Weha plate folders

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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
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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 Weha (ウエハー) plate folders were distributed in the early 1930s by Yamamoto Shashinki-ten, owner of the Weha brand. Yamamoto later distributed the Weha Chrome Six and Weha Six made by Ehira, but the plate folders were probably not made by the same company.[1]

See also the Weha Idea, a rebadged version of the Idea by Konishiroku.

Wooden body

The early models have a wooden body. Two surviving examples have been observed so far. They are identified by the name WEHA embossed in the leather handle, but they have a different body.

The presumably earliest one has split folding struts, vertical and horizontal movement ability, a small focusing wheel on the photographer's right, a folding brilliant finder and a wireframe finder attached on two points.[2] Its shutter is an Ibsor (1–125, T, B) and its lens is a Heliostar Anastigmat München 130mm f/4.5 (no.75791). The focal length probably indicates that it takes tefuda (8×10.5cm) plates. Its ground glass leather hood has the name Venus embossed on it. This part is easily interchanged, but another 8×10.5cm Weha is known with the same marking (see below), and this is certainly not a mere coincidence.

The presumably later one is in 6.5×9cm format.[3] It has plain folding struts (similar to those of the Kokka), no movement ability, a focusing wheel on the right, a rigid brilliant finder and a different wireframe finder attached on one point. It might have the same handle lugs as the previous example. This particular example has a rim-set Compur shutter (T, B, 1–250) and an Anastigmat Trioplan 10.5cm f/4.5.[4]

Metal body

The later models have a metal body.

Original advertisement

An advertisement dated April 1933 presents the metal Weha Light B (ウエハーライトカメラB型) in daimeishi size (6.5×9cm), with double extension bellows.[5] The folding struts have a peculiar shape, roughly similar to that found on most Kinka plate folders. The picture shows a brilliant finder and wireframe finder, and perhaps a focusing wormscrew, but no bubble level. The camera was supplied with three plate holders and one film pack holder. The following options are listed, all with a Heliostar lens:

The same advertisement also presents the Weha Idea (ウエハーアイデヤカメラ), a single extension daimeishi model manufactured by Rokuoh-sha, certainly corresponding to a rebadged Idea.

Actual examples

Two surviving examples have been observed in 6.5×9cm size, with the same folding struts as the Weha Light B and single extension bellows. They have no visible focus control, and are perhaps focused by pulling the front standard back and forth manually via the two cylindrical pins at the bottom. Both have a plain rectangular eyepiece for the wireframe finder, and a bubble level on the side of the brilliant finder, and none has any visible movement ability. One of these has a Vario shutter (25, 50, 100, B, T) and a lens reported as a Weha-Aplanat 105/6.8.[6] The other has a Neuheil shutter by Neumann & Heilemann (perhaps giving 25–150, B, T speeds) and a Heliostar Anastigmat München 105mm f/6.3 lens (no.84086), and reportedly has the word "WEHA" printed on the top handle.[7]

A third camera is known with double extension bellows.[8] It has the same body, struts, front standard and viewfinders as the above two cameras, and has a worm-screw added to the photographer's left driving the focusing tray. Its shutter is a Neuheil (25–150, B, T) and its lens is a Heliostar Anastigmat München 105mm f/4.5. It is identified as a "Light" somewhere, perhaps on the ground glass hood.[9]

A fourth camera, reported as a Weha, has a small focusing wheel on the photographer's right.[10] It reportedly has double extension bellows but this is unsure. Its pulling tabs at the bottom of the front standard differ from those of the above cameras. It has a wireframe finder and a bubble level attached to the brilliant finder, and has no visible movement ability. Its shutter is a Lidex (T, B, 5–200) by Molta and its lens is a Heliostar Anastigmat München 105mm f/4.5.

A fifth example has been observed with a different thicker body, certainly made of diecast alloy, and different folding struts.[11] Its 130mm lens certainly indicates that it takes tefuda-size plates (8×10.5cm). Its double extension bellows is driven by a wheel on the photographer's right. Its front standard allows vertical movements controlled by a knob atop the right-hand branch, and horizontal movements locked by a screw at the bottom. Its pivoting brilliant finder has no bubble level. It has the name WEHA printed on the top handle. Its shutter is a Neuheil by Neumann & Heilemann (perhaps giving 5–150, B, T speeds) and its lens is a Heliostar Anastigmat München 130mm f/4.5 (no.78237).[12] Its ground glass leather hood again has the name Venus embossed on it. This part is easily interchanged, but the fact that two 8×10.5cm Weha have the same marking (see above) suggests that it is original.

Another lens and shutter unit has been reported as coming from a Weha Light.[13] It consists of an Anastigmat Wekar 10.5cm f/4.5 lens made by Kenngott mounted on a Pronto (25, 50, 100, B, T) shutter.

McKeown lists a "Light" plate folder, which is not attributed to any particular company.[14] It is reported as a copy of the Maximar, with a Heliostar 105/4.5 lens and a Neuheil shutter (25–150), and it certainly corresponds to the Weha Light.


  1. McKeown, p.255, attributes the "Weha Light" to Ehira, but this is implausible.
  2. Example observed in an online auction.
  3. Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 1264.
  4. Shutter speed and lens name reported in Sugiyama, item 1264.
  5. Advertisement published in the April 1st, 1933 issue of Ōsaka Shashin Shinbun, reproduced in Tanimura, p.97 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.12.
  6. Example pictured in Sugiyama, item 1265.
  7. Example observed in an online auction. The speed range is hardly legible on the observed pictures.
  8. Example observed in an online auction.
  9. The camera was reported as a "Light", with no mention of the name "Weha".
  10. Example pictured in this page at Asacame.
  11. Example observed in an online auction.
  12. The speed range is hardly legible on the observed pictures.
  13. See this page at ksmt.com.
  14. McKeown, p.622.



In Japanese: