Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

No 3A Autographic Kodak Special Camera

Eastman Kodak Company

Name: No 3A Autographic Kodak Special
Manufacturer: Eastman Kodak Co.
Country of Origin: USA
Construction: The camera is constructed as a vertical format folding camera of similar construction to the No 3A Folding Pocket Kodak cameras but with an autographic back and coupled range finder system.
Plate / Film Size: A122 rollfilm (3" x 5")
Movements: Rising and cross front
Dimensions (w x h x l):  
Production Period: 1916 - 1937

Prior to 1914 the camera was made in non-autographic form and was known as the 3A Special Kodak.

The 3A Autographic Kodak Special was equipped with a coupled rangefinder and was the first Kodak camera to be fitted with this feature.

Military versions of this camera were also produced during the First World War but are scarce - see the Signal Corps Model K-3 for an example.

Variant / Model: Model B with rangefinder
Lens: Kodak Anastigmat f6.3
Shutter: Ilex Universal
Date of this Example: c1916
Serial Number: Serial 29186
Availability:
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [x]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 184

<Photographs to be added>

Description

No 3A Autographic Kodak Special with black leather bellows in good order. The leather covering on this example is in good repair. The suggested date is taken from the instruction manual that came with the camera (September 1916).

I suspect that the lens is a later replacement. Other features are consistent with this date, but according to Coe [4] the ILEX shutter was not available (as an option) until 1921.

Camera came with its original EKC leather case, which is lined with black velvet, although it is in poor condition.

Instruction booklet "Picture Taking with the No 3A Autographic Kodak Special" came with the camera. This has a picture on the front where the camera is fitted with an Wollensak Optimo shutter, which would be right for a camera of this date.

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Variant / Model: Model B with rangefinder
Lens: Kodak Anastigmat f6.3
Shutter: Kodamatic
Date of this Example: c1930
Serial Number: Serial 64460
Availability:
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [x]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 194

<Photographs to be added>

Description

No 3A Autographic Kodak Special with black leather bellows in good order. The leather covering is in good repair. No obvious clue as to the date. The camera came fitted with a short cable release. The stylus is missing for the autographic back.

Based on the serial number, it seems likely that this is a late model. This lens / shutter combination was available in the UK from 1924 to 1933 according to Coe [4].

The camera is in good condition with only minor markings to the leather covering. The handle is intact. The clips on rear are in good order. There is some green verdigris on external parts, especially the support 'foot' and some raised bumps on the camera back where screw heads are showing through.

The camera came complete with the original EKC leather case, which is lined with black velvet. The fold over section has split.

Notes

Two other folding cameras were fitted with the same coupled range finder beneath the lens standard: No 1A Autographic Kodak Special and the No 2C Autographic Kodak Special.