Iston / Ikeda 4x5 cameras : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hello, Does anybnody know who sells Iston (brand name in Chinese is Shenhao) 4x5 camera in Canada (or US)? Same question about Ikeda Anba. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Vic

-- Vic (, May 07, 2001


Vic: From everything I have read, the Ikeda's were made in a very small Japanese factory and are no longer made. The owner passed away. Best bet is Ebay, there are about 2/month for sale there. There is one currently listed, but it doesn't say if it's 4X5 or 5X7, I assume it is 4X5. Prices range from $400 something to those occasions when people get carried away and send it $300 or so higher than that. I own a 5X7 Ikeda, and the Nagoeka (sp) camera looks utterly identical to me, I think they may still be made. Check the discussion of different cameras on this site, which mentions Ikeda and Nagoeka and probably spells the second one properly. The Ikeda isn't the sturdiest thing in the world, but it gets the job done and it is very light. Bellows extension is limited, particularly in the 4X5. (5X7 with 4X5 back gives you a couple inches more, I think, but maxes out around 300 mm) Operationally, the front standard makes an awkward transition from the front to the rear focus knob, but you can live with that. Someone else will have to comment on Iston. For what it is worth, I think I'd take a Tachihara 4X5 over the Ikeda.

-- Kevin Crisp (, May 07, 2001.

The Istons are no longer in production and the Shenhao cameras nowadays in production have(Thank god!) nothing to do with the Istons, this lat ones were heavy and little versatile cameras reminescent of old american cameras, the metal work was very poor. The modern shenhao cameras are in a total new league.

-- Andrea Milano (, May 07, 2001.


Iston is a marketing company, like Vivitar and HP Marketing, based in Canada (at least in '80). Those Iston cameras were made to Iston's specifications by a number of camera makers to fill the low end LF camera market gap. The camera makers include Shen Hao (a State run factory then, current Shen Hao has nothing to do with the old factory) in Shanghai, Phoenix in northern China, and Imperial in India (maker of Rajah, a Deardorff copy, and prinz). The Iston production has been ceased for at least 12 years, maybe 15. So your best bet is to check out the used camera market and Ebay. But of course, there are many better wooden cameras now. If you go back to the archive of this forum, you will find more info. Cheers,

-- Geoffrey Chen (DB45TEK@AOL.COM), May 09, 2001.

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