There were three models of this camera made between 1935 and 1939 selling for around £13.50. I’m not sure which model this is but it’s getting on for 80 years old and for it’s age it’s an amazing camera.
Using this camera isn’t without it challenges. The major one is that it’s a 620 camera and 620 film is pretty much impossible to get a hold of. However, the only difference between 620 and 120 is the spool in which the film sits on; the hub of 620 spool is little narrower then a 120 film spool. Nevertheless, there are a number of pretty easy ‘hacks’ you can do to rectify this inconvenience. The method I used was introduced to me by the FilmPhotographyTube channel on YouTube which show you how to roll our own. This involves rolling your 120 film from the 120 spool onto a 620 spool [in a change bag]. This method is easier then it sounds and the dude on FilmPhotography channel explains it really well. You do however need two 620 spool and a changing bag to do this.
On the day I wanted to shoot the only 120 film I had was colour negative ISO 100 which wasn’t ideal as I planned to take some Harry Callahan inspired abstract nature shots and develop the film myself with B&W chemistry. It was a bright overcast day which would raise some concerns if I was using a toy camera for example but this Kodak is surprisingly sophisticated. It’s has a choice of shutter speeds 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, Bulb and T setting. The T setting allows you to open the shutter on the first press of the release then close it on the second. This could be used manually trigger a flash in really low light. There are also a choice of apertures 6.2 – 22 and a focus ring which can be preset depending on how far away you are from your subject. There was no doubt in my mind that I’d get a decent exposure. To make sure I metered the light once [with a mobile phone app] and then just guessed the rest.
The photograph at the top of the page is the only inside photo I took inside which explains the slight under exposure. My close proximity to the subject possibly also explains the lack of focus as well. Nevertheless, I think this only adds to it dreamy ambiguous nature.
Obviously I didn’t get any where close to actualising my Callahan ambitions but I still like the photo’s that the Kodak captured. I don’t regret using colour negative film either as I think sepia colour cast this sit right with the camera.
In conclusion I really enjoyed using this camera. Like all film cameras it slows our photography down and makes you visualise or imagine your intentions before you press the shutter taking into consideration the light condition, film speed, film type, post production etc. It’s really easy to use and incredible versatile camera although you would need faster film for shooting inside and a light meter is always handy.
This camera is for sale and available here