3B Quick Focus Kodak (1906 - 1911)
Cameras that did not have to be focused had the advantage that less mistakes could be made by the snap shooting photographist. But these instruments with fixed focus lenses could not produce large pictures. Cameras that take larger photos than about 3.5 x 3.5 inch need focusing.
The No. 3B Quick Focus Kodak takes pictures of 3.25 x 5.25 inch (8 x 13 cm), a size much too large for a fixed focus lens. To make focusing simple it has a special lever or wheel on a side. With this the proper distance is set, then a button is pressed and the front part (with the lens and shutter) moves forward, powered by a spring, to the correct position.
This instrument is a real snapshooters camera, not only because of its focusing help, but also because of its modest specifications. The lens is a simple Meniscus achromat and the shutter a Eastman rotary one.
The camera in the video has a special portrait lens attached in the lens opening in the front door. With this it focuses to a shorter distance, so close up portraits can be made.
A picture of 3.25 x 5.25 inch is called "postcard" size. During a number of years this was very popular, but the 3B Quick Focus Kodak is the only Kodak box camera that was ever made in the postcard size.
The No. 3B Quick Focus Kodak sold for $ 12. The camera was introduced in February 1906. The video shows the model A, with a lever on the side to set the distance. In June 1906 this was replaced by model B, still with the lever. By November 1906 model C appeared, now with a wheel to set the distance. About 3000 of the model A were made. Total production up to 1911 is over 9000.
Page from the Kodak 1909 catalog.