Once the king of film cameras in the United States, everyone took their snapshots with a Kodak. If these snapshots were taken in the 50's or 60's they may very well have been taken using a Kodak Duaflex camera. The Duaflex line of cameras had many variations and models. I found this example in a local antique store.
Basically the Duaflex system is a box camera with an expanded view finder. It does use a separate taking and viewing lens but they are not connected. The taking lens (bottom) is a zone focus lens. Focus cannot be seen in the viewfinder. The viewfinder lens is fixed focus. It is adjustable from 3.5 feet to Infinity.
The taking lens on this model is a KODAR 72mm/f8. 72mm is a fairly standard sized lens for medium format photography. It equates to roughly 50mm on a 35mm film camera.
Aperture on this example of the Duaflex II is adjustable. Settings include f8, f11 and f16. The shutter speed is fixed and my research shows the shutter speed to have originally been 1/40 second. Due to age, shutter speeds on these older cameras may vary. After working the shutter several times, these cameras must be film tested for the real results to be known.
Even with the viewfinder raised the camera is easily held with one hand, leaving the second hand free to actuate the shutter button.
The Duaflex II is compatible with an optional flash attachment. This attachment mounts to the left side of the camera to the lugs shown in the photo.
There is a shutter speed setting to use 'B' setting for Bulb mode. The speed used for flash photography would depend on which type of flash bulb is used.
The camera back is the standard affair using a red lens film window to advance the film. Corresponding frame numbers printed on the film backing paper are visible through the window.
The window is also used when loading film in the camera. Arrows will appear as the film is advanced using the winding knob on the camera's side.
A roll of 620 film produced 12 exposures. The exposures were 6mm X 6mm in size. Even for a simple camera this is a large negative that could produce detailed images.
Added Bonus! I purchased this camera with an exposed roll of film in it. I was immediately intrigued.
As you can see there are no felt light seals. The design uses the shape of the rear film door and body to make it light tight.
This rescued film will be discussed in a later blog post.
Can this camera still be used today? Yes, most definitely. 620 film is no longer readily available but, Kodak's film marketing plan helps us use these old cameras. 620 film is nothing other than 120 film on a different sized spool. 120 film can easily be re-rolled on 620 spools and used. Even the backing paper numbers are the same.
I would suggest using 100 speed film when attempting to use these older cameras, it more closely matches the film speed these cameras were originally designed for.
This camera was marked at $20 in a local antique store. I have seen them cheaper than this but, when I noticed there was an exposed film inside I immediately bought it.
All the photographs used in this post were taken on Kodak UltraMax 400 color film and are subject to copyright.