Whats is a good 828 film camera?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by rdm, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. rdm


    I was thinking about trying an 828 camera. I kinda like the idea of slightly larger image size on a 35mm negative. I know about the film and i have some stock 70mm un-perforated film that i can split and cut to roll onto 828 spools , of which i have one already. so i was looking to purchase an inexpensive Bantam rf camera to try out , but then i started to wonder if the lens is any good, and i haven't known anyone who's shot with this camera. Now i chose the Bantam RF because its a range finder unlike the pony 828 or the flash bantam and it has more controls. Now I'm pretty sure the Bantam from the art deco one is a better camera, with a nice shutter and lens but price makes it out of reach for this poor student. So before i make a purchase of a Bantam RF i thought i would see if anyone can enlighten me to any better alternatives as i dont know of any others that ar not a point and click camera and that aren't expensive ether. So please educate me, and also let me know of things to look out for if it turns out the Bantam is the way to go.
  2. These - http://www.cameraquest.com/superban.htm - are expensive but convenient
  3. Kodak flash bantam with an Anastigmat special lens. It is tiny, really tiny and a solid performer. I rolled regular 35mm film and it worked like a charm. You can cut the backing paper from a regular 120 backing paper, a set of the numbers match. You can get these for $20-30. The one Charles listed is the finest of them all but it comes at a steep price $200-300 depending on condition. <p>

    The bantam RF is a really nice camera as well, however the lens is slightly of lower quality than the anastigmat special(coated) or the ektars or Anastars. The coated ektanon on this camera should be capable of fine quality if stopped down below f/8 just like any other decent triplet design. See my posting on it from 2 years ago. The film had color cast as it was expired. The PONY 828s are almost the same in performane apart from cheaper construction and lack of rangefinder. I have several of them and acquired them for the 828 spools they had inside, mainly; they are that cheap.

  4. Dan,
    In a short search of the Ektanon 3.9 lens, I found that it is also a Thorium lens. (Thorium added to improve the
    refractive quality of the lens--less costly to produce a lens). The downside of that equation is the Thorium glass
    yellows or browns with age. May affect the color of your end result?
    I also used the Kodak Bantam Special (art deco model) it had a great lens and shutter. If you can find one at a
    reasonable (affordable on your budget) price it will be well worth the added expense in picture quality, but this sounds
    like more of an experimental use, so the Bantam RF should work fine for you, just wanted to let you know about a
    possible shortcoming.
  5. I like the Bantam f4.5 which is similar to the Flash Bantam, but with older styling... both have an excellent lens and fold into a very small pocket camera (not much bigger than a Stlus really)... no RF though.
  6. rdm


    Thank you all for your Information. so Ken are you saying that the RF bantam was only available with the Ektanon 3.9 lens, and that this lens by now would have yellowing? Well i guess it would be just like a contrast filter if i only shot Black and white? i do like the portability of the flash bantam design but i don't like the lack of a range finder and slower lens; but i guess i wont know till i try one. I also like the auto advance feature of the RF bantam. Too bad the glass lenses cant easily be replaced... oh well
  7. rdm


    OH! ONE LAST THING. Does anyone know how to adjust a flash sync on these and other cameras. I hear of people doing it all the time to tourist cameras and such but never see information on how do do it. I also have a couple tourists i would love to do this on.
  8. Camerapedia only lists the one lens for the Bantam RF, but I would give one a try, maybe the discoloring is minimal.
  9. Hi Dan,

    I've used the Kodak Bantam, and the Bantam Special (f2.0 Ektar), both terrific cameras, but the latter has no peers in the 828 field. The early model had a Compur shutter, but from 41 on had the Kodak Flash Supermatic shutter. The Kodak shutters were always troublesome regardless of camera.

    828 is unperforated 35mm with paper backing yielding 8 exposures per roll and its frame size is 28mm x 40mm. I liked them because they were small, especially small was the f4.5. I no longer have either of these so my personal tiny camera is the Rollei 35 (made in Singapore-they were made better than the German made), I use it as a back up in case of problems.

  10. The Kodak Bantam Special, if you can find one!
  11. rdm


    Thank you Lynn. Have you ever used an electronic flash on them? And Thanks Alex. I figured as much, i see them on
    eBay all the time , i just don't have the 3 or 4 hundred to buy one , but it looks like the way to go and i
    think the Bantam RF is the next best thing, if i see too much yellow I will just add a warming filter and see
    what that does.
  12. Dan, I have the Bantam Rf and like it very much. Also, Gepe still has 828 glass slide film holders. Which,is where 828 shines!
  13. Dan, my Bantam RF has the Ektanon lens. It shows no signs of yellowing. I would not change your mind if that's a
    camera that you might consider. My camera is Black and silver and has a leather case. There are also websites on
    cutting 828 film from 120. Which would give you the backing paper, too.

  14. rdm


    well yea i am not worried about finding the film for it , i use 120 all the time AND can save the backing paper to cut down, i have my 70mm stock too. I also have 2 film cartridges from a Fotron camera, it see its 828 with backing paper in it i just haven't cracked it open yet, one cartage says color negative and the other says color slides. I wish i knew what Fotron used for their slide film , because if its Kodachrome that would be pretty cool
  15. Portra 160NC is still made in unperforated 35mm rolls, 100 feet in a can. That's the best way to use a Bantam, no time spent slitting the film.

    Another "slightly larger" negative format is 127 half-frame, which is 30x40mm, as compared to the 28x40mm of Bantam. The Foth Derby is compact, and has a good Tessar lens (some collectible ones have Leitz Elmars), but the shutter is sure to need a complete rebuild. The focal plane shutter also has a lot of mass, and strong springs, so it kicks like a mule when shot.

    But then, about the same size as a Kodak Flash Bantam, is the original Vest Pocket Kodak. Get a nice one with a focusing lens, and you get 40x65mm negatives -- juicy big. Again, 127 film.

    127 film is somewhat more available than 828. Again, Portra 160NC is available in 46mm long rolls, which is the width of 127 film.

    Of course, if you want a big camera, get a 116 or 616 size one, and use the 70mm film without any slitting!
  16. rdm


    thanks john. I haven't gotten the camera yet but do you have any sources for the 828 stock?
  17. B&H still sells 828 film at the handsome price of $12; It is a waste of money if you ask me, as rolling is really a piece of cake, but to each his own. Here is the link:


    As far as the flash, you will need an asa adapter to use electronic flash with a pc cord; a gentleman sells them on ebay for about $29.
  18. here is the link to flash adapter for asa bayonet as the bantam rf has above. ASA Flash Adapter
  19. rdm


    Well ralph, i was more interested in unperforated stock to roll my own. like a 100 foot roll. and as for that
    adapter , i might pay 20 but for 30 dollars i can buy a used cable and old kodak flash and make my own. Infact i
    have done that already in a box of camera parts for 10 dollars plus 10 shipping and other parts too. But i was
    told its not just a connection problem but a sync issue too
  20. rdm


    sorry i forgot to add thanks ralph, the information was appreciated . i might buy one foll from B and H to start
  21. Hi, Dan According to the EKC publication "Kodak Lenses And Shutters" which is unfortunately undated but I suspect of late 40s vintage, the three lenses then available for the various 828 format Bantams were:

    a. f2 45mm Ektar, six elements
    b. f4.5 47mm Kodak Anastigmat Special, four elements
    c. f5.6 50mm Kodak Anastigmat, three elements.

    The best lens is undoubtedly the f2 Ektar but unfortunately it only seems to have come with the clam-shell Bantam Special, which is still rightly regarded as a masterpiece of art-deco design, hence attracts a lot of interest from the art-deco crowd as well as us relatively impoverished camera collectors.

    More realistically, the f4.5 Anastigmat Special is the one to go for, because the Bantam model it's fitted to is no art-deco masterpiece. I suspect that the f3.9 lens in your pictured Bantam RF is a later, faster version, maybe from the 50s when coating and more exotic glasses enabled lens makers to go faster withut having to add additional elements..

    The f5.6 Anastigmat design is only a triplet and would probably give acceptable results at around f8/f11, so best keep clear.

    On the subject of 828 film compared to standard 135 format cartridges, I've often wondered just why the unperforated 35mm film used in 828 wasn't supplied in a larger 135-style paper-backing-less cartridge. OK, so it wouldn't have the perforations to act as guides or operate a film counter mechanism, but plenty of 35mm cameras don't used guide teeth anyway and film counters can be geared to the wind mechanism. The big plus would have been the larger negative area thanks to the lack of perforations, of course. It would still require rewinding back into the cartridge, which would look pretty similar to the usual 135 cartridge. Only the take-up spool would be different, with larger profile flanges to ensure the film wound correctly around its centre. All water under the bridge, I guess, seeing as we're all going digital these days ................ (Pete In Perth)
  22. rdm


    Hey Pete, I understand what you mean , I thought they also could have just perforated one side to keep the count and track. like they did with 126 film. But what i don't understand is why today is it so difficult to get non-perforated stock? and also somone should come up with a way to make plastic film spools of all the old discontinued film. But its funny you mentioned the f4.5 Anastigmat Special, i was just looking at one the other day. I still like the RF tho. you know i had the idea to take a Argus C3 camera and cut open the the frame for the negative to an 828 size and then file down the teeth for the advance and replace them with lill ribber bands so they canstil grip the film and then just putting 828 stock in a 135 cartrage.
  23. The unperforated 35mm Portra 160NC shows up rather often on eBay at the moment. Mostly school photo outfits dumping their expired or leftover (done digital) film. You don't want the Sp 404 stuff, that's sprocketed, there's other specification numbers for unsprocketed.
  24. rdm


    so if i see for sale "1 Roll Kodak 35mm x 100 Ft. Portra 160NC Color Pro Film" how do i know if its is perforated or not?
  25. rdm


    hey is anyone finds 828 stock please shoot me an email
  26. rdm


    I guess i should buy myself an RF bantam and use some 828 film i just made from sliting down 70mm film :)

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