Medium-Format Cameras

Brown Kodak Folding Camera

Before he learned about digital photography, Jim's hobby was collecting and using vintage cameras. This page contains several cameras in his collection. He has not taken a single picture with any of these cameras since purchasing his first digital camera; now, they collect dust.

These red and brown box cameras are pictured here to show other colors of box cameras. While most are black, we have seen colors of brown, red, green and blue. Jim has taken some pretty good photos with the brown camera.

Internal mechanisms are about all the same and rarely have we seen one that won't work.

Some of these cameras have internal yellow and red filters to pull over the lens and others have metal sliders with various size light openings.

Any number of manufacturers made cameras that were sold for special events and groups. Some were made to sell at World Fairs. Cameras such as the Roy Rogers can command a high price for collectors of such memorabilia.

This box camera was made exclusively for Girl Scouts. It has nice viewing windows to use when holding the camera either in a portrait or landscape position. Compare the size of the viewing window with the other box cameras above.

A Kodak Tourist camera is one of Jim's favorite vintage cameras. It takes a 2-1/4 x 3-1/4 inch negative (6 X 9). This is a $20.00 camera at most antique stores or less at flea markets. The larger size negative will produce superior enlargements to any 35mm camera regardless of price.

Kodak Tourist Camera
Kodak Tourist Camera

Some Kodak Tourists are better than others. The primary difference being in the lens and shutter. Some are fixed-focus and have limited shutter speeds. If the shutter indicator says T, B, or I, the camera is intended for use of only Kodak Plus-X or Verichrome Film for general daylight exposure. For indoors or when lighting is poor, Kodak Super-XX Panchromatic Film can be used (if you can find it). The B and T settings allow you to keep the shutter open for a longer period of time. Kodak made the Tourist from 1948-51 and listed for $95.00.

Some of Jim's "finer" vintage cameras are older Rolleis, Kodaks and Zeiss Ikon that can be found in antique stores, flea markets, some camera shops and on the internet. Personally, Jim has never bought a camera on-line, as he prefers to check a few things before making a purchase.

Kodak Chevron Camera
Kodak Chevron Camera

Sadly, Jim has never been able to get this Kodak Chevron working. It is missing a part. The camera shows no sign of ever being used. This is an example of his being attracted to a camera solely because of its cosmetic appearance, but he was hopeful that he somehow could make it operational. The Chevron is built like a concrete block and also feels like one when you pick it up. Kodak sent Jim an overhaul manual but many special tools are required to dissemble the shutter cocking and release mechanisms. It remains one of the better cameras in our collection which has never been used. It does require size 620 film which is another major drawback. The Chevron was made by Kodak from 1953 to 1956 and had a list price of $215.00.

Jim has collected quite a number of twin-lens reflex cameras like the Rolleicord. A more expensive version of this camera, the Rolleiflex, has taken some of the best images ever captured.

Rolleicord Camera
Rolleicord Camera

Twin-lens cameras produce a square image which to some people are not as appealing as a 4x5 or 6x9 ratio. One nice thing about these cameras is that there is no bellows and thus no worry about light leaks. The camera is all mechanical and very reliable. Non-Kodak cameras like this use size 120 film which is readily available. It provides for 12 images on a standard roll of 120 film.