Eastman Kodak 2D Parts Hunt Complete
Well here is the teaser shot of my efforts in scavenging parts to put together an 8×10 camera. Why you might ask did I choose a Kodak 2D model . . . well because the availability and probability of gathering used parts to put one together if I was lucky. The film Gods have smiled down upon me and I have gathered the basic parts of a functioning 8×10 camera. I am a tinkerer and fixer and modifier so I am not to daunted by the problems and other challenges to be solved by this project. I am having as much fun doing this as I would be out shooting film or other photo adventure . . . During my search I have to my horror found parts made into clocks and other post film products like mirror frames and such . . . a sad fate for usable parts. You might think of this model 8×10 view camera as you would a model T car, yes a relic it may be but an instrument that hasn’t changed in 100 years.
Here is some History
The Eastman 2D View Camera was introduced in 1921 and manufactured until 1950. The original price at introduction in 1921 was $46.50. In good condition it is an excellent antique 8×10 camera. Because of the long production run, there are still quite a few that come up in good condition, for a reasonable price. The 2D is a flat bed field camera, with a detachable tail board. The camera weighs in at about twelve pounds. The bed is made of cherry, and the body of mahogany, with brass hardware. The bellows draw is 29 1/2 inches with the tail board. The lens boards are 6×6 inches, and can be made by any competent wood worker, or wood working shop, especially easy if you have an example to show them. The lens boards show up for sale periodically, often with a lens attached. The camera has a large enough area inside the front standard to use a 6 1/2 inch Packard shutter, with a 3 1/2 inch aperture, if you wish to shoot vintage barrel lenses on it. Reducing backs to 5×7 and 4×5 were manufactured, and show up from time to time. More rare, but worth having if you like the format, are insertable masks that, for example, allow the camera to shoot two 4×10 images on one sheet of film. A lensboard with an offset hole helps keep your movements full, just rotate it 180 when you shoot the other side. (Yes, the lens then will be upside down) Movements are geared, but rather limited, and consist of front rise, rear tilt, and rear swing. It can be used as a landscape camera, within its limitations, but it is truly at its best as a portrait camera, wearing a big barrel lens, with a packard shutter. It should be noted that the camera flexes about quite allot when inserting film holders (alarmingly so, until you get used to this quirk), but after it is done bouncing around, it returns exactly to where you set it. It folds, but as a rather large camera, it isn’t what one would call compact. Overall it is a good entry camera for 8×10 portraiture on a budget, being simple, robust, and affordable. Eastman also manufactured this camera in 5×7, 6 1/2x 8 1/2, and 7×11, with different specs than those listed here for the 8×10.
So there you go, a bit of history if you didn’t already know. Eastman Kodak bought out many a small camera maker and consolidated the design along the way with sub contracted companies building the product like Graflex (the Kodak 2D was manufactured by the Folmer & Schwing Division of Eastman Kodak until 1926 when that division was spun off as the Folmer Graphic Corp and then, after the 1945 reorganization, by Graflex Inc).
Well what’s left is applying a bit of elbow grease to the brass (where I desire it), and some past wax and wood repair. Then the New Red Bellows will be installed and this beautiful Gal will be ready to shoot again. Mind you I’ll be searching for a tail board and a tripod block . . . as long as they’re not priced to outrageous I will pick them up. There are manufacturing lot numbers that help one make sure that fit will be as close as possible(those odd number stamped on the parts “like 23” or “89”).
I also have a working 2D in 5×7 Format that is functionally sound . . .
Yes I know . . . I am ate up . . . but shooting film and paper negatives are such a blast . . . and I can only say this. Even though I shoot digital . . . My first love was film, and remains film to this day.
There’s the teaser, see my other posts on the Kodak 2D 8×10 wooden view camera . . .
now get off yer butt and go make a picture !