MID CENTURY KODAK CAMERA COLLECTION

VANGUARD REAL ESTATE

1932 - 1970

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The Depression beginning in 1929 had a major effect on the camera market.   But the 1930s was also a time for innovation and saw the emergence of 35mm photography as a strong consumer category.  Ironically Kodak was an innovator in 35mm film cartridges, designing the format that we use today in the mid 1930s. But they failed to capitalize on consumer demand for budget-level 35mm cameras.   Kodak even promoted an alternative 35mm film system in its extensive Bantam series.  With a few exceptions, most higher level 35mm cameras were made by Kodak's German factory, but supply was disrupted by tensions leading to WWII.

Another technology that Kodak was slow to embrace was the twin lens reflex (TLR) camera, of German origin, which became the standard in the 1950s.  However, Kodak capitalized on the popularity by creating a variety of interesting pseudo TLRs, which we enjoy collecting.  And the 1950s saw the end of the venerable rectangular box cameras like the Kodak brownies, and there were a plethora of inexpensive art deco offerings of bakelite and other plastics.

1930s German Innovations

In understanding Kodak, it is important to realize that they were first and foremost a film company.  So while the market share declined in camera production, most people who used any camera used it with Kodak film and processing.   By the 1960s Kodak was mainly focused on inexpensive cameras, and by the 1970s it was all about the instamatic, which revolutionized consumer photography and Kodak owned that market.   We have a couple of examples in the collection below.

I dedicate this page to two men who were influential in my beginning and growth as a photographer: Mr Voketaitis, Russina, German, and photography instructer at Stanley Middle School in Lafayette CA, and John Weir, professor of photography at Diablo Valley College in the 1980s.  Mr Voketaitis taught a college level program in 8th grade.  He likely spent his own money to build a darkroom in an abandoned janitorial closet.  John Weir was my instructor for three courses at DVC, which at the time had a tremendous dark room facility.   These men were extraordinary educators on par with the best that I have met at universities.  Thank you!

 

 

Kodak Vollenda Type 48  Circa 1932

The Vollenda Type 48 is an August Nagel design predating his popular and enduring Kodak Retina cameras released in 1934.  Kodak bought Nagel Camera Werks in 1931, which he had formed after leaving Zeiss.    The camera is extremely compact at 3” x 4” and when closed is only 1 ¼” thick.    It produces a portrait oriented image on type 127 film.

Vollenda Details

 

 

Kodak (Nagel) Pupille   Circa 1932

The Pupille is another August Nagel design which was in the works when Kodak bought his firm.  This camera was marketed under both the Kodak and Nagel badges, as well as branded as the Rolloroy in Britain.   This camera was likely sold in Europe, since it does not have the Kodak logo on the lens front.

THe Pupille uses type 127 film.  The two threaded socket to the left of the viewfinder accept a rangefinder.   An attachment was available that fit over the top of the camera convert the Pupille to a TLR.

 

 

Kodak (Nagel) Recomar   Circa 1932

The Recomar is still another August Nagel design.  This is a plate camera, using glass plates rather than roll film.  It is very portable, but very precise, and includes a sophisticated range finder on the left side.  The wire rectangle to the right of the lens frames the photo.   The camera is shown in the extreme extension of the lens and bellows.   The short chrome cylinder above the lens with the red top is a bubble level, which levels in all directions.

 

Kodak Six-20 Art Deco Folding Film Camera (Black) Circa 1933

The Kodak Six-16 and Six-20 are folding cameras of the same design that take size 616 and 620 roll film, respectively, the 616 is a larger format. Their art deco design touches are their distinguishing feature.   The 620 film is the same stock as the venerable 120 film, but with smaller diameter flanges on the spools, allowing lower profile cameras.  Ironically, 120 film is still available, but people wanting to use their 620 cameras either use 120 if it fits, or re-spool 120 stock onto old 620 spools.

 

Kodak Six-16 Art Deco Folding Film Camera (Brown) Circa 1933

The Kodak Six-16 is about 15% larger than the nearly identical Six-20 camera (above).   These were offered in many colors; this one has survived in great condition with the original matching bellows.

The Six-16 cost $40 when new. It uses a 126mm f/6/3 Kodak Anastigmat lens. It uses the No. 1 Diodak shutter, which fires at 1/10, 1/25, 1/50, and 1/100 sec, plus T and B. 

The camera offers two viewfinders. The first is a small “brilliant” type attached to the lens assembly that swivels to frame portrait and landscape photos. The second is a gunsight type attached to the camera body (left side on the Six-16).

 

 

Kodak Jiffy Six-16 Circa 1933

This is a clever camera which combines the simplicity of the brownie box along with the dual viewfinders, in a conveniently collapsible format.  However, it does have a focus adjustment.

 

Kodak Brownie Six-20 Junior Circa 1934

This is not much different from the 1920 Brownie box camera shown above, though it has symmetrically placed view ports on the face, is made of metal and has the art deco patterned face plate.  Functionally it's about the same.  This uses six-20 film, but the companion model used six-16 film.   This Junior model  is about 20% smaller than the standard box brownie.

For some reason there was a well-worn brownie that looked like this, in my box of toys when I was very young.   My Mom told me it was a camera, but I thought she was kidding me, but I did find the view finders fascinating.   When not using these for photography, these are great for storing Legos and baseball cards.

 

 

 

Kodak Bantam f6.3 Circa 1935

 

Kodak Junior Six 20 (first series)    Circa 1935

The Junior 620 was a lesser version of the Kodak Six 20 shown above, with minor inclusion of art deco features in the first series.  However, it has more features than the No. 1 of the late 1920s and early 1930s, including a glass lens cover.  This model evolved through three series: Junior 620 1935 - 1937, Junior 620 II 1937 - 1940, Junior 620 III 1938 - 1939.  This would be replaced by the Vigilant series of 620 and 616 cameras (see 1940 below).

 

 

 

Kodak Retina "I" Type 117 - 35 mm Circa 1934

The German made Kodak Retina was a folding camera where the lens board retracts into the frame and is covered when not in use.  There were four variants within the first Retina series, Types: 117, 118, 119, and 126.   These were not called "I" at the time, but are now referred to as Retina Is to distinguish from the later IIs.    

 

Kodak Retina "I" Type 118 - 35 mm Circa 1935

Prior to the Type 126 (below)  the upper metal was black, and these models are more desired by collectors; however, the highest values are related to the lens options.  The Retina II was introduced in 1936 with an integral range finder. and altered looks.  However, the first series continued until the mid 1950s with the Retina I designation of various types.

 

Kodak Retina "I" Type 126 - 35 mm Circa 1936

The 126 represents logical upgrades based on consumer feedback, and has a more modern look despite being just a few months newer than the Model 118 above.   The Models 119 and 126 were identical except for the 126 had the metal finish on the top and the 119 was painted black like the 117 and 118.

This was the pioneer camera for the Kodak 135 35mm film cartridge which dominated film usage from the 1960s until digital photography.  Kodak depended on Dr. August Nagel's capabilities as a camera designer and manufacturer by acquiring his factory and making him director of Kodak AG in Stuttgart. The German factory was the single source of 35mm Kodak cameras, producing the quite successful Retina line.  However, as WWII loomed Kodak developed a US design and when supplies were interrupted by war the US 35mm market shifted to that camera (see Kodak 35 below).

After the war Retina cameras were imported to the US again, and the folding models were produced until 1960 and were replaced by viewfinder and SLR models.

 

 

 

Kodak Retina "I" Type 143 - 35 mm Circa 1938

The 143 represents further upgrades with the shutter release now on the top of the camera to the left of the viewfinder. The Models 141 and 143 are identical except that the141 had the metal finish on the top and the 143 was painted black like the 117 and 118.

 

 

 

Kodak Bullet   Circa 1936

The Bullet is similar to the Bantam theme, but uses the more conventional (for the time) size 127 fil,.  The lens screws out with a fine thread, so it takes several full turns to get the lens set up.  Despite its simplicity, the bakelite art deco design makes it highly collectible.  The value range is similar to the much more sophisticated Retina Type 126 above.

 

 

 

Kodak Bantam Special (Art Deco)    Circa 1936

With its beautiful Art Deco styling by Walter Dorwin Teague, the Kodak Bantam Special is one of the most collectible US made cameras.   The clam shell styling and push button opening enabled it to be fit in pockets and be a practical carry everywhere camera.    It measures only 3 3/16" x 4 13/16" x 1 13/16" deep and weighs just over a pound.  It has a black enamel finish over a machined aluminum die cast body.  The prewar versions, such as this one, use the German made Compur shutter and an uncoated 45/2 Ektar lens with speeds of 1 to 1/500 plus T & B.  So while elegant it is also an excellent camera.

 

 

Kodak Duo Six-20 Series II  Circa 1937

The Duo Six-20 is a 4.5”×6” horizontal folding camera made by Kodak Germany  (Nagel) from 1934 to 1940, with the “II” designation beginning in 1937.   It uses 620 film.   A Kodak Duo Six-20 was included in the inventory of Amelia Earhart's lost airplane.

 

 

Kodak 35  - 35mm Circa 1938

This was the first US made Kodak 35mm camera, although it did not offer interchangeable lenses.  The Kodak 35 was launched in 1938 . It was developed in Rochester, New York when it became apparent that the company could no longer rely on import of the Retina cameras from their Kodak AG factory in Germany during the troubled times prior to WWII. 

The Kodak 35 was introduced to compete with the Argus A, and like Argus, Kodak used bakelite plastic in the body of this camera. Unfortunately, in 1938 Argus upped the game by introducing the Argus C-series with a rangefinder, though not coupled to the lens. Giving the non-rangefinder Kodak 35 stiff competition.  To compete with the Argus C-series, the Kodak 35 rangefinder model was introduced in 1940 (see below), but this model continued in production until 1949. 

 

What in the world is bakelite?

 

 

Kodak Bantam f4.5 - Circa 1938

 

 

 

 

Kodak Bantam f8 Circa 1938

The Kodak Bantam is a folding camera using Kodak's 828 film format (35mm film with only 1 perforation per image). It was a very compact camera, designed by the famous Walter Dorwin Teague. The basic model had a 1:12.5 Doublet lens and a single speed shutter. It appeared in 1935, together with another model that had a 1:6.3 lens and a rigid finder. Most Bantams were strut folders, but the F.8 model of 1938 had a rectangular pull-out lens tube instead.

 

 

 

Kodak Retina IIa Type 150  Circa 1939

I

 

 

Kodak 35 RF Circa 1940

In 1940 an improved Kodak 35 camera was offered with a new superstructure housing a viewfinder and a separate coupled rangefinder, but without any addition to the identifying inscription on the body.   Competition from the Argus C series (see C3 below) forced a hastily-designed rangefinder, which is gear-coupled to the front lens element through a cumbersome external linkage. This resulted in a camera design that has been described as "one that only a mother could love".

It is generally referred to as the RF model. The centrally positioned eyepiece is for the viewfinder. An external mechanism, hidden inside the protrusion at the left-hand side of the lens/shutter assembly, relays the front lens element extension to the rangefinder optics by sensing the height of a milled cam at the periphery of the lens barrel just behind the toothed rim. Both the separate viewfinder and rangefinder eyepieces and the lens coupling are in the style of the Leica camera. The difference is the way in which the lever operates on the lens barrel. Looking through the small rangefinder window at the left-hand side at the back reveals a clear view of a horizontally split image. The lower image part is shifted sideways by turning the focusing wheel at the front right-hand side of the lens. By aligning the vertical feature of any object in the motive that crosses the split in the rangefinder image may render it sharp on the film.

Civilian production was halted during the war, with all cameras going to the military in various finishes; these are now extremely rare and valuable to collectors.

 

 

 

Kodak Duex Circa 1940

The Duex is a simple non focusing medium-format camera made of bakelite, with a novel screw-out lens similar to the Bullet above, but with more aggressive threads for quicker deployment .  It was introduced in 1940 and terminated in 1941.

 

 

Vigilant Junior Six-20   Circa 1940

The Vigilant Junior Six-20 was similar to the Vigilant Six-20 with a simpler lens and shutter, targeted at the youth market, using 620 size film.  As with many Kodak lines, it was also available in the larger Six-16 format for 616 film.   The Junior models had Kodet meniscus lenses and Dak shutters.  This model was produced from 1940 to 1948, and seems to be a lighter-weight forerunner of the Tourist model of the late 1940s to the late 1950s.  It is simpler and more robust than the earlier folding cameras, with self erecting struts and a flip-out eye-level viewfinder on the side.

 

 

 

Kodak Medalist Circa 1941

The Kodak Medalist was an unusual design for a medium format camera when it was introduced in 1941.   A heavy and awkward rangefinder camera, known as “the professional’s heavy tank".  A Kodak Super-Matic shutter to 1/400th.  F3.5 100m lens. Unusually for pre-war cameras, the lens was coated.

The Medalist was offered with a fair number of accessories. The most unusual feature–the back design–allowed use of roll film, sheet film packs and cut sheet holders. The back can be opened from either side or removed completely. An auxiliary ground glass back can be fitted to allow critical focusing and, when this is in place, 6×9 film packs or 6×9 sheet film holders can be used. 620mm film 8 exposures.

Shot with Nikon D200 using a Nikkor DX 135mm zoom at f14 for 1/4 second, diffused/reflected LED lighting.

 

Kodak Brownie Target Six-16 Circa 1941

This camera was introduced in 1941 and manufactured through 1945.   It is the direct evolution of the original brownie box camera.

The camera uses 616 film and produces images in 2 1/2 X 4 1/4". It features a twin finder design, one for portrait and the other for landscape. The lens is based on a simple meniscus design. There is an aperture tab on the top front. The shutter is based on a rotary design. The shutter release is fired when pressed downward. It is spring activated and will automatically return to the up position. A tab above the shutter release can select between the default instant mode, or when pulled outward bulb mode (while the shutter lever is held down). The film advance is by a knob on the right hand side of the body. Advancing the film requires turning this knob counter clockwise. The back has a red window used for frame counting. The the top of the camera has a handle with the model name imprinted.

Though there were different finishes, this represents the last series of US manufactured brownie box cameras based on the 1900 design.  However, production and development of this concept continued in Britain and also in Australia where the last model was discontinued in 1962.   In the US the closest descendant would be the Brownie Hawkeye Flash introduced in 1949 (see below).

Complete Box  Brownie Site

 

 

 

Kodak 35 RF - Black Arm  & Knobs Circa 1945

This is a rare version of the 35 RF with black finish on the RF arm and upper knobs.  This may be a hybrid of post war production using leftover parts from the military "blackout" versions.   A extremely rare 1942 version has the black arm and light colored plastic knobs, with otherwise civilian livery.

Kodak 35 RF Details

 

 

Brownie Reflex Syncro Model 173 Circa 1946

This camera doesn't have much  to do with the brownie-box tradition nor is it really a reflex camera, it was just inexpensive and has a large viewfinder.  Regardless it's a great little point and shoot camera.   There is a folding viewfinder cover/shield.   This is the flash synchronized version which was first produced in 1946; however, the same camera without the flash began production in 1941.

Manual

 

 

 

 

Kodak Reflex Circa 1946

Kodak Reflex's were produced from 1946 through 1949, with the improved Reflex II continuing to 1954.   It has a kodak anastar f-3.5 lens, shutter speeds from B to 200 and f-stops from 3.5 to 22.  It's a cock and fire type, where the shutter is cocked by pushing the lever up to cock and down  to fire.  Aperture is f3.5 to f22.  The little pointer at the bottom of the taking lens is to set the  flash sync for different type flash bulbs.  The lens is an Anastar, and is very sharp for a camera made to sell at such a reasonable price point.   It's coated, but Kodak called it Lumenized.

 

 

 

 

Kodak Duaflex Circa 1947

The Kodak Duaflex is a 620 roll film pseudo TLR made by Kodak in the US, Canada, and UK. The original versions were available from December 1947 - September 1950 in the US, and 1949-1955 in the UK; the Duaflex IV was finally discontinued in the US in March 1960.  The cameras were made of bakelite plastic, which would be the trend for most brownie cameras into the 1960s.

A special feature of the Duaflex line was double-exposure prevention, meaning the advance knob had to be turned to the next exposure before the shutter could be activated. This feature could be overridden by pushing the little lever below the shutter button.

The Duaflex was a pseudo TLR camera, mimicking the shape of a Twin Lens Reflex camera, but lacking any coupling mechanism between the taking and viewing lenses. The finder is essentially an oversized brilliant finder, as found on early Kodak Brownie cameras, not a true reflex finder with a ground glass indicating the focus. Pseudo TLRs were produced by many manufacturers, and were vogue during the 1950s and early 1960s, when the twin reflex Rollieflex was the typical professional camera.

 

 

Kodak Flash Bantam Circa 1947

 

 

 

 

Kodak Tourist  Circa 1948 

The Kodak Tourists were the last in a long line of American made folding roll film cameras.  According to Kodak the Tourist was introduced at a price of $95 USD (close to $1,000 today).   The Tourists use 620 film making 8 2¼×3¼ exposures. The use of 828 roll film for 8 28×40mm exposures was an option. The Tourist's most unusual feature is its back; through the use of cleverly engineered latches, it can be opened on the left side, right side, or removed completely.

Removing the back allows the use of the multi-format Kodak Tourist Adapter Kit, which consists of: a camera back with red windows for 4 different formats; 2¼×2¼ inch, 2¼×1⅝ inch and 28×40mm masks; 828 roll film supply and take up spool adapters; and viewfinder masks for each of the three additional formats.

The Tourists are well made and feature a die cast aluminum body, covered in black Kodadur, a synthetic leather of remarkable durability. All models feature a tripod socket, a lens door mounted shutter release, and eye-level viewfinders. All Tourists feature flash synchronization. The Anaston and Anastar lens models feature cable release sockets on the shutter, front-element focusing, and top mounted accessory shoes.  Frame spacing and shutter cocking are completely manual.

 

 

 

Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash  Circa 1950

The Brownie Hawkeye Flash Model Camera is recognized as one of the most popular Brownie cameras made.   It is made of molded bakelite plastic, but follows closely in the tradition of the rectangular box brownie cameras, but without the second viewfinder.  Despite the popularity of this camera in the US, in Britain the old style brownie box, with the rectangular look and squared corners was continued in plastic into the 1960s.

It is easy to use and is still extremely popular with film photographers because it's cheap to buy, it comes apart easily for lens and viewfinder cleaning, and most will accept 120 film without respooling it onto 620 spools making it even easier to shoot with. The big square negatives it produces are large enough for contact prints or can be enlarged for spectacular sharp prints. The bulb setting for time exposures rounds off this great camera.

Hawkeye at Brownie Camera

 

 

Kodak Signet 35  Circa 1951

The Kodak Signet 35 was Kodak's top American-made 35mm camera of the 1950's and the first of the Kodak Signet camera line. The Signet 35 has a coupled coincident image rangefinder, an excellent Ektar 44mm f3.5 lens with rear helicoid focus, automatic film stop counter with double exposure prevention, all built into a sturdy cast aluminum alloy body.

The lens was the Tessar formula adapted to newer glass types and the focal distance (44mm) is the closest to the diagonal for 35mm film(43.3mm).  Maximum aperture was that of the original Tessar design it is 3.5 closing up to 22. Lens performance is excellent even for today´s standards and is coated and color corrected. It´s an extremely strong camera because the body itself is a thick cast machined aluminum single piece.   There are two military versions: one finished in black anodized aluminum made for the USAF, and another finished in olive green made for the Army.  The camera itself is made of aluminum alloy (body), chromed brass and some stainless steel parts.

 

 

Kodak Retinette Model 017  Circa 1951

    This Model 017 was the last of the folding Retinette cameras, manufactured from 1951 to 1954. The Retinettes were an economy version of the Kodak Retina line of cameras. This is basically a Retina 1 Model 016 with a lesser lens, but most other features and the same quality of build.

    I took this picture with my oldest Nikkor F lens, a 50mm S-Auto f/1.4 from 1959. My older Nikkor S lenses won't fit on the digitals. Set at f/11 it has great depth of field, with just a mild diffraction.

 

 

Brownie Holiday Flash Camera Circa 1953

With the discontinuation of the brownie box camera in the US, Kodak offered a wide selection of brownie-branded cameras.   This one is among the closest models representing the lineage of simplicity.  This was a common molded bakelite plastic case which featured a variety of model names including Brownie Holiday Flash and Brownie Bullet.

 

 

Kodak Retina IIc  Circa 1954

The Retina IIc features interchangeable lenses, which were compatible with the IIIc (below).  Several lens options were available, but the camera could not be closed with the longer lenses.

 

 

Kodak Retina IIIc  Circa 1954

The Retina IIIc is the first Retina with a built in light meter, but was otherwise similar to the IIc above.   This camera has a 35mm accessory lens, which protrudes 2 to 3 times further than the original equipment 50mm lens (shown on the IIc above). 

 

 

Kodak Retina IIIc  Circa 1954

The same camera as above with the 80mm lens and auxiliary viewfinder, which adjusts for parallax views and switches between 35mm and 80mm views.  This photo is a compound of two images taken with a Nikkor 55mm micro lens, which is incredibly sharp, but has a shallow depth of field.

 

 

 

 

Kodak Duaflex IV Circa 1955

The Eastman Kodak Duaflex camera line started in 1947 through 1960. There were four models that were produced up to the Duaflex IV which was produced from 1955 to 1960.   The view finder cover was introduced on the Duaflex II, and midway in the production of this model the look changed to be similar to the Duaflex IV shown here.  The imitation crank handle was added for the Duaflex III.  

Designed as a cheap, lightweight, easy to operate twin lens camera made of bakelite. These cameras used 620 film for 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch square pictures. Both fixed and focusing models were available with Kodet lens. 
 

 

 

 

 

Kodak Type 025 Retina Reflex  Circa 1957

The Kodak Reflex was Kodak's first single lens reflex camera, a modification of the Retina IIIc, one of the last of the folding viewfinder cameras, a lineage back to the Retina shown above.  Like many SLR cameras of German heritage it works with a leaf shutter instead of a focal plane shutter.

The Retina reflex is basically a fixed-lens camera except for one aspect - the front three elements are contained in a cell that bayonets into the front of the lens assembly. The standard front cell can be replaced with one of three Schneider components - an 80mm and two different 35mm components. The rear part of the lens (which is a permanent part of the camera body) contains the focusing apparatus, the entire Synchro-Compur shutter, the aperture, and the three rear elements, which are common to all 4 lenses. This interchangeable front component concept was introduced in 1954 with the Kodak Retina IIIc

This model was only produced for two years before being replaced with a significantly upgraded Reflex S featuring lens with the Deckel mounting system, named after the manufacturer of the Prontor, Compur and other shutters. This same mount, with minor differences, was also used by a number of other German camera makers, and was truly interchangeable in a modern sense, including with the Instamatic Reflex shown below.

History of Retina Reflex

 

 

Kodak Type 034 Retina Reflex S Circa 1959

The Type 034 Retina Reflex S is a major redesign of the original Retina Reflex, produced in 1959 and 1960.  A new lens system was employed, made available a year earlier for the Kodak Retina IIIS rangefinder camera.  The concept eliminates the rear lens group, permitting a much wider range of accessory lenses for the camera, subsequently also used in Retina Reflex III, Retina Reflex IV, and the Kodak Instamatic Reflex, all having the same mount.

The shutter, now an integral part of the camera body, was a SLR Synchro-Compur behind the lens unit, with speeds from 1 sec. to 1/500 sec. and B.   A small lever on the right-hand side of the shutter has settings for M and X flash synchronization, as well as V for self-timer.

The Retina Reflex line would only last until 1966, though the instamatic version would continue until 1974, though not specifically branded as a Retina.

 

 

Kodak Brownie Starflash Circa 1957

 

This was the first Kodak with the flash mechanism incorporated into the camera's body.  This model was popular until the mid 1960s when flash cubes became popular.


                                                                                      

 

 

Kodak Instamatic 100 Circa 1963

This was the first of the instamatic cameras line  featuring easy-to-use cartridge-loading film, which eventually brought amateur photography to new heights of popularity.  More than 50 million Instamatic Cameras were produced by 1970.   Kodak even gave away a considerable number in a joint promotion with Scott paper towels in the early 1970s in order to generate a large number of new photographers and stimulate lasting demand for its film business.

Though Kodak had its own proprietary "126" numbering for the first instamatic cartridges, this was 35mm film in an easy to load disposable cartridge.   This cartridge film was produced by Kodak until 1998.

The easy-load film cartridge made the cameras very inexpensive to produce, as it provided the film backing plate and exposure counter itself and thus saved considerable design complexity and manufacturing cost for the cameras. A wide variety of print and slide film was sold by Kodak in the 126 format.

 

 

Kodak Fiesta R4 Circa 1966

The Brownie Fiesta R4 has a molded plastic body with clear plastic front over lens plate. This simple camera has an optical direct vision finder. The Brownie FiestaR4 had the addition of a flashcube socket which was considered an improvement over the single bulb flash attachment available with all of the other Fiesta models.  This was the last of the brownie line of film cameras with production ending in March 1970.  For the most part, this market segment had become dominated by the instamatics.

 

 

 

Kodak Instamatic Reflex Circa 1969

This was a top of the line camera in the Instamatic line with an interchangeable adjustable lens.  It was made in Germany along with the Kodak Retina line of cameras, and was designed to share the Retina S Mount lenses. 

As a kid our family had a similar instamatic but without the the interchangeable lens.   The item on the top is a 4-shot disposable "flashcube".  This camera was produced from 1969 to 1974.

The Reflex has aperture-priority automatic exposure via a CdS light meter and one of the first electronic shutters - a Compur Electronic. The metering system sensed the film speed from the cartridge, which could indicate 64, 80, 125 or 160 ASA. The lenses were interchangeable, having a Retina S-Series mount, so it could use the existing Retina lenses. The viewfinder had a display of the automatically-selected shutter speed, and a focusing screen with a split-image rangefinder. Flash was provided by Flashcubes - with automatic exposure, when using the 45/2.8 lens - or an accessory flashgun connected via a PC socket beside the Flashcube mount.

 

 

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