For my birthday a few years ago, Andrew made it his mission to find me a fun vintage camera ….
He found a vintage Kodak Deux (on Etsy), in perfect working order, complete with the original box and instructions.
The Kodak exposure guide (that you can see a little in this image below) is just adorable. Includes snapshot photo examples of how to take photos in the sun or in the shade.
The Deux is apparently named that because the images are half-frame, which reminded me a bit of the Diana mini (which we’ll talk about in a future installment of What’s in my camera bag).
I am loving the art-deco-ish font on the front.
The Kodak Deux takes 620 film. Which was discontinued in 1995. Which means I need to buy up all I can find, I guess. I found instructions for how to respool 120 film onto 620 spools, so I may try that! I’ll just need to tell the lab that processes these to hang on to the spools for me. As of right now, I’ve only finished 1 roll of film on this camera.
As you can see in the images below, the lens “opens” by unscrewing it out the front. The shutter is on the lens itself (with a winding tool on the top of the camera), and there is 1 setting that you can change. On the side of the lens, set the camera to “I” for “instantaneous” or “B” for longer exposures. So interesting….
It is very difficult to find any info about this camera online – but we do know it was only manufactured for 2 years. From 1940-1942.
I love picturing some cute early 20s-age couple taking some last snapshots before the man goes off to World War II. Or some mother left at home taking photos of the kids to send to their dad overseas.
You can’t really tell in the above photograph, but the box has little handwritten notes on it : “Return to Bill Gleason”
I’d love to see his photos
The little yellow container (in the photo above on the left) contains a tiny “portrait attachment” lens that you stick onto the front. I’ll have try it out soon!
The exposure guide and camera instructions are so much fun to thumb through …. complete with photo examples from that time period!
This camera retailed for $5.75 back in 1940 – which would be about $80-$90 now. It’s pretty much an all-auto camera, and is pretty easy to figure out. Think of this as the 1940s version of our “point-and-shoot” cameras now.
Judging from my first photos it looks like ….
- the camera likes the full light of mid-day (learned it has a fixed aperture of f/11)
- we need to practice our steady-handedness when using this camera (I’m sure the fact that the shutter button is on the lens doesn’t help)
- maybe we can find some higher-ISO film for next time
- the default position is vertical photos (which you really wouldn’t know from looking at the camera)
I love the experimentation and the wonder and uncertainty inherent in using a vintage camera for the first time. I am so looking forward to taking what I’ve learned from this first roll and taking more photos with a second and third roll! And hopefully, next time, I’ll be brave enough to take more than 1 image a month.
Some image examples from that first roll of film ….
from a family trip to Idaho…
At the Coliseum in Rome…
A vineyard in Tuscany, Italy….
Christmas tree shopping with my brother-in-law…
I don’t know of any other bloggers who have this camera, nor was I able to find any good examples in a google or Flickr search.
I’d love to see some links of other image examples if anyone has any!
Have you ever seen or shot a Kodak Deux?