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120 film RF Folders 120/220 Format Folding Rangefinders, including the various classic Zeiss Ikontas, Voigtlander Bessas, and their Ruskie copies.

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Pics from Vest Pocket Kodak
Old 08-20-2017   #1
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Pics from Vest Pocket Kodak

After years (decades, actually) of sitting in the attic, my old Kodak Vest Pocket Autographic is back in service. This is the first roll since the 1970s. Of that I am certain... I fooled around with it in 7th or 8th grade but its been idle ever since.

I had quite the dog's breakfast of a camera bag on this day... Nikon D80, Voigtlander Perkeo and Vito B, and the Kodak folder.

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Old 08-20-2017   #2
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This is using Rera Pan 100 film, which I found extraordinarily difficult to load into my new (to me) Nikor 127 reel. It was VERY tightly coiled, and the film seemed stiff, almost to the point I might wonder if it was brittle. It fought me all the way onto the reel. The marks in the sky are creases in the film.

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Old 08-20-2017   #3
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One more for today. I lost three shots due to processing issues (the dreaded gray patches where the film touches), and one or two more had bad camera shake.

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Old 08-20-2017   #4
David Hughes
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Hi,

Nice to see photo's from a camera as old as that; I'm curious to know what version you have, as the main difference being the lenses.

Regards, David
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Old 08-20-2017   #5
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This is the "Model B" camera.... Which I believe came somewhat later in the Vest Pocket history. 1920s I think. The front opens and hinges down, and the lens and shutter slide out on a rail. There's just one shutter speed - about 1/15th I have read - plus "T". Four apertures. Unfortunately I don't know which lens it has, or how many options were available.

This camera also has the "autographic" feature.

I also have a larger, fancier Kodak folder. It takes 120 film, so its not a "vest pocket". A Brownie model of some sort. It has a real iris with multiple blades, unlike the little Model B where the apertures are just holes on a metal disk. Sadly, the bellows in the Brownie is rather porous! I think mice could squeeze through the holes if need be.

Glad you liked the pics!
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Old 08-21-2017   #6
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Hi,

Thanks for the info; if you want to sort out which version you have then look here:-

http://www.kodakcollector.com/index....id=7&Itemid=32

where there's a good collection of Kodak catalogues. The "B" model first appeared in 1926.

There's another collection of catalogues here:-

http://piercevaubel.com/cam/catalogsekc.htm

I asked about the lens as some had some rare stuff fitted by Zeiss and so on.

Thanks again, David
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Old 08-21-2017   #7
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Thanks for the notes on this camera. I have one in the attic; will now have to pull it out.
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Old 08-27-2017   #8
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Old 08-27-2017   #9
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Another. Viewfinder takes some getting used to; I cut off the bottom of several shots. Mainly the horizontal ones. Although I am pleased I have mastered loading the stiff 127 film on my processing reel! With just eight frames per roll its possible to shoot a whole roll pretty quick.

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Old 08-27-2017   #10
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Old 05-06-2018   #11
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Processed a new roll today!





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Old 05-06-2018   #12
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This is cool!

Been looking at some VP cameras... all of them have bad bellows. Is there hope for restoring/remaking bellows?
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Old 05-06-2018   #13
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Hmmm, I'm not sure. There is that gentleman in England who replaces bellows, but I don't know if he does them for small, mass-market cameras. I think they sold millions of these things so maybe eventually a good one will turn up. How this one survived and still be light-tight is a real mystery to me.

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Old 05-06-2018   #14
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I have two of those old pocket cameras and only ever ran a roll through one of them to take a pic of the other one being held by a friend in a very back lit forest setting.

I hope you don't mend me throwing this in here.


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Old 05-06-2018   #15
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Nice!

I have 3 of them, but I need to seal the bellows on 2 of them.
2 of them have a meniscus lens.
I think the 3rd one has a rapid-rectilinear, but it was lacking some center sharpness when I shot it.

I have a roll of rerapan 100 in the fridge. I've been saving it to shoot it in a VPK....or in my Kodak Graphic No.0 .
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Old 05-07-2018   #16
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Ages ago I put a few thoughts & photo's about the VPK here:-


https://idrh.smugmug.com/Photography...-VPK/i-49RtBPQ


Regards, David
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Old 05-07-2018   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Flibble View Post
Nice!

I have 3 of them, but I need to seal the bellows on 2 of them.
2 of them have a meniscus lens.
I think the 3rd one has a rapid-rectilinear, but it was lacking some center sharpness when I shot it.

I have a roll of rerapan 100 in the fridge. I've been saving it to shoot it in a VPK....or in my Kodak Graphic No.0 .
Sounds like it is time to order some 127 film through the Ilford ULF program! Deadline to order is May 25!!!
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Old 05-07-2018   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
I have two of those old pocket cameras and only ever ran a roll through one of them to take a pic of the other one being held by a friend in a very back lit forest setting.

I hope you don't mend me throwing this in here.


Very nice, Keith, of all the images I have researched and seen that were shot with the Vest Pocket camera, this is by far the most artistic! Contre jour, too!
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Old 05-07-2018   #19
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Yes, cool indeed!

With mine, I'm doing well if I just frame the photo squarely in the viewfinder. Its so squinty! Nice to see something creative. The more the merrier here!
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Old 05-07-2018   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by css9450 View Post
Yes, cool indeed!

With mine, I'm doing well if I just frame the photo squarely in the viewfinder. Its so squinty! Nice to see something creative. The more the merrier here!
Of course my comment was not to to be critical of any I have seen, I was surprised to see a different take on composition and exposure with a silhouette. Very different indeed. Did they shoot contre jour in the decades of Vest Pocket camera use?

Maybe we should start a thread/challenge with artsy photos with 127 film! I need to learn how to do it first!

I would be happy just to get a decent exposure at this point... what did you say the fixed shutter speed was on that Vest Pocket camera?
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Old 05-07-2018   #21
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One thing I will mention is that I managed to use 120 film in the camera by grinding down the ends of the spool and fiddling around a bit. I had read somewhere that it was possible and it can be done with patience.

And yes ... the viewfinder is a bit squinty. Photographers back then had their challenges to say the least! lol

And thanks for the kind comments about that image ... it's one of my favourites and I think sometimes it's nice to get a camera like this well out of it's comfort zone and see what happens.
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Old 05-11-2018   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
...I would be happy just to get a decent exposure at this point... what did you say the fixed shutter speed was on that Vest Pocket camera?
Early ones had 25th and 50th plus B and T but later on (1920's) they switched to the evil "I" and your guess is as good as mine.



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Old 05-11-2018   #23
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Thanks, David! As always you are a gift, a treasure of information.

With all the Ilford 127 film I ordered, I need to find me a Vest Pocket camera to shoot it alongside the Baby Rolleiflex!
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Old 05-12-2018   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
... what did you say the fixed shutter speed was on that Vest Pocket camera?
If I understand correctly, the version I have is supposedly around 1/25th... Apertures are f/11, f/16, f/22 and f/32 (marked 1,2,3 and 4 respectively). With ASA 100 film, full-bright "Sunny 16" exposure is 1/25th at f/32! I'm not even sure how to shoot with a faster film.... Stick an ND filter on there with some tape perhaps?
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Old 05-12-2018   #25
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Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
Thanks, David! As always you are a gift, a treasure of information.

With all the Ilford 127 film I ordered, I need to find me a Vest Pocket camera to shoot it alongside the Baby Rolleiflex!

All part of the service...

I'll wish you luck finding one; they were 3, 4 or 5 pounds at the most once upon a time but two books have pushed the prices up. And getting an original instruction manual will cost an arm and a leg (mostly postage from American sellers, I'm sorry to say).

What fails, imo, are the shutters as they become erratic; the rivets on the lazy tongs pop out but can be pushed back and the side plate is a poor quality casting that often cracks. Trying to make one good one out of two that are so-so is a problem as parts aren't always interchangeable, often by a few thousandths of an inch. And then there's the bellows...

Anyway, I'll wish you luck again and look forwards to seeing the pictures.

Regards, David
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Old 05-13-2018   #26
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If I understand correctly, the version I have is supposedly around 1/25th... Apertures are f/11, f/16, f/22 and f/32 (marked 1,2,3 and 4 respectively). With ASA 100 film, full-bright "Sunny 16" exposure is 1/25th at f/32! I'm not even sure how to shoot with a faster film.... Stick an ND filter on there with some tape perhaps?

Your guess is as good as mine here, I've nothing that new in the heap of VPK's and can't afford 127 film or rather won't encourage them at those prices...

Have you looked in the old Kodak catalogues to identify it? Here's a good place to start:-

http://www.kodakcollector.com/

and a 1926 catalogue here:-

http://www.kodakcollector.com/images...20wm%20red.pdf

The model B appeared in 1926 and by 1927 there were 4 or 5 versions and Kodak did like changing the spec. every now and again. Usually the lens was a simple one hidden behind the iris diaphragm, so fixed focus and f/11 but VPK's are full of surprises... It could even be a CZ focussing version.

So I'll wish you luck; don't forget to post some pictures.

Regards, David
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Old 05-13-2018   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by css9450 View Post
If I understand correctly, the version I have is supposedly around 1/25th... Apertures are f/11, f/16, f/22 and f/32 (marked 1,2,3 and 4 respectively). With ASA 100 film, full-bright "Sunny 16" exposure is 1/25th at f/32! I'm not even sure how to shoot with a faster film.... Stick an ND filter on there with some tape perhaps?
Haha, yes, indeed. I do it all the time as I can't afford an ND filter for every lens/camera (or close-up filter). Works fine!

But I prefer slow speed film...
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Old 05-13-2018   #28
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Exactly, if we were meant to do things properly all the time we wouldn't have been given Blu-Tak...

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Sabadell with a VPK
Old 05-28-2018   #29
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Sabadell with a VPK

My hometown with a quite early VPK, non autographic




https://flic.kr/p/27uv77x



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Old 09-17-2018   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
This is cool!

Been looking at some VP cameras... all of them have bad bellows. Is there hope for restoring/remaking bellows?

I'm in the process of replacing bellows on a VPK right now and will say, that if any camera repairman knows what I now know about the VPK - they would never take on the job of replacing the bellows, ever!


I've replaced bellows on several Kodak folders in the past, and it was a relatively simple process. The VPK was apparently designed without any thought given to future servicing. The trellis struts are riveted into the body, and get in the way, the fixed back means there's no "inside access" to the bellows from the back - and the aluminum (instead of brass) means the tabs that hold the bellows to the camera are not only much more difficult to bend away to release the bellows, they're also very fragile.



Had I known going in what I was getting into, I would've chosen a more sophisticated VPK than the base model, since I'm never doing this again.



If you want a shooter, get one that's got good bellows.
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Old 09-17-2018   #31
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Quote:
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After years (decades, actually) of sitting in the attic, my old Kodak Vest Pocket Autographic is back in service. This is the first roll since the 1970s. Of that I am certain... I fooled around with it in 7th or 8th grade but its been idle ever since.

I had quite the dog's breakfast of a camera bag on this day... Nikon D80, Voigtlander Perkeo and Vito B, and the Kodak folder.

I like this one!

Rob
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Old 12-27-2018   #32
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With an early VPK, non autographic; Rerapan 100 film:





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