Antique & Vintage Photographic Equipment

No 3B Quick Focus Kodak Camera

The Eastman Company

Name: No 3B Quick Focus Kodak Camera
Manufacturer: The Eastman Company
Type: Box (rollfilm)
Plate / Film Size: 125 rollfilm for pictures 3 x 5
Country of Origin: USA
Construction: Leather covered wood box with 3 sides removable as a single piece to access the rollfilm for loading. Sprung loaded front panel that extends automatically to a preset focusing distance on pressing the hidden button.
Production Period: 1905 - 1911

 

Lens: Meniscus achromatic
Shutter: Eastman Rotary
Movements: None
Dimensions (w x h x l): 12 x 17.5 x 22cm (approx.)
Date of this Example: c1909
Serial Number: Serial 7899K on inner face of front door.
Availability:
  • Common [ ]
  • Uncommon [x]
  • Hard to Find [ ]
  • Scarce [ ]
Inventory Number: 603

 

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Description

The No 3B Quick Focus Kodak is a large box camera with sprung loaded front panel that extends automatically to a preset focusing distance on pressing the hidden button on the user's right hand side of the camera.

According to Coe [4], the No 3B Quick Focus Kodak camera was introduced in July 1905 and production ceased in April 1911. This is the last model in the series, which was introduced in 1906 (according to Coe) at serial 5100K; over 9000 were produced. This example is serial 7899K so the year of manufacture shown in the table above is a best guess!

The covering on this example is in very good condition, with only a few minor blemishes and rub marks from the case, which has protected it well. It should clean up well. The film chamber is accessed by removing the three sided back panel, which is hinged by the leather covering much in the same way as the No 2 Flexo camera. The hinges on this example are in excellent condition. The nickel plated brightwork is generally in good order, although the focus preset dial is a little tarnished.

Notes

The camera is relatively uncommon, perhaps because of its large size, and would qualify as "Hard to Find" outside of the US. This particular example is in far better condition than many others I have seen.

Note that Coe lists this as the "3B Quick Focus Kodak", but Kodak catalogues if the period list it as the "No 3B Quick Focus Kodak", in line with their normal naming convention.

The camera first appears in the 1906 catalogues, having presumably been introduced after the 1905 catalogue was prepared. (According to Coe it was introduced in July 1905).

Three models of the camera were produced over the production period, namely Models A, B and C. The example shown here is the Model C, which is easy to identify as it is the only one to have a dial to select the shutter speed and was introduced in November 1906. The earlier models had a slider to set the focusing distance.