Eagle plate folders
The Eagle are Japanese folding bed cameras taking film plates, distributed by Asanuma Shōkai around 1915. They were available in various formats, including meishi (5.5×8cm), tefuda (8×10.5cm), hagaki (8×14cm) and probably nimaigake (8×12cm). In 1915, the tefuda model existed in three versions, called A (¥9.50), B (¥12) and C (¥18).
The Eagle has a wooden body, with an oval nameplate on one side. It is focused by a small wheel on the right-hand side of the folding bed. There is a brilliant finder offset to the left and a handle at the top of the body.
The example pictured in Sugiyama and in Baird is said to take 8×10.5cm plates (tefuda format). It reportedly has an Ilex Anastigmat 5¼in f/7.5 lens in a Universal shutter giving T, B, 1–150 speeds. Its front standard is made of two pylons and seems to allow both vertical and horizontal movements (rise and shift).
The example pictured in this page at Asacame has a more modern front standard, again with rise and shift ability, and a bubble lever next to the brilliant finder. Its shutter is a Singlo by Gauthier, only giving I, B, T settings. Its aperture scale has 0, 8, 16, 32, 64 settings, perhaps in the older Uniform Scale.
An Eagle plate folder taking daylight loading 4×6cm sensitized material is also pictured in Sugiyama, but it is not known if it is related to the models sold by Asanuma Shōkai. The shutter reportedly has O, B, I settings, and the name EAGLE is inscribed on the setting wheel. The shutter plate reads SPECIAL SHUTTER at the top and MADE IN JAPAN at the bottom. The lens is a simple meniscus and the aperture scale goes from 8 to 32.
- Attribution to Asanuma: Lewis, p.24, Sugiyama, item 1040. Date: Lewis, p.24, says 1915, and Sugiyama, item 1040, says 1917.
- Lewis, p.24. This source mentions 4×5in but this most certainly corresponds to nimaigake-size (8×12cm).
- Lewis, p.24.
- Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 1040, and in Baird, p.30.
- Lens and shutter: Sugiyama, item 1040.
- Sugiyama, item 4034.
- Baird, John R. The Japanese Camera. Yakima, WA: Historical Camera Publications, 1990. ISBN 1-879561-02-6. P.30 (picture only).
- Lewis, Gordon, ed. The History of the Japanese Camera. Rochester, N.Y.: George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography & Film, 1991. ISBN 0-935398-17-1 (paper), 0-935398-16-3 (hard). P.24.
- McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). P.85.
- Sugiyama, Kōichi (杉山浩一); Naoi, Hiroaki (直井浩明); Bullock, John R. The Collector's Guide to Japanese Cameras. 国産カメラ図鑑 (Kokusan kamera zukan). Tokyo: Asahi Sonorama, 1985. ISBN 4-257-03187-5. Items 1040 and 4034.