Humble Camera, Mighty Film.

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by rick_drawbridge, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. A welcome gift from an old friend, a Kodak Junior II

    Kodak Junior II

    Junior II Pnet.jpg

    Manufactured in England in the period 1954-9, the Kodak Junior II is a very basic little folder, though it was apparently very popular in it's day, being simple, robust and reasonably priced. Taking eight 6cm x 9cm frames on 620 film, it has a mid-range 105mm Anaston f/6.3 lens, a Cooke Triplet with front-cell focusing that formerly went by the name of Kodak Anastigmat, stopping down to f/32. The shutter is the camera's Achille's Heel, a wretched little Dakon II with a very limited speed range of 1/25, 1/50, T and B. Trying to hold an awkwardly-shaped folding camera truly steady at 1/50th of a second is virtually impossible, and it's beyond me why Kodak didn't go the extra mile and extend the speeds to at least 1/125th. The shutter release button on the body is smooth enough in operation, and the viewfinder is reasonably bright and accurate, but I'm sure there were some pretty blurry images produced by the Junior II.

    The camera came with a roll of Kodak Verichrome Pan within, wound on to frame #2. My friend informed me that the camera had been stored in a cupboard in it's nice leather case since the early 1980's, untouched in a box of estate odds and ends. I decided that it would be an interesting experiment to finish the roll, though I didn't hold out much hope for a very satisfactory result. I rated the film at 25 ISO instead of the box speed of 125 ISO, and increased development time by 50% in PMK Pyro. As it turned out, both these adjustments were a little excessive, and I ended up with somewhat dense and contrasty negatives. The first couple of frames that had sat unrolled in the camera showed severe degradation, but the balance of the roll was surprisingly good, with some spotting of the emulsion and a reasonably high fog level, but the negatives scanned very well. They still had the old Verichrome tones that I love; I'll have to say I still really miss that film...

    Other than spotting out dust and adjusting tones, I've made no enhancements to the frames below. The first shows the degradation of the first frame, and the following three are examples from the images I took with the camera. I'll have to hand it to the Epson V700 Photo and the Silverfast SE software for creating some unexpectedly good scans.

    First Frame

    Rollo Pnet.jpg
    Landscape 001

    Landscape 001 Pnet.jpg

    Landscape 003

    Landscape 003 Pnet.jpg

    Landscape 002

    Landscape 002 Pnet.jpg

  2. Nice results, Rick. I miss Verichrome Pan as well. The first roll I shot in my Sear Cubex that I bought when I was in the fifth grade was Verichrome Pan. Still have 4 rolls of 120 in cold storage that I'm hoarding.
  3. That's interesting Rick. I had a Junior 2 some years ago, but never got around to using it. If you wanted higher shutter speeds, you had to reach deeper into your pocket and buy its big brother, the Sterling 2, which had an F/4.5 lens:

    Some Old Shots from a Kodak Sterling 2

    The Junior 1 shared the same body but only had a simple meniscus lens and single speed shutter.
  4. Nice and thanks for the "memories", so to speak.
  5. Very cool, Rick!
  6. Well, at least the bellows doesn't leak. The Junior looks like a cheaper version of a Tourist, which is all metal, and came in a variety of shutters and lens, the mid range can be found of about $30.00. I've developed Verichrome Pan from the 1960's and have been stand developing it in Rodinal 1:100 for one hour with good (printable) results.
  7. They might have mostly triggered the camera with a short cable release to offset the awkwardness.

    Kent in SD
  8. Actually it's quite rare to find leaks in cameras with leather bellows like the Junior 1, Junior 2 and Sterling 2, which seem to have been an English take on the Tourist series. The American made Kodak folders from around 1920 to 1950, which used a synthetic material, are most susceptible to pinholes -as are also some Agfas.
  9. Thanks for the interesting post. And that's a gorgeous product shot of the camera itself.
  10. Thanks for your responses, one and all! As John rightly pointed out, spending a little more bought you a very similar camera with a better lens and shutter, and I think I would have saved up to acquire that option. As with many cameras of that era, the low-cost models were barely adequate for their purpose, spoiled for a ha'p'orth of tar, as they used to say.

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