52 Cameras: # 125 — Kodak Six-20

For lending me the camera — Thanks Dave!

Amazing collection of Kodak catalogs at Kodakcollector.com.

A clarification: The camera could be as late as 1934. The catalog years overlap — 1932-33, 1933-34, 1934-35. The 34-35 catalog is the first one to show the “Action Front” push button bed release. The 32-33 catalog is the only one that explicitly states the camera is available in black or brown but I don’t know if later model years had the color choice. If it is from 33-34, the doublet was the low-end lens with an f/6.3 or f/4.5 anastigmat as an upgrade and a Diodak shutter option which added 1/10 second to the speeds of the Kodon.



View of the Truchas Mountains.

View of the Truchas Mountains.

The scalloping at the top of the next image is from re-spooling the film. I didn’t have it perfectly parallel to the 620 spool rim so the film & paper came off at an angle and wrinkled.

No idea -- it looks like water.

No idea — it looks like water.

Taken with the tape and poster board seals. Still leaked.

Trinity in the sun.  Instax with the tape/cardboard seals.

Trinity in the sun. Instax with the tape/cardboard seals.

Trinity on the sun porch.  No leaks!

Trinity on the sun porch. No leaks!




That’s it for posted images taken with this camera. About the kludges follows.

Dark room and an LED flashlight inside show just how leaky the bellows is.

Dark room and an LED flashlight inside show just how leaky the bellows is.

Sketching out the "over bellows".

Sketching out the “over bellows”.

Getting the cardboard between the bellows and the folding front was a challenge. Good view of the aperture setting: U.S. 8=f/11, 16=f/16, 32=f/22, 64=f/32.

Nothing like a closeup to show how dusty it is.

Nothing like a closeup to show how dusty it is.

I thought I was done here.

I thought I was done here.

The back is 6 X 9cm and the front is sized to let the Instax frame slide in.

Instax Mini adapter.

Instax Mini adapter.

I still got light leaks between the top and body. I tried yet more tape before giving up and shrouding the whole thing with my dark bag.

Getting kind of silly with the tape.

Getting kind of silly with the tape.

I don’t have a proper darkroom so here’s the process. I taped up the Instax film box to use as a transfer station.

  1. Put the film in the box.
  2. The box and camera go into the dark bag. Remove the film, remove one frame from the cartridge, insert it in the holder in the camera, and put the cartridge back in the box.
  3. Meter, carefully take the camera out of the bag, and shroud everything but the lens and shutter trigger.
  4. Take the shot and put the camera back in the bag.
  5. Take the frame out of the holder, slide it back in the Instax cartridge, and put the cartridge in the light-tight box.
  6. Put the Instax camera in the bag, load the cartridge, take it out, cover the lens, and shoot it to run the print through the Instax rollers.

I got turned around a couple of times and loaded the Instax frame with the image side towards the lens. I burned through most of a box of 10 prints to get two OK images but it was still a lot cheaper and faster than using negative film (re-spool, reload, process) for each iteration.