This Kodak B Ordinary Camera is a Rare Collector’s Piece

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Today, we’re excited to show you a collector’s camera. Lucky for you, it’s not as pricey as most. And if you choose to actually use it, you’ll have a totally unique experience. The camera is the Kodak B Ordinary. (For the record, I hadn’t even heard of it either.) If you had told me about it, I would’ve guessed that it was a bigger Kodak Brownie. But that’s not the case. It was sold during the late 1800s, and had a few pretty great features for the time. 

Welcome to the Rare Camera Store: a joint initiative of The Phoblographer and the wonderful folks at Blue Moon Camera. We work to bring you some of the coolest and rarest items for a great price.

The listing for $1,300 over at Blue Moon Camera states:

The Kodak B Ordinary is a simple, wooden box camera without leather covering made between 1891-1895.  The B Ordinary made 3.5×4″ exposures on roll film.  It has an achromatic lens and a sector shutter.  This camera can still be used to make images, but we are treating it as a collectible-only camera and not as a functioning camera.

Here are some hard facts we’ll rattle off about these cameras:

  • Made between 1891-1895
  • It had the awesome feature of ensuring that you didn’t overadvance the film
  • Daylight loading was possible
  • Shot 3 1/2 x 4 film
  • Only 1900 were ever made
  • Fixed focus lens
  • Shutter with one speed
  • Waterhouse aperture system

So who’d buy this? A collector. Neither us nor Blue Moon Camera are treating it as a functioning camera. And even if you looked online, you’d see that it’s hard to find any sort of film for this. Some that seemed kind of close are from Polaroid and Shanghai. If you’re really feeling creative, we’ve seen these cameras modded and converted to shoot glass plates. Again though, it’s such an antique that I’d probably not recommend doing that. It belongs on a shelf or in a museum at this point.

Head on over to the Blue Moon Camera listing to see more.

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