Cameras and Croissants: Kodak No. I Autographic Jr

Testing out cameras and subsequently, croissants (because we always need a snack while traversing the city trying out cameras) has become a way of life for Meghan and I, as such a variety pass through the store. Everything from odd little ones to “higher end” sought after ones – we always find ourselves with an abundance of different cameras and curiosity about their performance. I acquired this latest bunch because a customer or two may have come into the store looking to consign….this particular Kodak Autographic style camera commonly turns up in 616 size, however I happen to spot one that takes 120 size film. Though its bellows were full of holes, I still had to try it.  A 120 Kodak Autographic is too rare and convenient a find not to try and make work.

JoAnn and I decided on Iona Beach for our morning photo walk, much to my delight the sun was nuclear hot and bright but because of this I had two problems to solve:

1. The camera’s tattered bellows would need a temporary fix. Sticking to 2020’s on going theme and something I have plenty of – face masks! (thicker cloth & black), which conveniently wrapped perfectly around the bellows (which are quite papery)  without adding more damage to them. I just kept my back to the sun and hoped for the best!

2. 1/50 is its only functioning shutter speed, the apertures were labeled 1,2,3,4…..whatever those are, so I closed ‘er up as much as possible and hoped my ancient TMAX 100 film was old and less sensitive….

Because my methods with this film were so dodgy, expired TMX, annoyingly slow shutter speeds, mysterious apertures, and leaky bellows I opted for a stand develop in Blazinal. Much to my delight I got some images! However, as with any foray into folder territory, getting a sharp image seems impossible. I blame myself. But you can draw your own conclusions from the photos below…

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