Kodak VR35 K12 camera

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by jason_withers, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. I recently acquired a couple of these Kodak VR35 K12 automatic 35mm cameras. I read about them online a while back and thought they sounded interesting. From what I researched, the VR line of cameras was Kodak's re-entry into the 35mm market after taking a break for about 17 years. They partnered with Chinon in Japan where most of the cameras were manufactured, but some were made in the US. My particular one says made in USA on the bottom. While they probably won't win any contests in the looks department, they had some pretty advanced features at the time for a compact 35mm camera. The K12 model that I have was released in 1986 and had a list price of $199. It had automatic film loading, motorized film advance, auto rewind, as well as auto focus, automatically setting the film speed and auto flash. The K12 model came with an f/2.8 Ektar lens that is pretty sharp for this type of camera. One very interesting feature I thought was the power source that came supplied with the camera, which was a 9 volt lithium power pack that Kodak manufactured themselves and was reported to be good for 100 (24 exposure) rolls of film. A regular 9 volt alkaline battery could also be used, but didn't last as long. The camera and the battery both had a 3 year warranty.

    While it's considered a compact camera, its on the larger size, but it does have a neat cover that flips down over the lens. This cover, when flipped up serves as the flash and also turns on the power. Flipping it closed turns the camera off. Raising the flash up above the lens was reported to almost eliminate red eye that a lot of other cameras still suffered from at that point in time. The K12 has reasonably quick auto focus, especially with outdoor shots and even displays distance symbols in the viewfinder, based on focus performed by its infrared sensor. It even has a nifty self timer and tripod socket on the bottom.

    I think its a pretty neat camera and I have provided a few pictures below that were shot on Kodak Gold 200.






    LMar likes this.
  2. Very neat, not all that expensive to buy, and takes nice sharp pics too
  3. Yeah, I was surprised too! I wasn't expecting very much from this one.
  4. Nice camera and results, prime lenses are king. It represents an era when autofocus was two words.
    jason_withers likes this.
  5. There might be a snap-on tele and a wide angle lens for it somewhere in the Universe

    VR35 K12

    1986 1989 f2.8 Ektar fixed focus lens, with option to manually choose forced flash (fill flash). Snap on tele and wide angle aux lenses available. Can use common 9v battery in addition to special designated battery.
  6. Thanks for the note regarding the optional lenses. I've seen a couple around but they usually cost much more than the camera!
  7. Exactly right. nicely put :)

    Lots of the late cameras at the time of transition to the SLR were really great little cameras, and obviously that continued on into the amateur market for some time after.

    Nice post.
  8. Another interesting tidbit I found about the VR line of films that were released jointly with cameras:

    "To show off the quality of the new Kodacolor VR-G 100 and the new lens design of the K12, Kodak made a 30-by-50-foot transparency from a single frame of the film and put it on display in front of the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square. It is the first time an enlargement of this size has been made from a 35-millimeter color negative original and the result in quality was the equivalent of blow-ups made with Kodachrome or sheet film."

    This reminds me of the coloramas they used to manufacture. Would be interesting to see a picture of this.
    LMar likes this.
  9. hey Jason and perhaps anyone else, I have the Vr35 K12 too and am running into an issue with the auto rewind - it never ends and I have already lost 1 roll of film thanks to this - any tips on how to fix ? much appreciated !

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