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Kodak 35

Kodak 35

Style, film format 35mm with coupled rangefinder

Lens, shutter Coated 50mm f/3.5 Kodak Anastigmat Special, Flash Kodamatic

Photo quality Not tested

Ergonomics Ugh!

If you really enjoy the smooth lines of classic cameras, close your eyes now.

Some people wince when they see this. And for good reason. One book I have describes this camera as having "looks that only a mother could love."

I often use the Kodak 35 to show the stark difference between the beauty of the German-made Retina camera and this mechanical contraption that came from the U.S.

I've studied this camera for some time now, and I've tried to understand how the person who designed this couldn't have seen how unattractive it was with its odd combination of dials, knobs, protrusions and other oddities.

The Kodak 35 uses a coupled split-image rangefinder but separate windows for focusing and composing.

The coated lens on this is reputed to be quite good. But that's something I'll never know, because the shutter is not functioning. The body is too complex to disassemble, and its bakelite body and rivets give me no reason to want to disassemble and repair it.

Mercifully, Kodak euthanized this ghastly machine in 1951, replacing it with the Signet 35.