Kodak Tourist: My Oldest Friend

2

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 Looking around, I started to discover a whole universe of outdated cameras that, today, can still be dusted to look cool: twin lens reflex cameras, bellows cameras, dark boxes…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!

FEATURES:

  • 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 #vintage #old #tourist #620 #lomography #lightleaks #kodak #user-review #120

2 Comments

  1. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    Great article!

  2. camielioo
    camielioo ·

    Coowl, I saw one the other day!

More Interesting Articles

  • Two Pearls of My Family's Archive (Part One): Irinarkh Uskov

    written by alexander_krolikowski on 2014-05-07 in #lifestyle
    Two Pearls of My Family's Archive (Part One): Irinarkh Uskov

    Today I want to talk about these lost and newly-found photographs with an amazing story. It is the oldest of the surviving photographs from my family's archive.

    1
  • Newcomer of the Week: theisleofadventure

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-05-04 in #lifestyle
    Newcomer of the Week: theisleofadventure

    Rebecca was encouraged by her friend, also a Community member, hola_to_the_holga, to try her hand at film photographer after seeing an old SLR at her home. Now, she cannot thank her friend enough for getting her into yet another creative outlet aside from baking cakes and drawing. Let's get to know more about our darling Rebecca or theisleofadventure, our Newcomer of the Week!

    3
  • The Agfa Clack: Ye Olde Film Eater

    written by dermanu on 2014-08-09 in #reviews
    The Agfa Clack: Ye Olde Film Eater

    My passion for old and analogue cameras hadn't stayed unnoticed among my friends and acquaintances. Which is why I've received cameras as gifts for many times now. My Agfa Clack is an example. It's about 60 years old, fully functional, and a real film eater.

    1
  • 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)

  • Painting Delights: Going Wild with the Pixelstick

    written by jennifer_pos on 2015-03-17 in #people #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!

    7
  • Two Pearls of My Family's Archive (Part Two): Valentine Uskova and Zhilkin

    written by alexander_krolikowski on 2014-05-15 in #lifestyle
    Two Pearls of My Family's Archive (Part Two): Valentine Uskova and Zhilkin

    Today I'll continue to talk about the second of two lost and newly-found photographs with amazing stories. Both are the oldest of the surviving photographs from my family's archive.

  • Product Photography with the Petzval Lens

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-05-20 in #news
    Product Photography with the Petzval Lens

    If you run a small business selling hand made items online, you would know how vitally important it is to have amazing product shots to help sell your work. I tested out the new Petzval lens on some of my hand-printed items to see if I could get a winning shot, and below is an overview of what happened.

  • Shop News

    Lomo Instant Boston

    Lomo Instant Boston

    Here is another way to enjoy analogue experience and capture great memories in an instant! This package includes the best creative lenses for your LomoInstant camera!

  • Valentine's Day Deals Extended!

    written by jacobs on 2015-02-10 in #gear #news
    Valentine's Day Deals Extended!

    Are you still looking for that perfect treat for your loved one this Valentine's Day? Then you've come to the right place, my friend — we've extended our Valentine's deals until the end of the week! Which means you have extra time to get lucky in all things love and Lomography. Quit dodging Cupid's arrows and get in on these sweet deals right now!

  • RYU x RIO: World Cup 2014 on Kodak Aerochrome Film

    written by zonderbar on 2014-08-11 in #news
    RYU x RIO: World Cup 2014 on Kodak Aerochrome Film

    Weeks have passed and yet Germans are still celebrating the victory of their heroic football team. Shortly before the World Cup started, we took notice of an interesting photography project on Kickstarter. Berlin-based sports photographer Ryu Voelkel called for help to create a football photography book like no other. The campaign was successfully funded. Ryu made his way to Brazil and came back with amazing shots including some very special Kodak Aerochrome photographs. Meet Ryu and learn more about him and his special moments at the WC 2014.

    1
  • Top Photo Uploaders of September 2014

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-10-05 in #news
    Top Photo Uploaders of September 2014

    We all love taking photographs, no doubt about it. But some are just extra lucky to have an endless supply of film rolls for their itchy shutter fingers!

    3
  • Shop News

    Uncrate Long Lost Lomography Treasures - 30% Off in our Discount Section

    Uncrate Long Lost Lomography Treasures - 30% Off in our Discount Section

    Fly over to our 30% Discount Section to discover previously unavailable Editions & Clones! Be quick and make one yours before they are all gone again!

  • Newcomer of the Week: life_on_acetate

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-06-01 in #lifestyle
    Newcomer of the Week: life_on_acetate

    His best friend and fellow lomographer weleasewoger72 used to make him feel bad about using an IPhone to take pictures. However, after trying out a Diana F+, our Newcomer of the Week, life_on_acetate, decided to ditch the digital territory and try his hand at analogue photography. Read on to find out more about this fascinating story of friendship and film photography!

    2
  • 'The Invisible Photograph: Part II (Trapped)' Shows How Warhol's Previously Unseen Digital Artworks Were Recovered

    written by chooolss on 2014-05-15 in #lifestyle
    'The Invisible Photograph: Part II (Trapped)' Shows How Warhol's Previously Unseen Digital Artworks Were Recovered

    About three weeks ago, we shared with you the fascinating discovery of some of Andy Warhol's digital artworks created with an Amiga computer and saved on floppy disks. Now, through this short documentary, we get to find out how the entire project came to be as well as see bits of the recovery process itself.

  • Early Inspirations in Film Photography: A Tomato Project

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-10-21 in #lifestyle
    Early Inspirations in Film Photography: A Tomato Project

    I’m lucky enough and old enough to have grown up in an era where film was the only form of photography available. I’ve always had a passion for film but it was a certain series of images that inspired me and changed my idea of photography forever. Find out what that was after the jump.