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02-12-2019, 05:27 PM   #1
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Old (very old) Kodak "autographic" camera -- how do I open this thing?

I have found this seemingly very old Kodak camera and. although I can remove the "back cover", I can't find a way to get those bellows out from inside.
I will post a couple of pictures of it right now and, if need be, more to come.
So ... how does one "open this thing" ??

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02-12-2019, 05:29 PM   #2
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And a few more pictures here .. hopefully, someone will help me figure this oldie!
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02-12-2019, 06:44 PM   #3
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So if you pull out on the silver lever that door doesn't open and pivot on the hinge?

---------- Post added 02-12-19 at 08:47 PM ----------

Googling autographic indicates there are multiple generations and models. See if this helps:

02-12-2019, 06:59 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
So if you pull out on the silver lever that door doesn't open and pivot on the hinge?

---------- Post added 02-12-19 at 08:47 PM ----------

Googling autographic indicates there are multiple generations and models. See if this helps:

How to open and close No1A Autographic KODAK JR - YouTube
Thanks for the video !
But ... once I pull out that lever, it seems that the door is "locked" ... I can hear (and feel) a small "metal on metal" sound, as if something is blocking it.
That is as far as I can go

Now I got it ! There is a small hidden "push button" on one side of the camera which needs to be pushed as one pulls on the lever and open the mechanism inside. Now, I have to continue with the video for pulling the lens mechanism out.

Edit: Success!! Got this oldie opened. I wonder if it still works: the mechanisms are is very fine shape inside.


Last edited by jpzk; 02-12-2019 at 07:11 PM. Reason: Added info
02-12-2019, 07:30 PM   #5
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It seems that yours still has the stylus. The reason that hey were called Autographics was that you could lift the little door on the back of the camera and "write" on the negative. Film is also pressure sensitive. People could take the photo and then write a brief note about it. Same thing that you do with a stylus on a tablet. If you opened the door you would see the light proof backing paper so the film would not get fogged.
02-12-2019, 11:05 PM   #6
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In shot 2 of your second post, press the discoloured area next to the silver 'button'. It hides a release under the leather.

Or see the pic:
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Last edited by alfa75ts; 02-12-2019 at 11:07 PM. Reason: Note to self, read ALL the posts.
02-13-2019, 12:45 AM   #7
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Congratulations! I came to this too late to offer advice. I still have my father’s old Kodak Autographic (with stylus) although I haven’t put a film through it in a long time.

02-13-2019, 04:26 AM   #8
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If I remember right, modern films aren’t as pressure sensitive as the ones from 100 years ago...

So the autographic feature may not work. Still, they’re fun to shoot with if you can get film 🙂

And they put you in a very different place after you’ve been reading threads about slow autofocus, edge-to-edge sharpness and such...

-Eric
02-13-2019, 04:59 AM   #9
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The film might be pressure sensitive, but autographic cameras used special film rolls with carbon paper between the backing paper and the film.

Blast from the Past: Kodak's Autographic Cameras Let You Sign Your Negatives
02-13-2019, 05:57 AM   #10
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I have Autographics in both 120 and 127 film sizes (My 120s are the "Model 2 Folding Autographic" and 127 was the "Vest Pocket Kodak") - and the usual problems are pinhole light leaks in the corners of the bellows. The shutters are simple and reliable. I don't believe the special autographic carbon paper film has been made post-WWII.
One of my model 2 cameras seems fully functional with no visible light leaks, but the Vest Pocket 127 has numerous pinholes at the bellows corners. I need to find a way to seal the pinholes and try it, now that I found some 127 film.
My 120 film should arrive today, so I'll try the Model 2 and see how it does. (Should be quite a change from my 6x7 Pentax!)
02-13-2019, 06:08 AM   #11
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Film is still pressure sensitive but you are right the effect is not a great today, Today's film has smaller silver halide (AgX) crystals so the effect is less. As someone who used to be a QA engineer for several of Kodak's film processors, pressure marks were just one of the many things that you had to be aware of. Camera designers still need to be aware of it too.
02-17-2019, 05:01 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by gaweidert Quote
It seems that yours still has the stylus. The reason that hey were called Autographics was that you could lift the little door on the back of the camera and "write" on the negative. Film is also pressure sensitive. People could take the photo and then write a brief note about it. Same thing that you do with a stylus on a tablet. If you opened the door you would see the light proof backing paper so the film would not get fogged.
No kidding !
I had no idea what that little "needle" was for. Thanks for mentioning it ... I tried to get it out but it seems stuck and I don't want to break the door.

---------- Post added 02-17-19 at 07:03 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by alfa75ts Quote
In shot 2 of your second post, press the discoloured area next to the silver 'button'. It hides a release under the leather.

Or see the pic:
Thanks for that!
I had it figured out but your reply is nevertheless quite appreciated.

---------- Post added 02-17-19 at 07:04 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
Congratulations! I came to this too late to offer advice. I still have my father’s old Kodak Autographic (with stylus) although I haven’t put a film through it in a long time.
What sort of film would one put in there?
02-17-2019, 05:37 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
What sort of film would one put in there?
Any 120 roll film would do, but I wouldn’t have a clue what’s on offer these days.
02-17-2019, 05:49 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
No kidding !


What sort of film would one put in there?
Looks like it's probably 120, possibly 620. If you show us the end of the supplied spool, it should be obvious. (The 620 spindle slots are narrower than 120. But you can if necessary respool 120 film onto them, it's just Kodak decided to get unneccesarily-proprietary at some point, (I forget when) as they often did, with a perfectly good film standard. )
04-23-2019, 08:48 AM   #15
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I came to this thread late as I think this is the first time I've wandered into this part of the forums, but I have a few comments which may be helpful or at least interesting.

There are a quite a few different variations of the Kodak folders that can use Autographic film. You are fortunate to have a take up spool and the stylus. Your camera was made for 116 format film, with the A-116 identifier, and was probably made sometime after 1919 based on the patent numbers. If you want to shoot with it you will have to go through some gymnastics with adapters to use current 120 film.

The particular lens on your camera will help to confirm the exact model. The Kodak Customer Support pamphlet AA-13 might also be a start to help identify your camera, and the Brownie Camera page has some info. The Butkus camera manual site has scans of many of the manuals. Depending on the size of the camera, I think you may have a Pocket Kodak.

http://www.brownie-camera.com/manuals/aa13.pdf

There has been mention earlier in the thread of light leaks, and it is important to check the bellows. In bright light covering the Autographic door with tape or shielding with your hand will help.

I have a 1A Autographic Junior that belonged to my grandfather, and some of the negatives shot on 116. Here's two of my favourite B&W negative scans circa 1916, one circa 1920 and a colour image from 1972 I captured when using the camera for a photography class. The black and white images are all unretouched and were some of my earliest scans before I had a properly sized holder.
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