Thursday, January 9, 2020

From 1917 to Today

Funny Title, I know, however, it's not far from the truth.
I often wonder... in 100 years from now, looking back, would our Digital Cameras work? At all? I don't think so... They'd most likely be severely degraded by corrosion in the circuitry... Unless kept on a shelf somewhere, hopefully without the battery in... Perhaps with a compatible power source, they would... But again... unlikely..
However, today, I have a camera that used 116 film that was last patent stamped for 1917.. Meaning that it was built, most assuredly, in 1917 in Rochester, New York.  It is a descendant in the lineup from a series of Kodak No. 1a Autographic Kodak Jr cameras since it started sale in 1914. It has a 130mm Kodak Anastigmat (meaning their pro lens) which is a dialyte type, or 4 elements in 4 groups, with air pockets in between.

The film I used, it's the only film that I have that I can use easily, is Eastman Double-XX Film. It's absolutely beautiful... Once i iron out a few kinks in the works, I think I'll have myself a very lovely "Near Large Format" Roll Film camera. It's bigger than 6x9, although not by much, but gives impressive results!

The camera itself was a lucky find, late 2018. We were visiting my cousin, but were running a bit early, so we stopped into a quaint little antique store. Normally I don't bother looking for cameras. I get called to them by my wife and kids... only to find they are disappointing, at best..
This one, however, different story. Nobody saw it, except myself. Kind of fluke, actually, as it was the old Leather case that I saw that attracted me to the camera. The case caught my eye, but the clasp is what really grabbed my attention. I recognized the clasps symbol easily... EKc. Eastman Kodak Company, pretty hard not to recognize that one.. Needless to say, I checked it out. Opened the back... carefully looking to see if there was any film. Nope, but there was an old spool. Next, find a dark place and test the bellows. Yup, everything is good! Bellows are light tight... So, only one thing left... Test the shutter. . . .
Click click click.. Everything works!  A camera that was 101 years old (but I didn't know at the time) still fully functional. Amazing!
Bought some film, for the backing paper, but to test it out. Sadly the roll of 116 I did have jammed up in the camera and it ruined the paper... Film from eBay arrived and I put it through the Jiffy 616, because I knew that one worked but had never actually used it yet successfully. Sure enough, I did this time with some Verichrome Pan and managed to keep the paper in good condition.
Fast forward to 2020, a trip to Limehose and....

On The Rails Looking Home
Autographic No. 1a Kodak Junior - 130mm f/7.7
Eastman Double-XX - XTOL

Autographic No.1a Kodak Junior - 130mm f/7.7
Eastman Double-XX - XTOL (failed development)

As you can see, this outing was far more successful, which means that this camera will most likely retain a rotation until I am out of 70mm film and have no feasible option to get some at a reasonable cost.

Until next time;

Keep those shutters firing!

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