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  • Writer's pictureDwight Anderson

1916 Kodak No. 00 Cartridge Premo

The original point and shoot camera

Kodak's smallest box camera, it doesn't even have room for a viewfinder

In the December 1916 issue of The American Boy magazine, Kodak took out a full page, two color, 10"x15" ad for their new camera aimed directly at the youth market. The tiny 2"x2.5"x3" camera used unperforated 35mm film with paper backing to take 6 exposures at the cost of one thin dime.

It had to cost quite a bit to place this ad. On the other side, it's an ad for a Willys Overland car for $795.

Since there's no viewfinder, it has embossed V shaped lines on the top and side to guide your eye. It actually works pretty well.

The lens is approximately 55mm with an aperture of F13. The shutter is probably around 1/25th, which would follow the Sunny 16 rule pretty well. The shiny button at the bottom slides up to take time exposures. The lever on top takes a photo every time you flip it back and forth, more on that later.

That little time exposure button is easy to move when you put it in your pocket

The inside is your typical box camera, although they saved a bit with the felt film guides. The camera comes apart by pulling out the wind knob, there are no other latches.

I cut backing paper to width from a roll of Ilford 120 film, the numbers for half frame or 645 line up just right in the window and space the frames properly too!

Yes, that is a normal sized red window.

I got an extra spool from a guy that is selling 3d printed film adapters for old cameras. After I cut my backing paper to length and width, I loaded a 35mm bulk film cassette with Ilford FP4 and went into the darkroom. I had placed a piece of tape where the film needed to start and pulled it out of the cassette and attached it to the paper. Then I just needed to stretch it out and start rolling from the other end.

I went out with my wife on a chilly winter day and got some shots that turned out, but a few mistakes too. My wife asked me how to shoot it and I told her to just flip the lever. Before I could tell her not to flip it back, we had a double exposure. Also, I accidentally moved the time exposure button and ruined a frame and a half, the shot of the machinery is only half a frame. Because of the larger frame size, the photos have a wider aspect ratio when the film is scanned in a regular 35mm film holder. It's interesting to see how the light changed as the day went on.


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