Kodak Starmatic II

Kodak Starmatic II

click for sample



Donated to the collection by the generous Bud Haycock, ostensibly for my wife Ellen who at the time was wishing for something more ineteresting for display than a basic black box camera. But like-new in box, with manuals, working meter, with the original price still on the box. Marked down! From $39.95 to the low low price of only $26.60! I couldn’t resist taking it out for a spin.

Fun little shooter, really. Not a stealth camera though, with its eye level finder and conspicuous shape, this lends itself more to planned portraits or quirky snapshots. Small and lightweight, it does make a great travel camera. Too bad 127 film is hard to come by. It’s a great compromise between 35mm and 120 — the camera can still be small while the neg is still reasonably large.

Like its cousin the Duaflex (and most non-German-made Kodaks!) this would fall into the ‘toy camera’ category, by virtue of its simplicity and overall… cheapness. The f8 Kodar lens is soft at the edges, especially wide open, and with some interesting distortion as well (visible in the sample). Reasonably sharp in the middle. Perfect if you are looking for that kind of effect, glad to know I have this as an option in my arsenal. Overall a fun toy.


Cleaned up the lens with Vodka, otherwise it’s pretty much like new.

Tips & Tricks

For autoexposure, set the ASA on the top of the camera with the dial, then set the shutter to 1/80 for most outdoor shots, 1/40 for ‘unfavorable’ light conditions. If you know the EV of the subject and it falls into the range of the shutter/aperture combo you can set it manually. Limited to EV 12-16. There is a bulb flash that works with this camera, called the Kodak Supermite, but really, when are you going to use that?

Not many sources left for 127 film, but Czech film maker Efke makes it, and you can get it through a well-stocked photo supply store (eg not your local mall chain) or online at a place like J and C Photography. Efke is great stuff. Developing note: their rollfilm likes a 1 minute presoak to remove the antihalation dye BTW.

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