Kodak Medalist on eBay

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by MattKing, Nov 5, 2005.

  1. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I thought that this eBay listing was particularly entertaining - check out the description (below the photographs) where it states where the camera comes from :rolleyes: :

    Medalist

    I also like the "stereo" viewfinder :rolleyes:

    Matt
     
  2. Kevin Roach

    Kevin Roach Member

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    a clean house, ooooh nice.

    Almost as good as an "estate sale find."
     
  3. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    regardless of the silly ad, the Medalist is a neat camera with an awesome lens. I had one and sold it a couple of years ago. I regret that decision often.
     
  4. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    To the uniformed, I could see how they could call a rangefinder a stereo view finder, not a big leap...

    I agree with Matt, the Medalist is one of the classic greats from the past century, I owned a Medalist II and it had one of the best lenses ever made, I ended up selling mine as well and now regret it also.

    Dave
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I of course found the auction because I would like to have a Medalist, but don't.

    Unfortunately, I've never actually seen in person (or more importantly handled) a Medalist. Because of my circumstances (I have limited strength and dexterity in my right hand), there are a lot of cameras out there that I just can't handle, so I am reluctant to bid sight unseen.

    One of the reasons I have always wanted one is because of stories my father would tell. I don't know how many here are familiar with the Farley Mowat books, including Never Cry Wolf. Farley Mowat used a Medalist for the photographs he took during his Arctic adventures. He swore by the camera, and said that it was the only camera he had ever found to be reliable in Arctic conditions.

    The Kodak lab where my father worked had camera repair technicians who were particularly trained in the Medalist (and Retinas). Each year, Farley Mowat would bring his Medalist in toi be checked and, if necessary, adjusted, prior to going back to the Arctic. My father had a number of interesting conversations with him, but the only details I recall, were about his camera :tongue:
     
  6. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    There are two cameras in history that really stand out as telling the world the story of World War II and that is of course the Graphic's and the Medalist, the Medalist I had was actually a Navy issue model II that was great, we did some lens testing when I first got it and it was as sharp as anything we had in the photo shop that I worked in.

    But I do agree, it was a tank and had the weight to go with it!

    Dave
     
  7. Kevin Roach

    Kevin Roach Member

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    gee Matt. With a bum right hand this might be the perfect camera. You can focus either by turning the lens ring or that little knob to the left of the lens. They stiffen up usually so a CLA might be in order to use the little focus ring but it'd be great if working properly. Of course you'd have to support the camera with your right hand while focussing with the left. And these are heavy cameras. Hmmm, maybe not a good choice?

    I'd try and get a Medalist II. There is a problem with the shutter lock on the earlier model that is fixed with the II.

    I had one of these and like everyone else wish I had'nt sold it.
     
  8. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    Another camera that I've lusted after but never purchased. How easy are they with 120 film?

    (I wonder if this one would be happy in my house, given that it's best described as a "messy house". It might offend a camera that came from a clean house.)
     
  9. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Mongo,

    Being a 620 camera it does take a small bit of time to get used to, but I can now respool 120 on to 620 with no problems, then things are as normal, I would highly recommend getting one, it will take your breath away..

    There are a couple of companies out there that do the machine work to convert them to 120, but I never found it needed, I can respool a heck of allot of film for the cost of the retro fit...

    It is a great camera with an awesome lens, and well worth the money.

    Dave

    I would not hesitate to purchase another one, if given the chance, but I would definately get the model II over the original model.
     
  10. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    Thanks very much for the information Dave. I wonder if the trick of clipping off the edge of the ends of the spool would allow 120 to be used in the camera, or if respooling is called for. (No fears about respooling here...it doesn't look like rocket science.)

    Be well.
    Dave
     
  11. Shmoo

    Shmoo Subscriber

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    These cameras are HEAVY. I "inherited" my dad's circa 1949 Medallist II and it's heavy. I'm still looking for someone who can CLA the thing...

    S
     
  12. elekm

    elekm Member

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    The film chamber in the Medalist is tight even with a 620 spool. I would be surprised if a modified 120 spool would fit. It's really that tight.

    I've heard that Ken Ruth can mill out the film chamber to accept 120, and I've heard good things about his work.

    The Medalist is a BIG camera. The lens on it is very nice.
     
  13. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I tried 6 ways from Sunday to modify a 120 reel to fit the chamber, and all I can say...

    It ain't going to happen, the best way to continue to shoot this camera is to learn to re-spool 120 film onto a 620 reel, its not that hard, I used to be able to do 10 rolls in about 10 minutes, really a very simple process, not any harder than loading a 4x5 holder to say the least.

    Dave
     
  14. matt miller

    matt miller Subscriber

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    Respooling is a simple job, and what I preferred to do when I own a Medalist. J&C sells 120 film thats been "trimmed" to fit in 620 cameras. I bought a few rolls and it worked in the Medalist. It's a bit expensive though, and limited to just one or two emulsions, so I just bought a bunch of 620 spools and rolled my own.

    I've seen 120 converted Medalist's for sale, at around $450 if I remember correctly.

    Shmoo, you might want to try http://www.manfredschmidt.com/kodak.html for a CLA. He advertises them for $90. He also does 120 conversions and has converted Medalists for sale.
     
  15. Kevin Roach

    Kevin Roach Member

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  16. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Shmoo, what's the problem with your Medalist? Anything specific? Or just in need of an overdue CLA?
     
  17. Shmoo

    Shmoo Subscriber

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    Well, after sitting in my dad's closet for close to 50 years, it's sorely in need of some TLC. The leather cover has deteriorated off (no biggie), but I need to get it some "help".

    My father bought it when he was fishing on the old tuna boats in the 50's. Some of the photos from that era are still around and they're beautiful.

    S
     
  18. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Thanks everyone for your posts. I am going to bookmark the links here, in case I can ever:
    1) find a Medalist I can try, and
    2) if I can handle it, find a Medalist I can own.

    For all those who commented on the size of the Medalist, I would appreciate it if anyone can give me a sense of the comparison between it's size and:

    1) my Mamiya M645 Pro;
    2) my Mamiya C330; and
    3) an old Kodak 35 (my first 35mm camera).

    I realize that the geometry of the Pro and the C330 are radically different, but I would guess that the weight might be similar.

    I ask about the Kodak 35 because to me, the Medalist looks like a Kodak 35 on steroids (similar style and shape) and the Kodak 35, although certainly no lightweight, was a camera I could handle.

    Matt
     
  19. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    The medalist is very simular in weight to the Pentax 67 body, the body is a unique design which is quite thick through the middle, not all that uncomfortable in the hands, if I had to guess, it probably weighs close to 3 lbs.

    Dave
     
  20. Kevin Roach

    Kevin Roach Member

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    here's a comparison with a nikon F.

    The Medalist is often described as a large, heavy camera. For storage, the double helical tube retreats into the body, for a total depth of 3.75 inches; fully extended it is 5 inches deep. The comparison below is perhaps a bit unfair, since the Nikon has BTL metering, but by 1965 standards could the Medalist be considered large and heavy? Considering that the Medalist produced a 6x9cm negative, it was compact when compared to 2x3 press cameras, though a different shape is not really larger than 6x9 folders, like the Monitor or Tourist, and these cameras were incredibly durable, with reports of them being swung as weapons for personal defense without damage to the Medalist.

    ##Medalist II
    5.5w x 4.4h x 4.8d
    2 lbs, 14 ounces


    ##Nikon F Photomic w/1.4 Nikkor
    5.75w x 4.0h x 4.25d
    2 lbs, 14 ounces


    http://www.prairienet.org/b-wallen/BN_Photo/KodakMedalist.htm
     
  21. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Thankyou again - this information is great!
     
  22. elekm

    elekm Member

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    My Kodak guide describes the Medalist I and II as being 3 5/8 x 4 3/8 x 5 1/2. Weight is given as 3 pounds, 2 ounces.

    The five-element Ektar was developed for the Medalist. The camera also has automatic parallax correction. There is no horizontal parallax issue because the viewfinder is centerd over the lens. When focusing, the viewfinder mask moves slightly -- something I never noticed before until now.
     
  23. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Thank you, it's much appreciated

    Matt