Kodak – Bantam Special (Art Deco)

Bantam Special - Vertical Format
Bantam Special – Vertical Format

Manufacturer: Eastman Kodak, USA
Model: Bantam Special (Art Deco)
Format: 828 Rollfim Coupled Rangefinder
Made: 1936-1940
Lens: Kodak Anastigmatic Ektar f/2
Shutter: Compur Rapid 1s – 1/500 & B
User Manual: PDF download

I’m a huge fan of the Art Deco period, so when I set eyes on the iconic Kodak Bantam Special, an Art Deco masterpiece designed by Walter Dorwin Teague for Kodak in 1936, it was love at first sight. It’s a very advanced camera for its time, and is beautifully made as well as being drop-dead gorgeous.

It takes an obsolete film size, 828 rollfilm which is a little bit like 35mm but without the sprocket holes (there is actually one hole per frame to trigger the wind-on interlock). Thankfully, you can still get Kodak Tri-X 400 respooled to 828 from B&H Photo in New York – I’ve just ordered a couple of rolls and can’t wait to put them through the camera. Here is another article about the Bantam Special.

My example has a reasonably early serial number beginning with 191xx, so probably dates from around 1937.

See my photos made with the Bantam Special.

Bantam Special Closed Clamshell
Bantam Special Closed Clamshell
Kodak - Bantam Special Art Deco
Kodak – Bantam Special Art Deco

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365 Photos from Film in 2015