For iris, the light-control device in a lens, see Diaphragm
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". 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. 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).
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.
The description again says that it was patterned on the cameras made by the American company "Chester", certainly the same misprint for Rochester. 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:
- New Iris R, for tefuda (¥17½) and meishi (¥14½);
- New Iris S, for tefuda (¥24) and meishi (¥20);
- New Iris Special (特), for tefuda (¥40) and meishi (¥30);
- New Iris Ro, for tefuda only (¥60).
- The name has only been observed in Japanese characters (アイリス), and the Roman spelling "Iris" is hypothetical only.
- The text reads: "米国チェスター会社式にして".
- The drawing of a Pocket Premo C is reproduced at the bottom of this page of the R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha website.
- The Gem shutter is probably the same as described in this page of the R. Konishi Rokuoh-sha website.
- Advertisement reproduced in Morishita, p.70 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.22.
- The text reads: "米国チェスター会社の製品と同式にして".
- Morishita Hajime (森下肇). "Atomu-han kamera no subete" (アトム判カメラのすべて, All of Atom-size cameras). Kamera Rebyū: Kurashikku Kamera Senka (カメラレビュー クラシックカメラ専科) / Camera Review: All about Historical Cameras no.22, September 1992. No ISBN number. Airesu no subete (アイレスのすべて, special issue on Aires). Pp.55–70.