No. 5 Folding Kodet Special (1895-1897)
This is the top model of the Kodet camera line. Kodet cameras were cheaper alternatives for the costlier Kodaks. There were simple Kodets for the snapshooter and more complicated models for the serious but not so wealthy amateur. This No. 5 Folding Kodet Special was intended for the last group and takes 5 x 7 inch photos on glass plates or a roll of flexible film.
But what is so special about it?
It has a lensboard that can slide up and down and sideways. With this you can photograph higher building without giving the impression in the photo that they are falling backwards.
It also has a glass plate holding mechanism that can be rotated along the vertical and horizontal axis. With this the photographer can change the zone of focus.
Obviously this was useful for the advanced photographer only.
The No. 5 Folding Kodet is very similar to the No. 5 Folding Kodet Special. The difference is that the plate back of the former rotated on the vertical axis only. Also it could not be had with the Bausch & Lomb Iris Diaphragm lens.
The price of the Special ranged between $ 35 and $ 48, depending on the shutter.
All the Kodet cameras are rather rare today, but the No. 5 Folding Kodet Special might well be the rarest. Only 400 were made.
On the right is a photo of the plate holding compartment. At the bottom and top of the compartment two levers are visible. With the bottom lever the plate holding frame can be rotated along the vertical axis. In that case the right side of the frame moves forward and the left side moves backwards, or vice versa.
With the top lever the plate holding frame can be rotated on the horizontal axix. The upper of the frame moves backwards and the lower part moves forward, or vice versa.
Left and bottom: Pages from Kodak 1895 catalog.
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