Saddle Up with the Kodak Pony 135

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The Kodak Pony 135 is a viewfinder camera made in 1955. It uses 35mm film and has a fixed focal length. Its a nice camera that can do multiple exposures and long exposures! This camera may be a Lomographers dream, or it may be a problem for people for certain reasons. Learn more about this camera and its functions after the jump.

I recieved my Kodak Pony as a Chrismas gift from a friend of mine. once i got it i immediately loaded it with a roll of Kodak Ultramax 400 speed film and tried it out. Once i got the shots back i was blown away, the Kodak Aniston lens was nice and sharp, but still had an antique look to it because of the glass used back then.

This is very much a manual camera, there is no light meter or Auto-Exposure function, you have to set the focus, aperture and the shutterspeed, as well as cock the shutter (as it is uncoupled from the frame advance) but this is handy if you wish to do multiple exposures. The shutter speeds are Bulb, 1/25, 1/50/ 1/100 and 1/300, and the aperture settings are 3.5, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, and 22—these are marked with a guide for the lighting conditions for you to use them in. Focus ranges from 2.5 feet to infinity, and has an aperture scale so scale focusing is easy to understand. To wind this camera you have to first release a catch using a small lever on the back of the camera and then turn the advance knob, it was confusing at first but once I started shooting more it became almost second nature.

Here are some of the shots you can make with this camera:

Credits: detroitlomo

Now, on to the Pros and Cons of this camera:

Pros:
1) It is lightweight but durable due to its bakelite and metal contruction.
2) Its lens is sharp and contrasty, and brings out colors nicely.
3) It is small and easy to throw in to a bag or even a coat pocket.
4) It has a nice range of shutter speeds and aperture controls (though this could be viewed as a bad thing for people who don’t like to think too much when they are shooting).
5) it has a cable release thread and a tripod mount, making long exposures and self portraits a breeze!

Cons:
1) The viewfinder is not very good and should only be used for making sure you have a good angle for your shot.
2) The release lever system is awkward for first time users of this camera.
3) having to adjust the settings could be seen as annoying for people accustomed to shooting with cameras like the LC-A or other auto exposure cameras.
4) Most of these cameras will have dust/fungus in the lenses (unless you get lucky and find a seller who has cleaned it thoroughly).

And thats the end of my review! In conclusion, the Kodak Pony is good for those who are looking to get a camera with all manual controls, but still want to have access to multiples exposures and a compact package. Check eBay or local thrift stores for this camera, it would make a good addition to every Lomographer’s collection!

written by detroitlomo on 2012-03-02 in #reviews #manual-shutter-speed #multiple-exposure #kodak-pony-135 #viewfinder-camera #cable-release #manual-focus #35mm #1945 #aniston-lens #manual-aperture

2 Comments

  1. jeffr
    jeffr ·

    nice review. i love the picture of the pug and the bowling alley!

  2. detroitlomo
    detroitlomo ·

    @jeffr Thanks! Those are two of my favorites from the roll, along with the multiple exposure photo of the cat in the window.

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