Kodak Tourist: My Oldest Friend


Story of an old camera. About how to get lucky without knowing, unexpected failures and light leaks...and some meaningless blabbering.

Nowadays, my house in inhabited in “perfect harmony” by psychadelic plush toys, ugly toys, new gadgets, stuff rescued from the trash (literally) and gadgets older than five or six decades. When my girlfriend told me she had seen a “very pretty” camera, I saw an open sky to add more plastic stuff to the “museum of pretty things” (which is how I call the shelf where I keep all my crap).

Thanks to this analog addiction to my life, I’ve gathered a small (as of now — and depending on how it is compared) photographic camera collection. Today, I’d like to talk to you about one of those little jewels around my house: the Kodak Tourist.

As the camera collection grew, I was stricken by curiosity for old cameras (vintage, for modern people). Looking around, I started to discover a whole universe of outdated cameras that, today, can still be dusted to look cool: twin lens reflex cameras, bellows cameras, dark boxes…

I got this camera at the same New York store where I got the Kodak Ektralite 10, and it wasn’t a very good purchase initially (what having no idea can cause). This camera is thought to use 620mm film, as is clearly stated on the inside of the back lid. What happens is that this format looks a lot like 120mm film (as many of you already know). And it can be said I wanted to take it with me, because the “nice” clerk didn’t want to let us examine it if we didn’t buy it, there was no way to make him understand it depended on the film format it used…in the end, to stop beating around the bush (and partly because of how much I wanted to take it), we paid it and left without confirming it could use 120mm film. When I arrived to Spain, I could verify that even if 120mm film is not compatible, it can be adapted (as explained by playmiguel in this article).

And after this drag (you can’t say you weren’t warned), I’ll move on to the camera. The first this about it is the film. If finding or developing 120mm rolls is hard (keep in mind Madrid and Barcelona are not the center of the universe), I don’t even need to tell you about finding 620mm. On the other hand, even though it is possible to adapt 120mm films like I’ve said, the lab may charge you extra for development, because of the special format it takes pictures on. From each 120mm film 8 pictures will come out, and the good thing is that we don´t have to be counting the spins of the advancing wheel, because the paper backing comes with a counter for this type of cameras. We can see this counter through the typical little red window on the back of the camera.

Today, I still think I haven’t figured out how to operate the mechanism (not the one to rewind film because it doesn’t have one — If I’m mistaken please tell me) to take exposed rolls out, because everytime I´m done with one, I have to take a screwdriver to open the camera and take it out… I believe that´s too absurd but I haven´t found any other way. On regards to this, I have to mention that they usually come with a metal take up spool, which you will have to remember to request to have it saved and returned by the lab, because it wouldn´t be strange that you don´t see it ever again (as it has happened to me). Also, the back can be completely removed, so I will have to try something with the Instant back (Dr. Frankestein, I guess)

As can be seen in the photograph, it´s a bellows camera, which means when it´s closed it´s much smaller than when open. This makes it confortable, and gives it a very aged look that will make people look at you in amazement every time you try to take a photo.

It has a universal tripod socket, as well as a little metal tab on the front in case we want to put it on a horizontal surface to take photos on its side.

With regards to the technical aspects, this is not a camera for low light conditions. The factors that determine this is that the aperture is not bigger than 12.5 and the lack of a newer more standarized flash plug.

According to the manual I managed to find online, it´s supposed to have three shooting modes: normal, little long exposures, and long. long exposures (what???). The normal mode lets the shutter open only for the preset time (unfortunately I can´t find the manual anymore and don´t know the shutter speed). The little long exposures mode leaves the shutter open as long as we are holding the shutter button. The long long exposure mode opens the shutter when we press the button and doesn´t close it until we push it again. My camera, unfortunately, took a few bumps and this last option doesn´t work anymore. On the other hand, one good thing about this camera is that it has a universal shutter cable plug.

As you can see, the camera has a few light leaks and lens defects. Which for me is a big plus.

Weighing up, one of the best purchases I´ve made, even if only 10 shots came out of the 2 rolls I shot!


  • Film format: 620mm (although it accepts modified 120mm)
  • Size: Slightly larger than the Diana F+ (measurement recorded by the Utah Institute of Weights and Measurements)
  • Three shutter speeds: I (the normal mode but I don´t know what it is), B (opens the shutter as long as it´s pressed) and T (opens the shutter when pressed and doesn´t close it until pressed again)
  • Aperture: Gradual from f/32 to f/12.5
  • Fixed focal distance (which I guess is from 1 meter to infinity)
  • Rectangular frame format: 56 mm × 84 mm
  • PC Flash sync socket
  • Shutter cable plug
  • Universal tripod socket
  • Minitripod for photos with the camera on its side.

written by jodidopanki on 2011-11-11 in #reviews #lomography #lightleaks #vintage #120 #tourist #old #user-review #kodak #620
translated by etxenike


  1. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    Great article!

  2. camielioo
    camielioo ·

    Coowl, I saw one the other day!

More Interesting Articles

  • Painting Delights: Going Wild with the Pixelstick

    written by jennifer_pos on 2015-03-17 in #gear #news #lifestyle #tipster
    Painting Delights: Going Wild with the Pixelstick

    Ever since light painting was invented, it inspired artists from all around the globe to magical creations that capture hidden movements and reinvent the world we live in. "Life is a fairy tale, stay wild little child!" is what they want to tell us. Bringing light to life became the next challenge for anyone rigged with a film camera and a creative mind. Now, how can you take your analogue light paintings from the ordinary to the outstanding? After the carriage came the car, so we definitely need some spacy inventions to follow the old school light pen. So here it is, our new best friend: The Pixelstick!

  • Red and Green Doubles with the LC-A+

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-07-17 in #gear #tipster
    Red and Green Doubles with the LC-A+

    If you fancy a cheap and easy way to get some inspiring and unexpected analogue shots try shooting some red/green double exposures. Learn how to do this right here.

  • Photo Stories: Away With You by lomomowlem

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-06-18 in #world #lifestyle
    Photo Stories: Away With You by lomomowlem

    It is clear from the wild variety of photos in the website that Lomographers will do just about anything to get a good shot. Some swap rolls with friends overseas while others concoct unheard-of film soups. And then there are the masters of operations, the ones who spy and crouch their way to a share-worthy picture. This is one such story.

  • Shop News

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Done shooting and want your films to be processed? We can process your colour and black & white 35mm, 120 or 110 films! Development, prints and scans are also included. (Service availability depends on your markets)

  • Pixelstick + Lomo'Instant: Take Light Painting to the Next Level

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-04-20 in #gear #lifestyle
    Pixelstick + Lomo'Instant: Take Light Painting to the Next Level

    Ever since the Pixelstick came out, I've been dying to try it out. This past week, I finally got my chance! With one goal in mind — getting some super cool light-painting shots — I grabbed some friends for an amazing session with my Lomo'Instant and the Pixelstick. Take a moment and have a look at these priceless pics!

  • Light is Magical: A Talk With Li Hui

    written by jennifer_pos on 2015-04-10 in #people #news #lifestyle
    Light is Magical: A Talk With Li Hui

    Photography is not only an act of documentation or communication, it is also a way of seeing the world. The camera opens our eyes and lets us see what lies behind the obvious, and we start looking at things as potential subjects of a photograph. Every leak of light unveils secrets that talented photographers turn into a piece of art. Li Hui is one of those gifted artists. We talked to her about her work and her sensitive photographs that picture a wonderful vulnerability.

  • 50 Electrifying Light Paintings From The Lomography Community

    written by tomas_bates on 2015-08-17 in #gear #news
    50 Electrifying Light Paintings From The Lomography Community

    Light Painting is a cool technique that we love to do when we're in the mood for experimenting with photos. It's super easy and fun, and it only requires a dark room, a friend or two to collaborate with, a camera with long exposure mode and a light painting tool to get started. Check out 50 of the most vibrant light painting photos taken by your fellow Lomographers after the cut!

  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • The Lomo LC-A Goes to Tokyo (Part I)

    written by candilsw on 2015-04-21 in #world #locations
    The Lomo LC-A Goes to Tokyo (Part I)

    Tokyo is the capital of Japan and a very popular tourist spot. The city combines the urban metropolitan area with traditional Japanese culture. Let's get to know more about Japanese local culture and food through the lens of the classic Lomo LC-A+!

  • My Best LC-A Photos Ever by alienmeatsack

    written by Robn Kester on 2015-06-25 in #gear #reviews
    My Best LC-A Photos Ever by alienmeatsack

    I love my Lomo LC-A series cameras. They are so easy to use and take such amazing photos. I don’t ever go shooting without at least one of them in my bag. Here are some of my favorite shots.

  • Newcomer of the Week: sandy-sun

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-09-19 in #world #lifestyle
    Newcomer of the Week: sandy-sun

    Aside from developing his own black and white negatives, he also crafts pinhole cameras out of ordinary boxes. His dreamy, soft-focus lomographs even inspired some of the community members to go lens-less on their next photo shoot. Let's get to know more about our newcomer of the week from Sheffield, United Kingdom, sandy_sun!

  • Shop News

    Explore the New Jupiter 3+

    Explore the New Jupiter 3+

    A resurrection from the zenith of Russian premium optics, get the same elegance and classic compact design as its predecessor. — available in small quantities on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Love at First Lomo: My Affair with the Diana F+

    written by Charissa Pajarillo on 2015-02-19 in #gear #lifestyle
    Love at First Lomo: My Affair with the Diana F+

    When I say that this will be my first and last love, I mean it. I know that it's too early to say this now but that is how I feel about my Diana F+.

  • Experiment: Chlorine!

    written by beway on 2015-07-15 in #world #tipster
    Experiment: Chlorine!

    What's so great about analog photography? You never know what you will get in the end. Not every film let all of my photos look perfect, some fail, too. Maybe some of you experienced the same. After trying out several film soups and chemicals I finally discovered the easiest and quickest way: chlorine!

  • Double Exposure Snaps with the Lomo'Instant

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-07-10 in #gear
    Double Exposure Snaps with the Lomo'Instant

    One of the great things about the Lomo'Instant Camera is how versatile and creative it is, yet super easy to play with. Want to create beautiful unexpected multiple exposure shots? No problem — hit the MX switch and a ta-da! Your analogue experience instantly has a brand new world of possibilities!