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My Kodak Signet 35
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:19 am    Post subject: My Kodak Signet 35 Reply with quote

This old camera holds some sentimental attachment for me. My father owned a Signet 35, but I know very little about the history of his camera. I just have a few memories of it. For years, I didn't even know the model, but what I did remember about it was it had those two large knobs on top. Well, as it turns out, the Signet 35 was the only Kodak designed in this fashion, so I was able to narrow down the model without too much further difficulty.

My clearest memory of Dad's Signet 35 was him using it at an air show we attended, probably around 1960 or so. I probably wasn't more than 7 or 8 at the time. The specific memory was of him changing film. He had raised the trunk lid (boot for you guys back in the Empire) and was leaning inside so that he was in the lid's shadow. I asked him what he was doing. He explained to me that, when changing film, it should always be done in the shade. And since there was no shade that day and it was very sunny, I guess it made sense to do what he did. But you know, back in the day when I went to several air shows a year and even more motorsports events, I don't think I once sought out shade when I had to change film. And I never had any ruined exposures from changing film in bright sun. Oh well, dodged that bullet.

I found this example at Goodwill's auction site. My successful bid was around $22, but with shipping and handling and sales tax, it set me back about $40, which was a fair deal, I thought. This little camera is built like a tank. The body is machined from a solid billet of aluminum, and the shutter is very robust. Focusing is buttery smooth, and the coincident image in the rangefinder is very clear. I can't wait to run a roll of film though it.

The lens is a Kodak Ektar 44mm f/3.5. It is a Tessar design. Closest focusing is just a bit under 2 feet. The entire camera was built by Kodak in the USA. It's a hefty little unit. probably weighing in at around 2 pounds, or one kilo.

EDIT: I just weighed it. I was off quite a bit. It weighs 1 lb 2.0 oz, or 510 grams.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Michael, for a nice story and an uncommon camera. I guess Kodak lens would render very well giving you much joy.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2021 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I've been reading, that Ektar lens is an excellent optic. Also, the Signet 35 is not really uncommon. Kodak built a lot of them between 1951 and 1958. Finding clean ones nowadays is more of a challenge, however.