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Kodak 35 RF

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Kodak 35 RF is a 35mm film rangefinder camera made by Eastman Kodak and produced between 1940-48. [1]

RF means rangefinder, not engraved on the camera, this is only collectors' name.

The camera is basically a Kodak 35 with the addition of a new cover containing a fixed viewfinder, film counter, wind and rewind knobs, and the separate rangefinder window. The rangefinder, an obvious afterthought, was incorporated in response to the incredible marketing success of the Argus C series. It is quite accurate and easy to use. In the opinion of this writer, the camera is capable of producing excellent results, even by modern standards.

The Kodak 35 Rangefinder model originally sold in 1940 for a list price of $48 USD[2] (app. $700 USD in 2007). As this was almost double the price the Argus C3, it is easy to see why the Kodak 35 Rangefinder model suffered from lackluster sales.

Kodak 35 02
Kodak 35 01
Kodak 35 07
Kodak 35 04
Kodak 35 08

Kodak 35 RF versions:

  • Version 1: 1940-48 Kodak Anastigmat Special f/3.5 with Kodamatic shutter
  • Version 2: 1946-48 Kodak Anastigmat Special f/3.5 with Flash Kodamatic shutter
  • Version 3: 1947-48 Kodak Anastar f/3.5 with Flash Kodamatic shutter

These two lenses were optically identical, differing only in name and the inclusion of flash synchronization.


SpecificationsEdit

Data belongs to the Version 2.

  • Lens: Kodak Anastigmat Special* 50mm f/3.5 filter slip-on
    • Aperture: up to f/16; setting: lever and scale on the lens-shutter barrel
    • Focus range: 4-50 feet +inf
  • The Anastigmat Special is Kodak's designation for a high quality lens. In this case, the lens is a 4 element, 3 group tessar design. Superb resoution and sharpness possible with this camera.
  • Focusing: match the rangefinder images in separate rangefinder eyepiece by turning the thumb wheel coupled to the lens focusing ring or simply lens front element
  • Shutter: Flash Kodamatic leaf shutter, speeds: 1/10-200 +B & T; setting: ring and scale on the lens-shutter barrel, not works wo/ the film in the camera
  • Shutter release: on the lens-shutter barrel, w/ a finger support for security
  • Cocking knob: also winds the film, on the top plate,
  • Double exposure prevention: Before winding, you have to press the knob just beside the cocking knob, and immediately release, at this time a red lever on the top of the lens-shutter barrel indicating that the shutter is set, if it does not show, the winding knob must be turned
  • Frame counter: on the top plate, additive type, manual setting
  • Viewfinder: reverse telescopic finder, separate eyepiece
  • Re-wind knob: on the top plate
  • Re-wind release: lift the rewind knob
  • Flash PC socket: old type, on the lens-shutter barrel
  • Cold-shoe: none
  • Memory dial: on the winding knob
  • Self-timer: lever on the lens-shutter barrel
  • Back cover: removable, opens by a latch on the bottom plate
  • Engraving on the bottom plate: serial no.
  • Tripod socket: ¼"
  • Strap lugs
  • Body: metal; Weight: 668g

Dating of the camera via the lens' serial no.[3]

The first two letters of lens serial means for the age of lens manufactured as below table. The two digits corresponded to two letters by the table stands for the lower digit of the age(19xx). 1234567890 CAMEROSITY i.e The lens serial number of my camera begins EO, so it corresponds to 1946.

ReferencesEdit

This website (#1, immediately below) requires a credit card number to be charged $1.00 as part of a 14-day free trial that becomes $49.50/month if not cancelled.

  1. Collectors Guide to Kodak Cameras Joan McKeown & James McKeown by Centennial Photo; 1st edition (1981) ISBN-10: 0931838029 downloadable site of the book
  2. History of Kodak Cameras at www.kodak.com
  3. Lens serials in Cosmonet

SourcesEdit

  • Coe, Brian, Kodak Cameras, the First Hundred Years, Hove Foto Books, 1988
  • Kalton Lahue and Joesph Bailey, Glass, Brass, & Chrome - The American 35mm Miniature Camera, University of Oklahoma Press, 1972

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