Last week I took out one of my early 1900’s Kodak cameras out for a spin around town, the Kodak No.2A Cartridge Premo.
I’d only ever used it once before with 35mm slide film as an experiment with mixed results …
… anyway, I took it out with 120 film this time but again came away with similarly mixed results.
Composing using the small viewfinder guide is mostly guess work since even with 120 film the frame lines offer more than the film can fill.
Exposure was also tricky even in pretty good light because I was using slow Delta 100 film. The camera’s smallest aperture reading is ƒ6.3 but might reach around ƒ6 or ƒ5.6 though unmarked.
When I developed the roll later that day I noticed I didn’t use the whole of the film. There were large chunks of unused space all over it.
I’ve now devised a better strategy to hopefully get around 8 full-ish frames out of it but you may be thinking “duh, there are markings for 8 frames with 120 film stupid” and you’d be right except there’s no hole for the 8 exposure numbers on this camera.
This camera was designed for 130 film and the hole is on the wrong side of the camera, instead you see the numbers for 16 exposures but I’ve come up with this basic count model:
Frame 1: 2+ :: Frame 2: 4+ :: Frame 3: 6+ :: Frame 4: 8+
Frame 5: 10+ :: Frame 6: 12+ :: Frame 7: 14+ :: Frame 8: 16+
The ‘+’ means wind it a little past the number but not too far.
Not very accurate but I should find out with my next roll.
The camera is a wee beauty. Yes it’s got a slow lens, a weird latch distance measurement system and limited shutter speeds but I like it.
It was also quite a tatty looking thing too because all the faux leather was falling off it so I decided to clean it up. I bought some Silvo silver polish because it was all that Morrisons had and set about it one evening.
I ended up having to use steel wool to get the old dry glue gunk off. It turned out to be pretty much all copper or brass, with the lens folding component the only silvery metal part.
I think the camera looks even nicer now.
More to come with this guy, my Kodak Kodamatic and hopefully a Graflex View camera (!).