Kodak Bantam Folding Camera

Up for auction is this Kodak Bantam f4.5 Folding Camera made by Eastman Kodak Company between 1938-1948. Although I did not test it with film, it’s clearly in good working condition. This is a “candid” type camera, meaning small and unobtrusive, which was very popular back in the day. In fact, measuring 4˝ by 2˝ by 1˝ inches when folded, it fits in a coat pocket or handbag very nicely — it’s not much bigger than an Olympus XA.

The camera uses obsolete 828 roll film, which you will not find at your local Wal-mart or drugstore. But film and processing is available from several specialty retailers online. (One of them is B&H Photo.)

It’s in good working condition. The only “wart” I found is that the cable release socket appears to have been repaired. The bellows is in excellent shape with no sign of deterioration. The viewfinder is pristine clean, and the lens has only minor fungus inside. Cosmetically it’s in very good condition, with the original leather intact. There is only minor corrosion on the exterior metal parts, and the interior parts are in excellent shape.

It’s equipped with a Kodak Anastigmat Special 48mm f4.5 lens that stops down to f16. The shutter offers a speeds range of T, B, 25, 50, 100, 200. Early in the production run, Bantams focused as close as 4 feet. This one focuses to 2.5 feet, which indicates it was made late in the production run.

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