Keppler’s Vault 9: Argus C3

The Argus C3 is one of those cameras that for American collectors is one you could accidentally collect.  I cannot tell you how many Argus C3s (and their variants like the Matchmatic) I’ve picked up in job lots of cameras where I wanted something else.  I’ve seen them at antique …

Kodak Motormatic 35 (1960)

What is it? This is a Kodak Motormatic 35 camera.  It is an updated version of Kodak’s first 35mm auto exposure camera, the Kodak Automatic 35 which was released the year before.  The Motormatic added a spring motor advance, allowing a photographer to make exposures as fast as he or …

Argus C33 (1959)

What is it? This is an Argus C33, a 35mm rangefinder produced by the Argus Corporation in Ann Arbor, Michigan between the years 1959 and 1961.  The C33 was an oddly designed, but ambitious update to the original C3 which added many features that had become standard for rangefinders in …

Introducing the Packard-Ideal Shutter Company

If your experience with photography is limited to hand held 35mm or roll film cameras made within the last 100 years, you likely have never heard of the Packard shutter.  The history of the Packard shutter and how it came to be is shrouded in mystery.  There is very little …

Kodak Baby Brownie Special (1939)

What is it? This is a Baby Brownie Special made by the Eastman Kodak Corporation between the years of 1939 and 1952.  This model was an upgrade from the simpler Baby Brownie by adding a fixed telescopic viewfinder an integrated shutter release button, and a cloth carrying handle.  Later models …

Reinventing the Roll: 120 Film in a Polaroid Highlander

For those of you like me who grew up in the 1980s, you remember the Polaroid instant camera.  Models like the Spectra and the OneStep were common, shooting instant photographs with Polaroid’s familiar white border.  If you are a little older, you might remember the collapsible SX-70, but no matter …

The Cameras of the Dead: The Reboot (aka Part IV)

The horror genre is known for movie franchises with many sequels, remakes, and reboots.  In the 70s, 80s, and 90s, original horror movies would often spawn a whole series of sequels, mostly upping the ante on the thrills, spills, and chills of the original.  Sometimes the sequels continued the story …

Kodak Brownie Starmatic (1959)

What is it? This is a Brownie Starmatic made by the Eastman Kodak Company of Rochester, NY between the years of 1959 and 1963.  It was the first Brownie camera to have both an exposure meter and automatic exposure.  It is a simple, mostly plastic camera that used 127 roll …

Detrola Model E (1939)

What is it? This is a Detrola Model E camera made by the Detrola Corp out of Detroit, MI.  Detrola was better known for its successful line of radios and record players in the 30s and 40s.  Perhaps trying to mimic the success of Ann Arbor, MI based Argus by …

Kodak Flash Bantam (1948)

What is it? This is a Kodak Flash Bantam, a strut folding camera with a Bakelite and metal body.  The Flash Bantam updated the original Bantam 4.5 with flash synchronization and a new Lumenized lens coating to improve accuracy when using color film.  It used 828 film which was originally …

Kodak Bantam (1935)

What is it? This is a Kodak Bantam, a strut folding camera with an entirely Bakelite body, a single speed shutter, doublet lens, and a maximum aperture of f/6.3.  This was Kodak’s first camera designed for their new 828 format of film.  828 was originally designed to be an inexpensive roll …

Kodak No.1A Pocket Kodak (1926)

What is it? This is a No.1A Pocket Kodak folding camera made by the Eastman Kodak Company between the years of 1926 and 1932.  It used Autographic 116 film which allowed photographers to open a tiny door on the back of the camera and write notes about the exposure which would …