Kodak Vest Pocket

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by Shinnya, Dec 25, 2006.

  1. Shinnya

    Shinnya Advertiser Advertiser

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    Hi,

    I am looking for some information on this camera. Does anyone know a good source for this?

    I was also told that by taking off one of the elements or something in the lens, I cam make it like a soft focus which was a popular way of using the camera back then (well popular among people who wanted to achieve something like that).

    Let me know if you know something about it. Any lead would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Warmly,
    Tsuyoshi
     
  2. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

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    There's two styles of VPK. Do you want to know about the earlier one with struts or the more conventional later style?
     
  3. Shinnya

    Shinnya Advertiser Advertiser

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    Hi,

    I think I am talking about the earlier kind though I am not sure how to discern them. What is the difference from outside?

    These can be used as long as I can get 127 films, right?

    Thanks for your time.

    Warmly,
    Tsuyoshi



     
  4. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I have a Vest Pocket Kodak, but I’m far from being an expert. I think the main differences related to the different lenses. Some had a Meniscus, or a Periscopic, or a Doublet. Mine is clearly labeled a Periscopic, and has both front and rear elements. One variant, I’m not sure which, only had the rear element. There is an APUG thread on this somewhere—try the search function.
     
  5. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

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    Try this website:
    http://www.cosmonet.org/camera/vestan_e.htm

    The camera shown is the early Vest Pocket Kodak. The later version looks like an ordinary folding camera, only tinier. If yours is a Periscopic, I think its a later one. I've seen the early style with both meniscus and anastigmat lenses. I believe the second style came as a meniscus, doublet, and anastigmat.

    But hey, as long as the bellows is good you might as well have some fun with it!
     
  6. Photographica

    Photographica Member

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    Jay Kay of Seal Beach, Ca. has recently published an 80 page book detailing around 60 variants of the Vest Pocket Kodak. It is a compilation of information obtained from several contemporary collectors. I believe it is self published, so it may not be at your favorite book store. I do have an email address for Mr. Kay at: vpk4jk@yahoo.com

    Bill Riley
     
  7. Photographica

    Photographica Member

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    As far as I know they are all 127 roll film cameras. The earlier trellis strut versions are most commonly found with metal painted body (no covering). The lens plane pops straight out from the camera body.

    Most popular are the Model B and Series III variations which can be found in many colors. All of these are of drop bed design. The "Petites", Series III VPK, were extremely popular in the early 1930's.

    The famed industrial designer, Walter D. Teague, is credited with catapulting the Vest Pocket into the hearts of women throughout the world with his art deco designs on this camera.

    You can find many scout variations of the VPK too -- Boy, Girl, Campfire, Girl Guide...

    Bill Riley
     
  8. Shinnya

    Shinnya Advertiser Advertiser

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    I just got a couple of them on Ebay to try it out. I guess what I was looking for was earlier version which I should be able to remove "hood" to make it soft focus lens.

    I will let you know how it works once I get a camera and film from J and C.

    Does anyone have 127 films to spare since J & C is closed until Jan 15? Let me know if you carry some to spare!

    Warmly,
    Tsuyoshi



     
  9. lensandleather

    lensandleather Member

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    Tsuyoshi-san, I hope this information will help you.

    The meniscus-lensed VPKs (or any camera, not just the 127 VPKs) are the only ones that can behave in the "soft focus" manner. The periscope and anastigmat lenses will no longer focus properly if you remove their front lenses. The meniscus versions are clearly evident by the lack of any glass in front of the diapragm.

    You must remove both the hood and the rotary diaphragm in order to "open up" the lens for the soft focus effect. The resulting f-ratio is now fixed at approximately f/5.6 or so. Since the shutter speed only about 1/25 of a second, you might need a ND filter to keep from overexposing your shots on faster modern films.

    Before you start any modifications, check your bellows for light leaks, as the outer material often has become hard and flakes away from the folds, causing numerous pinholes that may fog your film.

    Considering those difficulties, you might instead try using a 120-sized meniscus model (like a cheap No. 2 Folding Pocket Kodak)--the effects will be similar, but the 120 film is much more common, and cheaper. These are easier to try because you just unscrew the front hood which was limiting the aperture to about f/11, and then the adjustable iris can open up to its maximum opening, usually about f/7 on these cameras, allowing the aberrations which soften the image.

    You might also look into adapting a small magnifying glass lens onto a current SLR or DSLR, as this will give you better focusing ability for close-ups, as well as aperture-priority control of exposure.

    --Don
     
  10. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

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    I just got a Vest Pocket autographic....still not sure exactly which model

    has a rectilinear lens & the autographic stylus

    pretty cool little camera -- can't wait to take some photos with it