|Kodak, No.3 Autographic Kodak model G camera, c1914|
Kodak, No.3 Autographic model G, roll film camera made at the Rochester factory, New York. Made from 1914 to 1926, this one was made around 1920. Composite construction, the sides of the camera are of wood, machined with slots and channels. Into these are pressed the stamped and folded aluminium part, forming the fim chambers, focal plane and main body. Hinged to the front, forming the front and lens bed is a pressed aluminium panel with a riveted rail to run the lensboard along. The back is formed from aluminium sheet cleverly rolled to form the back and ends, and detaches completely to gain access to the film chambers. The bellows are natural leather over card stiffeners and linen liner, as was usual. The whole camera is wrapped with coarse patterned natural leather. Fitted with a Kodak ball bearing shutter. The camera was fairly complex to manufacture due to the mixed materials and Kodak would seek to transition to all metal cameras in due course. To give Eastman Kodak their credit, the camera was a decent performer for the day.
Acquired in 2004 for the weighty sum of £4, it was a quite tatty and unusable with one lens bed strut snapped off. It has been extensively restored as there was considerable aluminium corrosion on both the lens bed and back - evidence of an earlier career in India apparently. Kodak's prodigious camera output centred largely around the mass market and consequently some of its products were less than finely crafted. However, this camera proved to be a rather well made instrument with some nice features. The combined waist level finder and spirit level consisting of 27 parts alone. The camera has lensboard rise and cross movements and the autographic hatch of course, in common with many autographic cameras the stylus is missing. Using this camera will be awkward as we are unable to find a source of 118 film.
These early Kodaks use the 1880s Universal System (U.S.) of aperture marking which differs from the now familiar f numbers. The following is the U.S system with the nearest f equivalent in brackets: 4(f/8), 8(f/11), 16 (f/16), 32(f/22), 64(f/32) and 128(f/44). The No.3 Autographic Kodak evolved from the No. 3 FPK.
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