offered for ¥3.50. The Universal Rapid lens was perhaps made by Bausch & Lomb and the Auto shutter by Wollensak.[6] The Simili Anastigmat reportedly has f/7.7 aperture.[7]

The December 1911 catalogue by Konishi Honten says that the Lily received the Gold Prize at the Japan-British Exhibition, which took place at White City in London from May to October 1910.[8] The document gives the English name Lily Hand Camera and the Japanese name リリー手提薄形暗函, meaning "Lily Slim Hand Camera", and the text emphasizes on the camera's slim size.[9] The lens and shutter options are slightly altered:

The case is offered for ¥3.50 extra.

Zeiss Protar and Tessar lenses are also mentioned, and a Rodenstock Extra Rapid Aplanat was reportedly introduced in 1912.[10]

The vertical model appears as the Lily No.1 (リリー壹號) in an advertisement dated 1921, along with the horizontal Lily No.2.[11] The camera presented in the illustration is indistinguishable from the model pictured in the 1909 advertisement. The following versions are listed, but no price is given:

  • Voltas f/8 lens, Victo shutter;
  • Idea Anastigmat f/7.5 lens, Victo shutter;
  • Velostigmat Ser.IV f/6.3 lens, Auto shutter;
  • Collinear f/6.3 lens, Compur shutter.

Surviving examples[]

The surviving examples present small variations. Two types of folding struts are known: the narrow type is the same as pictured in the 1909 and 1922 advertisements cited above, and the other type, presumably later, has a wider base.[12]

One example is known with the wider struts and a Gammax shutter.[13] Another reportedly has a Wollensak Velostigmat Ser.IV (135/6.3) and an Optimo shutter (T, B, 1–300).[14] It has no bubble level and has a black instead of polished metal brilliant finder.

An example of the vertical Lily is known with a slightly wider body, called "Lily No.2" in Sugiyama for some reason.[15] It is very similar to the Lily No.1 with narrow struts but for the body size, and has a folding Newton finder added to the left side of the body, in addition to the brilliant finder. It reportedly has a Wollensak Voltas f/8 lens and a Victo shutter (T, B, 10–100).


  1. The phrase tesage anbako (手提暗函) is rendered as "Hand Camera" in the Konishi catalogue dated December 1911. In modern sources, it is often translated as "Portable Camera" and the camera called "Lily Portable". The Japanese word anbako literally means "dark box"; it was modeled after "camera obscura" and was used for cameras until around the 1910s.
  2. Metal folding bed: Kikuoka, p.26 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10.
  3. Date: chronological list given in the official company history Shashin to tomo ni hyaku-nen, reproduced in Tanaka, p.94 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10. The same date is given in Kikuoka, p.26 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10.
  4. Advertisement reproduced in the R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha website.
  5. This page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha says that the Dagor lens is a 120/6.8.
  6. Universal Rapid by Bausch & Lomb: this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha. Wollensak Auto shutters are mentioned in various Internet websites.
  7. See this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha.
  8. December 1911 catalogue of Konishi Honten, p.13. Received the Gold Medal at the Japan-British Exhibition: 日英博覧会金賞受領. Took place at White City in London from May to October 1910: this English Wikipedia page.
  9. December 1911 catalogue of Konishi Honten, p.13: 特別薄形.
  10. See this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha, which mentions a Protar Ser.IIIa No.1 (120/9) and a Tessar Ser.IIb No.4 (135/6.3), and the Rodenstock Extra Rapid Aplanat from 1912.
  11. Advertisement reproduced in this page at R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha.
  12. Example with narrow struts pictured in Kikuoka, p.26 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10. Examples with wider struts pictured in Kikuoka, p.26 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10, and in Sugiyama, item 1117.
  13. Example pictured in Kikuoka, p.26 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10.
  14. Sugiyama, item 1117.
  15. Sugiyama, item 1119.



In Japanese:

Konishiroku prewar and wartime cameras (edit)
plate hand cameras stereo hand cameras strut folders box telephoto SLR
Idea (original) | Idea A | Idea B | Idea Snap | Idea No.1 | Idea (metal) | Lily (original) | Lily (horizontal) | Lily (metal) | Tropical Lily | Noble | Ohca | Sakura Palace | Sakura Pocket Prano | Sakura Prano Idea Binocular | Sakura Binocular Prano Minimum Idea | Idea Spring | Korok Champion | Cherry | Sakura Army | Sakura Honor | Sakura Navy Idea Telephoto Idea Reflex (1910 and 1911) | Idea Reflex (1932) | Neat Reflex | Sakura Reflex Prano
rollfilm folders box or collapsible TLR
Pearlette | Special Pearlette | B Pearlette | Pearl (for plates and rollfilm) | Pearl No.2 | Pearl (Year 8) | Baby Pearl | Semi Pearl | Sakura Palace Record | Sakura (box) | Sakura (bakelite) Sakura-flex