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Today I was given a vintage 1913 Kodak camera, a Kodak Premoette Junior. What sort of film was it originally designed for and where can I buy it and have it developed?

Can I improvise with some sort of modern medium format film?

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Cool camera, the only guy on the site that I know of that might be able to help is Matt Smillie, he's a huge film buff. That baby is so old, though, that even he may not be able to help you. –  John Cavan Aug 29 '10 at 1:33
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Even if you can't find any film for it, thats a great shelf piece. Looks like its in pretty good condition, and a nice thing to show off. ;) –  jrista Aug 29 '10 at 3:33
    
Off topic .. but you just gave me a flash back to when I was a kid and played with a camera owned by my grandparents (I think) .. I remember it looking almost exactly like that. Thanks! –  Peter M Sep 4 '11 at 19:26
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3 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

The manual (linked from the camerapedia page) says it takes a particular kind of 21/4 x 31/2 pack film, which (like I think you guessed) isn't made anymore.

It's hard to say without being able to look at the camera, but I'd suggest there are two main options:

The first is to use 21/4x31/4 sheet film, which should fit. You'd likely have to rig up some sort of way to keep the film in the right position, but that's usually fairly simple and non-destructive (like a piece of foam, or taping the film to a piece of card, etc). This size isn't particularly common, but is still available (e.g., from Freestyle). This would make it into a simple one-shot camera that you'd have to reload in the dark.

The second option, if you're particularly handy, is to modify the camera. You may not want to do this if the camera is particularly valuable (I don't think it is, but I'm far from an expert on how collectable this type of camera is, so best to find out for yourself). This is all very speculative, you'll have to judge for yourself if any of it feasible, but hopefully it gets you started:

  • Modify the camera to take a 2x3 film holder. Remove (partially?) the back of the camera so that you can attach a normal 2x3 film holder.

  • Fuji (and Polaroid until recently) makes instant pack films that are the appropriate size. Similar to the sheet film holder, maybe graft a Polaroid back in place of the current back of the camera.

  • Modify the camera to use medium-format roll film. This would be simpler if this was a roll-film camera to begin with. You'll need to find out if there's space for the spools; it's certainly wide enough, but possibly not deep enough. You'll likely also have to rig up guides to keep the film at the correct distance.

As for development, medium format is by far the simplest: if there's noone locally, there's still lots of send-away options. 2x3 sheet film is trickier; not a lot of places develop sheet film these days, and 2x3 is a "weird" size - 4x5 is far more typical. I'd plan on doing that yourself, especially if you opted for the simple one-shot method. Instant film, obviously, wouldn't be a problem to develop.

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Maybe you can spool a 120mm roll in a dark room and advance the film with the camera's controls. the roll can then be developed (120mm is still pretty doable in cheap commercial services).

Also, as nobody mentioned this, but those bellows (the black corrugated thing between the lens and the film) might have holes, which, as you can probably guess, lead to light leaks.

This is not necessarily bad, if you're into that kind of effects, and also can be easily fixed. You peek through the film side, with the lens covered, in a brightly lit area, and spot the holes. Then it's just a matter of covering them with black tape, or some creative alternative.

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You are very lucky. My suggestion: Don't even try to use it. it would be better off as a piece of art or on a antique shelf.

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Downvoted. I think that camera can produce some interesting art! –  Agos Nov 19 '10 at 0:25
    
Me too, but I wouldn't take the risk of destroying a beautiful camera when you could make some interesting art with one that you can buy film for easily. –  RCProgramming Nov 19 '10 at 23:11
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