[rollei_list] OT:Kodak Pocket 1A Autographic

  • From: CarlosMFreaza <cmfreaza@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2010 11:54:13 -0300

I bought a Kodak Brownie and a Kodak Pocket 1A Autographic two years
ago because I like old roll film Kodak cameras, the Brownie uses 620
film and I think to try it some day, the 1A uses 116 film, it no
longer exists .
Yesterday I examined the Pocket 1A Autographic in detail, it’s a very
interesting folding camera. You open the front “door” and the bellows
with the lens and shutter appear, they slide along two rails made on
the front door, there is a knob to pull the bellows on the rails up to
a point where a little plate on the left (holding the camera to take a
photo) side starts; this plate has the distance numbers engraved in
feet and meters to estimate focusing, it is said this camera was the
first camera with aid for focusing. After to reach this point, there
is a horizontal special screw on the right side to advance and to back
the bellows for fine focusing. The camera produces a 6, 5 x 11cm image
size (2 ½  x 4 ¼ inches). The shutter for my camera is a “Kodex 1”
with T, B, 1/25 and 1/50 shuter speeds, the iris has 1,2,3, and 4 f
stops. This camera had a lot of variations even for the same model,
other Kodex shutters had more shutter speeds, the Kodex does not use
oil; several lenses were also used, first models like mine uses a
meniscus lens (it looks like it), however other variations use
anastigmat lenses.

The bellows front with the lens and shutter has an independent little
prism above the shutter to frame the picture, you can move it
according you use the vertical or the horizontal format, the image in
my camera prism is still visible clearly, it is shown like for the
Rollei TLR with WLF, the Kodak prism viewfinder has a cross form for
vertical or horizontal viewing, the image is small and you need to
watch it from certain distance, otherwise you see the mirror, but it
is useful to frame the subject.
My Pocket 1A model was manufactured from 1917 to 1924, it costed $21,
it is about $457 today.

BTW the Autographic feature is very interesting, the camera back has a
slot with a sliding door, the dedicated Kodak 116 Autographic film had
a special carbo paper between the paper and film, the back slot
coincides with the space between frames and then opening the slot
sliding door you could write date and  exposure data and names, etc.
using the stylus provided with the camera, after to write, you needed
to expose the slot to the sky or  a window or the like for some
seconds to engrave the data on the film; the sliding door has a spring
to avoid light leaks.

The camera back with the roll film area and the
bellows-lens-shutter-prism set with the front door are separated
completely like two different parts to load film. My camera has the
original 116 film metal spool, it is pretty bigger than the 120 spool.
The camera is very well built IMO, it resisted my heavy manipulation
to learn its main functions, the bellows, rails, lens and shutter
front look very good, but the external shape shows use. It was made in
New York by Eastman Kodak Co., it has engraved the number “2906” close
to the shutter and the number “218538” on the leg with the word
“Kodak”; it also has a very old metal seal saying “ Casa Otto
Hess-Florida-667- Buenos Aires”, it no longer exists. I’ll try to take
some photographs about this nice camera, anyway the web is plenty of
images about it, but my exact camera model (same shutter and lens) is
not easy to find.

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