Chris's camera pages
Kodak Bantam Special
Manufactured between 1936 and 1948, the Kodak Bantam Special was designed by Walter Dorwin Teague. This beautiful art-deco style folder used the 828 size roll film.The camera body is made up of diecast sections. The black lacquer finish contrasts nicely with the polished raised ribs.The lens on this one is an uncoated Kodak Ektar 45mm f/2.0 which is mounted in a Compur-Rapid shuter with speeds from 1 to 1/500 second, plus B & T.Earlier examples, like this one, made until 1936, used a Compur-Rapid shutter, but from 1941 a Supermatic shutter was used instead.
The Bantam Special has a coupled rangefinder which has a separate eyepiece from the viewfinder. The rangefinder has a noticeably magnified image, so the two eyepieces are easily distinguished.In this picture, the rangefinder eyepiece is on the left towards the advance knob, and the viewfinder eyepiece is over the centre of the camera.The rangefinder eyepiece has a dioptre adjustment to suit the user's eyesight.
828 size roll film was a paper-backed roll-film. It was introduced in 1935 and was apparently available right up until 1985. There were commonly eight frames to a film and each exposure measured 40mm by 28mm.This film is often just described as being unperforated 35mm film stock, but it is not quite that simple.828 had a single perforation for each frame. This perforation triggered a simple mechanism that locked the film advance knob once a full frame had been wound-on.This is similar to the method used with the later Instamatic cameras with their 126 film cartridge. The only 828 film I have in my collection is this one made by Ilford, as you might have noticed, it expired a long time ago.
Kodak Bantam Special instruction manual on Mike Butkus' excellent website.