Kodak No. 1A Autographic Kodak WHICH RED WINDOW??

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by StoneNYC, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    So I have had this very old Kodak 1-A autographic folder Kodak for a long time now, but I haven't used it and have instead use my newer "point and shoot" 116 Kodak with the crappy "Twindar" lens.

    Anyway I have wanted to use the nicer one for a long time, but I can't seem to figure out which of the two red view windows I'm supposed to use to lineup the number?

    The newer model seems to indicate that should be the bottom window, however I don't understand why there are two windows at all, what does the second window serve for, and which one am I supposed to truly use?

    I know that this is the autographic version, but my 120 Autographic doesn't have any second window...

    Any old beards want to help?

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1397363955.310137.jpg
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1397363962.659666.jpg
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1397363969.678080.jpg

    Thanks!
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The cameras with two windows tended to have a feature which allowed you to shoot more than one format, by inserting different masks.

    Each format required its own red window.

    I've never seen that on the back of a 1A Autographic - it certainly isn't there on my 1A Autographic Jr.

    I would use the window nearer the end, because that is where the window is on my 1A Autographic Jr.
     
  3. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Oh I hadn't thought of masking! Duh! Haha but I can't find a manual for this camera version, not even on Butkus...

    I figured the bottom window was right since the other 116 had the window there.

    But then I thought maybe this was a fancier "autographic" and you could write more than the window so maybe it gave you more room or something...

    Really wish Autographic paper still existed... Wonder if it can be hand made...
     
  4. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    What a wonderful thought! That is worth considering!

    I have three... none have the stylus. I'd be happy just seeing a large collection of original autographic negatives with my own eyes. Despite the fact that one of mine was my wife's grandmother's camera, the only examples I've ever seen were on the internet. I use mine 95% of the time for paper negatives, and just occasionally with some cut down sheet film. Funny you posted this just now because just yesterday I was thinking I should load film and do more... I love the format and it's a waste having them just sitting in the closet. Plus I'm weird this way but I love going out with a camera that can only make one picture...
     
  5. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I used to own four of them, one of which was so beat up smelling like smoke, and the bellows were literally falling apart in my hands that I hacked the whole thing apart and use the lens now in my large-format 4 x 5 camera. I don't feel so bad as it is the crappiest of them all it was just a pony land not anything special, and it was a challenge because everyone else said that there's no way it would work on a 4 x 5 size format but to my joy, they were wrong :smile:

    One of which was the one that got me started in using anything film related again after a long hiatus, saw it at a tag sale and got this camera for $20, the amazing part of the story is that this camera was in the family that I bought it from from brand-new and probably cost just about as much back then as I paid for it at the tag sale, the thing is in excellent shape with the case and instruction booklet, and yes the stylus was included!

    I keep meaning to go back as the gentleman said that his family actually had a few more of them and that was the one he was willing to give away, perhaps maybe he has a few others that I could snag, anyway the other few I purchased on eBay because I wanted to shoot some 70 mm stuff and at the time could not afford an actual 70 mm camera, no of course I have lots of 70 mm gear and actually use that more, and re-rolling is kind of a pain however I did purchase a few rolls of the ilford ULF Special Order last year, some of which I'm forced to sell for money purposes and also because I just don't shoot enough of it. So I sold off all but one of the non-perforated rolls of it that I got last year, and I have still to traded rolls that I suppose I could use in a 116 camera.

    I kind of wish I didn't have to sell off the special rolls of film as they cost a lot and also obviously are rare to even own, but desperate times and all that, I had about 40 or 50 rolls of 120 transparency film that needed to be developed somewhere over a year old, but I just didn't want to be at the money for other things and decided that I do use the money from the sale of the rolls to find the processing fees. Although it is not terribly difficult to process at home, it is a pain in the butt, and also takes a lot of my time and he was just better to send it off to the lab of course I used Praus, whom I trust. I actually have a short roller two of Ektachrome 64 in 70 mm perforated, so if the clip test from him comes back and tells me that it's decent, I might reroll that and have some transparency film to shoot in my 116 camera!

    Anyway what's the point of all this? The point is that I have enough stuff to have a lot of fun shooting with these old cameras that are at this point close to 100 years old!

    Hey actually kind of like the 116 format better than the 120 format, just the extra bit of surface area really helps to make the difference. I know that probably sounds silly, but there's just something about these images that just screams better quality, even from 100-year-old lenses!

    As far as the backing paper goes, I'm sure it actually could be easily manufactured considering the technology is 100 years old, it's probably just some kind of rice paper or something like, or perhaps it's possible it's some kind of black wax coating of some kind, obviously I've never seen a real piece of backing paper that is the autographic kind, I doubt many at all exist anywhere in the world as it was typically probably thrown out, and the negatives are probably pretty rare, I believe that a friend of mine had some that were cut at each Photo spot, but I'd have to check with him, unfortunately he was a house filled with mold and he may have gotten rid of a lot of them.

    It really would be fun to take notes on the film itself, I'm really surprised that this practice didn't continue but then again it's probably a factor of these speed of the film... Those super old speed of 25 were lower were of course less susceptible to light leaking through her, as the speeds increased the type of paper they would have to use that would not BC through except for where you wrote with the stylus would be a lot more difficult to manufacture and still be light proof. So that may be part of the problem, so realistically were probably only looking at something like PanF+ or even that Adox 25 speed film as a type you could use. I would love to hear from someone in the forum who might know a lot more about this stuff, as I'm only just hypothesizing...
     
  6. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    Use the first window that the No. 1 gets to -- the masking thingy worked by cutting the film frame in half and using each number twice.

    Union Station in Ogden, Utah, recently was donated a selection of negatives shot in 1915 with an Autographic that have the autographic writing on them. liberty bell_0002.jpg

    This picture shows a train leaving Ogden's Union Station in 1915. The train was pulling The Liberty Bell on a national tour to San Francisco. You can see other pics taken with the same camera, A Kodak Pocket Autographic 3A using 116-size film, at my blog, which also has a picture of the camera:

    http://charlestrentelman.blogspot.com/2014/02/street-car-wreck-camera-bought-99-years.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2014
  7. NedL

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    Hey Stone,

    I took apart an old 3A autographic that was a wreck like yours.... that's the lens I used to make the negative for that salt print in the MSA. I felt slightly bad dismantling the camera, but it was not salvageable. All of mine except the one I found in our garage also smell like cigar smoke... one of them really really strong:D

    I guess I wouldn't necessarily say "better" but I sure do like the look those uncoated old lenses give. There is a certain "glow" that I only ever see in museum photos... to me it's like you can feel the air in the photo... almost like the air is a presence like looking in an aquarium, and the air has LIGHT in it! I love that and I'm thrilled when I see it in one of my own photos. I can get something a lot like it by using a blue filter on my 35mm, but it's a lot more subtle with the old autographic cameras. It's not just the film... or the fact I use paper negs a lot... if you hold the camera up to the light and look through the lens with your eyes, you can SEE that "glow". I think maybe it is because more UV comes through the uncoated lens, but I don't want to over-analyze it... and it doesn't matter why... just enjoy it. I have a few boxes of Adox CHS 25 in my freezer that I will eventually use in these cameras... I'm practicing first with CHS 50 and want to get better before I start using my limited supply! I'll be making one photo at a time with those sheets.

    I also just plain like those 116 and 122 aspect ratios. I sometimes compose and print to that ratio with my 35mm cameras, and both of those homemade foamcore cameras I have use window masks to the "postcard" ratio on a piece of 8x10 paper. The other thing that's neat about 116 is that it is just big enough to make wonderful intimate contact prints. About the size of a playing card... I've got a "deck" of them, and they are big enough to enjoy flipping through. Not to mention it's super fun to make an exposure with one of these old cameras!

    I too would love to hear from anyone who used these cameras and knows more about them.
     
  8. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    Wow thanks! That is wonderful!!!!

    This deserves it's own thread, that's really worth reading.
     
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  9. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Thanks! This is cool!

    I can't seem to figure out where mine is in the production line, the 120 I own seems older than my 116 but the 116 is fancier for sure, with a better lens, and faster shutter.

    I just shot 8 exposures in my yard on Verichrome that expired in 1946-1948 (I forget exactly). And on the side the patent stamps stopped at 1917 as the newest patent numbers, there were a ton from the US and only a couple for Canada and a few for Australia... Strange.

    Anyway, it had hidden buttons, the leather is supple, and though I was forced to put gaffers tape over the two red holes, knowing of course that some of the leather around the hole would pull up and be ruined each time I lifted the tape to advance to the next frame, I know that this camera would be happier to be used and get a few scrapes than to sit on a shelf...

    Can't wait to re-load it with the fresh 116 film and have a blast!
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hey stone
    nice camera!

    while it doesn't still exist by all accounts was (just like/kindasorta like) carbon paper
    so if you want to load your own in the dark you probably could ...
    it probably is just on "the edge" and not run across the whole
    film strip ... so it might take a few tries to place it
    in the right spot .. so you transfer the ink/carbon
    to the negative and when you print it it is white.
    you can do the same thing in the with a soft pencil
    just write on the edge and it will be white on the print, / scan and that way
    you don't have to deal with the mess of carbon paper ink all over everything ..

    i have a few autographics ..
    unfortunately not a 1a with 2 windows..
    but these guys might be able to help
    both with the paper and making sure you are using
    the right window ... ( the attachment)

    i've been suggesting FOR YEARS kodak should get back into the camera making business.
    their cameras USED TO BE works of art !
    can you imagine paying 3months pay for a KODAK in the 1880s?
    you pushed the shutter, and they certainly did the rest.

    instead of gaffers tape, use black masking tape, it won't mess with
    the morrocan leather.
     
  11. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    One of my 1A's came from the original owner along with the instruction book and a folding metal tripod he purchased at the same time. There is only one window and no mention in the instruction book of the possibility of a format mask. The additional window on yours being offset for the line of the normal window makes me wonder if someone added it maybe to use some other size of film. Would that window line up with one of the outer rows of numbers on 120 film?
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I was wondering the same - the second window does look like a bit of an "add-on".
     
  13. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    That is an interesting thought, it doesn't appear as if there is some kind of insert to take another size film...

    It also does not have the mask.

    The thing I find most interesting, is that the window that supposedly is the one that I should not use is much much darker in red color than the lower window, so the two windows are actually of different densities of red...

    As per the roll film numbers themselves, the camera numbers typically don't to seem to have any kind of relevance from one number to the other, and they were probably a few one a type cameras that were all different with no real explanation except that Kodak probably wanted you to buy a new version of the same camera to make double the money and call it something different lol.

    So your version of the one eight may not be the same as mine it's certainly not the junior version, the one I have is the regular, I also noticed that nine on the back only says "No. A", and on the front says "1-A" which is interesting because I don't see the "–" on a lot of other ones...
     
  14. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    around the film gate there are there fins that flip up and lock ?
    ( a lot of box cameras do this cheaper than a mask and can't get lost like a mask ) ..

    a bad guess but maybe you have an accessory back ( or a back to a different 116 camera )
    and the person lost the mask or lost the original back and used this one because it fit / was close enough.
    the 3A ( the camera whose manual i copied the attachment from ) had accessory backs
    split frame backs and a ground glass and plate back .. so maybe .. its not the actual, original back.

    folders were pretty versatile ...
    kodak made a bundle on selling these cameras and all the accessories to the amateur market/"leisure class"..
     
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  15. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    1947

    Having recently gotten back to buying Kodak cameras (I started with a Brownie Reflex in 1947) I am amazed at how clever Kodak could be. A box camera made out of cardboard that is in fine shape 80 years later? They were master at making something stupidly simple that worked. I just bought a Kodak 35 from 1946 and it is a FrankenKodak, thrown together with butt-ugly stuff added onto an ancient basic camera. But the shutter seems to work so I will have a go with it.
     
  16. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I don't own any box cameras... Just folders...

    It has film in it right now, but I'm sure nothing flips out as a mask...
     
  17. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    You guys got me all fired up and my three autographics are now loaded and ready to go. Just what I needed when I'm supposed to be thinking about WPPD. And yesterday I shot a roll of tri-x that I'm going to put in diafine ( I've never done that before! ) So I'm going in about 25 directions all at once. I'll try not to crash into myself....:D
     
  18. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I posted this elsewhere but I did too!!


    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1397433257.597368.jpg
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1397433267.615067.jpg
     
  19. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    Very cool!
     
  20. StoneNYC

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    Does anyone know, did JOBO ever make a 116 or 616 or 70mm short roll reel to fit in their 1500 or 2500 series tanks??