No 1a Folding Pocket Kodak - How to Load?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Fragomeni, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Fragomeni

    Fragomeni Subscriber

    Messages:
    559
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I just picked up a No. 1a Folding Pocket Kodak (circa 1899-1909) thats in pretty rough condition. This is a picture of the same model camera so people know exactly which one Im talking about.
    I'm deciding if I'm going to bring this one back to life (which will require a lot of work) but I can't figure out how it opens to load film. I've looked in all of the normal places for a manual but no luck. Like I said, its in rough condition so it may be stuck together so I really need to know the proper way to open the camera for loading so that I don't mistakenly damage it more.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. guitstik

    guitstik Member

    Messages:
    1,098
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Eads TN.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Is it an "Autograph" with the little door in the back and a place to hold a stylus? I have two of those and the early one the lens/bellows come out of the main body by way of a latch that slides releasing two pins and then lifting up that side you tilt it out and away. To load you undo the tag end of a new roll (probably 620 film) and insert it into the main body of the camera with the paper to the back then start it on the tack up spool and load that on the end with the wind lever. The lens/bellows assy has a recess that fits on the lip of the camera opening and then carefully tilt it into place and lock the tabs in place. I believe yours has a lever on the front that, if you lift up on it and pull opens the camera door. Hope that helps.
     
  3. Fragomeni

    Fragomeni Subscriber

    Messages:
    559
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No, its a No. 1a Folding Pocket Kodak. Thats the model name, that much I've verified. It looks like the picture I included in my initial post. It is a completely different camera then the autographic models that came quite a bit later. There are a few varying accounts of production dates but I know it ranged inside of 1899-1912, well before autographic models. This model used 116 film. My guess is that the bellows assembly detaches to separate from the back of the camera but I can't get it to budge.
     
  4. guitstik

    guitstik Member

    Messages:
    1,098
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Eads TN.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My autographic is a 1909. I need to get to my computer to see yours in a larger format than my phone.
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,193
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  6. fschifano

    fschifano Member

    Messages:
    3,216
    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Valley Strea
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    116 and the related 616 size films were 70 mm wide, have been obsolete for a very long time, and were discontinued by Kodak in 1984. I'm surprised they kept making it that long, because there were no new cameras using the size for a long time before that. The film itself was 70 mm wide and the in camera image size was about 2.5 x 4.25 inches. 120 film is the closest thing we have that can be jury rigged to work after a fashion. You'll need spacers inside the camera to center the 120 spools and you'll need to deal with backing paper numbers that don't line up properly and with light leaks from the window on the back. All in all, it's not a trivial exercise and one that may leave you with a lot to be desired. If it were mine (and I do have a couple of 616 cameras) I'd clean it up, make it look pretty, and leave it at that.
     
  7. Fragomeni

    Fragomeni Subscriber

    Messages:
    559
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm not sure about that. I'd cross reference dates to find the actual date of production. Autographic film was released in 1914. You may have camera model that was launched before that but it would still have been made after the 1914 date as Kodak updated their current production camera models to include autographic backs if the models preceded autographic film.

    This link shows the No. 1 Pocket Kodak not the No. 1a Folding Pocket Kodak. Totally different camera. In the early days camera model names were very similar and often were repeated decades later. When referencing any Kodak you have to reference the exact model name and information on the camera in order to keep things straight. The model name that I used i.e. No. 1a Folding Pocket Kodak is the exact model name of this camera. If the name deviates at all its probably a different camera all together.

    Thanks for the info. I'm very familiar with the film sizes which isn't an issue. Its not that difficult to seal up conversion camera so that they're light tight and shoot on 120. I'm actually in the process of modifying a Graflex roll film back for another camera (originally 130 film) to simplify the whole process and alleviate all the problems of using 120 in earlier film cameras (aside from 620 which is practically a straight fit after re-spooling).
    This particular camera has a fully operational shutter and aperture and the lens is clean and unclouded. In my eyes that means its worth the effort so try to bring it back and shoot with it at least once. The issue is just separating the camera from the film compartment.
     
  8. Fragomeni

    Fragomeni Subscriber

    Messages:
    559
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A gentleman named Doug emailed me after reading this thread with instruction on how to open the back of this camera. Unfortunately his instructions were for a different model but none the less it gave me the motivation to give it one last try and sure enough I got the camera open. Bellow is my response to Doug.

    "Hi Doug. Thanks for contacting me on this. Getting this camera open has proven to be a huge challenge. I think you probably found a picture of one of the other models of this camera as they very slightly. Anyway, you gave me the motivation to keep trying and sure enough I got the back off! So it turns out that this particular model (model D) has one small tab on the bottom (when holding the camera horizontal) just inside of the frame in between the frame and the bellows. I pushed on this and searched for any areas of the camera that became looser and notices that a seal along the top of the camera loosened. Turns out the back is designed like a sleeve and the camera assembly and spool assembly slide vertically down into the back like placing one small cup inside of a larger one. Anyway I got the back off and surprisingly the whole original wooden frame in in impeccable (near mint) condition and even more unbelievable is that the original bellows are light tight and still strong! This $0.99 buy is turning out to be a nice surprise. Shutter and aperture work nicely, lens is indeed clear and unclouded, bellows dont need to be replaced, and the wood frame is beautiful. It turns out that all this piece needs is new leatherette on the outside. I'll start working on this soon and I'll be sure to post pictures of the finished restoration on APUG."

    So it turns out that the leatherette and outer shell protected the camera's internal components almost completely from weathering. This junker turned out to be a great find and after a thorough cleaning and polishing and re-leathering it should be like new again! And it'll be fun to rig some film to shoot with it since it is still light tight!
     
  9. fschifano

    fschifano Member

    Messages:
    3,216
    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Location:
    Valley Strea
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Fantastic. Too often people pick up these old cameras with no idea of what to do with them. Glad to hear you're going to put this one to good use. The 116 and 616 cameras I have are simple box cameras with single element meniscus lenses - not worth the trouble to convert them to use 120 film. I've already got a couple of crappy 620 cameras for that.
     
  10. orlac

    orlac Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Old Film in No.1a Folding Pocket Kodak

    Hi there,

    I have just opened an old No.1A Folding Pocket Kodak (1908-1912) and found a film in it which has already been used. The camera belonged to my grandmother and she would have bought it about 1909. I'm not sure how long the film has been in the camera though. It could have been there for about 70 years or more. There is no film number written on the outside of the film which has a yellow paper closing flap, but I think it would have been a 116. When I put a 120 film up alongside it the old one looks taller, but I'm not sure if this is just larger than the 120 from the outside and maybe the film is shorter inside the flap. What I'd like to know from anyone out there is, if this film can be developed to find some degree of image on it? It is too tall to fit into the film spools that I have.

    I would also like to know if it is possible to buy film for this camera? I would like to try taking some images with it as it seems to be in a good condition, still with its original box and even the original camera manual as well.

    Any ideas anyone?

    Cheers,
    orlac
     
  11. Two23

    Two23 Member

    Messages:
    343
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Location:
    South Dakota
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    There is a place that still rerolls 70mm b&w onto 116 rolls. Google "Film for Classics." Cost is about $32 per roll. I think you get eight shots per roll.

    Kent in SD
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2010
  12. Fragomeni

    Fragomeni Subscriber

    Messages:
    559
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi there. I suppose there is a possibility of developing the film under some circumstances but I am not sure as I am no expert at developing very old undeveloped film. Realistically, my guess is that the emulsion on the film is so far gone that no image will show up regardless of what is tried. If you'd really like to try or at least find out if it is possible to salvage images that might be on the roll you'll need to take it to a film development expert. They might be able to tell you the likelihood.
    The No. 1A Folding Pocket Kodak originally took No. 105 roll film which predated Kodak's sequential numbering system that was used for the majority of their cameras. The film was released in 1898 and used for only a short time I believe. No 105 roll film was the same width as modern 120 but used different spools and different backing paper. You can probably re-spool 120 onto the original spools. I will be experimenting with this at some point but I haven't had the chance to yet. Even if you manage to find an unused roll of No. 105 roll film there is no chance that it will still produce a picture. There is no current production film made to fit this camera but like I said you may be able to re-spool or with a little extra ingenuity you can make spacers to secure the fit of modern 120 rills if necessary. If you wish to do any of this there is plenty of information within this forum.

    Best of luck with your camera.