This odd little 80’s Kodak number came amongst a ton of Cameras that I picked up for 99p. This little fixed focus and fixed shutter number however has become a firm favourite
Oddly Kodak had been absent from 35mm camera manufacturing from the last of the Retina Series made at end of the 60’s until 1986 when a group of compacts including the 35 EF arrived . This model was made in Japan and its key feature is the Ektanar Lens which is as we’ll see belies what is otherwise a very simple camera.
Kodak 35 EF Specs
- Lens : Ektanar 35mm 1:4
- Focus : Fixed
- Filter : not applicable
- Shutter : Fixed 1/125 sec
- Exposure : Fixed
- Battery : 2xAAA
Bodywise this model resembles a slew of 80’s compacts. The side grip suggests a motorwind but this a manual thumbwheel advance number. Plastic bodied with a Glass lens, there is very little going on here. Focus and shutter are fixed. A small slider below the lens allows you to adjust the aperture for film speed (100/200 or 400/1000) and erm.. actually that’s all you need. Just slide open the lens cover which unlocks the shutter button and shoot.
The camera will run without batteries but if you pop in not only do they power the manually triggered pop up flash (with an inconvenient switch on base) but also a low light sensor and LED but given shutter and aperture are fixed you don’t actually need it it per se. The flash has distance scales when popped up which is neat.
All this doesn’t bode well but you forget the Kodak pedigree. They’ve been making simple but good cameras since the 19th Century.
The lens is an absolute beaut. For such a simple camera it is insanely sharp with 400 ASA film. The shot above shows just how sharp it can be at both near and far shooting. This is one of the sharpest fixed focus cameras I’ve ever used. That said there is a bit of vignetting with the smaller aperture. For mixed weather (aka as Scottish !!) 400 ASA gives a good range. Flare is pretty minimal for such a cheap cam.
For 100-200 ASA you’ll need good weather or be happy to use the flash. In cloudy conditions things a bit softer and underexposed. In fairness I shot Expired Truprint FG+ 200 which probably is effectively a 100 ASA or less film and tolerance will also be less. 200ASA probably would be be a bit brighter . That said it became a bit of a lomo style beast with quirky shot potential. Worth noting you might be able to stretch a little bit with 400 ASA in slightly lower light by switching the camera to the 100/200 setting
The flash works well enough. Worth noting the rewind knob kinda fell apart so the plastic may not be bearing up that well with time
- Insanely sharp with 400 ASA
- No batteries actually required
- If used just 2 AAA
- No controls
- Limited exposure range (2 aperture settings)
- Odd flash switch
What I paid, got & sold for
- part of 99p Camera lot (+£8 P&P) = effectively 12p + £1
- Came with strap
- It’s a keeper
- Pentax Pino – sharp 35mm fixed focus with some controls
- Halina Speedy 33 – Motorised fixed focus 80’s fun
- Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim – ultra compact fixed focus fun