Kodak "The Handle"

Discussion in 'Instant Cameras, Backs and Film' started by Truzi, May 10, 2014.

  1. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,771
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't really consider Kodak's "The Handle" a toy camera, but a cursory glance did not reveal a forum for instant cameras.

    With a mother and aunt who tend to hoard, I have to give specific instructions to NOT acquire any camera equipment on my behalf. For example, my mom gave me an Advanix cassette binder from Goodwill. No one in our extended family knew what Advantix/APS was, let alone had one. It was film-related and cheap (25-cents), so she bought it. I had her re-donate it.

    That said, there are exceptions to my "rule." One is I will accept anything that belonged to family; to me it is a sort of connection to the past and to family. Of course, I have to use each of these camera's at least once :smile:

    I've a distant cousin who entered a nursing home, and as my aunt has been cleaning out her house, I have been given several camera's this cousin's husband owned (he died a couple decades ago). While I remember him, I do not remember him using any of these cameras.

    One is The Handle, which I've now had about 2 years. I bought a new battery, and found some expired film on ebay. It is no surprize the film is dead; the best I got from the film was nothing. The worst I got was a mess, with the chemicals squeezing free of the film (though I've had luck with Polaroid 40-series film from the 60s in my Great Grandmother's "The 800"). I had also purchased four packs of expired Fuji FI-800GT, and have finally had the chance to play a bit.

    This page about using the Fuji film in Kodak instant cameras suggests an ND2 filter would be needed, but I decided to try the film straight, as it's age may compensate a bit. It was partly sunny, and I took a picture at the brightest and darkest camera settings; the pictures are over- and under- exposed respectively. It seems I'll not need a filter, though have a scrap of ND2 gel just in case. The photos are a bit soft and colors a bit muted, but I don't see any fog (though the backyard has a lot of trees and dead leaves - I need a nice flat background to tell for sure. The trees don't have new leaves yet, so no canopy affected the exposure). I'd post the photos, but don't have a scanner setup.

    It appears I can peel the photo off the rest of the film, as the seam near the pod looks like it can separate and lift - am I mistaken?

    I'm just sharing my experience, but feel free to give any input or opinions This camera will be fun to play with. I'm wondering if I should find more film, or go ahead with my idea to modify this thing to take Instax wide.
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,829
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You should pm Prof Pixel here on APUG. IIRC, he worked on the Kodak instant film project.
     
  3. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

    Messages:
    1,489
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Location:
    Penfield, NY
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Truzi,

    The Handle (EK2) was the bottom of the line of introductory Kodak Instant cameras and designed for PR-10 film (ASA 160). The last cameras were designed for HS-144 film which was a stop faster. Towards the end, HS-144 came in a Trimprint version that let you peel off the print from the picture unit making for a thinner print and improving image stability. I've got lots of different Kodak Instant Cameras in my possession, but never had a chance to try any of the Fuji film in them because the the Fuji film wasn't available in the US until Polaroid went 'belly up'.

    This is a good reference page: http://www.apcsociety.com.au/images/KodakInstant.pdf


    Kodak traded off the Instant Film technology to Fuji for rights to some of Fuji's reversal film dye couplers.

    Fuji went on to use the technology in their Pictrography printers and of course, Instax film.

    I'll be interested in finding out if you can modify your camera to use Instax wide film.
     
  4. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

    Messages:
    2,057
    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Location:
    US
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Did I see the correct figure?--Kodak ordered to pay Polaroid 925 MILLION? Isn't that exorbitant? What company now or in 1976 was even worth half that? That's purt near a billion dollars. I hardly doubt Polaroid suffered a loss of sales to Kodak anywhere near that. The judge in the case is probably dead by now, but somebody ought to dig him up and shoot him.
     
  5. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

    Messages:
    1,489
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Location:
    Penfield, NY
    Shooter:
    35mm

    The case was heard in a Cambridge court house by a judge with no understanding of the technologies involved and who decided the issue based on the idea of a concept patent - instant photography. (Notice I didn't mention the gender of the judge.)

    Kodak and Polaroid leaders had earlier worked out a settlement that would have kept Kodak in the instant marketplace, but Eddie Land shot it down because he felt Kodak insulted him by offering products in his marketplace. Getting all that money was probably the worst thing that could have happened to Polaroid. The instant market was slowing down , but rather than using the money to invest in other possible options for the company, most went back to the stockholders.

    Polaroid is gone, but Kodak Instant Film lives on as Fuji's Instax film.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1991/07/16/business/kodak-settles-with-polaroid.html
     
  6. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,771
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I sure can tell it's the bottom of the line, lol. Oddly, I have a Zeiss Contessa 35mm folder that was owned by the same cousin. Maybe he bought the Handle on a whim.

    Thanx for the PDF link. I had found some information online (and on APUG), but hadn't seen that before. Great background.

    "Deconstructing" things is easy for me. Creating and modifying is another story, but I will try on this camera. It seems I will have to widen the film chamber and put a spacer near the top (probably made from an old PR-10 cartridge).

    I've a cartridge of Instax Wide to sacrifice for this experiment, but haven't unwrapped it yet. I can't find web images of what I need, so will just have to sit down some day and work on the cartridge - I imagine I need to make a slot for the finger to start the film ejection, and figure out how to not damage the film in the process. The film may just fit the width of the rollers and slot at the top. If so, there will be the issue of ensuring it gets between the rollers, and possibly an issue with the gap between the rollers.

    It's theoretically possible. If possible in practice, it still may be beyond my skill-set.

    Just took a picture indoors with an Acme-Lite 138 (can be used in place of magic cubes and flip-flashes). I did manage a bit of an over-exposure. Dialing in exposure with filters will be too variable for expired instant film.

    Instead, I'm just going to have fun with it; it's good enough for that. I'll worry about exposure if I can modify it to Instax.
     
  7. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,454
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Kodak compromised a number of Polariod patents willfulley... there only option was to buy Polariod out before it went to court.
    They should have bought Polariod that would have been cheap.
    They had earlier made lots of the Polariod film.
    The judge reduced Polariods damage claim by a large factor cause the instant market had been damaged by c41 mini lab turnaround and Polariod claimed potential sales had been damaged by that more than by Kodaks competition.
    So Kodak had damaged themselves twice
    by compromising patents and
    by competing in a diminishing market they had diminished themselves...
    They spent a fortune developing their instant process as well. And had to buy back all their instant cameras at retail.'
    It was a mega goof and Kodak got of light... except
    In the mean time their real enemy was developing E6 and C41 film technology and has made a better change into digital cameras.
     
  8. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,958
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    What Kodak did manufacture for some time was the light sensitive part, the halide film, whereas Polaroid first only made the receptive part.
     
  9. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

    Messages:
    1,489
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Location:
    Penfield, NY
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Nope. Sorry, but that's NOT true. Kodak very carefully investigated possible patent issues before starting the project. The Kodak technology is completely different from the Polaroid technology. All the two have in common is 'instant photography'.

    Kodak Instant Film used a direct reversal emulsion called 'Reversal F'. The story goes that it was developed a spy film by the Harrow Labs in England. It used a 'core-shell' grain structure (think onion). When exposed, the latent image goes internal to the core. Developers at that time (WW II) were surface developers and since there was no surface latent image on the silver grains, nothing was developed. When used with a grain-cracking developer, the internal latent image was developed.

    To make a direct reversal product, a nucleating agent is included in the developer. Where there is an internal latent image (exposed area) the electrons generated by the nucleating agent also go internal. Where there is no internal latent image (unexposed area) the electrons from the nucleating agent stay on the surface, making the grain developable.

    Kodak DID make the color negative material used in the old Polaroid peel-apart color print film for many years. Kodak DID investigate making such peel-apart film because the Polaroid patents had expired, but for various reasons decided not to.

    Kodak was never involved in making any parts of the SX-70 film.
     
  10. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,454
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    suggest you need to read the litigation... yes Kodaks chemistry was different but not sufficiently innovative.

    Patents are written generically... to stop competition.

    The litigation involved bits of seven patents by '86 five were still valid in time and Kodak had to stop manufacture.

    Yes one patent involved physical handling of a print but Kodak managed to transgress others wilfully...

    If you ask I'll find the patent numbers.
     
  11. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

    Messages:
    1,489
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Location:
    Penfield, NY
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I spent a lot of time doing that at the time.

    BTW, Polaroid had lots of 'dodgy' patents that I reviewed. One I still remember related to batteries and referred to the active material as magnesium dioxide whereas, of course, it's manganese dioxide. It tells you the patent examiner had no idea of what he was looking at.

    Other Polaroid patents were of the form: 'we've patented a white wagon - now we want a patent for a red wagon' and then a follow up patent asking to patent a 'red wagon with a white stripe'. In other words, offering no real innovation (and to my mind, obvious to one skilled in the arts).

    Yes, the US Patent system is (and has been for sometime) broken and doesn't attempt to evaluate patents other than looking for prior art. It leaves it to the courts to resolve things and they don't always get it right. We badly need patent reform because there are now far too many patent trolls.


    BTW, did you work for Polaroid?
     
  12. Xmas

    Xmas Member

    Messages:
    6,454
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    no I did not work for Polariod or have any involvement in any way.

    I merely read some if the litigation.

    Kodak were lucky that the judge assessing the damages only awarded a fraction of the claim. I was well impressed with the quality of the judgement.

    But one of the patents involved the automatic or manual
    ejection of a print not as you say instant photography.

    One did / does not need to be technical to see that it was wilful to ignore that?

    Did you work for Kodak?

    I confess I liked my Kodak camera and kept it until this year only giving it to a friend as a museum display...
     
  13. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

    Messages:
    1,489
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Location:
    Penfield, NY
    Shooter:
    35mm

    In fact, one DOES need a technical understanding of the patent as well as the prior art. You cannot simple take the claims of a patent as 'fact' and (as Gilbert & Sullivan said) 'things are seldom as they seem'. As I said earlier, the patent examiner simply looks for published prior art, not technical validity

    I worked on the Kodak Instant System for 7 years and read hundreds of Polaroid patents.


    At this point, we must agree to disagree and move on.
     
  14. pen s

    pen s Member

    Messages:
    241
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Location:
    Olympia, wa.
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I had the EK100 instant camera and liked it better than Polaroid SX instant picture film. The SX had to have a mirror in the light path because the picture appeared on the front. It would have been laterally reversed without the mirror. Kodaks film image appeared on the back of the film and so was correct, right to left. For reasons of a compact profile the EK100 had 2 mirrors in the light path. But the design of the film would have allowed for a stright press camera type setup. It would have been neat to have a folder with a 101mm f4.5 Anastar lens and a Kodakmatic shutter mounted in front of this film. Expensive but neat.

    I have a special soft spot for that camera because at the time, 1985, my first wife was fighting cancer and the very last picture I have of her, sitting in a easy chair with a big smile on her face, was taken with that camera. She died 5 days later. Soon after I sent the print out to make regular film copies for the family and as insurnance in case the original faded. The technology was fairly new and I wasn't sure of it's keeping qualities. In the 29 years since the camera is now long gone, probably went to a charity store when I could no longer buy film.

    The closest I get to instant film now is exposing photographic paper as a negative in 4X5 holders. I can nick out, expose a couple of 4x5 DDS's, run back to the apartment, close the bathroom door, turn on the safelight, pour the chems, and hold a wet paper negative in my hand inside of 10 min. Hang the negs to dry, it's RC paper, and then contact print in a couple of hours or stash the negs for later. Not 'instant' but cheap and still fairly quick. (Yes, I've seen the 'New 55' Kickstarter project but that is way too rich for my pocketbook)

    PS; Yeah, I also know you can contact print wet paper negs but I'm just not in that much of a hurry.
     
  15. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

    Messages:
    1,489
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Location:
    Penfield, NY
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Sorry about your wife; I'm glad you got a great picture of her. The dark keeping properties of the early Kodak films were pretty good, but sometimes you got a little dirty smudge on the print borders around the image, I've got lots of images from that time that are in very good shape. The later films used metalized dyes with very good light fade properties, even when the prints were still damp. The Instax films use improved metalized dyes.