Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

No 2 Folding Bulls-Eye Camera

Eastman Kodak Company

Name: No 2 Folding Bulls-Eye
Type: Folding (rollfilm)
Manufacturer: Eastman Kodak Company
Country of Origin: US
Construction: Horizontal format folding camera where the wooden lens standard is pulled out on a track fixed to the baseboard. Later versions have a brass pull-ring fitted to the base of the lens board to assist with pulling the standard out along its rails; the first model did not. Brilliant finders built into the body for portrait and landscape. The simple rotary shutter is built into the lens standard.
Production Period: 1899 - 1901

 

Model / Variant: Second Model
Plate / Film Size: 101 rollfilm (for pictures 3" x 3")
Lens: Achromatic
Shutter: Rotary
Movements: None
Date of this Example: c1899
Serial Number: Serial 4534 stamped into hinge line. Manufacturing number 3101 stamped into top edge of body. Number on lower inside edge of rear cover is not clear.
Availability:
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [ ]
  • Hard to Find [x]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 440

 

ClicPic Photos copyright 2012 David Purcell. Do not use without permission.
Click small picture to enlarge.   ClicPic Gallery Software.

Description

This example of the No 2 Folding Bulls-Eye in very good (original) condition. The leather over the concealed button on the top and rear cover is intact. The metalwork is generally in good order (the nickel plated finder is remarkably clean and bright).

From Coe this appears to be the middle of the three models produced, with brass fittings and a pull-ring (intact). Note that the standard has to be pulled out carefully - it comes off its runners quite easily and the support block is a little weak.

The name disk is intact underneath the strap, but the strap itself has gone.

The camera retained its original Kodak case, in appalling condition (stitching gone, surface disintegrating). However it has done a great job of protecting the leather on the camera.

No 2 Folding Bulls-Eye instruction booklet

I acquired an instruction manual separately for this camera, titled Picture Taking with the No 2 Folding Bulls-Eye Kodak.

The booklet is dated March 1899, but has an insert (a single page stuck over the existing text) describing the improvement to the mechanism on introduction of the ring pull in April 1899.

Refer to the group of photos below. The first shows the frontispiece with date. The next two show the insert in place and with it folded back to reveal the original text and photo of the camera without the ring pull.

Click on each to open a larger image in this window. Press 'back' to return.

 

No 2 Folding Bulls-Eye instruction booklet No 2 Folding Bulls-Eye instruction booklet No 2 Folding Bulls-Eye instruction booklet

Notes

In my experience it is hard to find an example of this camera that is in good condition. The leather work is often quite badly worn. This can be most apparent with the thin covering over the release buttons for the front and back, either or both of which may be torn or entirely absent. The ring-pull may be missing (but see note below). All three examples that I have owned have suffered some form of damage and/or repair to the lens standard fixing to the carrier that engages with the track.

There are three different models of this camera (though only quite minor variations between each). The most obvious way to differentiate between them is by the ring pull. The first model does not have one, so that is quite easy to identify (except beware of later models that have simply lost theirs, as is the case with one example I bought). The second model introduced the ring-pull, which is made of brass. In the third and final model, the ring-pull is nickel plated.