- Produced ~1932-52 Canadian Kodak (that’s right, Canada!)
- Film type 620
- Picture size 6×9
- Lens single element meniscus with protective window, 2 apertures
- Focal range approximately 8′ to infinity
- Shutter sliding mechanism
- Shutter speeds B, 1/30 (?)
- Viewfinder convex glass & mirror viewfinders
- Exposure meter none
This is slightly embarrassing. No, not that it was made in Canada, I have nothing against America’s hat. Not even embarrassing that I’ve had this camera for so long and never made a page about it (I think I thought I did?). No, embarrassing because I think the reason I never used this camera is that I never quite figured out how to open it and so let it sit until I forgot I had it.
Also, I’ll be honest, I didn’t know there was a Canadian Kodak. Not only was there one, it dates back to 1899, not even a decade after Kodak was founded in Rochester.
The Art Deco styling on this camera reminds me of the Agfa Synchro Box, though this model isn’t quite as sophisticated. It does have similar bright viewfinders and is about the same size. This is wood/paper construction like most Kodak box cameras. Lightweight and easy to use.
It was dirty, with tarnished metal, cloudy glass & peeling leather. Cleaned the leather with Lexol, then took the front of the camera off to clean all the glass, whereupon one of the viewfinder mirrors fell out. Cleaned all the glass with Windex, including setting the shutter on what would be ‘B’ and cleaning the lens from behind (like many box cameras, there are only two settings: shoot, and stay open). That did the trick. Glued the mirror back in and cleaned the front metal with Flitz. The shutter was pretty tough to get moving, so I took a little silicone potentiometer lubricant like I use on guitar pots, put it on a cotton swab and rubbed it on the friction spots for the shutter parts, which got it sliding smoothly.
Tips & Tricks
Shooting: the shutter lever & shutter are not so convenient and smooth that you don’t need to worry about shake, so like with most box cameras, it’s best to hold against your body for stability when you shoot.
To open this camera, you pull out the wind knob as usual, but you also need to pull up the little knob that is the forward connector for the hand strap.Then you can pull the front off, viewfinders and all. It’s tight. You can see why this confused me for a bit. It’s unusual.
This camera specifically says “Caution: this camera does not take 120 film” and it’s not wrong. You can get a 120 spool in there but it won’t turn. You will need to respool 120 film onto the thinner 620 spools.
The relatively slow lens and shutter mean that this camera is well-suited to slower films like 125 or below. There are 2 apertures, wide open and stopped down. To get the stopped down aperture, pull up on the tab in the front top center. This is the equivalent of f11 or f16 according to the Brownie Camera page, use it stopped down/pulled up for daylight, wide open/pushed down for overcast.