Kodak Bantam camera

Here’s an old Kodak Bantam folding camera I have that belonged to my grandfather, William O. Melvin. This model was made 1935-1937. It has a 53 mm f/6.3 Kodak Anastigmat lens. The body is made out of Bakelite and is very lightweight and compact. The lens and bellows pop out by means of a catch on the front of the camera. The shutter release is at the edge of the panel that holds the lens and is not apparent when the camera is folded. I’ve heard that it has just one shutter speed, but I don’t know what it is. There’s a lever that adjusts between T and I. I assume that T means time (i.e. the shutter would stay open until the lever is moved again) but I don’t know what I means. (If anyone knows, I’d love to hear from you!)

It was designed to use 828 film, which was a roll film with a backing; it’s larger than 35 mm film (135 film is 24 x 36 mm, while 828 film is 28 x 40 mm). There were just 8 shots per roll of film. I’d like to get some suitable film so I can give the camera a try.

My grandfather passed away in the 1980s, and the camera was given to me a few years ago by my aunt. (I have another of his cameras and will post about it some time soon.) Here’s a photo of him in 1926.

William O. Melvin, 1926

William O. Melvin, 1926

5 réponses à “Kodak Bantam camera

  1. I love the camera! It’s beautiful. (I have a thing for vintage items made of Bakelite.)

    Love also the photo of your handsome and distinguished grandfather.

  2. Ping : Agfa Optima 1a | Photography by Tricia McDonald

  3. the ‘I’ is for Instant

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