Advertisement, 1889.

In the heap of broken glass that is the Kodak bankruptcy, here’s one particularly sharp shard: Kodak is getting out of the camera-making business, which it entered in 1888.

It’s not a surprise; even back in the glory days, Kodak (and Polaroid too) made most of their money on film, and cameras were secondary. Moreover, Kodak was rarely in the first tier of camera manufacturers. Most of its products were snapshot instruments, some better than others. (Remember the disc camera? Tiny negatives, all grain once they were enlarged.) But still: there were exceptions, and you can still use them.

The Kodak Reflex, 1946-1949. Photo courtesy of Mr. Martin's Web Site.

For example, the Kodak Reflex, from the 1940s, can keep up with a Rolleiflex, and it’s much cheaper on eBay.







Jiffy Six-20, ca. 1935. Photo via

And this one is nothing special, but I have to mention it: The Kodak Jiffy Six-20, circa 1935.  It was, I think, the first camera ever owned by anyone in my family—my Papou bought it around the time my grandparents married—and I still have it. I like being able to photograph my mother with the same lens that produced pictures of her as a small child.

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One Response to “The Kodak” Goes Away

  1. Juliana says:

    First of all, I love your work. I can’t wait to finally meet you on your abtrhdiy next year! I agree that there is a place for film. I fought moving to digital because I treasured PRINTING my pictures the strongest reason I had. And now that I’ve gone almost all digital, I find myself printing those pics so rarely to display it’s a real shame (although I find there’s certain qualities I can get with digital that I can’t with film I’m sure the same can have a vice versa).Finally, I love the silly expression on my brother’s face above (yes, only a little sister will call it silly, I know ) it’s so very HIM and what else stood out to me about your blog? The year you started shooting with film (since I know the groom is a bicentennial baby!) ;-DCannot wait to see the rest of the shots you took of them (I’m probably almost excited as they are) and to meet you in the future!~Liz R., photographer, Mike’s Sister and member of the wedding par-tay!

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