The KODAK 3A Autographic

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A converted Kodak 3A uses 120 film. 5 - 6x14 images on a 120 roll. The lens' can be; Bausch&Lomb, Kodak-EKTAR, Zeiss, Crown, Wollensak + others. Shutters ranged from the: KODAK-Kodamatic, ILEX, Volute/B&L + others.

Custom Film advance: The Autographic back is an important element in the 3A conversion. Without it, conversion would be difficult, if not impossible. The Autographic window/opening, in the conversion, becomes the new 'red-window' to advance the film. Since keying in different sets of numbers on the 120 paper is needed, ALL the width of the Autographic opening is required instead of the small red-window that most old wide-roll cameras have. The existing red-window on the 3A is for the old 123 film, and is no longer needed.

When buying an old 3A, it is most important to buy one that has a bellows in good condition. Due to age or neglect, many cameras have 'bellows-rot'. This condition usually exists on the edges of the bellows causing a 'star-field' effect [see 'bellows repair link]. If severe, the camera will be unusable. TIP: The "RED BELLOWS" 3A is known to be 'seal-hide'. this leather is almost impervious to rot. Most bellows were cow-hide.

What should an old 3A cost? There are many greedy sellers on ebay. Even though these cameras are official antiques [over 100yrs old], In my opinion, a camera is worthless unless you can make images with it. A 3A or 4A can do nothing unless the effort is made to convert it. I don't think anyone should pay more than 50$ for a 3A - with good bellows, lens & shutter.

I can almost guarantee you will draw a crowd upon taking a converted 3A out to shoot..